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Good or bad news?

A few details that might interest regular readers.

First off, I really hate this when it happens: The headers for two pages in the ATTACK & DEFENCE book say “Calculation”, which is a bit of a pain. Luckily Colin has changed it for the excerpt; but the printed version is dead and gone.

John is working hard on Playing 1.e4. If you are a 1.d4 player and hate getting killed by well-prepared opponents; this is probably bad news. If you play 1.e4, this should be good news. I have personally played a lot of this repertoire in 2012 with great success.

I am getting towards the end of ENDGAME PLAY quite quickly. In general I think this will be the least popular book in the series as endgame books traditionally don’t sell (unless your name is Mark Dvoretsky of course). For this reason I am just going to finish it and put it out there. Another two weeks of uninterrupted writing should do it, as I spent a concentrated month on it at the beginning of the year (and a few hours 2-3 times a week since then). I quite like the book as it is, but I am considering adding a few additional small sections. Karsten Muller has gracefully provided me with some positions and as a fan of the series in general, he has insisted that he should also write the foreword. As I was planning to ask him anyway, this is of course very welcome!

ATTACK & DEFENCE and PUMP UP YOUR RATING should be out in 2-3 weeks. To be honest, I have been away from the office, training a 2600 intensively for a week and sort of lost track of where we are in the printing cycle. I shall try to do an updated publishing schedule soon.

Colin is 75% into the editing on PLAYING THE FRENCH. My contribution to this book is not as great as it was for GRANDMASTER 10: THE TARRASCH DEFENCE, but I might have saved the most important main line against the Tarrasch (3.Nd2) line! Nikos has done a great job and I managed to find only cosmetic changes to his analysis. I think we will publish his next solo project under his name alone. It is always nice to see when you invest your confidence in a person that they reward it with a great performance. Nikos can no longer be said to be a well-kept Greek secret…

Finally; Emanuel Berg might have done too much material on the French Winaver. The current mood is to split it into two big volumes. We have done three books over 600 pages in our time, two of them recently. But it is impractical in quite a lot of ways. We understand that sales numbers will be less for a two-volume Winaver compendium, but they will work better as books and respect the author’s work. To me this is quite important. And for the hardcore French/theory fans, this will hopefully be very popular.

Your feedback is welcome.

Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:
  1. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    August 31st, 2013 at 12:06 | #1

    Well, I never liked splitting volumes just for the sake of splitting (read making more money). But if this will be the case with GM Winawer, then provide us with many main lines including positional and tactical ones, from Poisoned Pawn to old lines.

    But how on earth Schandorff succeeded to fit whole repertoire into 250 pages, and Berg in 1200 pages?

  2. Clement
    August 31st, 2013 at 12:27 | #2

    What types of exercises will be in endgame play? Calculation, positional, a mix of both? Studies?

  3. Andre
    August 31st, 2013 at 13:19 | #3

    I think if you split the Winawer book, after announcing only one, you should make attractive bundle offers for those who want to buy both. For example: Free shipping & free upgrade to hardcover if you preorder both.

  4. Andre
    August 31st, 2013 at 13:21 | #4

    I know Karsten Müller and Karsten Mueller, but who the heck is this Karsten Muller guy? 😉

  5. k.r.
    August 31st, 2013 at 14:04 | #5

    Im a proud owner of Positional and Strategic play. Finished Positional play 2 times, i will work on it till the day I will know who played which game on which site by heart :). Karolys book on Karpov, McDonald on chess giants of strategy and yours Positional play are my favourite chess books, I own aprox 200 books, some, like Gligorics Play against pieces with his signature and some thougths on my play but those which I mentioned above are most useful which helped to make my chess understanding much better. Carry on with this huge and excellent work.

  6. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    August 31st, 2013 at 14:11 | #6

    Regarding: “I think we will publish his next solo project under his name alone. It is always nice to see when you invest your confidence in a person that they reward it with a great performance. Nikos can no longer be said to be a well-kept Greek secret…”

    Even though we love Nikos and his craziness about chess, many potential buyers outside Quality Chess and this blog would stay away from his books because they could easily label him as another amateur without international title and reputation. His real name is not known to the audience because you can’t find him in Mega 2013 as Nikos Ntrilis. Some good PR is essential for promoting books where he is a main author.

  7. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    August 31st, 2013 at 14:27 | #7

    Browsing trough various forums finally I tracked down Nikos 🙂

    He appears in FIDE Rating list as 🙂 Dirlis Nikolaos 🙂 and his standard rating is 1885 🙁

    Few years ago someone asked on this forum if Nikos is a name of new strong engine!? Well, this might be true. Otherwise why are we molesting Bulgarian player Borislav Ivanov for his stellar results against GM’s. Doesn’t he play divine chess at times 🙂

  8. wolfsblut
    August 31st, 2013 at 16:17 | #8

    It is very nice to know that there is `Playing 1.e4` on the way!!!!

  9. John Pugh
    August 31st, 2013 at 19:42 | #9

    Personally I would rather have a two volume work on the French than have material cut, Either way I will buy it.

  10. Master McGrath
    August 31st, 2013 at 20:56 | #10

    If “they will work better as books and respect the author’s work” then I’ll vote for that as a reader. But either way I’ll buy it.

    600+ pages on the Winawer: I’m looking forward to it!

  11. Jacob Aagaard
    August 31st, 2013 at 21:56 | #11

    @Andre
    We obviously do this for those who ordered the book before I put this information on the blog. Not after. Although we are not a business first, we are still a business.

  12. Jacob Aagaard
    August 31st, 2013 at 21:58 | #12

    @John Pugh
    The alternative was to cut a lot of really interesting stuff. We ummed and ahhed a lot about this one. 600 pages again? No, we are not a charity.

  13. Jacob Aagaard
    August 31st, 2013 at 22:02 | #13

    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    A trainer for many grandmasters. His last results suggests he is 2200-2300 in case you really care. But if you think this is relevant for his quality as an opening specialist, I am concerned. Do you know that Nakamura’s main second has a rating of 2100 or something like that?

    Probably you are just pulling my leg :-).

  14. Jacob Aagaard
    August 31st, 2013 at 22:03 | #14

    @k.r.
    Very proud of you saying this.

  15. Jacob Aagaard
    August 31st, 2013 at 22:12 | #15

    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    It is not just a matter of making money. Unlike some other publishers, we are not afraid of big books, but we also need to balance it with business concerns. This time around we have a 320 page finished, edited and typeset draft that makes a perfect book (without 7.Qg4 – which we are still working on). We prefer a one or two volume work on the French, but we have Playing the French for that. The GM Repertoire will be for the idealists.

  16. Jacob Aagaard
    August 31st, 2013 at 22:13 | #16

    @Andre
    Mueller always looked ugly to me and my keyboard is not good with umlauds!

  17. Jacob Aagaard
    August 31st, 2013 at 22:16 | #17

    @Clement
    Actually you are pretty close; however there will only be studies I have composed; though training positions is more accurate.

  18. Gilchrist is a Legend
    August 31st, 2013 at 23:11 | #18

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I have a long opinion on this, but what are the lines in the Winawer book? I think this affects a decision whether to split the books into two or not. Are there more than two “big” main lines after 7. Qg4, i.e. Poisoned Pawn and 7…0-0? What about ixth-move sidelines such as 6…Qc7, 6…Qa5, 6…Nc6? Basically what I mean is that is it e.g.

