Busy busy busy

I am sorry that I do not have the time to write a proper blog post today. I have been working till 2am quite a number of nights in a row in order for our books to get sent to the printer before Christmas. Sadly this does not mean early January publication, as they are shut for a few weeks.

The following four books will most likely be released on the 4th of February:

Negi: 1.e4 vs. the Sicilian 1 (360 pages)

Flores Rios: Chess Structures – A Grandmaster Guide (464 pages)

Kotronias: Mar Del Plata 1 (320 pages)

Kotronias: Mar Del Plata 2 (300+ pages)

Furthermore we are preparing reprints of Playing the French, Grandmaster Preparation – Calculation (more about this next Monday) and of course the 10th anniversary hardback edition of Learn from the Legends.

Right now I am typesetting the first Kotronias book, which will be proof read from tomorrow morning. There is really some incredible chess in this book (which deals exclusively with the 9.Ne1 main line KID). One position I looked at a few moments ago was this one, arising after 25.Rxd7:

Here I will skip the details, but just give you the main line Vassilios has analysed:

25…Rg6!! 26.Bg1! Nxd7 27.Bb5 Rxa7 28.Qc2! Rb7 29.Bc6!? Rc7! 30.h3! Nxg2! 31.Qxg2 Qh6 32.Bb6 Nxb6 33.axb6 Rc8 34.b7 Rb8 35.Nd3 Rg5 36.Ra1 Rh5 37.Bd7! Rxb7 38.Be6† Kg7

Despite having played optimum moves in the last sequence, White is still struggling badly.

  1. wolfsblut
    December 15th, 2014 at 21:20 | #1

    Wow, that’s really great. But really make sure you will soon get a time-out of this hard work!
    I’ am grateful and looking forward to the forthcoming titles…including the first ‘Playing 1.e4’- book by John- sorry…have to say this every time….

  2. Chris
    December 16th, 2014 at 18:14 | #2

    Already bought’ em all. 🙂

  3. Ray
    December 16th, 2014 at 18:41 | #3

    Wow, I’m starting to drool 🙂 Another great line-up coming! 2015 hasn’t even started yet and I can already say it’ll be a great year 🙂

    I hope it’s not your habbit to make such long hours, because I doubt if it’s healthy… Please watch your health, because QC and we readers need you!

  4. Ray
    December 16th, 2014 at 18:43 | #4

    PS: another very postive review by Sadler in NIC Magazine, of Negi’s book!

  5. Jacob Aagaard
    December 16th, 2014 at 22:22 | #5

    Don’t worry! I have also been playing about 13 hours of tennis an average, keeping my physical form up! It is a bit like burning the candle in both ends, legs for tennis, head for QC. But as long as I do not have to drive any more people to the airport at 4.30am I am going to be fine. Soon comes Christmas and I will be off for a WHOLE week!

  6. onejuan
    December 16th, 2014 at 23:38 | #6

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Will there be some changes in your re-print edition of Playing the French?

  7. Paul
    December 16th, 2014 at 23:54 | #7


    And also Berg – both of which are excellent books in my view. But for me Sadler’s entire article was overshadowed by what he had to say about Bill Lombardy being (potentially) evicted from his home. Shocking. And not a whisper of this (so far as I have seen) on any chess website or in a publication before this.

  8. Senchean
    December 17th, 2014 at 03:55 | #8

    In the publication schedule there is a book titled Python Strategy by Tigran Petrosian. Is this by the actual world champion Tigran Petrosian and what is the book about? I can’t find any information on it and it’s slated for publication in Feburary.

  9. chris
    December 17th, 2014 at 07:50 | #9

    Bye the way, Kotronias once wrote here a correction or addition to the first volume, anybody knows where to find it?

  10. James
    December 17th, 2014 at 12:32 | #10

    @Jacob is there a possibility in the future that there will be a GM Repertoire or GM guide books for the Nimzo-Indian and QGD from the Black perspective? Also an updated Berlin Wall book taking into account how theory has moved on since the first edition would be great as well!

  11. John Shaw
    December 17th, 2014 at 13:27 | #11


    The Petrosian book is indeed by the real World Champion. We will give more details in the New Year, but right now we are working to get 4 new books and 3 reprints to the printer.

