Home > Authors in Action > Round 10 – the day after retirement

Round 10 – the day after retirement

I don’t think it is a secret anymore than I am not going to play the last round tomorrow. This means that I ended by tournament career with two losses and a total loss of 16 elo points, landing me at 2516. I think I could play much better than this, if I had the hunger, but I don’t. This is by the way the answer to the question I received from at 2700-player yesterday: “When should I curb my ambition?” Answer: “When you lose the hunger.” He is in his 30’s, but “still wants to beat these guys”. So he should.

I was ground down against Almasi. I overlooked a nice little move at the end of a long line, which allowed him to make a seemingly natural move. The tactics preventing it did not work and then my position was eseentially lost. We lost 4–0, with a horrible end to Hansen–Leko.

Today I then had to enjoy retirement. So, as a way to enjoy the morning I went to the FIDE Congress to receive the Boleslavski-medal for the best chess book in 2011 (for Attacking Manual 1-2). Originally we tried to put these in for 2010, but there were problems with the way the rules were written and what they were supposed to say. So, I first had to become a FIDE Senior Trainer (last year) and then I could compete for this rather sexy trophy.

After receiving the award, we took a look at the Mediteranean and a taxi to town where we saw The Great Basar, Blue Mosque and other postcard shops. Having retired from tournament chess I spent about an hour on being a tourist, before going back to the room to work on the a6-Slav…

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    September 8th, 2012 at 13:54 | #1

    Congratulations Jacob! A wise man knows that you have to retreat when you are at the height of your powers 🙂

    Now you shall enter into new period of your chess life which will be even more rewarding than the chess player’s life. You’ll be a full time chess writer, editor, publisher. Now you’ll have time to listen all our cryings, silly and lucid ideas, and after all you will hopefully make us better players!

    Please keep in long term memory my following suggestions, and make our chess fans dream come true:

    1. OPENINGS (GM Repertoire and GM Guide):

    – Open Games by Marin
    – King’s Indian
    – Queen’s Indian
    – Nimzo Indian
    – Queen’ Gambit Declined for Black
    – Dutch Leningrad for Black
    – Two Knights for Black
    – Petrov’s defence for Black
    – Ruy Lopez Archangel and New Archangel for Black
    – Black repertoire vs 1.d4
    – Black repertoire vs 1.e4

    2. MANUAL of chess DEFENCE (fort-runner of Practical Chess Defence)

    4. MANUAL of chess STRATEGY

    5. MANUAL of POSITIONAL PLAY

    6. MANUAL of ENDGAME PLAY

    7. MANUAL of chess PLANNING

    8. MANUAL of PAWN PLAY

    9. GAME COLLECTIONS:

    – William Steinitz
    – Emanuel Lasker
    – Jose Capablanca
    – Max Euwe
    – Tigran Petrosian
    – Boris Spassky
    – Vladimir Kramnik

    10. QUALITY CHESS ENDGAME ENCYCLOPAEDIA

    11. LEARN FROM THE LEGENDS: Strategy & Positional Play

    12. TRAINING WORKBOOK for players Elo 1700-2300 (extremely desperately needed and wanted!!! GM Preparation is a successor!)

    – Openings
    – Tactics
    – Attacking play
    – Defence
    – Calculation
    – Strategy & Positional Play
    – Endgame

    13. INSTRUCTION ON: how to choose right opening repertoire, how to develop weekly training plan, how to train successfully and other useful stuff.

    Please think very seriously about my list! Perhaps it looks to you now a bit overstretched or very ambitious, but with the time you’ll acknowledge my suggestions in full cause I’m even more creative “fan director” than you 🙂

    Keep my list in your future releases list 🙂

  2. wolfsblut
    September 8th, 2012 at 15:23 | #2

    It is really fine for us chessplayer to have you alone as a chesswriter!! Oh…what a6-slav? A new book? Playing the a6-slav sounds good……

  3. Michael
    September 8th, 2012 at 21:19 | #3

    Thanks Jacob for a wonderful entertaining carrer, and for all your contributions to the chess world which I am sure will continue for a very long time. And to all your future projects I wish you the best of luck!!!

    Your one of the greatest teachers of this beautiful game and also a great player!

    Best Regards!

  4. Seth
    September 9th, 2012 at 00:39 | #4

    We look forward to the Aagaard-Kasparov Old-Guys-Coming-Out-of-Retirement Championship match in 2016. 🙂

  5. Andy
    September 9th, 2012 at 01:39 | #5

    Yes, a new book on the Chebanenko would be very welcome indeed 🙂
    I live in hope!

  6. Jacob Aagaard
    September 9th, 2012 at 06:00 | #6

    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    I always read your lists and always take them seriously. However, I cannot understand why your number 12 is not fully met by the Yusupov books?

  7. Jacob Aagaard
    September 9th, 2012 at 06:02 | #7

    @Seth
    I have a few funny photos to publish from this tournament yet (3 sets). One of them includes Kasparov and myself. It is probably the funnies, though the two other sets are not stupid either…

  8. Jacob Aagaard
    September 9th, 2012 at 06:03 | #8

    @Andy
    Argg! Sorry, was not my intention to create hope where there is none to be had. Sorry again.

  9. Nikos Ntirlis
    September 9th, 2012 at 10:10 | #9

    We analysed the “refutation” of the a6-Slav, not the Black side of it!

    Seriously now, the Chebanenko is a practical choice and fine for 2000-2200 elo players, but above that, if White knowns what he is doing then Black has a difficult time in all lines. Schandorff’s 5.c5 line holds well for White as is the 5.e3 variation. Best might be 5.a4 thought and this means that Black has multiple theoretical problems to solve. Also the “Anand Variation” with 5.e3 e6!? (by transpotition) is completely unpractical for a tournament player and is at best slightly worse for Black at least in one line.

    I think that there is a Classical Slav GR Rep book coming and this is a much more serious and sound opening line to study.

  10. werner
    September 9th, 2012 at 17:03 | #10

    Is this kind of a QC opinion, that a6-Slav is almost refuted?
    Maybe it’s taking the mouth a bit too full….

  11. Andy
    September 9th, 2012 at 20:03 | #11

    Thanks Nikos, interesting thoughts. I will indeed buy the Slav book when it comes, although I dislike facing 6.Ne5, so I will be very interested to know what Mr Pert suggests against that line.
    I use the 7…Nb6 line right now, but the positions sometimes seem to offer very little for Black.

  12. Nikos Ntirlis
    September 10th, 2012 at 00:14 | #12

    Not refuted, but White has unpleasant play in more than one lines. This is my personal opinion (not an official QC opinion), but also theory’s opinion (for example see the latest Sakaev’s book).

  13. ray
    September 10th, 2012 at 10:43 | #13

    Nikos i have become a fan of yours after the tarrasch book . I was wondering about the a4 in the a6 slav for a long time since it appears frequently (and successfully) in correspondence games also it was recommended by kaufman though i guess you hate? (dislike maybe ) the book .anyways looking forward to your french book and we will truly have a universal tarrasch repertoire

  14. Nikos Ntirlis
    September 10th, 2012 at 11:04 | #14

    Not at all! Kaufman’s books is nice and very usefull. I can recommend it for every serious club player. Obviously in QC Schandorff did something very similar with his 2 books. And i can assure you that Schandorff was playing “Schandorff” at the Olympiad (and not only he actually! Check the game Rasmussen-Polgar to see what i mean!).