    2 main lines, 2 sixth-move sidelines
    2 main lines, 1 sixth-move sideline
    1 main line, 2 sixth-move sideline,
    1 main line, 1 sixth-move sidelines

    I think in the first two scenarios, splitting is probably makes more sense, whilst the third situation perhaps, but I think 600 page book like that is fine, and the last 600 page book definitely. If the book is very long due to the fifth-move sidelines, such as 5. Bd2, 5. Qg4, 5. dxc5, etc., keep it one book I think sounds better. Essentially I rather prefer the book to be in one, because it is easier to carry round in one book rather than two separate ones, especially hardcover. If half (ca. 300 pp. of 7. Qg4 and whatever that line(s) is/are) of the book is 7. Qg4, I think the only option that makes sense is 7. Qg4 Winawer Vol. 1, Winawer without 7. Qg4, then the other volume 3 other non 3. Nc3 moves. 300 pages 7. Qg4, 200 pages for the 7. h4, 7. a4, 7. Nf3 lines, 100 for all else I definitely would not want the book to be truncated for length, so if it is like this length, then split the book into two for simultnaeousl release.

    I always say that there is no such thing as too much material in opening books (Especially GM Repertoire). E.g. if you want to not delete material, and split the Winawer book into two:

    Volume 1: Winawer 7. Qg4
    Volume 2: Winawer, non 7. Qg4
    Volume 3: non-3. Nc3

    where Volumes 1 and 2 are released concurrently with Playing the French.

    Of course, I rather any option that means a publication release, along with Playing the French, in the first week of October, regardless of if the book is in two or one volume. I have for the past year been wondering what must be in those books. But if there is any more detail about the book, it could help in choosing an idea.

    Quick question though, does Playing the French have this problem with the size of the book, or is it only Winawer book that has this 600 page dilemma?

  19. Andre
    September 1st, 2013 at 01:00 | #19

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @Andre
    Mueller always looked ugly to me and my keyboard is not good with umlauds!

    “Mueller” indeed looks ugly, but ‘leave out the dots and add a small e’ is the officially accepted fallback method for people who can’t access umlauts. “Muller” on the other hand is a different name.
    Maybe the most elegant method is to type Muller and then make a search & replace run in Word to make it Müller.

  20. Ray
    September 1st, 2013 at 07:43 | #20

    @LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    Schandorff left out quite a lot of ‘minor’ variations, e.g. just compare his chapter on the Nimzo-Indian with Sokolov’s tome…

  21. Ray
    September 1st, 2013 at 07:51 | #21

    No matter how many parts you split Berg’s book into, I will buy them all regardless :-). Anyway, if Kotronias is allowed to write 600 pages on a single variation I wouldn’t know why you shouldn’t publish a huge opening complex like the French in several parts. Psakhis did the same some years ago and theory has moved on since then… As long as it won’t be like Kindermann & Dirr’s ‘Unvollendete’ venture (publishing a book numbered ‘Ia’ on the Winawer with 7…0-0, never to come up with a follow-up), you certainly won’t hear me complaining!

  22. Remco G
    September 1st, 2013 at 07:54 | #22

    It’s good that Playing 1.e4 is coming! I want to start playing the King’s Gambit but as that would imply switching from 1.d4, I’d need something against the various anti-King’s Gambits 🙂

    What kind of lines does it recommend against the Sicilian and the French?

  23. Banjo Mike
    September 1st, 2013 at 10:09 | #23

    Hopefully the kings gambit is not the suggestion against 1…e5 in the forthcoming 1.e4 book. I guess we are heading for the Ruy, right?

  24. Mathijs
    September 1st, 2013 at 10:28 | #24

    @Remco G
    That’s the right mid-set: the Sicilian is a well-known and annoying anti-King’s Gambit!

  25. tony
    September 1st, 2013 at 10:32 | #25

    @Ray
    I thought he was talking about the Caro-Kann repertoire

  26. k.r.
    September 1st, 2013 at 11:41 | #26

    @Jacob
    On last torunament, this was my second tournament in slow chess I played almost all the time against Im and Fm players, and made 4,5 from 9, with rtg performance of 2208. And thast all because working on middlegame, cant hardly wait to see your endgame book, its the place where I made mistakes and draw winning positions and lost draw positions.

  27. Ray
    September 1st, 2013 at 15:30 | #27

    @tony
    That’s right – it’s probably about the Caro-Kann. But still, there too Schandorff cocentrated on the major variations. The difference between the GM Reportoire and the GM Guide series is that the former is searching for ‘the truth’ while the latter is more practical. Anyway, being a fan of the French I obviously don’t complain – it will be a good autumn :-).

  28. Ray
    September 1st, 2013 at 15:31 | #28

    @Remco G
    If you’re a King-s Gambit player you might as well give the Morra Gambit a try. Esserman’s book is very good, and Esserman claims that the Morra is ‘more correct’ than the King’s Gambit!

  29. Ray
    September 1st, 2013 at 15:34 | #29

    @Remco G
    PS: I think the French is the ideal anti- King’s Gambit opening. In the past, when I still played 1.e4 (I switched to 1.d4) I found the French the most annoying opening to meet, because of the (half-)closed, unique positions.. And all white gambits against the French are incorrect :-).

    It was said earlier in this blog that Playing 1.e4 recommends the Tarrasch variation against the French and the Open Sicilian, mainly systems with Be2.

  30. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    September 1st, 2013 at 17:47 | #30

    Why don’t you also consider a “Playing the Grunfeld” for Black? Or “Playing the Open Games” for Black – all non Spanish lines plus Exchange Spanish?

  31. Tom
    September 1st, 2013 at 18:04 | #31

    Endgame Play is probably the most interesting to me, especially in electronic form.

  32. Fat Ghost Cat
    September 2nd, 2013 at 11:04 | #32

    I personally would prefer one book on the French. Two is ok but three is overkill. The reason many people prefer the French is because the amount of required memorisation is much less than main line e5 openings & sicilians and opening preparation has less effect on the result compared to other 1.e4 openings. Also middle game theory changes a lot and by the time a book is published and memorised, a lot of what you memorised is not played much by your opponents anymore. So my personal opinion as a player between 2100-2200 is that 3 books on the French is way too much. I know that I wouldn’t memorise most of the analysis even if it was just one book but for grandmasters 3 books is probably more useful.

  33. Artur Yusupov
    September 2nd, 2013 at 12:07 | #33

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    The way we are ending up doing it is that Vol. 1 (320 pages) is the Winaver without 7.Qg4. Volume 2 will be a lot of 7.Qg4 stuff and volume 3 everything else.

    As Volume 1 is two days away from done and Emanuel is still working on the 7.Qg4 stuff it makes sense to us. It will probably be out before Playing the French, and the second volume then at the same time as PtF or maybe just after. It is not a beautiful flow; but vol 1 is a beautiful book.

