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Excerpts and books for sale

So we landed on November 1st for publication of Grandmaster Repertoire – The Pirc Defence by Mihail Marin, Sharp Endgames by Esben Lund and The Thinkers our photography book by super photographer David Llada. All three are available in our webshop for purchase.

Besides this concrete date, nothing is really changed from the previous publishing schedule. We are working hard to complete books. Lots of them, hopefully, over the winter months.

Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags:
  1. mr
    October 8th, 2017 at 11:03 | #1

    Sharp Endgames looks like a great book. At what rating group is it aimed ?

    In ‘Pump up your rating’ Axel shared a link to an endgame database, (100 endgame positions he finds important) but I couldn’t find it on your website ?
    The link he provided http://qualitychess.co.uk/ebooks/pumpupyourratingendgames.pgn

  2. dextro53
    October 8th, 2017 at 12:37 | #2

    When is the taimanov gm repertoire going to be released and who is writing it?

  3. Jacob Aagaard
    October 8th, 2017 at 13:21 | #3

    See, if we wanted to release that information, we would write it in our publishing schedules. What we have said is that we are working on it, no promises 🙂

  4. James2
    October 8th, 2017 at 18:42 | #4

    Hi all at QC,

    I know there are 2 books covering the open games (Marin, 10 years old now) and Nikos 1 e4 e5 but are there any plans to do either a) a GM Repertoire on the Open games from black’s perspective and or b) any book (GM Repertoire or not) on any lines of the Ruy Lopez (e.g. on 6..Bc5).

    Thank you.


  5. Jacob Aagaard
    October 8th, 2017 at 22:33 | #5

    No 🙂

  6. A Davies
    October 9th, 2017 at 05:43 | #6

    The following link works for me;
    If it goes that doesn’t then try the article from John Hartman’s review website;
    The link from there is in the third to last paragraph.
    Hope this helps mate!

  7. A Davies
    October 9th, 2017 at 05:45 | #7
  8. Reyk
    October 9th, 2017 at 12:16 | #8

    Many thanks, Davies!

  9. Leon Trotsky
    October 10th, 2017 at 05:21 | #9

    So the Pirc excerpt is up, I was wondering if it is 4. Ae3 c6 ? I cannot tell if this is the reply for 4. Ae3. Is the Classical the line with 6…c6?

  10. mr
    October 10th, 2017 at 16:12 | #10

    Thanks A Davies

    I started studying theoretical endgames, and suddenly I have problems with tactics, anyone else ever had this problem ? (perhaps its the cold I have)

  11. October 10th, 2017 at 18:45 | #11


    Have to agree that the extracts Quality offer are often pretty disappointing in so far as working out the repertoire lines the author has chosen. I play the Pirc but am reluctant to buy this book based on the index provided.

    I think Chess Stars do this aspect really well.

  12. The Doctor
    October 10th, 2017 at 19:04 | #12


    I gave to agree. I mentioned the same thing a while back.

  13. Jacob Aagaard
    October 10th, 2017 at 19:16 | #13

    We will take your feedback into account. Thanks

  14. James2
    October 10th, 2017 at 20:04 | #14

    I’ve you’ve noticed with Chess Stars, they generally work ‘ECO forward’ and by that I mean if you look at the Kornev King’s Indian book, they work from E60 to E99. I’m not saying it is always the case but it is generally the case where they can.


  15. Leon Trotsky
    October 10th, 2017 at 22:12 | #15

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I think it would be nice to have the entire Table of Contents with each chapter starting the move sequence from move 1. This allows buyers to see the lines given, especially in excerpts, but also when browsing quickly in a chess book store.

    Of course this does not matter to me in this case, because I shall buy the Pirc book anyway :). But it helps also when reading the book, to know in which sequence to study each chapter.

  16. Leon Trotsky
    October 10th, 2017 at 22:20 | #16

    @Jacob Aagaard
    For example, in the Pirc excerpt, for the 4. Ae3 chapters, there are three: 5. Cf3, 5. h3, 5. Dd2. The problem is that these moves are all viable against both 4…c6 and 4…Ag7, and I cannot tell which is the recommendation for Black.

  17. Andrew Greet
    October 11th, 2017 at 11:47 | #17

    Against 4.Be3, Marin recommends 4…c6. After 5.Nf3 he gives 5…Bg7, while both 5.h3 and 5.Qd2 are met by 5…c6.
    Against the Classical, he gives 6…c6.
    I hope this helps.

  18. Thomas
    October 11th, 2017 at 11:50 | #18

    @Andrew Greet
    So Marin recommends 4.Be3 c6 5.Qd2 c6 ? #Confused

  19. Jacob Aagaard
    October 11th, 2017 at 12:27 | #19

    @Leon Trotsky
    I would probably want to do it a bit differently, but I understand the sentiment and we shall discuss it internally.

  20. Andrew Greet
    October 11th, 2017 at 13:14 | #20


    Apologies for the typo. Against 5.h3 and 5.Qd2 he recommends 5…Nbd7.

