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Keyword: ‘Boris Gelfand’

ECF Book of Year is won by… Boris Gelfand

October 7th, 2015 34 comments

Gelfand 1_Badge OUTL A-W.indd

We mentioned a few weeks ago that two Quality Chess books reached the shortlist of four for the ECF Book of the Year prize. Mauricio Flores Rios made the shortlist alongside Garry Kasparov and Joel Benjamin, but it was Boris Gelfand’s Positional Decision Making in Chess which won the prize. So congratulations to Boris and Jacob, commiserations to Mauricio.

The judges’ full comments can be read here but a few highlights were:

“A fascinating insight into how the chess mind of a great player works… Gelfand comes over as modest but confident in his abilities, with tremendous ability, experience and knowledge. But despite all this, even he sometimes finds chess a difficult game, which gives comfort to us all.”

This is the fourth Quality Chess winner of the ECF prize:

2007: San Luis 2005 – Gershon & Nor
2010: Attacking Manual 1&2 – Jacob Aagaard
2013: How I Beat Fischer’s Record – Judit Polgar
2015: Positional Decision Making in Chess – Boris Gelfand

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Only draw with Boris Gelfand

October 20th, 2009 No comments

Quality Chess co-sponsors the Herbert Garrett Memorial grant in Italy, which supports up and coming talents; previously Vocaturo and Caruana, who are now GM’s. This year’s award was presented by World no. 6, Israeli GM Boris Gelfand. If you read Italian, you can find some information about the award here.

On the Sunday we all moved on to play the 12th edition of the 15-min rapid tournament in Rocca di Papa, a mountain village outside Rome. Gelfand was seeded 1st Read more…

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Gelfand excerpts

August 28th, 2020 33 comments

On September 30 we will publish the next two volumes in Boris Gelfand’s celebrated Decision Making series. They are Technical Decision Making in Chess and Decision Making in Major Piece Endings. Excerpts of both books are now available – there is the Technical excerpt and the Major Piece excerpt.

On the same date, we will also publish Negi’s 1.e4 vs Minor Defences and you can also see its excerpt.

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Puzzle Competition for Gelfand Lecture in Denmark

June 7th, 2016 1 comment

White to play and win

The diagram position is a study by Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen. It’s part of a competition by the organizers of the Xtracon tournament in Denmark. You can read all the details at the previous link.

Solve the puzzle and you have the chance to win a ticket to the Boris Gelfand lecture “Dynamic Decision Making in Chess”, which will be held Thursday July 28th at 8 pm. at Konventum in Helsingør, Denmark. And collect a free copy of the book while you are there.

“White to move and win.” In the organizer’s words: “A correct solution contains as a minimum the main line until White’s move number 7”.

Please DO NOT give the answer in comments, and don’t email it to us either. ‘Solutions should be sent to with the subject “Gelfand” no later than Saturday July 2nd.’

If you will not be in Denmark, then the competition is not much use to you, but solving the puzzle will still be fun. If you use an engine, we’ll know…

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Working with Boris

May 9th, 2016 No comments

Boris and I are getting close to finishing the second book. Maybe 4-5 games more. We have already done quite a bit of stuff for the third book as well. Maybe we will march on and finish it quickly!? Anyway, the second book will be out at the end of August.

Boris is a very giving person, as you can see from his interviews with our friend Sagar Shah for ChessBase India, here and here. A lot of the time, our recordings are full of stories that are not suitable for publication. We entertain each other, basically. Those of Boris’s stories that I can pass on will make it into the book. So here is one of mine:

A few years ago I had an Indian grandmaster visiting for training in Scotland. After a few days of Scottish summer weather he asked me: Tell me Jacob, is this the monsoon?

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Working on the second Gelfand book

December 4th, 2015 16 comments

Boris and I joked to each other about when people would pick up on the fact that we would write more than one book together, something that became very clear to me the moment he presented the material he wanted to go over in the first session we did together.

It happened already on the day that the Forward Chess book was released. There is a comment in the book that refers to “a later volume”. Someone asked me on Facebook if this meant that there would be more books. It does. For a start, we are working on Dynamic Decision Making in Chess. We have talked about the structure of the book and have already recorded Boris’s part of a few games. I am especially keen on the notes to game six in his match in 2011 in Kazan against Alexander Grischuk. At least I am trying to be, because I am currently writing them down!