  34. Artur Yusupov
    September 2nd, 2013 at 12:08 | #34

    @Andre
    Nah, you knew who I meant. This is a blog and not a book…

  35. Artur Yusupov
    September 2nd, 2013 at 12:08 | #35

    @Banjo Mike
    Scotch

  36. Artur Yusupov
    September 2nd, 2013 at 12:09 | #36

    @k.r.
    Great!

  37. Jacob Aagaard
    September 2nd, 2013 at 12:10 | #37

    @Ray
    Sicilian is not set in stone yet. It is obviously the most tricky thing to meet.

  38. Jacob Aagaard
    September 2nd, 2013 at 12:11 | #38

    Some will have noticed that I forgot to change the name on my account from last week where I was typing while Artur was telling me what to write. Don’t worry, the answers to your questions came from Artur, he is just not as fast a typist as I am an was talked into doing the Q&A when I offered to be his secratary.

  39. Jacob Aagaard
    September 2nd, 2013 at 12:12 | #39

    @Fat Ghost Cat
    Playing the French is the book for you then. Or one of the 5-6 other books on the French out at the moment. We understand that a three volume set is not what everyone wants, but we do not expect everyone to buy it either :-).

  40. Jacob Aagaard
    September 2nd, 2013 at 12:13 | #40

    @Tom
    I am not sure when we put these in forward chess. Hopefully we will have our first title converted shortly; our guys are learning how to do it properly at the moment.

  41. Jacob Aagaard
    September 2nd, 2013 at 12:14 | #41

    @Ray
    He would say that wouldn’t he. Actually, they are probably the same – good practical shots, but theoretically not giving an edge.

  42. LE BRUIT QUI COURT
    September 2nd, 2013 at 12:28 | #42

    LE BRUIT QUI COURT :
    Why don’t you also consider a “Playing the Grunfeld” for Black? Or “Playing the Open Games” for Black – all non Spanish lines plus Exchange Spanish?

    If you have a pair of GM Rep French and Playing the French, why not the same with Playing the Grunfeld?

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @Fat Ghost Cat
    Playing the French is the book for you then. Or one of the 5-6 other books on the French out at the moment. We understand that a three volume set is not what everyone wants, but we do not expect everyone to buy it either .

    Hopefully the hardcovers will be 29,99 euros, am I right?

  43. Ray
    September 2nd, 2013 at 12:31 | #43

    @Jacob Aagaard
    After all, it’s a GM Reportoire :-).

  44. Ray
    September 2nd, 2013 at 12:33 | #44

    @Artur Yusupov
    I guess you used the wrong name, Jacob?

  45. Ray
    September 2nd, 2013 at 12:34 | #45

    @Ray
    Never mind, I saw your next message only now…

  46. Andre
    September 2nd, 2013 at 16:00 | #46

    Artur Yusupov :
    @Andre
    Nah, you knew who I meant. This is a blog and not a book…

    Sure. It’s a minor issue on a blog. In a book I would consider it a sign for bad quality, though.

  47. Jacob Aagaard
    September 2nd, 2013 at 16:25 | #47

    @Andre
    We are in complete agreement then.

  48. rooster85
    September 2nd, 2013 at 18:04 | #48

    Hi Jacob,

    I pre-ordered Pump Up Your Rating today… really looking forward to jump from 2100 to 2450 in two years, lol 🙂
    I wanted to ask – the expected release this month is for both hardcover and paperback editions of the book? I ordered the paperback, but I would gladly change that if the hardcover is to be out first and the paperback version only some weeks (months?) later… thanks

  49. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 2nd, 2013 at 19:47 | #49

    @Jacob Aagaard
    2 days, does that mean to the printer this week, then publication for Friday 27/09? I did not expect the book to have so much material on 7. Qg4, is there 7…0-0 in there or something? The only thing I can tihnk of is two big main lines that can cause so many pages is both Poisoned Pawn and 7…0-0. Wtihout 7. Qg4, the seventh move alternatives by White cause much coverage, but that would be in this first book.

  50. Andre
    September 2nd, 2013 at 22:07 | #50

    I’ve got some mixed feelings after reading the Pump Up Your rating excerpt. I enjoyed the foreword and the targets Axel set himself for the book. But the chess part of the excerpt … where is the connection to teaching methods?
    And a minor detail I don’t like, yes I know it’s a pet peeve of mine: on page 47, 2nd column, no less than 2 times a center pawn is sacrificed with either “good” or “fantastic” compensation, but without the tiniest hint what this compensation might be.

  51. Massimo
    September 3rd, 2013 at 07:57 | #51

    I agree with Andre. The excerpt is a bit disappointing.

  52. Darko Bozicevic
    September 3rd, 2013 at 08:26 | #52

    First of all, i want to congratulate you on great work. Although i’m not GM (i’m just an amater on begining of my chess career), i found GM repertoire books very useful, because the autors helped me to understand game goals and plans in critical positions.
    I have a question regarding upcoming books on french defence. Are you gonna cover some sidelines (maybe in 3rd GM rep book or in Playing the french). Some club players do not hesitate to play 2. f4 and 2. c4, 2.g3, 2.Qe2 and so on. It would be very nice to have those sidelines covered in one of four TFD books.

    Best regards and keep on rockin in the free world.

  53. John Shaw
    September 3rd, 2013 at 10:37 | #53

    Massimo :
    I agree with Andre. The excerpt is a bit disappointing.

    We were struggling to find an excerpt that really showed what the book is like. Axel shows his training ideas in a logical sequence that develops and relies on earlier parts of the chapter. Lifting one part of it out as an excerpt would just be confusing. So instead we gave a game that makes sense on its own, but is not really part of the training plan.

    Maybe we will have another look and find a more representative sample.

  54. John Shaw
    September 3rd, 2013 at 10:57 | #54

    We have added a bit more to the ‘Pump up your Rating’ excerpt. I hope it shows more clearly what the book is about. The book offers a clear plan to improve – do this and you will play better.

  55. September 3rd, 2013 at 11:02 | #55

    rooster85 :
    Hi Jacob,
    I pre-ordered Pump Up Your Rating today… really looking forward to jump from 2100 to 2450 in two years, lol

    give the book under your headrest pad and the improvement will be done in no time 🙂

  56. Jacob Aagaard
    September 3rd, 2013 at 11:08 | #56

    @rooster85
    Both out at the same time.

  57. Jacob Aagaard
    September 3rd, 2013 at 11:10 | #57

    @Darko Bozicevic
    It is the play, yes. I am not sure 2.f4 needs much covering. …d5 and …c5 and you are doing well.

  58. Mathijs
    September 3rd, 2013 at 11:42 | #58

    The “Pump up your rating”-book looks very interesting, but the title is rather unfortunate. I would be embarrassed to have such a blunt title in my book case. Something like an adaptation of the original intended title, “GM training manual” would make me feel a lot less self-conscious about owning the book. That said, when I’ve worked my way through the Yusupov series, I’ll probably buy it anyway.

  59. wolfsblut
    September 3rd, 2013 at 11:56 | #59

    So the Anti-Sicilian in ´Playing 1.e4` ist not sure- but can we already know what will be recommended against the Pirc, Scandinavian and the Alekhine?
    I´am looking very much forward to that book(s)!!!!

