Fun chess in Glasgow on Sunday 6th August

August 4th, 2017 4 comments

There will be an informal, combined rapid/blitz match taking place this Sunday 6th August in Glasgow, starting just after 3pm and finishing at roughly 6pm.

Six leading Scottish players (GM Jacob Aagaard, IM Andrew Greet, FM Alan Tate, FM Neil Berry, IM Steve Mannion and our newest FM and Scottish Champion, Murad Abdulla) will be taking on six strong GMs/IMs who are all here for a training camp hosted by Jacob.

Spectators are welcome to drop in, enjoy watching some entertaining chess, and have a few laughs. The venue is All Bar One at 56-72 St Vincent Street in Glasgow’s city centre, where we have been granted the use of the entire upstairs area.

The foreign players are GM Sam Shankland (US), GM Mads Andersen (DK), GM Swapnil Dhopade (IND), IM Johan Salomon (NOR), IM Tania Sachdev (IND) and IM Sam Collins (IRE).

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Summer madness…

July 31st, 2017 323 comments

Hi guys!

Sorry, we have been really busy. Colin and Andrew have played a closed tournament in Dundee. As you can see elsewhere, Andrew won his first closed GM-tournament, but did not make the norm.

Personally, I have been to Copenhagen, Berlin, San Sebastian and San Francisco this summer. Partly on holiday and partly working on projects/training. I am now back at home, preparing for a 6 player-training camp that starts on Saturday. The first two players arrive Thursday and four more on Friday. Four GMs and two IMs. I hope we will have a great week.

Colin is laying the final hands on Grandmaster Repertoire – Pirc Defence by Mihail Marin and Andrew is finishing Playing 1.d4 d5 – A Classical Repertoire by Nikolaos Ntirlis, also known as Nikos.

On Wednesday we are publishing e3 Poison by Axel Smith and Chess Behind Bars by Carl Portman. It is also the release date for the paperback version of Dynamic Decision Making in Chess by Boris Gelfand and yours truly. The hardback was released exactly a year ago during the XtraCon Open in Copenhagen. Quality Chess sponsored the event this year as well. It was won by Jobava after some amazing fighting chess…

Today I am a year older. And a lot of kg lighter… See for yourself!

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Dundee 150 – Andrew wins

July 24th, 2017 2 comments

Congratulations to Quality Chess’s own IM Andrew Greet, who was first outright in the Dundee 150 international tournament. His 6/9 gained plenty of rating points, but was not quite enough for a GM norm. GM Colin McNab started well, but sadly faded to finish on 3/9. Full results here.

Congratulations also to 16-year-old Murad Abdulla who became Scottish Champion and looks to have gained enough in rating to become an FM. This makes Murad the second-youngest-ever Scottish Champion – GM Paul Motwani was also 16 when he first won, but a few months younger.

The Scottish Championship was held as part of an Open, so I will complete my congratulations by saying GM Andrei Maksimenko of Ukraine won the Open, but was of course not eligible to be Scottish Champion. Full results here.

Update: Dundee Chess Club have very helpfully put a link to a report that was broadcast on the Scottish TV programme ‘STV News’. It’s just 2 minutes and worth a watch. Spoiler: as Colin is on-screen, the reporter says: “If this was football, you’d be watching the equivalent of Cristiano Ronaldo.”

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Dundee 2017

July 14th, 2017 7 comments

In 1867, Dundee in Scotland hosted a tournament that featured elite players such as Steinitz and Blackburne. One hundred years later, in 1967, the centenary event included Larsen and Gligoric. Now in 2017, it’s 150 years after the original event, and Dundee is again hosting an international tournament.

You can check out the full line up at the following link, but I will highlight the participation of two of the Quality Chess team: GM Colin McNab and IM Andrew Greet. And right now in Round 1 they are playing each other. Live coverage here.

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Three books on August 2nd

July 11th, 2017 89 comments

On August 2nd we will publish two new books and make a third available in paperback for the first time.

e3 Poison is GM Axel Smith’s follow-up to Pump Up Your Rating. This new book is a White repertoire with a difference – based on the moves d4, Nf3, c4 and e3, but White has great flexibility in his move order. An excerpt can be found here.

Chess Behind Bars by Carl Portman offers a guide to chess in prisons that, we confidently claim, will instruct and entertain regardless of your situation. An excerpt can be found here.

Dynamic Decision Making in Chess by Boris Gelfand was an excellently-received book, and previously had only been available in hardcover. From August 2nd, a paperback version will also be available. An excerpt can be found here.

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Critical Moments – two opposing definitions

July 11th, 2017 77 comments

Having debated CRITICAL MOMENTS here on the blog with a number of readers, I received a longer email from our friend and one-time author, Amatzia Avni.

Hello Jacob,

I’m following your blog and although I haven’t yet read your “Thinking inside the box”, I strongly disagree with some observations you make regarding the nature of “critical position” (or critical moment).

First, here is your own definition: “A critical moment …is something along the lines of a moment where the problems in front of you (hold great complexity) and failing to find a good move will a) lead to great suffering, or b) lose the advantage”. 29/4/13

“A position where the difference between the best move and the second-best move is high, let’s say half a point”. 9/5/2017.

Correct. (Also, when the decision is irreversible or hard to rectify). Read more…

Free ‘Book of the Month’ – July and August

July 3rd, 2017 24 comments

We are continuing our special offer – if you buy three books or more and live in the normal European Union zone (as defined by UPS – for example, they exclude some islands and remote areas) we will send you an extra book free.
Please note that if you buy a Special Offer and are in the EU zone, we will add one free book. For example, the Grandmaster Preparation Special Offer is 6 hardbacks for the price of 5. So if a European buys that, we send Jacob’s 6 GM Preparation hardbacks, plus one free extra book.

The previous default option on the free book was Grandmaster Battle Manual. For July and August we will switch the default option to Carlsen’s Assault on the Throne. But if you already have that book, or would prefer a different free book, then send us an email to with your order, asking to have it replaced with one of the following titles:



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Excerpts, Covers and Plans

June 21st, 2017 127 comments

We have our heads down getting new books (and reprints) ready to go to the printer, so here’s a brief recap of what we’ve done and what we’re doing.

Earlier this month we published Sämisch and the Rest and Thinking Inside the Box. We already mentioned their excerpts in blog comments, but here are the links again just to make things easy to find: Sämisch and Box.

Carl Portman’s Chess Behind Bars is at the printer, and here is an excerpt. Towards the end of July/start of August, Carl plans to introduce the book in a special pre-publication event at the British Championship in Llandudno, Wales. If you can’t make that event, then the publication date is likely to be in August.

So what’s next?

The Invincible, the final volume in Tibor Karolyi’s superb trilogy on Mikhail Tal is typeset and being proofread.

And there’s more…

Read more…

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