  21. Leon Trotsky
    October 11th, 2017 at 18:41 | #21

    @Andrew Greet
    Thanks. Against 5…c5 6. Ab5+ in the Austrian, does Marin recommend 8…Axb5 9. exf7+ and putting the king of d7 or f8, or allow the repetition with 8…fxe6?

  22. Ray
    October 12th, 2017 at 05:45 | #22

    Marin is never running away from a draw, so he’ll probably go for 8…fxe6 🙂

  23. Andrew Greet
    October 12th, 2017 at 16:02 | #23

    Marin recommends 8…fxe6, while also providing some analysis of 8…Bxb5 9.exf7+ Kf8 as a way of keeping the game going.

    I’m not a Pirc player; but if I was, I would deal with the draw problem as follows. I’d have Marin’s book as my main reference work, and would use it to have 5…c5 as an option in games where an early draw wouldn’t be a problem. However, I’d also probably supplement it with either The Modern Tiger or some other book with good coverage of 5…0-0, in order to vary my responses and avoid the drawing line against much weaker opponents or in other must-win games.

  24. Leon Trotsky
    October 13th, 2017 at 01:02 | #24

    @Andrew Greet
    In some FIDE events where they have some no-draw rule before move 30 or whatever, are repetitions allowed? Still it is good that he provided two lines though.

    In the 5…c5 line, another crucial option is when White goes 6. dxc5 Da5 7. Dd4. If I am not mistaken, someone here recommended this line for a book? 🙂

  25. Jacob Aagaard
    October 13th, 2017 at 08:13 | #25

    @Leon Trotsky
    Yes, repetitions are not draw agreements.

  26. Andrew Greet
    October 13th, 2017 at 10:52 | #26

    @Leon Trotsky

    Hmm, 7.Qd4… looks to me like a real patzer’s move!
    Joking aside, of course it’s covered in the book, and Mihail has found a good solution.

  27. Isolani
    October 13th, 2017 at 15:48 | #27

    Jacob Aagaard :
    We will take your feedback into account. Thanks

    At last! I used to complain here about all those uninformative excerpts but get tired (and saved some money).
    By the way, I find d4d5 excerpt quite good from an informative point of view, so my standards may be not that extravagants. Nikos intro is just what I like to know on the lines covered before buying. Of course, a more concrete opening may require a bit more detail but it’s fine for me.
    On the other side, the Nimzo excerpt is really, really a step too far in the art of saying nothing on the lines covered.

  28. James2
    October 14th, 2017 at 07:07 | #28

    I don’t see Negi 5 or Avrukh 2A on the coming soon list. I think it has been mentioned recently that Avrukh will be out this year but I can’t remember. We haven’t heard much about Negi in a while.

    Any further information on these two at the moment please?

    Thank you.


  29. Jacob Aagaard
    October 14th, 2017 at 12:27 | #29

    We are hoping to get 2A out December/January

  30. James2
    October 14th, 2017 at 13:26 | #30

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Ahhh, good!

    Thanks Jacob!!

  31. Fredrik23
    October 14th, 2017 at 14:17 | #31

    Hi Jacob,
    My elo is around 2100. I started to play since I was a kid, reach 2100 around 5 years ago and didn’t make any real progress. I have never studied chess properly, mostly I was reading some books, have some lessons with a coach and play a great amount of blitz games over the internet.

    I decide to take chess seriously and try to reach 2500. I can put 1 hour per day of “quality” time. I don’t care how long is going to take to reach this level, so I don’t to focus just on something short term like opening preparation.

    How would you study chess if you were in my situation?
    Do you think a coach would be useful in my situation? One of my biggest problem is that I am not sure on what are my main strength and weaknesses as a player. If you were me, how would you choose a good coach and what you do you think is the best way to take advantage of having a coach?

    Thank you for your help,

  32. Thomas
    October 15th, 2017 at 05:47 | #32

    Agreed. I also didn’t buy any Agatha Christie book because they never told the name of the murderer in the summary on the cover, so I couldn’t decide if I liked it.

  33. Jacob Aagaard
    October 15th, 2017 at 06:22 | #33

    I am sure there is a middle ground to be found and we will investigate it over the next two weeks before the next release.

  34. Timotheos Lirindzakis
    October 15th, 2017 at 11:26 | #34

    I would like to ask about the possibility for a book about the Queen`s Indian defence from Black point of view.When and who will be the author?Thank you very much.

  35. Johnnyboy
    October 15th, 2017 at 14:46 | #35

    Have to say I would prefer more information here. Haven’t bought key concepts in gambit play as some of the gambit names in the excerpts are too vague eg “scotch”… could be any of a number of gambits or a brief coverage of all. At a bookstall you could browse through the book to see if they were of interest to you but you are buying an expensive book…

  36. Johnnyboy
    October 15th, 2017 at 14:49 | #36

    … In the dark when buying it online or through forward chess.
    On a positive note you got a great write up for all your work and methods from Ghopade in today’s Isle of Man article on chessbase news. Congratulations

  37. kingfury
    October 15th, 2017 at 18:00 | #37

    @Jacob Aagaard

    Does Nikolaos cover/have a line against the 6.Qc2 in the queen’s gambit exchange variation?As you can see this is the white repertoire of Lars in his Playing 1.d4 .

