2017 World Cup Quiz – The Answers

September 28th, 2017 5 comments

Our World Cup Quiz would have run more smoothly if we had hired a lawyer to draft unambiguous questions. Two of our three hurdle questions eliminated nobody. Only Grünfeld fans were killed off early on.

Below are what I believe to be the correct answers to all the questions. Before we assess your efforts, and then declare a winner, it seems wisely paranoid to check with our eagle-eyed blog readers that all the answers below are true. Any disagreements or ambiguities?

Hurdle Questions

A: What will the most common opening move be in Round 1 (excluding playoffs): 1.e4 or 1.d4 or neither? A 50-50 draw between 1.e4 and 1.d4, so you could make a case for all 3 answers being right, so we ignore this question.
B: Which English player will go further: Gawain Jones or David Howell? (if knocked out at same stage then which one has played more moves is the tiebreak) Both knocked out in Round 1. Gawain played more moves, but David survived one more day, so is that going further? No ideal answer, so we also ignore this question. 
C: Which opening will be more common in Round 3 (excluding playoffs)? Grunfeld or Caro-Kann or tie? CARO-KANN. Eliminated if you said Grunfeld or tie.

Main Competition Questions:

1. Who will win the World Cup (3 points)? ARONIAN

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5.f3 against the Sicilian

September 22nd, 2017 42 comments

Some posts on this blog have drawn attention to the fact that the line 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.f3 is not mentioned in Grandmaster Repertoire 6A – Beating the Anti-Sicilians by Vassilios Kotronias.

However, the line was featured in Experts on the Anti-Sicilian, where the recommended response was 5…e5 with coverage of the variations:

A) 6.Bb5† Nbd7 7.Nf5 d5 8.exd5 a6
A1) 9.Ba4
A2) 9.Bxd7†
B) 6.Nb3

We have decided to make this chapter freely available as a pdf here.

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A quick short term publishing schedule

September 20th, 2017 174 comments

Hi guys, I am really busy working away on books, so I wanted to tell you what the next few publications are likely to be. This does not mean that other books have been forgotten. Negi and Shaw are still on the way, the QID is coming down the line, as are more Gelfand book and a lot of other interesting stuff, we would like to keep secret for a little bit.

This is just what we are looking to complete over the very near future.

Tibor Karolyi Mikhail Tal’s best games 3 – The Invincible 27 September 2017
Nikos Ntirlis Playing 1.d4 d5 – A Classical Repertoire 27 September 2017
Mihail Marin Grandmaster Repertoire – Pirc Autumn
Esben Lund Sharp Endgames Autumn
Jaan Ehlvest Opening Preparation Autumn
Axel Smith Woodpecker Autumn
David Llada The Thinkers Autumn
Boris Avrukh GM Repertoire 2A Autumn

Marin’s book on the Pirc is at the printer and Sharp Endgames by Lund will follow briefly. The Thinkers are going to print any moment and Andrew is moving swiftly through the editing of Avrukh’s latest 1.d4 book.

But I also wanted to take the time to tell you about two books that will come slightly later in the autumn; a book on opening preparation by former participant in the Candidates matches, Jaan Ehlvest, which is promising to be an interesting read, and a book for the more practically inclined, by Axel Smith on the Woodpecker Method. The final titles and covers have not been decided, but I would be surprised if we did not go with The Woodpecker Method

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Congratulations Nikos and Georgia!

September 7th, 2017 8 comments

Jacob and I have just arrived back after five days in Thessaloniki, where we attended the wedding of our good friend (not to mention author) Nikos Ntirlis and his lovely bride Georgia. Below are a couple of photos from the wedding, where we also found time to audition for the roles of two agents in the next Matrix sequel.

Nikos prepares…

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ECF Book of the Year Shortlist

September 5th, 2017 17 comments

The English Chess Federation announced its four-book shortlist for Book of the Year. Each publisher is allowed to nominate two books and the Quality Chess two both made the cut. Ilya Smirin’s King’s Indian Warfare and Jacob’s Thinking Inside the Box are our runners. The other two nominees are books by Timman and Portisch, so it’s tough competition, but so far it’s going as well as possible.

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2017 World Cup – Quiz

August 28th, 2017 61 comments

We have run a few quizzes before, and they have been fun, so with the 2017 World Cup starting on Sunday in Georgia, let’s have another. I say it’s for fun, but there is a winner-takes-all prize.

Quality Chess will send a box of 20 books to your home. 10 of them chosen by you, 10 of them chosen by us. All you have to do is to predict some results in the World Cup. We will contact the winner once the World Cup is over and organize the shipment of the prize.

Hurdle Questions: To allow us to quickly reduce the number of emails to check, only participants who get the three initial questions right will proceed to the second round of scoring. The points scored in the first round will count in the second round (unless otherwise stated, a correct answer is worth one point).

A: What will the most common opening move be in Round 1 (excluding playoffs): 1.e4 or 1.d4 or neither?
B: Which English player will go further: Gawain Jones or David Howell? (if knocked out at same stage then which one has played more moves is the tiebreak)
C: Which opening will be more common in Round 3 (excluding playoffs)? Grunfeld or Caro-Kann or tie?

Main Competition Questions:

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Training Seminar in Edinburgh with GM Jacob Aagaard 6-8 Oct

August 28th, 2017 7 comments

Training Seminar in Edinburgh with Grandmaster and FIDE Senior Trainer Jacob Aagaard 6-8 October

On the first weekend of October there will be a three-day training seminar with Grandmaster Jacob Aagaard in Edinburgh Chess Club. The training weekend is organised in collaboration with Chess Scotland, offering free participation to the members of the national team participating in the European Team Championship in Crete in November.

The themes will be changing from day to day, with a focus on positional play, calculation and endgame technique. The sessions will be evenly balanced between lecturing and practical application.

The place of the training seminar is Edinburgh Chess Club, 1 Alva Street, in the centre of Edinburgh.

The timings are:

Friday 6th October         7pm – 10pm

Saturday 7th October      1pm – 5.30pm

Sunday 8th October        11am – 3.30pm

The cost of participation is £75. Please register by emailing ECCseminar2017@qualitychess.co.uk.

 

 

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Making a solving collective

August 21st, 2017 16 comments

One thing that many people struggle with is solving puzzles on their own. It requires some discipline to get started and distractions can get you diverted. It is popular to meet up with friends and solve together. It makes it social and a bit competitive. But for most people, this is not an option. Their friends are far away and local players might have no ambition or be unsuitable for other reasons.

The idea I came up with years ago that worked really well, was to have group training on PlayChess (or it could be many other servers or even Whatsapp on your phone).

The way to do it is that one person has gathered positions in advance, preferably from a Quality Chess book of course, but other good exercise books have been published (I have been told).

He presents the first problem to the group.

When you have a solution, you say so.

When only one person is left, he gets an extra minute to find the solution, while the others prepare their solutions (but don’t press return).

When time’s up everyone gives their solutions.

Correct solutions get one point, mistakes get no points. The group decides if the solution is correct in disputes.

Next problem.

After a fixed amount of time, you have a winner.

This worked for a long time with a group I set up. I supplied them with the exercises, but since then these have been published in many books, so there are no excuses…

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