  12. John Shaw
    December 17th, 2014 at 13:28 | #12


    A Kotronias update/correction to the 1st Volume of his KID series? I don’t remember that, but my memory could be addled.

  13. John Shaw
    December 17th, 2014 at 13:33 | #13


    I would say Nimzo-Indian and QGD are very strong possibilities. Even likely.

    An updated Berlin is perhaps less likely, as so much of the book was about understanding, plans and standard endings – and all that still applies. But maybe John Cox is desperately keen on doing an update? I will ask him at the next 4ncl.

  14. chris
    December 17th, 2014 at 13:45 | #14


    I hardly remember it, but i think it was from Vasilios himself, a link leading to a side, maybe a blog by him. But really cant remember it excactly, and searching the internet for a blog or so didnt lead to success. But it WAS here. 🙂

  15. chris
    December 17th, 2014 at 13:47 | #15


    I hardly remember it, but i think it was from Vasilios himself, a link leading to a side, maybe a blog by him. But really cant remember it excactly, and searching the internet for a blog or so didnt lead to success. But it WAS here. 🙂

    It is about s line where he didnt feel confident for 100% and also gave another variation.

  16. Jacob Aagaard
    December 17th, 2014 at 14:34 | #16

    Not really. A few minor things changed.

  17. Michael Bartlett
    December 17th, 2014 at 15:02 | #17

    Hi All,

    I have a question not-related to this topic.

    I was wondering if anyone could recommend a good book that explains the process and techniques behind creating passed pawns – both in the center and with different combinations of pawn structures in majorities vs minoroties? I have been told to study the games of Kramnik, and an contemplating getting “Kramnik: move by move” but wondered if there are any other texts that cover this. I have the Soltis book on Pawn Play but it mainly is concerned with structures. Any help would be much appreciated.

  18. Thomas
    December 17th, 2014 at 15:15 | #18

    @Jacob Aagaard
    So will there be a pdf for those owning the first release?

  19. John Shaw
    December 17th, 2014 at 15:27 | #19


    Yes, when we do a reprint with corrections it is our standard policy to make the “new stuff” freely available. Quite often it is added to our newsletter, and certainly to the following “Updates” page: http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/docs/16/updates/

    Usually in cbv and pgn rather than pdf. In the case of “Playing the French” the changes made were few and tiny (maybe 3 or 4 points) so it seems we did a decent job the first time around.

  20. JJZG
    December 17th, 2014 at 15:39 | #20

    @Michael Bartlett

    check out Marovic’s books on pawn play

  21. JJZG
  22. Senchean
    December 17th, 2014 at 16:59 | #22

    @John Shaw
    Ok. Great. Thank you for replying.

  23. December 17th, 2014 at 17:00 | #23

    please include pdf excerpt of “chess structures grandmaster guide”…sounds like a very instructive book….

  24. Jacob Aagaard
    December 17th, 2014 at 17:15 | #24

    No. We are really talking typos. I will ask Nikos if he wants to do a cbv file for our main files with any details he has looked at.

  25. Jacob Aagaard
    December 17th, 2014 at 17:16 | #25

    I am very happy with that book. Really really happy.

  26. Michael Bartlett
    December 17th, 2014 at 17:19 | #26

    @Jacob Aagaard

    We can’t wait. PDF sample as early Christmas present to readers? 🙂

  27. Michael Bartlett
    December 17th, 2014 at 17:19 | #27


  28. Ray
    December 17th, 2014 at 18:07 | #28

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I love you reportoire in the French. I had a variation of the Steinitz with 9.a3 Qa5 10.dxc5 Bxc5 11.Nd4 on the board. This is not given in your book, but I got a good position quickly after 11…Qb6 by just following the simple and logical plan outlined in the book (..a5, …b5, and …Ba6). I lost the game, but that was certainly not due to the opening. Great stuff!

  29. Ray
    December 17th, 2014 at 18:08 | #29

    PS: Of course I should mention Nikos as well, because it’s basically his book!!