    I think that a4 is a serious challenge to the a6 Slav, but not they way Kaufman recommends (the g3 line). Kaufman’s lines are obviously critical but there is a known solution to them which you can find using a database and an engine. More critical is definately Bg5 after which White has an annoying edge.

    A “Universal Tarrasch structure repertoire” was a dream of me and my coach, which we had at 2006. Making this dream a reality today (with the French book and some parts of the Avrukh book) means a lot to me. I hope that we’ll meet your expectations.

  15. Patrick
    September 10th, 2012 at 14:43 | #15

    @Nikos Ntirlis
    Apparantly Viktor Bologan does not think that the … a6 has been refuted, see http://chessbase-shop.com/en/products/bologan_the_chebanenco_still_improved

  16. Patrick
    September 10th, 2012 at 16:26 | #16

    In response to LE BRUIT QUI COURT (Message 1), I would tweak the suggestions as follows:

    1) Do we really need them to do “Open Games” and “Two Knights”? The latter is a subset of the former, and the former is already out. Since the former recommends the more quiet 3…Bc5, just a stand-alone on the Two-Knights should be sufficient.

    2) Do we really need to do “King’s Indian”, “Queen’s Indian”, “Nimzo-Indian” (Which should be paired with QID) and “Queen’s Gambit Declined”, and then tack on a Black vs 1.d4 Repertoire? The last one appears unnecessary. If they did the first 4, you just choose which repertoire you want to follow as Black against 1.d4, whether it be one of those, the upcoming Slav book, or the already published Tarrasch or Grunfeld. Same thing for the generic Black vs 1.e4 book. Just choose the GM Repetoire book that matches your opening as Black against 1.e4.

    Given that, and based on what is already out (i.e. Grunfeld, Caro-Kann) or coming out (i.e. Slav, French), I would recommend the following as ideas for the distant future (i.e. 2013 thru 2015) – and I’m speaking for what’s not out yet, not just my own repertoire, like I’d never touch the Alekhine with a 10-foot pole:

    For Black or Complete Works (Similar to Scandinavian Book)
    1) Modern Defense (i.e. without 3…c5)
    2) Sniper/Dzindzi Indian (i.e. Modern with 3…c5)
    3) Two Knights Defense
    4) Alekhine’s Defense
    5) Open Sicilian Lines NOT called the “Najdorf” or “Scheveningen” (i.e. Dragon lines, Classical, Sveshnikov, Kan/Paulsen/Taimanov, etc.)
    6) Petroff Defense
    7) King’s Indian
    8) Nimzo-Indian/Queen’s Indian/Catalan
    9) Queen’s Gambit Declined
    10) Queen’s Gambit Accepted

    For White or Complete Works (Similar to Scandinavian Book)
    1) 1.g3
    2) Some “Off the Beaten Path” lines of 1.e4, to add tools to the arsonal of a well-established 1.e4 player (i.e. Not intended as a standalone book), for example:
    – 4.Be3 in the Advanced Caro-Kann
    – Three Knights/Four Knights against 1…e5 including the Belgrade Gambit
    – Classical and Levinfish Dragons
    – g3 lines against various Sicilians (i.e Najdorf, Dragon, etc.)
    – Be3/Bc1 MacCutcheon, 5.Qg4 Winawer, 10.Kd1 Winawer Poisoned Pawn
    – etc etc
    3) Some “Off the Beaten Path” lines of 1.d4, to add tools to the arsonal of a well-established 1.d4 player (i.e. Not intended as a standalone book), for example:
    – Leningrad against the Nimzo-Indian
    – h3-lines against the King’s Indian (both with and without Nf3)
    – Rubinstein lines of the QGD (7.Qc2 instead of 7.Rc1)
    – Grunfeld lines outside of the Exchange and Russian
    – The 2.Nc3 Dutch

    Items 2 and 3 are not limited to what is listed, and intended as surprise weapon books, not main repertoire books.

    Game Collections – How about some non-world champions, everybody and their grandmother publishes the WC’s and Korchnoi:

    – Keres
    – Gligoric
    – Glek
    – Ivanchuk
    – Timman
    – Topalov
    – Leko
    – Svidler
    – Adams

  17. Gerry
    September 10th, 2012 at 16:45 | #17

    Nikos Ntirlis :Not refuted, but White has unpleasant play in more than one lines. This is my personal opinion (not an official QC opinion), but also theory’s opinion (for example see the latest Sakaev’s book).

    Interestingly Bologan has just released a new DVD about the a6 Slav with Chessbase, and his conclusion is “…play the Cherbanenko Slav with Black and force White to switch to 1.e4!”

    While I have my doubts on such a statement, different opinions are exactly what we need in chess (and everywhere else…) 🙂

  18. Andre
    September 10th, 2012 at 16:58 | #18

    @Patrick:
    “Game Collections – How about some non-world champions, everybody and their grandmother publishes the WC’s and Korchnoi:

    – Keres – Gligoric – Glek – Ivanchuk – Timman – Topalov – Leko – Svidler – Adams”

    Keres’ wrote his own games collection. It’s one of the best chess books ever written. (Yes, split into several books in other language). Highly recommended.
    Timman publishes a lot. He probably already has a game collection or two on his own works.
    Chess Stars has something on Leko. No idea how good the book is.
    Adams (co-)wrote his autobiography together with his dad, I guess.

  19. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 10th, 2012 at 18:56 | #19

    @Nikos Ntirlis

    Are you playing many tournaments too? Because if Jacob has retired, then there will be more time for Playing the French.

    I am anticipating the French book as well as Avrukh’s book too, and any tournaments I would be interested in would be norms (I only have one IM norm and nothing else), is the book based for readers like me (>2250)?

    Is the idea of your Tarrasch book and French book to be 1…e6 against everything? Because if 1. e4 then the French of course, 1. d4 e6 2. c4 d5 is Tarrasch, 1. c4 e6 2. d4 transposes, but 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 then I suppose 2…d5 but then White could play 3. Nf3 and eschew a d4 transposition.

    Did you settle the matter of 6. Bc1 and 6. Be3 in the McCutcheon, and the 7th move possibility after 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3? And also the sequence:

    1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. Ngf3 cxd4 6. Bc4 Qd6 7. 0-0 Nc6 8. Nb3 Nf6 9. Nbxd4 Nxd4 10. Nxd4 a6 11. Bb3 Qc7 12. Re1 Bd6?

  20. Joeri
    September 10th, 2012 at 19:53 | #20

    @ Gilchrist Aren’t you afraid you will stump Quality Chess author’s creativity with all your questions? No offense, but I think the authors should not give away too much info before the book is released.

  21. Cri
    September 10th, 2012 at 20:13 | #21

    as we are talking about the attacking manuals… i just got vol 1, just gave a look at it and it seems a very good book, meeting a few weak points of my play.
    In the intro to chapter 1 you quote Kasparov and Yussupow as winners of the greatest attacking games in history or something like that. I guess the Kasparov game is the pirc vs. Topalov (1999?!) but… what about the Yussupow game?

  22. Patrick
    September 10th, 2012 at 20:45 | #22

    Joeri :@ Gilchrist Aren’t you afraid you will stump Quality Chess author’s creativity with all your questions? No offense, but I think the authors should not give away too much info before the book is released.

    I see somebody else has recognized that Gilcrest has been a tad too pushy the past few months about contents of books coming out. Kinda like Corporate America, where people spend for ever fishing for answers on every little detail of what is going on in every project, looking for status updates every hour on the hour, such that no actual work ever gets done because instead of spending time completing the work, time is instead spent answering one granular question after another, and then splitting the answer of every question into 3 more questions that are even more granular! It never ends!