  60. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 4th, 2013 at 03:44 | #60

    I think analysing both the Poisoned Pawn and 7…0-0 in the Winawer 7. Qg4 book should be plausible, probably even if one chooses two replies against 8. Bd3, i.e. 8…Nbc6 and 8…f5, unless there is something new in the Rustemow (8…Qa5). 150 pages for that and 150 for 7…cxd4/7…Qc7 seems quite plentiful. And if that means that GM14 (Winawer without 7. Qg4) is done now and will be ready this month, I shall thereover be quite happy to have this book split..

  61. Ray
    September 4th, 2013 at 08:26 | #61

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Maybe you’re right, but on the other hand Kotronias managed to write 700 pages on a single variation of the KID, so it should be possible to write 300 pages on the French Poisoned Pawn…

  62. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 4th, 2013 at 08:49 | #62

    @Ray
    True, but I think 7…0-0 could also fit in there. 100 pages of that is quite a lot anyway. But I suppose when the excerpt is there it will show which lines were chosen.

  63. Andre
    September 4th, 2013 at 15:34 | #63

    Gilchrist is a Legend :
    @Ray
    True, but I think 7…0-0 could also fit in there. 100 pages of that is quite a lot anyway. But I suppose when the excerpt is there it will show which lines were chosen.

    Kindermann wrote a 300 page book about 7.- 0-0 10 years ago. 😉

  64. Andre
    September 4th, 2013 at 15:34 | #64

    John Shaw :
    We have added a bit more to the ‘Pump up your Rating’ excerpt. I hope it shows more clearly what the book is about. The book offers a clear plan to improve – do this and you will play better.

    This excerpt is much better!

  65. Ray
    September 4th, 2013 at 16:03 | #65

    @Andre
    Yes, indeed :-). It’s also possible to write hundreds of pages on the ‘complete Albin’, so anything’s possible if you try hard enough as a writer :-).

  66. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 4th, 2013 at 19:47 | #66

    @Andre
    Yes I know this, I have this book, but a book with 7…0-0 it in repertoire form, whether with 7…cxd4/7…Qc7 or not, and my German back then was not good enough to read half of the book. I can read in Dutch better though..

    But really, I am very curious to know what must be in 300 pages of just 7. Qg4. Yes Kotronias wrote 720 pages on the Fianchetto King’s Indian, but I am not sure if anyone else usually does this (not that this is a bad thing at all, in fact I like this detailed style). Like I said before there is much detail even if the book is thereby divided:

    150 pages 7…cxd4/7…Qc7
    100 pages 7…0-0 8. Bd3 Nbc6 and 8…f5
    40 pages 7…0-0 8. Nf3 Nbc6
    20 pages 7…0-0 with 8th-move sidelines

    depending of course on exactly how many pages there are.

  67. The Doctor
    September 4th, 2013 at 20:01 | #67

    LE BRUIT QUI COURT :

    LE BRUIT QUI COURT :
    Why don’t you also consider a “Playing the Grunfeld” for Black? Or “Playing the Open Games” for Black – all non Spanish lines plus Exchange Spanish?

    If you have a pair of GM Rep French and Playing the French, why not the same with Playing the Grunfeld?

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @Fat Ghost Cat
    Playing the French is the book for you then. Or one of the 5-6 other books on the French out at the moment. We understand that a three volume set is not what everyone wants, but we do not expect everyone to buy it either .

    Hopefully the hardcovers will be 29,99 euros, am I right?

    Grunfeld is not really I priority regarding 1.d4 defences!!

    Nimzo-Indian, QGD I would think would be top of the list

  68. Ray
    September 4th, 2013 at 20:57 | #68

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    You’re right – Kindermann and Dirr’s book was not a reportoire book, but a ‘ complete’ overview. Then indeed 300 pages seems a lot for just the Poisoned Pawn and one or tow minor alternatives. So maybe your wish will be fulfilled after all :-). Just a few more days and we’ll know for sure.

  69. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 4th, 2013 at 21:36 | #69

    @Ray
    Well I am not sure, I think the book without 7. Qg4, Jacob said would be done within 2 days (which was said I think at the beginning fo the week), and the 7. Qg4 book with the Playing the French book or slightly after. Unless Berg writes in the introduction to the first book what will be in all three volumes..

  70. Jacob Aagaard
    September 5th, 2013 at 12:31 | #70

    @The Doctor
    Delchev’s book from Chess Stars is essentially a Playing the Grunfeld. Also, it is not a bad book at all :-).

  71. Jacob Aagaard
    September 5th, 2013 at 12:33 | #71

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Volume one ends with 7.a4. Volume two is the 7.Qg4 lines, which means the poisoned pawn and 7…0-0. Volume 3 everything else.

    Volume one might be out in September. It depends on if we can finish it today.

  72. Jacob Aagaard
    September 5th, 2013 at 12:33 | #72

    @The Doctor
    Playing the Open Games, Nimzo and QID are really books we would love to do.

  73. k.r.
    September 5th, 2013 at 19:02 | #73

    Jacob, if You could compare books Attacking chess and CHESSBASE dvds Attackin chess 1,2 You recorded, is there a big difference between them?

  74. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 5th, 2013 at 19:48 | #74

    @Jacob Aagaard
    That is quite interesting, those two lines in the 7. Qg4 book have increaesd my interest immensely. Hopefully in the future 7…0-0 will return to popularity and out of its reputation as boring or whatever. It is positional with attrition that can sometimes cause tactical games as well, where defence is of paramount importance. To me the Poisoned Pawn seems simply as madness, especially when Black sacrifices pawns so White has something like three or four passed pawns in the middlegame.

    If the Volume 1 finishes today, I imagine tomorrow is the sending to the printer, and I can definitely see how it can be out for September, probably around the 23rd or so. But also the Coming Soon has to change with the addition of the new book. I pre-ordered Vol 1 (the old Vol 1), so I guess that is the book that will be shipped. Vol 2 (7. Qg4 Winawer) for Spring 2014 I suppose is the one will be with Playing the French in October, so I suppose I should pre-order that one now?

  75. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 6th, 2013 at 02:12 | #75

    @Ray
    Apparently wishes fulfilled, since the 7…0-0 line along with the Poisoned Pawn. I had a feeling as well that 300 pages is a massive amount for just the Poisoned Pawn (since this is only 7. Qg4). Kotronias did write 720 pages on the Fianchetto, but I think the “main line” of the Fianchetto is with c4, which starts on page 241. So 241 to 720, so 481 for that. But I thnk also Kotronias wanted the book to also be utilised as a middlegame book. It would be quite difficult to utilise Poisoned Pawn theory as a middlegame book, except perhaps as tactics. But still, better to include the underrated 7…0-0 line I think. Its popularity thereof I am unsure, but it would be nice to see 7…0-0 returned to a status of popularity such as the Poisoned Pawn.

  76. Ray
    September 6th, 2013 at 07:17 | #76

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Yes, this is great news! I’m sure Berg found lots of interesting novelties in the 7…0-0 line so it might be worthwhile to return to this line (I used to have it in my reportoire). On the other hand, I’m currently also working on the open games as black, so choices choices…

  77. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 6th, 2013 at 07:50 | #77

    @Ray
    I was thinking of open games, but when the Open Spanish GM13 book arrived, I knew that this would be my open games repertoire, perhaps with a Breyer sometimes. However, three GM Repertoires on the French and the Playing the French book, i.e. four QC French books, means that the French has substituted my Najdorf which I have been playing for years. I still have not finished GM13.