  30. Tom Tidom
    December 17th, 2014 at 19:16 | #30
  31. E4playerbyheart
    December 17th, 2014 at 20:34 | #31

    I really like your books but I’m wondering when the play 1.e4 books are due to be out. I know that there is a lot of anticipation for those books… Also, are there any news on which lines have been chosen for the project. I really hope to see the Italian game recommended, but maybe you are still sticking to the scotch.

  32. Jacob Aagaard
    December 17th, 2014 at 22:44 | #32

    No Italian. I would guess the first one would be out in March, but really, we have done poorly on this project 🙁

  33. chris
    December 18th, 2014 at 07:50 | #33

    Tom Tidom :@chris You are probably looking for this: http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/blog/?p=2122#comment-26116

    Yes, Reply 63 was it. Really great memory, and thanks for sharing Tom Tidom 🙂

  34. December 18th, 2014 at 10:51 | #34

    In the latest New In Chess there’s a Quality Chess advert which mentions a Semi-Slav book as coming soon, but I can’t find it on here. Am I missing something?

  35. John Shaw
    December 18th, 2014 at 12:01 | #35


    No, it’s our website that’s missing something. We will have a Semi-Slav book on the way in the New Year, and we will add it to the “Coming Soon” list. But right now, getting other books to the printer is our focus.

  36. Ray
    December 20th, 2014 at 18:22 | #36

    I just bought The Modern Tiger today. My first impression is very positive! I have played the Modern in the past (some 15 years ago) and this book really makes me want to take it up again, as a second weapon (next to the French and Slav of course). Over 500 pages on a supposedly ‘low-theory’ opening is pretty awsome 🙂

  37. Jacob Aagaard
    December 20th, 2014 at 21:42 | #37

    It just shows that you can always keep on analysing. The first draft we saw was very much like the first book, carried by inspiration and optimism. I would have liked to publish it then, but Tiger changed direction and the book grew and grew… The final book is great of course, I just fear that some people are scared by it being a bit big. But hopefully they understand that they are just getting lots of extra analysis for their money :-).


  38. jackson
    December 21st, 2014 at 17:45 | #38

    Was there a second print of the King’s Gambit with a new cover? If so were there any changes/updates?

  39. Ray
    December 22nd, 2014 at 07:11 | #39

    @Jacob Aagaard
    As far as I’m concerned: I really appreciate the extra analysis for my money 🙂 And I’m sure this is a must for all Modern aficionados. I think the reportoire is still manageable, since Tiger gives quite some choices for black, all games are completely given (so that adds quite some pages), and I’m following the earlier advice from you and Nikos to just enter the bold-faced moves in my database. I.m.o. thorough knowledge of theory is essential for the critical lines with f4, but not so much in many other lines (such as the Hippo).

  40. Bebbe
    December 22nd, 2014 at 08:04 | #40

    I really liked Negis first e4-book. In Februari there will be his next and the two Kotronias books on the Mar Del Plata, which is great! One of the most critical lines in the Mar Del Plata is 9.Ne1, Nd7 10.Be3, f5 11.f3, f4 12.Bf2, g5 13.Rc1. What is currently the best move for black here?

  41. gramsci
    December 22nd, 2014 at 09:43 | #41

    When is expected to be published Negi’s volume on the Ruy Lopez?

  42. Ray
    December 22nd, 2014 at 10:29 | #42

    In earlier post Jacob said (if I remember correctly) that the volume on 1.e5 e5 is the last in the series, with estimated publication somewhere in the end of 2015. But that might be shifted to 2016, because the volume on the Najdorf has also been delayed vs. the original estimation?

  43. John Johnson
    December 22nd, 2014 at 11:13 | #43

    Hurry and get some copies to the US will ya? Just having a rib, Merry Christmas guys, and find an American printer already.

  44. Bebbe
    December 22nd, 2014 at 18:21 | #44

    Why are there no good chess books on the Semi-Tarrasch or the vienna variation of the queens gambit? I think both openings are hard to crack and are both quite logical.

  45. Jacob Aagaard
    December 22nd, 2014 at 20:54 | #45

    “Chess Publishing Book of the Year” on the cover was the only serious change ;-).