  23. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 10th, 2012 at 21:01 | #23

    Not sure about that, but if you look at the blog, I am certainly one of at least twenty who ask questions. And I do not know much about corporations, but the difference here is that I am not sure that the common people (such as chess players) ask corporate officers about the details of their projects…

  24. Michael
    September 10th, 2012 at 21:16 | #24

    Just received an email from QC, I think Lars’ Playing 1.d4 The Indian Defenses is about to ship!!!

  25. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 10th, 2012 at 21:17 | #25

    Another difference is that, I buy all of the books about which I ask questions…

  26. Patrick
    September 10th, 2012 at 22:27 | #26

    Gilchrist is a Legend :Another difference is that, I buy all of the books about which I ask questions…

    If you are going to buy all books anyway, be satisfied with high-level responses, like The Tarrasch will be 3…c5 and 4…Qxd5, the Advance will be 5…Qb6, Nc3 will be the Winawer, etc. Why dig into their time of writing and editing to answer questions about the 13th move? Like what they intend to do after 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. Ngf3 cxd4 6. Bc4 Qd6 7. 0-0 Nc6 8. Nb3 Nf6 9. Nbxd4 Nxd4 10. Nxd4 a6 11. Bb3 Qc7 12. Re1 Bd6?

    The problem with questions like this is 2-fold:

    1) You are consuming their time answering this instead of writing and editing the book
    2) Somebody finds a sudden novelty, either for another move within the following sequence, like Black’s 17th move, or against the line, deeming the whole line unsound because of a new move for White at move 23, and now they must resort to 4.exd5 exd5, hence making what they told you sound like a complete and utter lie when it was really something else.

    When the book comes out, you’ll have the full details. Basic ideas and suggestions are fine, and recommended on a site like this, like suggesting the 4…Qxd5 line over the 3…Nf6 line, but forcing them to answer questions about what is going to be recommended 15 moves into the game is almost like handcuffing them and forcing them to commit to one rabbit trail while they are still in the process of writing. If the French books were coming out this Friday, and it’s a matter of the printer taking it’s time, then maybe find out about the 15th move of a particular line, but don’t make it into a 20-Questions contest as it would just delay other publications.

  27. Andy
    September 11th, 2012 at 07:40 | #27

    Gerry :

    Nikos Ntirlis :Not refuted, but White has unpleasant play in more than one lines. This is my personal opinion (not an official QC opinion), but also theory’s opinion (for example see the latest Sakaev’s book).

    Interestingly Bologan has just released a new DVD about the a6 Slav with Chessbase, and his conclusion is “…play the Cherbanenko Slav with Black and force White to switch to 1.e4!”
    While I have my doubts on such a statement, different opinions are exactly what we need in chess (and everywhere else…)

    Yes, I also noticed this release. I have his book on the Chebanenko and whilst I’m very much a casual player, and don’t need the depth that the book provides, I find the opening a decent choice. As Nikos says, it’s a good enough practical choice at lower levels and I find that less Whites seem prepared for it than they do for the Classical Slav, where I mainly see 6.e3, which I find pretty boring to play against, but less worrying than 6.Ne5.
    Still, I’m surprised that the a6 Slav seems to have fallen under a cloud at higher levels, or at least in the opinion of one or two people here – id assumed it’s lack of current popularity was more about fashion really.
    As with many of the threads on this blog we seem to have veered off course somewhat, so apologies for that…

  28. Nikos Ntirlis
    September 11th, 2012 at 07:40 | #28

    I have no problem about being asked questions. The thing is that i am not able to answer all of them! The Mc Cutcheon is OK, no big problems. The Tarrasch with the piece sac is fine but we don’t like another line, so this main line is not our recommendation at all. After 1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 how White is going to avoid playing d4 eventually?

  29. Jacob Aagaard
    September 11th, 2012 at 11:51 | #29

    @Patrick
    Ivanchuk would be cool

  30. Jacob Aagaard
    September 11th, 2012 at 11:54 | #30

    @Joeri
    If Nikos wants to answer, he should be allowed to do so. And the same goes if he does not 🙂

  31. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 11th, 2012 at 12:20 | #31

    @Nikos Ntirlis

    I guess I am thinking of some system with 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3, then a developing move by Black, for example, 3…Nf6, then 4. g3 or 4. Qc2 with some intention of playing a Nimzo-English, perhaps a Ragozin-style position with no d4, but again I am not sure myself how long White can delay a d4.

    Regarding the McCutcheon, it seems when I play it in online blitz, increasing numbers of players play 6. Bc1 or 6. Be3, which I find quite interesting (interesting as in they for some reason avoid 6. Bd2).

  32. Zwastik
    September 11th, 2012 at 12:34 | #32

    Hi Jacob/Hi John,

    When can we expect the updated PUBLISHING SCHEDULE for 2012 and 2013…..

    At the start of the year, I did not expect to buy more than 4-5 books from QC but your books are so good that I have overun my budget for this year by twice the amount and so need to start saving enough into my kitty so that I have enough for two years to plan and purchase all the books I need…….. in 2012 and 2013. Dont want to make the same mistake again.
    But I need so many 🙁

  33. tony
    September 11th, 2012 at 12:50 | #33

    my previous post probably got blocked because I gave a link, second try:
    @ Nikos: you may want to take a look at the chesspub forum (d4 d5), an interesting gambit against the Tarrasch is mentioned there (in the 6.dxc5 line), it goes 6.dxc5 d4 7.Na4 Bxc5 8.Nxc5 Qa5+ 9.Bd2 Qxc5 10.b4!? Nxb4 11.Rc1 Qd6 and now there’s 12.e3 (you looked at this before but missed the strongest move) and 12.g3 and I now think that the last one may be the strongest, I analysed this a lot already but don’t see an obvious way to equalise, it may be 12… Nf6 13.Bf4 Qe7, but I’m not too sure

  34. Nikos Ntirlis
    September 11th, 2012 at 12:56 | #34

    @Tony: I’ll look at this and maybe we’ll have analysis in our next newsletter (if Jacob approves). Thank you for the info!

  35. Jacob Aagaard
    September 11th, 2012 at 15:14 | #35

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    what about 3…d4. Surely the knight on c3 is misplaced?

  36. Jacob Aagaard
    September 11th, 2012 at 15:15 | #36

    @Zwastik
    Put away three times the amount this year at least!

    We will put a catalogue together around the end of the year; but I will put a publishing schedule together in the next few weeks when I start to recover from the Olympiad and feel on top of things.

  37. Jacob Aagaard
    September 11th, 2012 at 15:16 | #37

    @Nikos Ntirlis
    Of course.

  38. Patrick
    September 11th, 2012 at 16:21 | #38

    @Cri
    Probably the famous rapid game against Ivanchuck from the Candidate Matches in Brussels.

  39. Patrick
    September 11th, 2012 at 17:17 | #39

    Speaking as the “Patrick” from messages 22 and 26 (38 is somebody else, so not double-posting), in response to the question of transposing to the Queen’s Gambit vs not, I’ve seen the following in amateur play:

    1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e3 – Not saying it’s good, just that I’ve seen it played.

    Secondly, 1.c4 e6 doesn’t assure a QGD transposition, as I have played this myself, and I see more Reti than I do QGD, via 2.Nf3 or 2.g3, and ultimately, it’s Nf3, g3, Bg2, and O-O in some order, and then 6.b3.

    So those looking to transpose to the QGD (or any subset of it – Triangle Defense, Tarrasch Defense, etc) need to account for the Reti – I see it a lot.