    I am extremely curious about what Berg recommends in 7…0-0, as I think the last time this was in a repertoire book was in Watson’s Play The French III (2003). Kindermann and Dirr was a coverage book from 2002(?) or so. I think the Rustemow (7…0-0 8. Bd3 Qa5) needs serious novelties to play again, but there are 8…Nbc6 and 8…f5, so it seems logical to concentrate on those two or one of them, as they are very playable (and to me quite enjoyable). Hopefully the top GMs start playing this regularly, and the popularity achieves that of the Poisoned Pawn line.

    More excitement, that I think Jacob said it might be possible that GM14 (revised GM Repertoire French with Winawer without 7. Qg4) be finished yesterday, meaning perhaps it is done already–but I do not know, we shall see what Jacob says. Surely these French books will keep me busy past New Years…

  78. Ray
    September 6th, 2013 at 08:55 | #78

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    So you quit playing the Najdorf? Quite a step! Personally, I’m not hoping that 7…0-0 will be as popular as the Poisoned Pawn, because that will make it much more work to keep up with new developments :-).

  79. Jacob Aagaard
    September 6th, 2013 at 08:58 | #79

    @k.r.
    Yes. The DVDs are sort of the out-takes.

  80. Larsen_fan
    September 6th, 2013 at 09:02 | #80

    I dont remember where but some where on this blog or chesspub Nicos has revealed a little about the Playing the French book – among other things that it will have a lot of exercises helping the reader drill typical tactical and positional motifs. This is simply a wonderfull idea! And now for the Question: Will the new Playing 1 e4 books also contain exercises? I realy hope so because this is what the club player needs. We (im 1980 elo) dont need the GM-series but we would like high quality books to educate us in mastering openings.

  81. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 6th, 2013 at 09:06 | #81

    @Ray
    7…0-0 reminds me of a line such as the Scheveningen (both the system itself and with the 5…e6 move order). It is an underrated line compared to the other Sicilians, but it is sound and playable but not played as much as the Najdorf. It teaches defence and patience before counterattacking, but most GMs seem to prefer the Najdorf style lines. Both that and 7…0-0 I think deserve better reputations. Nikos/Jacob revived the Tarrasch Defence, Mikhalewskij the Open Spanish, so perhaps Berg to revitalise the 7…0-0 Winawer?

  82. Ray
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:38 | #82

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I agree. By the way, regarding the Tarrasch, I think 6.dxc5 is rather annoying for white, who has little choice but to enter an endgame which he can hardly play for more than a draw. ‘Thanks’ to Jacob and Nikos this line is becoming quite popular for white I think. It also saves a lot of theory for white as well. I saw it is actually recommended for white in Kornev’s reportoire book for Chess Stars :-).

  83. Ray
    September 6th, 2013 at 10:41 | #83

    @Larsen_fan
    I was wondering how you define a club player? I consider myself a club player as well, with 2200 elo, but I do need the GM Reportoire series! So I guess then I’m not part of ‘we’ club players… As a matter of fact I welcome both series :-). In my opinion there’s much to be learned from the GM Reportoire series by 2000 elo players as well, but of course it’s a matter of taste as well as priorities.

  84. Jacob Aagaard
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:34 | #84

    @Ray
    A club player is in my definition someone who does not play opens and have hopes of taking points from titled players. By that definition, you are not a club player. But it is a very loose definition anyway :-).

  85. Ray
    September 6th, 2013 at 11:51 | #85

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Well, I don’t play opens at the moment (my last open was about 4 years ago), and only play serious games in the team league (in which I do hope to take points from titled players). The rest of my games I play on the internet. What does that make me then :-). In my opinion it’s not really relevant anyway. Club player or not, I think above a certain minimum level anyone can learn something from most books, provided they put enough effort in it. So the whole disicussion is pretty academic if you ask me :-).

  86. Jacob Aagaard
    September 6th, 2013 at 13:39 | #86

    🙂

  87. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 6th, 2013 at 19:45 | #87

    Nice excerpt, looks like much detail there, and interresting 7. Nf3 h6. I see Coming Soon is edited, with both in October. I think I may have lost track of the schedule, perhaps a new publishing estimate would be nice. Thanks.

  88. Ray
    September 7th, 2013 at 07:25 | #88

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Indeed an interesting choice, though I’m not sure there’s anything wrong with the main lines. There don’t seem to be multiple options for black (like in the Benoni book), which means there will be more detail on the lines given.

  89. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 7th, 2013 at 07:46 | #89

    @Ray
    Yes, and in the introduction to the excerpt or GM14, Berg states that he aims to provide explanations in the books, so the analysis must be quite detailed given the three volumes, and also since he wants to explain the positions more. I used to play 7…b6 against 7. Nf3, but the game is so closed, that there are many systems available. I have not seen 7…h6, so I wonder what is in the 7. Qg4 book.

    I am not sure if there are multiple lines or not, i.e. if they are within the subvariations, since the Index of Variations is not there, but three volumes I think regardless, is probably quite detailed. I imagine it is sent to the printer now, so I cannot wait. It can be a great birthdaypresent.

  90. Blue Knight
    September 8th, 2013 at 06:24 | #90

    @Gilchrist is a Legend

    > To me the Poisoned Pawn seems simply as madness, especially when Black sacrifices pawns so White has something like three or four passed pawns in the middle game.

    The Poisoned Pawn Variation is perhaps not completely correct and maybe ultimately better for White, maybe, although…, but this is extremely difficult to prove and in a practical game it’s a formidable weapon… Plus, it is easier to play for Black than for White. 🙂 And contrary to what people could think, maybe, it is probably not so necessary to be booked with such enormous theory to play it. And it is a much more fun and aggressive way to play. 🙂

    And the positions are more (or semi)open… 😉 Maybe it suits better to e.g. a Sicilian player, with all its tactics and open play, immediate counterattack… than to a pure French player who generally/often rather likes more closed and more “quiet” positions and/or more “slow” play. Hence your preference for 7… O-O 🙂

    Personally, probably I’ll buy the four French books but I’m probably more in phase with the Berg repertoire, with Poisoned Pawn not 7… O-O and Tarrasch 3… Nf6 not c5, than the Playing the French one.

    @ Ray

    > It was said earlier in this blog that Playing 1.e4 recommends the Tarrasch variation against the French and the Open Sicilian, mainly systems with Be2.

    Great! This is exactly what I want! Specially if the Tarrasch is the even system from the Denis Yevseev’s Chess Stars book the Fighting the French: A New Concept. About the Be2 system in the Sicilian, this is the perfect thing for me, exactly what I want. But I hope too for 3. Nc3 against 2… Nc6, no Sveshnikov/Kalashnikov.

  91. tim
    September 8th, 2013 at 06:46 | #91

    Are you planning to convert yusupov series for forward chess and if you do, when?

  92. Jacob Aagaard
    September 9th, 2013 at 09:37 | #92

    @tim
    Our contract with Artur does not include digital rights; though I think it would make a lot of sense to convert them. I think he first wants to see how the other books pan out.