  46. Jacob Aagaard
    December 22nd, 2014 at 20:55 | #46

    I think in this book and other “full game” books at times you need to abandon the main line and go for the main line given in the note where the player made a mistake…

  47. Jacob Aagaard
    December 22nd, 2014 at 20:57 | #47

    First off we are trying to get through the next two volumes. Volumes 2 – The Sicilian 1 (6.Bg5 Najdorf) went to the printer Thursday and will be out 3rd February if all goes well and a good deal earlier on Forward Chess. 1.e4 e5 will indeed be the last volume in the series.

  48. Jacob Aagaard
    December 22nd, 2014 at 21:02 | #48

    @John Johnson
    I have no idea why US printers are so expensive. But anyway, 2-4 shops in the US gets the book 1 day after they are out.

  49. Jacob Aagaard
    December 22nd, 2014 at 21:03 | #49

    Maybe because they are rather boring?

  50. Bebbe
    December 22nd, 2014 at 22:07 | #50

    @Jacob Aagaard

    I have to agree that the Semi-Tarrasch is a rather boring “standard” opening.
    But the Vienna is not. There are many sharp positions i the vienna.
    As an example:

    1.d4, Nf6 2.c4, e6 3.Nf3, d5 4.Nc3, dxc4 5.e4, Bb4 6. Bg5, c5 7.e5, cxd4 8. Qa4+, Nc6 9.0-0-0

    This is not boring.

  51. TonyRo
    December 22nd, 2014 at 23:13 | #51

    Any estimate on when Negi 2 will arrive on Forward Chess?

  52. Ray
    December 23rd, 2014 at 07:32 | #52

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Absolutely! Tiger gives many improvements for black in his notes to the games. So actually I think the reportoire is quite manageable.

  53. Ray
    December 23rd, 2014 at 07:35 | #53

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Any chance you can put the excerpts on your website then before Christmas? Would be very nice, but of course I can imagine you have more pressing business 🙂

  54. Jacob Aagaard
    December 23rd, 2014 at 07:50 | #54

    Few play like this for White. Mainly people play 7.Bxc4 and Black tries to draw in long boring lines.

  55. Jacob Aagaard
    December 23rd, 2014 at 07:50 | #55

    Sorry, I don’t know. But maybe the FC guys will chip in?

  56. Jacob Aagaard
    December 23rd, 2014 at 07:51 | #56

    I have a feeling Colin could put something up today.

  57. JJZG
    December 23rd, 2014 at 08:40 | #57

    Approximately how many hours are needed to study the modern book ? (mainlines and ideas)
    I’m participating in the EICC in 9 weeks and haven’t yet decided on my defenses.

  58. pabstars
    December 23rd, 2014 at 09:12 | #58

    I believe that the number of hours partly depends on your strength. The stronger you are, the shorter time it will take. I played through all games and all variations in the Schandorff books Playing 1. d4 in a little less than two months using two hours a day on it in average. If you don’t want to go through all variations in the Modern you can probably do it a bit faster than me; I’m really looking forward to enjoying this book tomorrow night…

  59. Zhan Wei
    December 23rd, 2014 at 11:58 | #59

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I am voracious reader through kindle Any chance of books being released in kindle ?

  60. Ray
    December 23rd, 2014 at 14:59 | #60

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I just saw the excerpts – they all look very promising to me. I can’t wait until february, fortunately I have Tiger’s book to get me through teh Christmas Holidays 🙂 Very nice in the excerpt of Kotronias Mar del Plata 9.Ne1 were his comments with the move …g5-g4!! about the judgment of the engines 🙂

  61. Chris
    December 23rd, 2014 at 16:47 | #61

    Some lines kicked out in the mar del plata II in the last minute?
    All 3 other books have the same number of pages as predicted. only the mentioned dropped from 300+ too 280. Its just an observation 😀

  62. John Shaw
    December 23rd, 2014 at 17:03 | #62


    No – no mass deletions (at least as far as I know). We had the first 3 books secured a while back, but the final page count of MdP2 at that time was an educated guess. Normally our books expand and expand, but this one did not.

  63. JJZG
    December 24th, 2014 at 09:11 | #63


    Thanks for sharing your experience. The thing is that I will mainly focus on calculation and the endgame (from the grandmaster prep series), to be in good shape at the tournament. So not enough time to start studying a new opening with unfamiliar positions. Will stick to a reread of Cox’s Berlin Wall.

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