    For those playing 1.c4 e6 to go into the English Defense, I would recommend 1…b6 against 1.c4 and 1…e6 against 1.d4. The reason not to play 1…b6 against 1.d4 is that White can shift gears to Owen’s Defense. The reason for playing 1…b6 instead of 1…e6 against 1.c4 is to account for the line 1.c4 b6 2.Nf3 Bb7 3.g3, being able to answer with 3…Bxf3 before White is able to recapure with the Bishop. In addition, I’ve seen …e5 played instead of …e6 against the Two-Prong Attack – 1.c4 b6 2.Nc3 Bb7 3.e4

  40. Andre
    September 11th, 2012 at 17:41 | #40

    A couple of random things, a compliment and two criticisms:
    a) Congrats @Jacob for winning the Boleslavski-medal. A well deserved honor! 🙂 The Attacking Manuals are masterpieces, period.
    @The whole team: Keep up the good work. QC is the world’s best chess book publisher.

    b) While browsing your picture gallery in this blog entry I noticed that your picture viewer plain out sucks. Yes, it works technically correct, but it requires too many mouse clicks and it doesn’t offer a “next/last picture” control element. From a usuability standpoint that’s stone age. 😉
    Maybe you should ask your web developer to embed a better plugin.

    c) I had a look at a couple of your latest excerpts. Especially the Morra excerpt strikes me as a bit thin. There’s only 1 (!) page of real chess content in it. The Schandorff excerpts have only slightly more substance.
    I’m not part of the target audience for these books, but if I were, to be honest, I’m not sure I knew enough about the books to spend money on them. Is this old Botvinnik game with light annotations representative of the amount of detail I can expect from Playing the QG? (A rethorical question, I’ve had the first edition in my hands.)
    It’s certainly understandable you don’t want to give away whole chapters, but maybe a few pages showing the real thing (not counting foreword and intro) would make the buying decision easier. Something like 4-5 pages could be a practical compromise between showing something and giving away too much.

  41. Andre
    September 11th, 2012 at 17:48 | #41

    @Patrick:
    “So those looking to transpose to the QGD (or any subset of it – Triangle Defense, Tarrasch Defense, etc) need to account for the Reti – I see it a lot.”

    Correct. I’m playing the triangle and I get this a lot.
    What I would add is that many white players try to transpose into a Closed Catalan / QI mix. c4, Nf3, g3, Bg2, Qc2, d4 in some order, then most play with b3 & Bb2 instead of Bf4. Prefered move orders are those which don’t gambit the c4 pawn. If black doesn’t take on c4 white can play this on auto-pilot for quite some time.

  42. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 11th, 2012 at 18:14 | #42

    @Jacob Aagaard

    Perhaps, but maybe it could be like a reversed Benoni type position, and Black would need to divert an extra tempo for …e5 to expand in the centre as …e6 has been played already. 1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 d4 4. Ne4, then I am not sure about …e5 trick I think, unless 4…e5 5. Nxe5 Qe7 6. f4 f6 7. Qa4 c6 8. c5 fxe5 9. Nd6…I have no board right now so trying to analyse that is quite tricky, unless I made some rubbish mistake already 😀

    Anyway after 4…e5 maybe 5. e3 and try for a reversed Benoni with Black spending two tempi with 5…e5. But then again Avrukh is supposed to write a GM Rep book on all moves except 1. d4 and 1. e4, correct? 🙂

  43. Jacob Aagaard
    September 11th, 2012 at 20:49 | #43

    @Andre
    Thank you for the feedback, we will take it into consideration.

  44. Jacob Aagaard
    September 11th, 2012 at 20:55 | #44

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I am not sure I would go 4…e5, also 4…f5 looks tempting.

    But let’s have a look:

    1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 d4 4. Ne4 e5!? 5. Nxe5 Qe7 6. Qa4+ c6 7. f4 f6 8. c5
    Qe6! 9. Qxd4 fxe5 10. fxe5 Nd7 11. Nd6+ Bxd6 12. exd6 Ngf6 13. e3 Qf5 14. b4 a5
    15. a3 axb4 16. axb4 Rxa1 17. Qxa1 Qe4 18. Qc3 Qh4+

    White looks worse. Not fully forced, but bizarrely close to it.

  45. Jonathan
    September 12th, 2012 at 09:20 | #45

    @Nikos Ntirlis
    Isn’t it a bit pretentious to claim that the Chebanenko isn’t playable above 2200? McShane’s games at the last Tal Memorial seem to indicate that even today’s top players (a.o. Aronian) do not know what do do against it. Of course, some lines give White a small advantage but isn’t it the case in most mainlines anyway?

    • Jacob Aagaard
      September 13th, 2012 at 10:01 | #46

      Nikos likes to make big statements online. It is quite funny; in person he is very humble!

  46. Zwastik
    September 12th, 2012 at 10:31 | #47

    Hi Jacob,

    I have worked on my middlegame, endgame and tactics. Now I am planning on developing an Opening repertoire for my entire career. The only opening book I have is “The idea behind the Chess Openings”

    Trainers usually recommend learning one Opening for White and 2 for Black and so I was planning to develop my opening repertoire based on this maxim.

    I am very happy with the QC books I have purchased till now and was unable to pick an opening book from QC as there are too many ……

    Could you help me pick one or two QC books and how to go about using them to develop my opening repertoire?
    1) Which QC opening books to choose as White and which one as Black?
    2) Which opening as white and which one as black?
    3) Any other tips are welcome (like What to do and What not to do)

    Thanks,
    Zwastik

  47. Andre
    September 12th, 2012 at 12:16 | #48

    @Zwastik:

    What’s your ELO and what style of play do you prefer? Are you happy to memorize concrete variations or do you prefer less forcing play?

  48. Jacob Aagaard
    September 12th, 2012 at 12:42 | #49

    @Zwastik
    I agree with Andre; this is a bit insufficient information to go on. Could you e-mail me a bit more about yourself so I can give you a proper advice?

    But you sound like you want to choose something you can play forever. With White we have the Playing 1.e4 books coming soon and Playing 1.d4 books just out. The core choices in these lines will not need to change too much over time. With Black it really depends a lot on style. The main thing should be to choose main line openings that are unlikely to break over time.

  49. Zwastik
    September 12th, 2012 at 14:10 | #50

    Hi Andre/Hi Jacob,

    I dont have an ELO but I consistently defeat FIDE rated players in my club with ELO 1500-1600. So I assume my ELO to be around 1700.

    I have read the following books over the past 2 years:
    Middlegame books
    – Silman,
    – Ludek Pacman(1,2,3),
    – Euwe(1,2)
    – My System,
    – Praxis
    Tactics books
    – Tactimania,
    – Chess Tactics from Scratch,
    – Learn chess Tactics by Nunn,
    – John Shaw,
    – Excelling at Chess Calculation
    Endgame Books
    – Silman
    – Best Chess Endings Capablanca
    Game Collection
    – Karpov’s Strategic wins 1
    – Capablanca by Golombek

    I have the following 6 books which I am still to read but am currently thinking of starting to work on my opening repertoire :
    – Karpov’s Strategic wins 2
    – The ideas behind the chess Openings
    – Chess Defence by Aagard
    – Rubinstein – Early years
    – Rubinstein – Later years
    – Zurich 1953 Bronstein

    My style of Play is to develop my pieces in small increments and placing them at the best squares, blockading and playing quiet moves. I try not to give my opponent any attacking moves. During my play when I get out of the Opening, I start controlling the game.