  93. Jacob Aagaard
    September 9th, 2013 at 09:37 | #93

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    There are multiple Black options in 7.Qg4.

  94. Jacob Aagaard
    September 9th, 2013 at 09:38 | #94

    I should add that a small reason (not by any means defining) for us splitting the book, is that Emanuel is still working on the 7.Qg4 stuff. We want to put out what we have ready.

  95. Daniel Peter
    September 9th, 2013 at 10:16 | #95

    Hi, Jacob! In the future, will be posible to write a book about Evans Gambit? Something like ,
    GM Repertoire x- The Evans Gambit ( including 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 and The Hungarian Defense …3. Bc4 Be7)

  96. Paul
    September 9th, 2013 at 10:32 | #96

    Is the present information/intention that Berg’s book will be released so close to the two September releases, it is logical to order all 3 together (to benefit from the free postage)?

  97. Jacob Aagaard
    September 9th, 2013 at 10:39 | #97

    @Daniel Peter
    I do not want to rule it out, but it would hardly be a GM Repertoire book, as this is not commonly played on GM level. Only Nigel seems to play it :-).

  98. Jacob Aagaard
    September 9th, 2013 at 10:40 | #98

    @Paul
    We are publishing all three together indeed. Only one week between them being done.

  99. Ed
    September 9th, 2013 at 12:20 | #99

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @tim
    Our contract with Artur does not include digital rights; though I think it would make a lot of sense to convert them. I think he first wants to see how the other books pan out.

    @ Jacob Aagaard
    I recently bought my first book from Forward chess and was very disappointed to find part of the book missing when checking with table of contents.

    @ Blue Knight
    The 1.e4 repertoire book against open sicilian I seem to remember previously mentioned in another blog was not systems with Be2, but systems with Bc4, which Fischer liked to play.

  100. Daniel Peter
    September 9th, 2013 at 17:00 | #100

    Hi,Jacob! Please,do not forget about Kasparov. The Evans gambit is one of his top preferences,against 1…e5! And this great opening is a good choice at 2450-2600 level!

  101. Tom Tidom
    September 9th, 2013 at 18:08 | #101

    @Daniel Peter
    Top preference of Kasparov? I can only recall his win against Anand and don´t believe he has played it more than 2-3 times while he was active.

    He has played the Scotch much more often surely and this will be covered in ´Playing 1.e4´ as far as I remember.

  102. Daniel Peter
    September 9th, 2013 at 19:39 | #102

    @Tom Tidom
    Hi, Tom! Kasparov played it only a few times, but won when he did! what I want is a theoretical book in this opening! if the GMs do not play this opening does not mean that I can not play it! You must admit it is a very beautiful opening!

  103. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 9th, 2013 at 19:41 | #103

    @Jacob Aagaard
    One week is earlier than I thought. But that is not a bad thing. That means probably quite soon then.

  104. Jacob Aagaard
    September 9th, 2013 at 22:06 | #104

    @Daniel Peter
    He played it twice I think. And 15 years ago, before computers were relevant.

  105. Jacob Aagaard
    September 9th, 2013 at 22:06 | #105

    @Ed
    We are not responsible for other people’s products on Forward Chess. Sorry for your experience.

  106. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 10th, 2013 at 01:55 | #106

    @Blue Knight
    I am not sure about this, since I have been a Najdorf player for more than one decade. Yet I enjoy playing 7…0-0 rather than the Poisoned Pawn. The latter is true madness to me, and although it seems to fit with the Najdorf, I play the French when I want calmer positions. It is part of the opening strategy of one aggressive option and one solid option. For me that has usually been the Sicilian and French, Grünfeld and Slav for 1. d4.

    Poisoned Pawn I learnt seveal yers ago in 2000, and I still do not like giving White four passed pawns in the middlegame (I remember some positions where White has pawns on something like f4, f4, g5, h7 or whatever) which scares me. 7…0-0 yes White can attack, but I prefer defending for 15-20 moves then building the counterattack. This inspite of being an almost lifelong Najdorf player.

  107. Blue Knight
    September 13th, 2013 at 01:00 | #107

    @Gilchrist is a Legend

    You are a Sicilian player, and a Najdorf player, and you don’t like a double edge and active variation with positions that quickly become very unclear as the Poisoned Pawn? 🙂

    > ” I play the French when I want calmer positions (…) one solid option”

    Well, I don’t see the French as “calmer”. I rather see it as the French Attack, sometimes almost as a gambit even. E.g. in the 3 … Nf6 Tarrasch when White use the popular set-up with Bd3 and Ne2 where quite often you see the standard RxNf3 sacrifice (it is amazing just how often this sacrifice works in this variation)

    I see the French as an active defence, not a calmer… According S. Williams: “I have always considered the French to be an exciting opening that offers Black very good counterattacking possibilities. (…) I am not even sure if the word ‘Defence’ is appropriate when muttering the world ‘French’!” I agree with that.

    This is probably why I like the Williams book and why probably I should like the Berg one, as Berg has more or less the same repertoire than Williams (Winawer with Poisoned Pawn, Tarrasch with Nf6…)

    > “White has pawns on something like f4, f4, g5, h7 or whatever”

    If you have this, things have gone wrong. 😉

    Even if Berg is more with the Poisoned Pawn, I understand why we’ll have a second volume with 7. Qg4 as this is the main variation, so it is good to have two answers for different style of players… And perhaps sometimes the tournament situation.

  108. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 13th, 2013 at 19:54 | #108

    @Blue Knight
    I used to play the Tarrasch with 3…c5 4. exd5 exd5 and play positionally, likewise 6. a3 c4 in the Advance, so usually I tried to calm the position as much as possible. True I play the Sicilian for crazy positions, but sometimes I need a break, hence the French. I like 7…0-0 since it is a mix of defence and counter-attack. In 7…cxd4, the differnce with the Najdorf Posioned Pawn si that one is one pawn less compared to the latter wherein one in one pawn ahead. If Black can get to the endgame in the Poisoned Pawn one basically wins with extra material, the opposite in the French. To be honest, I do not like playing the Poisoned Pawn, both in French and Sicilian…

  109. Ray
    September 14th, 2013 at 08:08 | #109

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    That being said, 7…0-0 has some hair-raising complications as well. Positions like the first training position in the ‘Bending’ post are not uncommon in the 7…0-0 complex… But compared to the poisoned pawn, it’s relatively calm.

  110. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 14th, 2013 at 08:24 | #110

    @Ray
    True, I think you refer to the 7…0-0 8. Bd3 Nbc6 9. Qh5 Ng6 10. Nc3 Qc7 11. Be3 c4 12. Bxg6 fxg6 13. Qg4, where some craziness can occur sometimes. 8…f5 is calmer, but yes, compared to the Poisoned Pawn (both French and Sicilian), this is not very much.

    That first position is somewhat typical, but I think Black let the kingside collapse too easily. I suppose I need to relearn how to play those positions again, as my guess for the position was the insane 20…Bb5, which probably is just rubbish…

  111. Michael Agermose Jensen
    September 14th, 2013 at 12:20 | #111

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @Daniel Peter
    I do not want to rule it out, but it would hardly be a GM Repertoire book, as this is not commonly played on GM level. Only Nigel seems to play it .

