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Archive for November, 2018

The Afek Masterpiece is finally out

November 28th, 2018 32 comments

Wow, we worked a lot on this book. I spent a decade pressuring Afek to write this book. We even had a contract that he asked to get out of. But finally it is here, the book I dreamt of. This is an obvious candidate from Quality Chess for book of the year.

I know that studies is not to everyone’s taste. What I like about Afek’s creation is that they both have the beauty of studies and the game-like feel I enjoy. Actually, Afek included a study we made together, based on my analysis of a game by a young Carlsen.

If you want to test yourself, I have a small problem for you here.

White to play and win (move 3 of a study)

You can find the solution to this problem in the last example of the PDF excerpt.

Quality Chess Academy 2.0 ready for registration

November 26th, 2018 6 comments

Hi guys!

Kallia has updated our website for the academy and it is now ready to receive registrations. At the first camp we had 11 participants, as we had put in a rating barrier of 2300. In the second camp, there will be no rating requirement to participate. We will have a few classes going on at the same time, so they all will be at an appropriate level for everyone. GM Ramesh has already agreed to join me at the camp and Boris Gelfand will be invited if we hit 30 participants.

The camp works well for GMs and for amateurs. GM Adhiban benefitted from the camp (or so he says) and won a tournament in Croatia right after, pushing his rating to 2694, preparing him to be only the 5th Indian player to cross 2700 (after Anand, Harikrishna, Sasikiran and Vidit). The other GMs were very positive as well.

Out of the 11 participants, 10 gave us 9/10 or 10/10. I think 6/10 or 7/10 is more appropriate. We knew we were beginners and we made a lot of small mistakes. The idea with a small camp was to learn before we invite a lot of people for 8-14 May 2019.

Here is a small video we did for ChessBase.in about the camp.

The positional challenge | Quality Chess Academy by GM Jacob Aagaard

At the Quality Chess Academy 1.0 which was held in Crete, Greece from 9-14 November a lot of strong GMs gathered to be trained by Jacob Aagaard and Boris Gelfand. There were different types of training sessions for the players. One of them was positional chess where the players were urged to ask the three questions:1. Which is the worst placed piece?2. What are the weaknesses?3. What is my opponent's idea?Once you ask these three questions you tend to understand what's going on in the position and find the right move. In this challenge GM Jacob Aagaard and GM Arizmendi Martinez pose you with a position from the game Eljanov vs Grischuk. You have to take ten minutes on your clock and find the best move for Black. Can you play like how Grischuk did?

Posted by ChessBase India on Sunday, 25 November 2018

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Avrukh’s final 1.d4 volume: 2B

November 23rd, 2018 91 comments

 

Any 1.d4 players in the house? If so, you may be interested to know that I am currently editing the final volume from the Doctor of d4 himself, and our original Grandmaster Repertoire author, Boris Avrukh!

As most of you know, the original volumes 1&2 (published in 2008 & 2010 respectively – how time flies…) have been revamped into the newer and upgraded volumes: 1A The Catalan, 1B The Queen’s Gambit, 2A King’s Indian & Grünfeld and finally volume 2B will complete the series. This final volume is subtitled “Dynamic Systems” (though I want to rename it “Dynamic Defences” – any opinions?) and will cover the Dutch, various Benoni systems not already covered in the series, the Benko & Budapest Gambits, and anything else which did not feature in the previous volumes.

So far, I am impressed by the vast number of improvements Avrukh has made over his previous work. This is not the time to give away any big novelties, but I can tell you there’s a useful change of direction in an important Dutch line, which I was able to use to good effect in a recent tournament game. I was also surprised when I started working on the Benko Gambit chapters and saw that the Fianchetto (which I have never been a great fan of against the Benko) has been replaced by the traditional main line of 6.Nc3 followed by e2-e4, Kxf1 and so on. After a panic-stricken few minutes of scouring the previous volumes for unwanted Fianchetto Benko transpositions (of which there are none, thankfully!), I am convinced that this is another excellent change.

To sum up, if you are a fan of Avrukh’s existing 1.d4 works, you will love this one too. With that being said, I will get back to editing it…

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From Quality Chess Academy 1.0

November 17th, 2018 5 comments

Trekking towards the title

November 16th, 2018 3 comments

This summer I had the pleasure to host IM Stany from India at my summer camp in Glasgow. He is a strong and upcoming player in his mid-20s. He found a lot of nice tricks in the exercises and I quickly gave him the nickname Tricky Stany from Trickystan. When Catherine (age 10) asked him where he was from and declined to believe he was from Trickystan, he got seriously outraged: “What? Do you not know of my country?”

This lovely man has now made a new GM-norm. So of course I strong armed him into writing an article for us (and may have lied when I said I had connections that would finally see the UK establish diplomatic connections with Trickystan).

Download the article here, please: Trekking Towards the TITLE.

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Chessable – Small Steps to Giant Improvement

November 15th, 2018 34 comments

Small Steps to Giant Improvement by US Champion Sam Shankland is now available in the Chessable format. You can find it here

This is the second of our books we have tried on Chessable after an experiment with The Woodpecker Method as mentioned in a previous blog post. The feedback was favourable, so let’s try another book.

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Carsten Hensel on the Perpetual Chess Podcast

November 14th, 2018 9 comments

Today we release the English translation of Carsten Hensel’s book: Vladimir Kramnik: The Inside Story of a Chess Genius. This is really a remarkable book, which has already gained attention in German for its descriptions of the tumultuous years 2005-2006 in the Chess World. But of course it covers much more.

The book is not objective, it takes sides, but what else would you expect of Kramnik’s former manager?

Of other points, we should say that Kramnik contributed greatly to the book by talking about key games and about all the other World Champions in detail.

Although this is a translation, we approached the book like we would any other project and did a thorough fact check and assisted the author in bringing his vision to the readers in the strongest possible way.

Now it is the marketing stage of course, which includes sending out review copies and getting people to talk about the book. A part of this has been to organise an interview with Carsten by Ben Johnson of the Perpetual Chess Podcast. It is Podcast no. 100 no less! The Interview is available here.

 

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Emil Sutovsky Lecture in Edinburgh Chess Club Tuesday 20th November 19:30

November 12th, 2018 No comments

Grandmaster Emil Sutovsky from Israel is visiting Edinburgh on the 20th November in connection with his new job as FIDE General Director. Quality Chess has managed to talk him into giving a small lecture on chess, as we thought it would be sad if such a great player came to Scotland without talking actual chess.

The lecture is held in Edinburgh Chess Club, Alva Street 1 at 19.30 and will last around two hours. Free entry.

Image may contain: 2 people, including Emil Sutovsky, people smiling, people standing and suit

Sutovsky has an entertaining playing style and has past successes such as World Junior Champion 1996, European Champion 2011 and an individual gold medal and a team silver medal in the 2010 Olympiad. Recently Sutovsky has mixed playing professionally with the presidency of the Association of Chess Professionals.

Emil will be joined by newly elected FIDE President Arkady Dvorkovich, who we will try to manipulate into giving a 5-10 minute opening chat about his goals for the next four years.

 

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