    I am bad at memorising moves so I try to play the board based on what the board tells me starting from my first move. The only opening moves I know by heart is for Ruy Lopez(the first 4 moves for both sides) and hence feel very uncomfortable in the Opening.
    Based on this could you suggest me Openings for Black(2) and White(1) and the books. If you need any more inputs on my play please ask me.

  50. September 12th, 2012 at 14:26 | #51

    Jacob:

    Sorry If I ask not proper questions, but I am curious to know.

    1) Do you feel the hunger for chess writing, analysing and publishing? Your retirement from professional chess means you are tired of playing chess or chess in general?

    2) What are the priorities to you now? Do you want to spend your time more on chess (teaching, writing, editing, advertising, etc.) or another way?

    I would like to see QC book at the form of TRAINING WORKBOOK “for players Elo 1700-2300 (extremely desperately needed and wanted!!! GM Preparation is a successor!)”.

    It should be a book with pure puzzles (excercises) divided into chapters like: 1700-1800, 1800-1900,… 2200-2300. At the middle of the book it should be one hint – but when seeing this the player is obliged to subtract his point from his overall score. And of course at the end of the book – full solutions with short explanations when especially needed. I repeat: no theory, no explanations about tactical chess motifs and combinations – just puzzles!

    All of that should containt some like 1800-2100 puzzles (average 250 to 400 per level). I think you are your friends have got so much examples of these kind of puzzles (from many sources – including your own games, analysis, books, bases, etc.) that it might be done.

    I think good example showing what kind of book I am talking about is “The Complete Chess Workout” by Richard Palliser”. It is a book that contains 1200 puzzles and I like this book very much.

    What do you think about it?

  51. Jacob Aagaard
    September 12th, 2012 at 14:53 | #52

    @Tomasz Chessthinker
    1) I feel as great a hunger as ever, if not even more. It is playing I don’t connect with anymore. Maybe it is the experience of having an opponent that does not work well with being a father?

    2) People keep saying this and then never react when I say that we have the Yusupov series. And we also have John’s puzzle book. But to divide anything into 1700-1800 is just not possible.

    Finally: in the office they know that it is like waving a red flag to a bull to mention this Palliser book. For legal reasons I am unfortunately not able to give my honest view of it.

  52. Jacob Aagaard
    September 12th, 2012 at 14:55 | #53

    @Zwastik
    Against 1.d4 I would go for Nimzo-Indian move by move from Everyman. Maybe also the Spanish in the same series. With White I would play 1.d4 as described by Lars Schandorff, but maybe these books infer too much knowledge for you.

    In general terms I would strongly recommend that you have a look at the Yusupov books (left bar on the front page to see the special site we have for them) and for the time being ignore books that are too difficult for you; such as my defence book.

  53. Andre
    September 12th, 2012 at 17:00 | #54

    Nimzoindian sounds like the right choice. Unfortunately most white players avoid it. Does this book also cover white deviations (3. Nf3,3.g3) ? Generally speaking I find the Move by Move serious very useful to get into a certain opening, because it doesn’t skip explaining all the basics.

    The problem I have with e4 e5 as black is that only 1 in 10 opponents on amateur level plays the Spanish. Most people play some old fashioned stuff which is objectively harmless, but which requires precise knowledge if you want to create winning chances with black. So if you really want to play e4 e5 you should get a second book about all those deviations. The new The Open Games For Black by Igor Lysyj and Roman Ovetchkin got favourable reviews, AFAIR, but there are other similar books.

    d4 a la Schandorff is the obvious choice, if you’re willing to spend some time on a dangerous but time proven white repertoire. It might be too aggressive for you though.

  54. Jacob Aagaard
    September 12th, 2012 at 17:37 | #55

    @Andre
    I essentially agree.

  55. Patrick
    September 12th, 2012 at 17:54 | #56

    Speaking from experience, having been a player below 2000 from 1997 to 2000, and for the most part over 2000 from 2001 thru today, I can tell you the following:

    1) When I played 1…e5, I got a Ruy a lot more than 10% of the time. Closer to 30%, 50% 3.Bc4, and then occasional Scotches, King’s Gambits, Danish, and other junk. 3.Bc4 seems to be the most popular at the amatuer level. I agree with Jacob, learn 1…e5 first. I started my career with the French, which I did ok, but 1…e5 years later really worked better on learning the element beyond the opening.

    2) To answer your Question about the Nimzo, no that book only covers the Nimzo, not the Catalan or QID/QGD. There are plenty of decent books out on the QID, none of which have I ever found to be bad. The Black side of the Catalan is a little harder to find good coverage on. The old book Beating the Flank Openings from 1996 has good coverage, and really is more of a “Beating the English and Catalan” book. I’ve heard positive reviews about the Gambit Book on the QGD and Catalan as Black, but I have never seen it myself. I would recommend 3…d5 or 3…b6 against 3.Nf3 over the Bogo-Indian, 3…Bb4+, but that’s just my 2 cents.

    3) I would also recommend 1.d4 over 1.e4. While the Schandorff books might work at the start, I will say that when it comes to playing White, limiting yourself to 1 repertoire book or one series of repertoire books is a very big mistake. I would recommend those, and then expanding on it. Not saying go out and get a bunch of 1.c4 or 1.e4 books. Stick within the 1.d4 boundries. However, I’ve learned from experience that it’s good to have multiple weapons within the d4 territory. For example, you might play the Saemisch one game against the KID, and the Classical another. You might play the Saemisch 90% of the time, and the Classical only 10%, clearly your secondary weapon. From playing over 2000 tournament games, I can safely say that playing the same thing over and over again, especially with White, where your first goal is to win, not draw, will cause your chess to become stale, complacent, dry, whatever term you want to use, and you’ll start making mistakes from playing moves out of habit instead of thought, and one slight tweak in the opponent’s move order gone unrecognized can cost you the whole point instantly! This can also happen with Black, but it’s worse with White. Therefore, I would recommend staying within 1.d4, but learn a couple of variations for each defense, like maybe the Rubinstein and Leningrad Nimzo, Saemisch and Classical KID, Russian and 5.Bf4/5.Bg5 Grunfeld, Exchange and Rubinstein (7.Qc2) against the QGD (These 2 variations I play myself, by the way), etc etc.

    Black – Stick with 1 defense against d4 and 1 defense against e4 until you’ve mastered it and are rated over 2000 before trying to expand.

  56. John Doe
    September 12th, 2012 at 17:56 | #57

    @Zwastik
    Maybe you should take a look at the Alterman Gambit Guides.

  57. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 12th, 2012 at 18:31 | #58

    I am unlucky enough that I dedicated months of study when I tried to surpass 2100-2150 to learn more Najdorf theory, French theory, Grünfeld theory, etc. but most of my games are non main line, i.e. if I play Sicilian I will play against many Closed Sicilians (1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.g3 Nc6 4.Bg2 g6 5.d3 Bg7 6.Be3), 2. d3, 2. Qe2, 2. c3, 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. f4 and other Grand Prix Attacks, etc. Then now I started with the French, but annoyingly still having 1. e4 e6 2. Qe2, 2. d3, 2. Nf3 d5 3. e5 c5 4. b4, 2. Nf3 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. d4 c5 6. dxc5, 2. d4 d5 3. Be3 dxe4 4. Nd2. I estimate I have had to play against these systems at least 70% of the time in my career. Does anyone else have this problem, especially at 2200+ level?