    And Jonny Hector…but he plays anything and everything so perhaps doesn’t count 😉
    Anyway, a search will receal lots of GMs who play it semiregularly.

  112. Blue Knight
    September 15th, 2013 at 20:07 | #112

    @Gilchrist is a Legend

    It seems we don’t see the French in the same view. you see it as a “solid” and “calmer” opening when I see it as the French Attack, almost as a gambit sometimes, with very good counterattacking possibilities. Two opposite view so two different choices of variations in the opening. 🙂

    About the Najdorf Poisoned Pawn, I don’t play the Najdorf no more, for a long time, but I guess this variation is one of the best, if not the best, answer for Black to the Bg5 variation by White. Black is OK. But yes, here it’s White who sacrifices a pawn when in the French it’s Black. So, if you like the pawns, you should find the Poisoned Pawn in the Najdorf more “solid” than its counterpart in the French. 🙂

    > “To be honest, I do not like playing the Poisoned Pawn, both in French and Sicilian…”

    Personally, it’s exactly the contrary, I guess… 😀

  113. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 16th, 2013 at 19:52 | #113

    @Blue Knight
    My experience with playing Poisoned Pawn in the Najdorf is, if I remember correctly (which is hard since I played this more than ten years ago as well), is something like 1 win, 5 losses, no draw, and four of the losses were before move 30. The other loss was around move 33. After that I switched to 7…Nbd7 and 7..Be7, and then 6…Nbd7 sometimes after GM6. The experience scared me from playing the French counterpart…

    That is the beauty of the French, there are many ways to play it, that is probably why QC shall publish Playing the French with the Steinitz, GM Repertoire with the Winawer, and I think the former might be solid and the latter sharper.

    It is true though, the Najdorf Poisoned Pawn is probably “solider” in that sense since most endgames are good for Black, but I feel the Najdorf Poisoned Pawn as crazy, and the French Poisoned Pawn as “crazier”..

  114. Ray
    September 16th, 2013 at 21:12 | #114

    @Blue Knight
    I also play the French as an aggressive conuterattacking opening. Nothing beats demolishing the white centre and unleashing the power of the ‘bad’ bishop :-). As for the Najdorf with Bg5: I think the old main line is underestimated. In my opinion black has good play. In many variations white is almost forced to sacrifice a knight in order to play for a win. Black only has to do a bit of defending, followed by a won endgame :-).

  115. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 16th, 2013 at 21:43 | #115

    @Ray
    My view with playing the French is I use it as a buffer between the Sicilian and the Caro-Kann, it is a mix of dynamism with solidity, and the choice to oscillate towards either, depending on style. These are hereby my chosen lines:

    Advance: 6. a3 c4
    Tarrasch: 3…c5 4. exd5 exd5 or 4…Qxd5, 3…Be7
    Winawer: 7…0-0, 8. Bd3 Nbc6 and 8…f5, or 6…Qa5
    Classical: 4. Bg5 Be7, 4. e5 with 7. Be3 Be7 or 7…a6

    It can change though, after reading the new French books..

  116. Blue Knight
    September 17th, 2013 at 01:56 | #116

    @Gilchrist is a Legend

    > “I think the former might be solid and the latter sharper.”

    Probably, yes.

    > “I feel the Najdorf Poisoned Pawn as crazy, and the French Poisoned Pawn as “crazier””

    🙂

    Sorry for you if your experience with the Najdorf Poisoned Pawn was not good. Yet, this variation is in perfectly good health, I guess, and is one of the best, if not the best, answers to the White Bg5 variation.

    > “Advance: 6. a3 c4
    > Tarrasch: 3…c5 4. exd5 exd5 or 4…Qxd5, 3…Be7
    > Winawer: 7…0-0, 8. Bd3 Nbc6 and 8…f5, or 6…Qa5
    > Classical: 4. Bg5 Be7, 4. e5 with 7. Be3 Be7 or 7…a6”

    For me it ‘s rather something like:

    – Advance: 5… Bd7

    I prefer this move to 5… Qb6 as it is much more flexible and, contrary to 5… Qb6 where it is the main line, 6. a3?! is doubtful because 6… f6! as he just wastes an important tempo (Black wants to open up the centre and castle queenside and attack on the kingside)

    – Tarrasch: 3… Nf6
    – 3. Nc3: Winaver with the Poisoned Pawn against the main line 7. Qg4

    I hope to see these choices in the Berg books… 🙂

    @Ray

    > “I also play the French as an aggressive conuterattacking opening. Nothing beats demolishing the white centre and unleashing the power of the ‘bad’ bishop 🙂 ”

    Great! 🙂

  117. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 18th, 2013 at 02:08 | #117

    @Blue Knight
    Najdorf Poisoned Pawn definitel has a good reputation, but to play this in practical games I found quite difficult, especially in the time control with 30 moves + 90 minutes, and following 30 sec increment thereafter. Not only is there a massive amount of theory, but one slight mistake as it looks could potentially end in mate in 4. Also I found scary that the most dangerous moves are much of the theory is quite illogical since there is so much computer analyses there, which makes it quite difficult for me to “invent” over the board. I have never been able to play a game past move 33 in the Poisoned Pawn (my win was also less than 33…). It seems at even this level (2250-2450), either of the opponents will make an opening mistake and the game shall end in grave consecuences with mate or a big material loss. The line in my experience was like playing blackjack instead of chess–one never knew what was to happen next. I also have problems with maintaining initiatives, so if I played the French Poisoned Pawn Winawer, I might simply lose all of my pawns and lose in the endgame. Perhaps I need to read Attack and Defence when it is released next week…

    I used to exclusively play 3…c5 4. exd5 exd5 against the Tarrasch. I have 4/4 there although my highest opponent was a 2300 there. But playing long positional chess in that line seems quite suitable despite my being an almost longlife Sicilian player.

    Advance I like that 5…Qb6 6. a3 c4 because it is a locked positional struggle whereby sometimes no pieces are exchanged for quite a long time. I used to play the Advance when I played 1. e4, and this line with the blocking 6…c4 seriously annoyed me, because I used to play the Advance as an attacking line.

    7…0-0 in the Winawer is one of my most favourite lines in all of chess. Probably because in 2002 that Kindermann and Dirr book inspired me, but I like the line a lot, which seems quite an unpopular stance since to me it simply seems neglected compared to the Poisoned Pawn. I like the long defensive lines and wearing out the kingside attack to eventually have a counterattack. It is basically a game of patience there.

    Classical with 7…Be7 is quite popular and on online games I get quite enjoyable positions, but the old 7…a6 is perenially solid. I also do not mind the endgames there.

    Wing Gambit with 4…c4–frustrating White’s plans and I do not think most who play this line enjoy playing against this reply.

  118. Ray
    September 18th, 2013 at 06:56 | #118

    @Blue Knight
    Seems I have the same reportoire in the French as you :-). I also prefer 5…Bd7 against the Advance and 3…Nf6 against the Tarrasch. However, I sometimes vary with the Steinitz / McCutcheon, which can also be quite exciting (escpecially the McCutcheon).