You may be wondering – does this lead to a delay in Thinking Inside the Box? I have to confess that it will. I am working on many projects; helping out a bit here and there. It fits well with my private circumstances at the moment. I need to build up the energy for tackling this big, big project I have in my head and my notes…

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Gelfand on Levon Aronian

January 12th, 2015 30 comments

I took the liberty of cutting these unedited paragraphs from the coming book Positional Decision Making in Chess by Boris Gelfand.

Levon Aronian is of course one of the greatest players of our time. However, in team events he is usually even stronger. Due not least to his spirit and leadership, the Armenian team managed to win the 2006, 2008 and 2012 Olympiads, the 2011 World Team Championship, as well as achieving a bronze in the 2007 European Team Championship and the 2004 Olympiad. Armenia also won bronze at the 1992 and 2002 Olympiads, but both times without Aronian on the team. But it was from 2006 where Aronian entered the elite and took over board 1 from Akopian that the team became the most successful team in the World. It would not be unfair to say that Aronian is the soul of the Armenian team.

I consider him to be the most creative player of our time, both over the board and in opening preparation. So far he has failed in the Candidates tournament, but I hope that Anand’s and my results in recent years will inspire him to keep on trying. He has so many qualities that I would not be surprised if he manages to become World Champion one day. I really feel that as long as one wants to work on chess and has the will to progress, there is a possibility to do so.

These days when you read older players complain about younger players that they only know how to push the space bar and have no culture, just think of Aronian. He has a great knowledge of music, literature, arts and culture in general. This is another reason why I would be happy if he kept on improving and reach the highest peak. What a World Champion he would be!

In a recent interview in New in Chess he said that whenever he plays me, he tries to impress me. It is friendly competition. We have warm personal relations and work on chess together. So, in every game we try to come with something new. If one player comes with a good novelty, it is great! This is one of the reasons why we have so many decisive games with each other. It is always an open game where both players want to win.

Read more…

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Boris Avrukh Seminar 5-8 May in Glasgow

April 14th, 2011 7 comments

Quality Chess is pleased to host a fourteen-hour training seminar over four days with probably the most renowned theoretician in the world. GM Boris Avrukh has worked with Gelfand, Kramnik and Caruana and is currently the trainer of the Israeli national team.

The sessions will be divided into two themes: the opening and the middlegame.
Thursday the 5th 19-22: Preparation at Grandmaster level
Friday the 6th 19-22: Developments in Avrukh’s 1.d4 repertoire
Saturday the 7th 14-18: Prophylactic Play
Sunday the 8th 12-16: Aggressive Play

Venue: Quality Chess office, Central Chambers, 93 Hope Street, Suite 45 (Mezzanine floor). Entrance next to Caffe Nero, opposite Glasgow Central Station.

Price: £120 for all four days. 50% discount for juniors and those living outside Scotland who travel here to attend. £60 for a single day attendance. If we have more than 20 full paying customers (or equivalent income) every participant will get a free copy of a Quality Chess book. Every participant will receive a 25% discount on QC books bought during the lectures.

Payment method: To reserve your place, please send a cheque made out to Jacob Aagaard to 20 Balvie Road, Glasgow, G62 7TA, UK. Please also confirm via e-mail to

Born in 1978 in Kazakhstan, Boris started playing chess at the age of 6. His first big win was the Soviet u-12 Championship (beating among others Sergey Movsesian). Later the same year he won the u-12 World Championship. In 1991 he won silver in the u-14 European Championship. In 1995 his family moved to the famous chess city of Beer-Sheva in Israel, where Boris received a lot of support from the director of the Beer-Sheva Chess Club, Ilyau Levant. From 1995-2000 Boris worked with Grandmasters Mark Tseitlin and Alexander Huzman (Gelfand’s coach for many years). The work bore fruit and in 1998 he became a grandmaster.

Boris’s debut as a chess writer was Grandmaster Repertoire 1 – 1.d4 Volume One in 2008 and he was immediately hailed as one of the world’s top chess theorists. The book’s impact on top level and amateur chess has been exceptional and also brought great success to Quality Chess. In 2010 Boris repeated this success with the second part of his repertoire: Grandmaster Repertoire 2 – 1.d4 Volume Two. In June his new book, Grandmaster Repertoire 8 – The Grunfeld Defence will be published. All of these books are published by Quality Chess.
From 1998 to 2009 Boris played for the Israeli national team. His success as an author, and subsequent training and lecturing jobs, meant that he was not selected for the 2010 Olympiad due to the principle that only full-time players should be in the team, although he was clearly strong enough. The national coach decided Boris’s abilities were better used as a second and he now works for the Israeli national team in that capacity.

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