  58. MARIO
    September 12th, 2012 at 18:40 | #59

    ABOUT THE BOOK “POSITIONAL PLAY-GRANDMASTER PREPARATION”…IS STILL SCHEDULED TO APPEAR OCTOBER 2012????….IF POSSIBLE ADD A REVIEW….REGARDS FROM MEXICO

  59. Andre
    September 12th, 2012 at 18:42 | #60

    In the beginning I would keep the repertoire as tight as possible, for both colors. As long as you are under 2000 – some would say 2200 – your time is better spent on other things because most games are decided by grave errors in the middlegame.

    Then play 50 serious games and after that expand slowly. This can be done by learning alternative variations in the same opening.
    If your play becomes stale, which happened to me after a couple of years with the same opening, you should switch.

  60. Andre
    September 12th, 2012 at 18:50 | #61

    @Gilchrist:
    I have made the same observation at 2200-2300 league level. At least 6 of my 9 opponents play side lines, 2 play uncritical main lines and only 1 tries to actually get an edge in the opening.
    This means if I ever get a critical system, I can be sure the other guy knows it well. Those who don’t know the theory far enough try to leave it early.

    I don’t find this disturbing in the SI though. I would be happy to play against a collection of Anti-SIs all the time, if my opponent can be found in the DB.
    Main lines are main lines because they are better than side lines.

  61. The Lurker
    September 12th, 2012 at 19:04 | #62

    @Zwastik
    I’m just an opinionated jerk with no rating who plays for fun, so take this for what it’s worth…. I think maybe repertoire books like “The Kaufman Repertoire for Black and White”, Palliser’s “Play 1. d4”, and Khalifman’s “Opening for Black According to Karpov” might be more your speed. They seem to focus more on less critical, solid moves, while Schandorf’s seems to be more aggressive.

  62. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 12th, 2012 at 19:18 | #63

    True that the main lines are better than sidelines, but playing not even against 3. d4 in the
    @Andre

    Sicilian will start to become annoying eventually. When I surpassed 2200 probably 7 years ago, I still had to play against sidelines. There are titled players who persistently had played the Torre, Colle, Grand Prix Attack, Stonewall, London System, Closed Sicilian, etc., even up to 2500 level. More than one decade of playing a higher percentage of sidelines than main lines is quite annoying.

    In my case IMs and GMs in addition to 2200-2300s have played side lines against me, so I barely am allowed to practise main line theory. I was considering to stop playing the Sicilian to avoid this, but I still continue anyway…

    Perhaps this is good that GM6 2nd Edition has two volumes, one of which I think is based on anti-Sicilians.

  63. tony
    September 12th, 2012 at 19:30 | #64

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    maybe you could switch to 1.e4 e5, I think the sidelines there are more fun for black than the anti-sicilians, probably you’ll like the mainlines less, but maybe you won’t see them much

  64. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 12th, 2012 at 19:47 | #65

    @tony

    1. e4 e5 2. Bc4
    1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb5
    1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 with 3. f4
    1. e4 e5 2. f4
    1. e4 e5 2. d4
    1. e4 e5 2. Qe2
    1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4
    1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3
    1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4

    That is without any sidelines after 3. Bb5.

    Maybe they are more enjoyable than the anti-Sicilians, but it seems as if White has many sidelines each move before 9. h3. And then what to do against 1. d4 :D? This is probably why Avrukh’s forthcoming book will be important.

  65. Patrick
    September 12th, 2012 at 20:02 | #66

    Gilchrist is a Legend :@tony
    1. e4 e5 2. Bc41. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bb51. e4 e5 2. Nc3 with 3. f41. e4 e5 2. f41. e4 e5 2. d41. e4 e5 2. Qe21. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc41. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c31. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4
    That is without any sidelines after 3. Bb5.
    Maybe they are more enjoyable than the anti-Sicilians, but it seems as if White has many sidelines each move before 9. h3. And then what to do against 1. d4 ? This is probably why Avrukh’s forthcoming book will be important.

    Most of these I’d be more than happy to face:

    1.e4 e5 Bc4 I answer with developing Knight moves, and White has nothing better than to go into a 3.Bc4 Vienna. From there, after 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bc4 Nc6 4.d3, Black can play 4…Na5! and 5…c6. Hold off on taking the Bishop until you knight is attacked or a pawn is moved, like a3.

    Against 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3, a very fun line to play is 3…g6! instead of the Four Knights. Then after 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Bg7, you have a really fun line of the Three Knights Defense. An added bonus! This can also be played against the Scotch (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Bg7 – Same thing!).

    Against 2.d4, the Danish and Goring are a joke. I love playing Black against those. If White plays 3.Nf3, punish his move order with 3…Bb4+!

    Never in my life have I seen 2.Qe2 against anything other than 1…e6. Just play a solid, quiet line and the WQ will be misplaced.

    All that leaves is the King’s Gambit, Vienna Gambit, 3.Bc4, the Ponziani, and the Scotch Gambit. If you play the Two Knights against 3.Bc4, then problem solved for the Scotch Gambit. Otherwise you have to learn the heavy theory of the Max Lange. There are many good responses to the King’s Gambit. One of them ought to work for you. That just leaves the Vienna Gambit and the Ponziani. The latter of the two is rare. The former can play similiar to the King’s Gambit if you play 2…Nc6, and positionally if you play 2…Nf6.

    I find the Ruy Lopez the most annoying response to 1…e5. Kramnik, a world champion, played the Berlin, and that’s the line I play when I do play the Black side of a Ruy Lopez. It does cut out a lot of that junk White can do from moves 4 to 9! 🙂

    What to do against 1.d4 has nothing to do with whether you play Sicilian, French, 1…e5, etc against 1.e4.

  66. splinter22prime
    September 12th, 2012 at 20:16 | #67

    Received this morning also Playing 1.d4 – The Indian Defences and it’s a bit thin but interesting. What do other think about it?

  67. Joeri
    September 12th, 2012 at 21:03 | #68

    Thin, but still 244 pages!
    Book looks good. I have only looked a bit deeper at the Benko chapter.
    He gives the naka-vachier game in the 5. … e6 variation with improvement for black suggested by Pedersen. His assessment is honest as always, slightly better for white, but not that much. But also the remark that the Benko player has to defend in the 5. … e6 variation which is not a Benko players cup of tea.

    Looks like another great effort from Schandorff!

  68. Raffie
    September 12th, 2012 at 21:30 | #69

    I play a more solid/positional 1.d4 reportoire and hope to sharpen and broaden my reportoire. So far, it looks good and interesting. The Nimzo for white is totally new for me, also the Grunfeld as the dutch and I saw some beautiful ideas in the minor lines. I think it will be a great read and a lot of fun with play and study!

  69. Jacob Aagaard
    September 13th, 2012 at 09:56 | #70

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    At GM level I do not face this kind of chess often. But I am always happy when sub-2300s play like this, because I know my poosition is good right from the opening.

  70. Jacob Aagaard
    September 13th, 2012 at 09:58 | #71

    @Joeri
    We do not use the low quality paper some other publishers use, which makes the books look thick, but really they are just low quality (physically). Our books are slender for sure, but at 248 pages, Larses book is not short of content. It is not an Avrukh splurge, and neither does he want it to be. I think for the normal man, this can be remembered pretty easily.

  71. Joeri
    September 13th, 2012 at 10:05 | #72

    I like the thin books! I did not mean it contentwise, but paperwise. The paper is indeed excellent quality and has a nice slick feel to it. And it takes up less space in my exploding bookcase.
    As for the paper Everyman is now printing their books too on the higher quality paper.
    So thanks for raising the standards for chess books!