  119. Bebbe
    September 18th, 2013 at 13:44 | #119

    I have a similar approach as you. Besides my usual Najdorf and Kan I’m currently learning the French as a solid option. The French repertoire will consists of:

    3.Nd2, c5 4.exd5, exd5

    3.Nc3 Winawer 7.Qg4, 0-0 and 7. Nf3, b6. The Baby blues 6.- Qa5 is also interesting.

    I saw Berg is recommending 7.-h6 which I know nothing about.

  120. Bebbe
    September 18th, 2013 at 13:51 | #120

    By the way, I know Berg pretty well.
    Another option he might recommend in the Winawer is 6.-Qc7 7.Qg4, f5 which he has played a lot, especially in his younger years. I remember well his duels with swedish dragon legend GM Tomas Ernst in this variation.

  121. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 18th, 2013 at 21:21 | #121

    I had a feeling 6…Qc7 would be covered after having seen Berg play it multiple times in the database. But I think the GM14 book only covers lines without 7. Qg4, and I do not see 6…Qc7 there. So I suppose he may have focussed on both the Poisoned Pawn and 7…0-0 in the 7. Qg4 book (GM15).

  122. Bebbe
    September 18th, 2013 at 21:31 | #122

    @Gilchrist is a Legend

    Yes you are right. The excerpt of GM14 shows that only 6.- Ne7 is covered.
    I’m sure he will cover the poisoned pawn. I’m not sure he will cover 7. – 0-0 since I dont think he has played it.

  123. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 18th, 2013 at 21:39 | #123

    @Bebbe
    I saw him play it but not as much, but Jacob said both are in GM15, which was a nice surprise because I think the system is neglected, and not covered enough since Kindermann and Dirr in 2002 and Watson in 2003. At least readers can choose between either line though.

  124. Bebbe
    September 18th, 2013 at 22:01 | #124

    @Gilchrist is a Legend

    Ok thats great. Then it is more a question about which line efter 7.-0-0 8.Bd3 (the critical move) that will be covered. 8.- Nbc6 is the main line but he may come up with something unusual like he did with 7.Nf3, h6. 8.-Nbc6 has been analysed extensively during the last decade. What about 8.- b6? Is it playable?

  125. Bebbe
    September 18th, 2013 at 22:08 | #125

    No it is not playable. 9.Bg5 is the refutation. Very simple. 9.-Qc7 10.Bxh7+ with disaster.

  126. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 18th, 2013 at 22:27 | #126

    I found some games of his with 7…0-0:

    Kasimdzhanov-Berg 2006 1/2-1/2
    MAnca-Berg 2006 1/2-1/2
    Delchev-Berg 2006 0-1
    Souledis-Berg 2006 1/2-1/2

    He seems to have at least satisfactory results with it. He chooses 8. Bd3 Nbc6, so I wonder what he has in his GM15 book.

  127. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 19th, 2013 at 02:21 | #127

    @Bebbe
    The two main moves to 8. Bd3 are I think, 8…Nbc6 and 8…f5, with 8…Qa5 having theoretical problems. 8…Nbc6 has quite some long analysis and 8…f5 is somewhat calmer. It herefore must be either (or both) of these moves.

    After 8…Nbc6, 9. Qh5 Ng6 10. Nf3 Qc7 11. Be3 c4 12. Bxg6 fxg6 13. Qg4 Qf7 14. Ng5 Qe8 15. h4 h6 16. Nh3 probably could be a main line. Then I think there is a split with 16…Ne7, 16…Bd7, and 16…b5.

  128. Ray
    September 19th, 2013 at 07:11 | #128

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I prefer 8…f5 myself. I’m not that fond of lines with fxg6; I think they are a bit too passive.

  129. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 19th, 2013 at 07:55 | #129

    @Ray
    Both are quite interesting, 8…f5 is probably a more open game than 8…Nbc6 since if I remember correctly White basically must play 9. exf6 and open the pawn structure. The latter sometimes has blocked positions with mutual pawn breaks like Black trying to play …b5/…a5/…b4 and White g4/h4/h5 or f4/g4/f5. It would be interesting if Berg covered both, but I think 8…f5 is not as analysed as 8…Nbc6, or at least not yet.

  130. Jacob Aagaard
    September 19th, 2013 at 08:27 | #130

    As things such as 8…b6 and 8…Qa5 do not work, we will just cover everything else…

  131. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 19th, 2013 at 08:32 | #131

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I thought 8…Qa5 used to be a main line, but I am not sure who plays it now.

    That will be quite a large book with both 8…Nbc6 and 8…f5, and even more if there is some other line besides those two..

  132. Ray
    September 19th, 2013 at 09:54 | #132

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Great news!

  133. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 19th, 2013 at 22:31 | #133

    @Ray
    If you like 8…f5, I remember Carlsen played I think last year or this year, something like 10…Nd7 twice, I think draws in both. Two games does not mean that he plays it regularly, but if he played 7…0-0, perhaps he trusted in the line, hopefully it gives more popularity here.

  134. Blue Knight
    September 20th, 2013 at 05:35 | #134

    @Gilchrist is a Legend

    Yes, in GM15 we’ll see the Poisoned Pawn and 7… O-O This gives two variations, one very double-edge, complicated, unclear and already starting for attack and aiming for counterplay along the c-file and another more solid, calmer, as you said. So, every type of player should find his pleasure… 🙂

    And sometimes, in some situations in a tournament perhaps one variation may be more suitable than the other… if you can learn both. 😉

  135. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 20th, 2013 at 07:49 | #135

    Actually I had the move number wrong, it is 9…Rxf6 10. Bg5 Rf7 11. Qh5 g6 12. Qg4 Qa5 13. Bd2 Nd7, and I quite like this position for Black. This was Karjakin-Carlsen, São Paulo 2012 1/2-1/2. For some reason I forgot the other game though. In the same tournament Vallejo Pons played 8…Nbc6 against Carlsen and it looks like he got a good game, but lost.

  136. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 20th, 2013 at 07:50 | #136

    Sorry, I meant Vallejo Pons played 7…0-0 against Karjakin, as well as Carlsen.

  137. Ray
    September 20th, 2013 at 09:11 | #137

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    Indeed this is an interesting variation!

  138. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 21st, 2013 at 05:07 | #138

    Berg chose 7…h6 ofor 7. Nf3, so it would be interesting if this line was covered as well. It would be nice if Carlsen played 7…0-0 regularly, but he plays so many openings anyway. If someone can reinvigorate the Rustemow Variation (8…Qa5), that would be quite interesting as well, but it probably requires heavy analyses.

  139. Ray
    September 21st, 2013 at 07:14 | #139

    @Gilchrist is a Legend
    I doubt the Rustemow can be reinvigorated (to my regret). It’s refutation was pretty convincing to me, but you never know of course.

  140. Gilchrist is a Legend
    September 21st, 2013 at 07:43 | #140

    @Ray
    I am not sure if any effort on the line is not focussed much because the two main viable lines give good play, 8…Nbc6 and 8…f5. But covering those two is enough already, so 8…Qa5 would not be totally necessary, and Carlsen’s …Nd7 looks quite interesting. Watson covered both moves in 2003, and since the GM REpertoire French is divided with a sole volume on 7. Qg4, there should be enough space.

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