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Mihail Marin – Compulsive Writer…

Today we got a bit of a surprise. The world’s best chess writer (in my opinion), Mihail Marin, has been writing a book on the English for us for some time.  He is actually a good bit over his deadline.

What he said today, is that besides the 128 pages on 1.c4 c6 I have already seen – he has written another 250 or so pages on 1.c4 e5.

As the English covers a good deal more than just these two lines, and because there are only so many pages you can have in a book before it becomes a brick, we have simply no choice.

The already announced book will be two volumes. It is slightly annoying, but we can survive. I hope the readers can forgive us. What was originally thought to be a quick 128 page book on a simple opening has become one of the most ambitious chess books of modern times.

It is widely recognised that Boris Avrukh started the GM Repertoire series with a bang. Now it seems that Marin will keep the level way up high.

I feel sorry for the poor guy who has to write the 1.e4 books (we are planning 3 at this moment, but this will maybe be 20?).

Jacob Aagaard

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  1. Abramov Anjuhin
    March 25th, 2009 at 13:33 | #1

    Citation: “I feel sorry for the poor guy who has to write the 1.e4 books (we are planning 3 at this moment, but this will maybe be 20?).”

    Well Mr. Aagaard I think that this “poor guy” is you:)

    If I only could I would sue you to the Supreme Chess Court because you thwarted off, for the time being, my constitutional right for GM 1e4 Repertoire 🙂

    Regarding Marin’s book I’m glad the he decided to make 2 tomes. If you are true to your cover blurbs then you must be happy that it will be 2 books on 1c4.


    Well people don’t want to have again an “ideal and complete opening repertoire in 150 pages that lasts till death”, but on the contrary a lifetime repertoire, and even if it costs much more and even if it consists of 2-3-4 books in a row.

    So Jacob start writing 1e4 repertoire right now so that for Christmas I can embrace the first tome in my hands.

  2. March 25th, 2009 at 20:26 | #2

    I bought 1. d4 which is excellent. I wil buy both 1 c4 books, since Marin was the writer. If you continue like that, probably I will buy all 20 1e4 books! Thanks for not compromising.

  3. Jacob Aagaard
    March 26th, 2009 at 09:44 | #3

    I actually wanted to cut the Marin book, so that it would fit, but I could see nothing I would not sourly miss. So, a two volume it is.

    I am thinking that the 1.e4 books will be 7) French and less critical Defences. 8) 1.e4 e5 9 1.e4 c5.

    It is my plan to write on all three at the same time and have them out with a short interval in the spring next year. As Anne is 21 weeks pregnant I will not be able to do it any faster.

  4. Lyndell
    March 26th, 2009 at 12:58 | #4

    I am looking forward to these books. 128 pages on 1. c4 c6 is astounding. Let me guess – he proposes 2. e4 !?

  5. John Shaw
    March 26th, 2009 at 14:08 | #5


    I’m not sure how much I should say at this stage, but I think I can safely say it will not be 2.e4 after 1.c4 c6, and it will not be a transposition to the Slav either. Mihail seems to have plenty of ideas without switching to any lines that normally start from 1.e4 or 1.d4.

  6. Lyndell
    March 26th, 2009 at 15:32 | #6

    That is interesting to hear. The weakness of most English repertoire books for years have been how they deal with 1…c6 and 1…e6 as well as 1…Nf6 2….e6 and 1…Nf6 2…c6.
    I understand you don’t want to save your thunder and I look forward to seeing what solutions Marin comes up with.

  7. Jacob Aagaard
    March 26th, 2009 at 17:51 | #7

    Both books are on the site under Coming soon (maybe we should change it to sometime…). As you can see from the cover, the books do indeed cover everything!

  8. GK
    March 28th, 2009 at 15:29 | #8

    well, if you avoid 1.c4 c6 2.e4 and the Slav, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out you’re heading for some Reti-like setup if Black plays c6 followed by d5. maybe something similar to what Nigel Davies suggests in his “The Dynamic Reti”.

  9. Jacob Aagaard
    March 30th, 2009 at 11:22 | #9

    Not saying anything bad about Davies, but neither I nor Mihail has looked at his lines yet, so I cannot comment on this. I have gone over Mihail’s lines, and they are to a great extend based on new discoveries and a very ambitious mode of play.

  10. March 31st, 2009 at 18:22 | #10

    Compliments with your work. I buy 80% of Qualitychess’ titles and 100% of Marins.
    Do I understand from the site that volume 2 of 1.c4 will be published before volume 1 !?

  11. John Shaw
    April 1st, 2009 at 10:11 | #11


    Glad you like our books.

    As Jacob suggests in a new post, on the site our Coming Books order is misbehaving. We will publish Marin’s 1.c4 in traditional order, One then Two.

  12. April 4th, 2009 at 23:25 | #12

    Great site this qualitychess.co.uk and I am really pleased to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor 🙂

  13. L
    April 22nd, 2009 at 16:13 | #13

    Might the world’s best chess author be persuaded to tackle the Pirc next??

  14. John Shaw
    April 22nd, 2009 at 20:29 | #14


    I don’t think Mihail Marin’s next book will be on the Pirc, but it’s one to consider for the future. It’s certainly an opening in which he has a lot of experience.

  15. Boris
    April 23rd, 2009 at 13:49 | #15

    Just one comment on Grandmaster Repertoire 1.e4 , although it is unfortunatly quite far away to be published. I think it will be most imprtant to focus on the really important variations, and not spend to much time with rare subvariation who 1. nobody plays and 2. more important nobody can remember during a real game. I think that the otherwise excellent Khalifman series suffer from this disease.
    So it would be great to focus on that, what you really have to know (I think GM Markus made a similiar point in his book Beating the KID).
    Keep up the excellent work, nearly every book ranges from very good to exeptional which you publish,

  16. HAL
    April 26th, 2009 at 16:31 | #16

    All these very great books are on White repertoire. This is ok but do you think also at Black? Will there be a Black repertoire?


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