    And I am happy to be an owner of the hardback books.

  72. Jacob Aagaard
    September 13th, 2012 at 11:03 | #73

    @Joeri
    Actually Everyman have started printing a lot of their books at TRT. Mark told me he came across our books in Germany once and immediately contacted the printer. It is only good when we can learn from each other; people who buy chess books will buy from all companies, people who do not, well…

  73. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 13th, 2012 at 12:07 | #74

    @Jacob Aagaard

    The difference is that for some reason I have to play against these systems when my opponents are 2400-2500. Obviously not all of the time, but frequently enough that it feels as if I have to face higher rated opponents in these systems more than others. GMs and IMs play Tore, Trompowsky, Colle against my try at the Grünfeld, and then against my try at Najdorf, 2. c3, 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+, 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. c3 Nf6 4. Bd3, Closd Sicilian, Grand Prix Attack, etc.

    The frequency of these systems (Even amongst titled players) I have to face, increases when I play weekend rapid tournaments. League has lower amounts, but still annoying. \\

    I suppose this is one reason why GM6 now has one volume for only anti-Sicilians?

  74. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 13th, 2012 at 12:12 | #75

    Against French, I have the same problem , although I was able to win against a 2450 when he played Exchange Variation against me. But I lost to a 2300 against the Closed Sicilian, although winning against a 2350 in the English Attack Variation: 6…e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 Be7 9. Qd2 0-0 10. 0-0-0 Nbd7 11. g4 b5 12. g5 b4 13. Ne2 Ne8 14. f4 a5 15. f5 a4 16. Nbd4, and the line 6…e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 Be7 9. Qd2 0-0 10. 0-0-0 Nbd7 11. g4 b5 12. g5 b4 13. Ne2 Ne8 14. Ng3.

  75. Zwastik
    September 13th, 2012 at 13:33 | #76

    Hi Jacob,

    As suggested, I checked the Yusupov Book’s and they are well structured and look Solid. I have already placed my order for the first 8 books with all the money I have and thanks to you I am bankrupt now.
    I have again postponed my Opening Study and would go back and work on the Yusupov series.
    Other than the 8/9 exercise books, has Yusupov writtern any other books or is he planning to write any new books ?
    I think you must force him to pen another series on Endgame and Strategy. He is the best guy you have to write books for 1400-1900’s like me.

  76. Jacob Aagaard
    September 13th, 2012 at 14:12 | #77

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Yes, of course.

  77. Jacob Aagaard
    September 13th, 2012 at 14:14 | #78

    @Zwastik
    Artur has declared that he will take a longer break from writing after finishing these 9 volumes. We have discussed a rather unique title idea he has, but I am not sure we can force him to finish it soon!

    Previously he wrote some articles in some Dvoretsky books (all five volumes carry his name). These books are a bit higher level (over 2200 maybe), but will maybe be worth it later on for you. But for now you have a good start.

  78. tony
    September 13th, 2012 at 16:31 | #79

    Patrick :
    All that leaves is the King’s Gambit, Vienna Gambit, 3.Bc4, the Ponziani, and the Scotch Gambit. If you play the Two Knights against 3.Bc4, then problem solved for the Scotch Gambit. Otherwise you have to learn the heavy theory of the Max Lange.

    This is not true (having to learn the Max Lange), after 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.O-O you can play 5…d6 (Nf6 would be Max Lange), and Black is at least equal. BTW, I think it’s quite weird that Marin advises to play a Max Lange after 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.O-O Nf6 5.d4 while black is simply better after 5…Bxd4.

    But thanks for proving my point that the sidelines after e4 e5 are generally quite enjoyable for black.

  79. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 13th, 2012 at 18:43 | #80

    If I play weekenders, or rapid tournaments, 1. e4 e5 2. Qe2 probably frequent as 1. e4 e6 2. Qe2, 1. e4 c5 2. Qe2, although the latter two are commoner. King’s Indian Attack lines with 1. e4 and either 2. d3 or 2. Qe2 with a later Nd2 and g3 are systems against which I frequently must play.

    I currently play more French than (Najdorf) Sicilian, which is a coincidence perhaps, that since I think it was said that Playing the French will be published before GM6 2nd Edition, but eventually during my playing I used to count the number of anti-Sicilians against which I had to play due to frustration and to find a statistic, and it was definitely at least 70% of the time. When I was lower than 2200 it was even worse, but the percentage is still high for me.

    Also against the 2. c3 Sicilian, I used to play 2…e6 and try to transpose to a French Advance with 3. d4 d5. Then I had one game against a 2250 who played 4. exd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Bb5 against me, and I won in less than 25 moves, so that line is not the best I think. Then at least if the transposition to a French Advance is completed, one is allowed to play a main line, albeit of a different opening.

  80. tony
    September 13th, 2012 at 19:08 | #81

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I can barely believe this about 1.e4 e5 2.Qe2, if anyone plays this, just imagine that you’re playing 1.e4 e6 2.Qe2 e5 a tempo up and enjoy the game

  81. Andre
    September 13th, 2012 at 19:34 | #82

    Gilchrist is a Legend :
    Also against the 2. c3 Sicilian, I used to play 2…e6 and try to transpose to a French Advance with 3. d4 d5. Then I had one game against a 2250 who played 4. exd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Bb5 against me, and I won in less than 25 moves, so that line is not the best I think. Then at least if the transposition to a French Advance is completed, one is allowed to play a main line, albeit of a different opening.

    I have played the French as my main weapon for more than a decade and the Alapin SI and FR Adv. for white for an even longer time.
    IMHO 2. – e6 is the objectively best answer for black in the c3 SI. White has absolutely nothing if he refuses to go into the FR Advance. After 4.exd5 black can even choose between exd5 and Qxd5. The FR Adv. gives black equal chances in often quite unclear positions, of course unless white plays a drawing line.
    The disadvantage though is that black needs to learn a completely different type of structure. Explain this to a Dragon type. 😉 The FR Adv. might be objectively equal, but it’s strategically complex. Experience means a lot in it.

    I *love* to play against the FR Exchange. Against neutral white moves I play the system Nc6, Bd6, Bg4, Nge7, Qd7, 0-0-0 and then a quick attack on the king side, with pawns in case of Bg5 or pieces if white plays without Bg4. I guess objectively this is somewhere between unclear and += (there must be a reason why the strong GMs play something else), but white can’t afford to lose any time here. Black is fast and the burden of proof is on white.

  82. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 13th, 2012 at 19:49 | #83

    @tony

    As I said before, it has happened, but rarely; much commoner that I have seen in games is 1. e4 e6 2. Qe2 and 1. e4 c5 2. Qe2. Also once when I used to play 1. e4, one 2250 played against me: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Qe7.

  83. Jacob Aagaard
    September 14th, 2012 at 10:03 | #84

    @Andre
    Surely 2…Nf6 is equally god – and there you do not end up in the closed positions you avoided on move 1…

  84. Andre
    September 14th, 2012 at 11:36 | #85

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @Andre
    Surely 2…Nf6 is equally god – and there you do not end up in the closed positions you avoided on move 1…

    Oh, Nf6 is equal too, and many people play it – including sometimes me. What I meant is that I think white doesn’t even have a realistic chance to mix things up if black is happy with 2.- e6 and the closed positions in the FR Adv.
    Nf6 stays in SI territory, but white can play a lot strange stuff which is not that dangerous but has to be known.

  85. Michael
    September 15th, 2012 at 01:02 | #86

    So looking forward to Boris’ book on beating 1.d4 sidelines!!! I am so curious as to why so many players play this crap! Are they just lazy, of there are taught by there teachers that ” Theny should not study openings until master” or some garbage like that. Honestly I feel like these opening are Anti-Chess, and it takes away from this beautuful game!!! I guess everyone now a days is not willing to put in the work and play a real opening, as for all the Anti-Siclians with the exception of a few really good ones like the Rossilimo, Bb5+ although I dont see that as a problem, the Morra now! and a couple others. It is not that it is hard for us Chess lovers to play against these opening it’s just the people that play these openings take away some of the beauty of chess, I can’t think of anyone I know that said” Oh my favorite game was in the Colle! Come on…Grow up be a man and play a real opening!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  86. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 15th, 2012 at 10:45 | #87

    Sometimes I wonder if I should have played the Sicilian even though I had to play against all of those anti-Sicilians, as well as the French sidelines (albeit not as much), 1. e4 e5 sidelines, etc. Maybe there should be tournaments where only main lines are allowed 🙂

    I think one option to avoid anyone from answering Sicilian, French, or other main line opening with sidelines is to play the Modern or some other opening. At least by playing 1…g6 against someone who insists on playing Colle, Torre, or 1. e4 c5 2. Qe2, 1. e4 c5 2. d3, 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. g3, 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. f4, 1. e4 c5 2. b3, etc., one can play a different opening altogether without facing a sidelines, prepared or unprepared.

    I was taught that ever since I was around 1300 to start learning main line openings, such as Sicilian Taimanov as Black, 1. e4 with all Open Sicilian lines as White, the Slav against 1. d4, and perhaps my mentality is different, but I do not understand why so many people play sidelines against me.

  87. Tom Tidom
    September 15th, 2012 at 14:45 | #88

    It´s quite simple: People play what works for them. The main aim in tournament play is to score well and not to play “beautiful” or “manly” moves. This is anyway quite subjective.

    Honestly I don´t understand the “complaints” about players who avoid mainlines. If you want to win, you have to play better than your opponent, regardless of the opening played.

    For myself I would find it too demanding to play mainlines in every opening. So my own repertoire is a mix of both, which works very well for me. And I do not really care about the openings my opponents play. I just try to beat them.

    • Jacob Aagaard
      September 16th, 2012 at 11:16 | #89

      I like “real chess” more personally. To have preferences does not conflict with your points.

  88. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    September 15th, 2012 at 15:20 | #90

    Jacob,

    how come that you don’t want to re-publish everlasting classic written by Euwe & Kramer:

    1. The Middlegame – Book I : Static Features
    2. The Middlegame, Book 2: Dynamic & Subjective Features

    You could publish those 2 books in 1, just like you’re doing with Suetin.

    All people are crying after Euwe’s masterpiece. Remember, you republished Nimzovitsch also with great success, even there are several versions on the market.

    Please do it! 🙂

  89. Patrick
    September 16th, 2012 at 03:59 | #91

    Gilchrist is a Legend :Sometimes I wonder if I should have played the Sicilian even though I had to play against all of those anti-Sicilians, as well as the French sidelines (albeit not as much), 1. e4 e5 sidelines, etc. Maybe there should be tournaments where only main lines are allowed
    I think one option to avoid anyone from answering Sicilian, French, or other main line opening with sidelines is to play the Modern or some other opening. At least by playing 1…g6 against someone who insists on playing Colle, Torre, or 1. e4 c5 2. Qe2, 1. e4 c5 2. d3, 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. g3, 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. f4, 1. e4 c5 2. b3, etc., one can play a different opening altogether without facing a sidelines, prepared or unprepared.
    I was taught that ever since I was around 1300 to start learning main line openings, such as Sicilian Taimanov as Black, 1. e4 with all Open Sicilian lines as White, the Slav against 1. d4, and perhaps my mentality is different, but I do not understand why so many people play sidelines against me.

    ROFL – Only allow main lines? What a joke! Boy, if I was to live in whatever European country you are from, and faced you head-to-head, I’d be sure to play a sideline against you only because I know how irritating it can be. I forgot which book it is, but there is a middlegame book by Quality Chess where the first chapter is all about annoying the opponent.

    The other joke about main line restrictions is where do you draw the line as to what is a main line and what isn’t? Case in point, King’s Indian Defense. What consititutes “Main Line”? 5.Nf3? 7.O-O? 9.Ne1? 13.a4? Get real! Against the KID, I typically play 5.Nf3, but after 5…O-O 6.Be2 e5, I respond with Gligoric’s move, 7.Be3, not 7.O-O.

    Like Tom said, you play what works for you. When I play 1.d4, I play the lines I want to play. 98% of the time, I play 2.c4. Otherwise, I play the Veresov every once in a blue moon. When I play 1.e4, nothing but main lines would be played by me in the French as I trust White’s position that much in the main lines. Sicilian? I get good results as White with the Closed Sicilian and also Tiviakov Sicilian. My results against the Najdorf are terrible. So you think I should be mandated to play the Open Sicilian just to make you happy? Dream on bro!

    So anybody that knows that sidelines irritate you, and know that you don’t know the sidelines as well as they do, ought to ALWAYS play a sideline against you. For me, sidelines that I know really well are 1.b4, 1.Nc3, Veresov, and Closed Sicilian as White, Three Knights Defense instead of the Four Knights against all attempts at the Four Knights along with the Scotch as Black.

    When I win a game playing an offbeat line against someone, and all they do is complain about the opening, it absolutely warms the heart! 😀

  90. Jacob Aagaard
    September 16th, 2012 at 10:54 | #92

    @Michael
    I agree with the most of what was said, except that it is crap to study openings before you reach a certain level. I agree in principle with this, but would recommend that you play “real chess” without knowing much about it :-).

  91. Jacob Aagaard
    September 16th, 2012 at 11:04 | #93

    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    We shall consider it, but it really does not attract me in the same way as a new translation of Nimzowitsch did.

  92. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 16th, 2012 at 11:52 | #94

    @Patrick

    It is not that people deliberately play sidelines only against me, my opponents seem to play sidelines against everyone or a majority of players, and for some reason quite a large number of them are titled players, usually 2400 IMs, and some 2500s, but generally around 2300-2450.

    I am not sure about the idea of playing sidelines about solely trying to annoying an opponent. What happens if it indeed annoys the opponent, but the person playing the sidelines does not enjoy the positions either, nor understands them as well as the main lines? Of course the idea of a tournament with only main lines was a half-joke, but I am sure there are players around 2300+ who encounter the sidelines at least slightly annoying. Sidelines tend to occur as I said before, in usually rapid tournaments, local tournaments, or weekenders, at least for me, including when I play titled players. The only tournament where I had a very high percentage of main lines was the World U18 a few years ago, as well as big 9 round or 11-round norm tournaments, for example in Spain or Budapest.

    My attitude has changed somewhat though since then, and I actually tend to study sidelines more, or at least try to, since I have to play against them much more than main lines. This is probably the first time I spend more time to analyse the Closed Sicilian more than the Najdorf. 😀

  93. scott warren
    December 18th, 2012 at 22:57 | #95

    I enjoy reading your books, they are well wrritten, high quality books, worth the price. The only problem is the length of time to get a book. I have been wating for 7 months for the 8th book on Artur Yusupov’s chess course. It came out May 25th, and I am still waiting. I read your blog about the shipment of your books, BUT COME ON!!! 7 months is way to long to get a book, even in the States. Can you tell me why?

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