  38. Alfonso Gisbert
    October 15th, 2017 at 18:51 | #38

    Dear Jacob,

    Who is going to be The author of playing the najdorf? And when is planned to be out?

  39. Ray
    October 16th, 2017 at 05:53 | #39


    Absolutely! If you (want to) play the QGD, you should definitely buy this book – it’s brilliant!

  40. Jacob Aagaard
    October 16th, 2017 at 08:37 | #40

    @Timotheos Lirindzakis
    Hopefully Roiz and hopefully early next year. But let us see how things work out.

  41. Jacob Aagaard
    October 16th, 2017 at 08:38 | #41

    Thank you

  42. Jacob Aagaard
    October 16th, 2017 at 08:38 | #42

    @Alfonso Gisbert
    Next year and it is too early to mention his name.

  43. kingfury
    October 16th, 2017 at 12:30 | #43


    Thanks!Yes I’d definitely buy the QGD book of Nikolaos.

  44. James
    October 18th, 2017 at 10:48 | #44

    @Jacob is there any chance of a new Caro-Kann (C-K) rep book in the future? I’d love to see Ntirlis have a go at it, especially after his great success with the QGD book. I’d love a book just like that, but for the C-K. Perhaps offering a more ‘practical’ and/or ‘solid’ approach like Karpov used to play it, than some of the more recent C-K reps published by rival publishers. That said, I would buy it even if it offered modern sharp lines. The more reps published on the C-K the merrier!

  45. James2
    October 18th, 2017 at 11:52 | #45

    Chess Stars are releasing book 2 of Kornev’s Black repertoire with ..d5 and ..c6 in November.


  46. James2
    October 18th, 2017 at 13:05 | #46

    Hi John,

    Just a polite enquiry to see how you are getting on with your second Playing 1 e4 book?

    Thank you.


  47. James2
    October 18th, 2017 at 14:32 | #47

    Hi Andrew,

    I just wanted to ask if (in Marin’s new Pirc book) is 2 g3 or 2 c4 covered, with the white intention of trying to achieve a Botvinnik English set up (whilst perhaps not transposing to the fianchetto chapter?). You could always meet that system with d6/Nf6/g6/Bg7/0-0 and then ..c5 (not blocking the bishop’s diagonal) but sometimes I feel that this gives white what he wants which is to play h3, f4-f5 and hack away on the kingside.

    Thank you very much.


  48. Jacob Aagaard
    October 18th, 2017 at 21:53 | #48

    Not short term

  49. Jacob Aagaard
    October 18th, 2017 at 21:54 | #49

    John is making progress, but it is an ambitious piece of work…

  50. Christoph
    October 18th, 2017 at 22:12 | #50

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Since you’re making the announcement for this particular book for (at least) over a year now, you should clearly overthink your marketing strategy.
    I feel kind of fooled about the announcement when you’re saying “Winter 2016”, “Spring 2017”, “Summer 2017”, “Autumn 2017”, “Winter 2017/18”.
    So, will Berlin finish their airport before you’re publishing the second part of Playing 1. e4?

  51. Ray
    October 19th, 2017 at 05:57 | #51

    @ Jacob Aagaard

    Fitting the French and Open Sicilian into one volume (of non-biblical size) while still providing a reasonably complete and ambitious repertoire sounds next to impossible to me… Negi needed 4 volumes for this, so I guess 2 volumes would already be a challenge.

  52. Jacob Aagaard
    October 19th, 2017 at 08:25 | #52

    The problem comes from running a company at the same time and be home by tea-time…

  53. Ray
    October 19th, 2017 at 09:32 | #53

    With these challenging boundary conditions it will be downright heroic to finish such an ambitious book 🙂

  54. Thomas
    October 19th, 2017 at 11:13 | #54

    Ever considered hiring a ghost writer? Some names come to mind that could write such a book over a weekend. Well, the results might not exactly comply to QC-standards…

  55. Andrew Greet
    October 19th, 2017 at 11:49 | #55

    Yes, he considers 2.c4 and suggests a good antidote against the Botvinnik set-up.

  56. James2
    October 19th, 2017 at 11:54 | #56

    @Andrew Greet
    Ahha! Good. Sometimes those things might slip through the net, but I would have been very surprised if wasn’t in there somewhere.

    Thanks Andrew.


  57. Pinpon
    October 19th, 2017 at 18:08 | #57

    We are all expecting John’s autobiography ” My Life in the Dungeon ”
    Maybe 2018 ?

  58. The Lurker
    October 19th, 2017 at 20:28 | #58

    Pinpon :
    We are all expecting John’s autobiography ” My Life in the Dungeon ”
    Maybe 2018 ?

    Shhhh!!! We don’t want to give John any ideas! Next thing we know, he will write “My Life in the Dungeon” before he finishes “Playing 1. e4”. “Dungeon” will then be stretched into a series, “A Tale of Mire and Lice”. Then he’ll take 6 years converting that into a critically acclaimed cable TV series. Then 6 years after that, he’ll release a prequel, “A Knight of the Seven Chessboards”…

  59. kingfury
    October 22nd, 2017 at 08:40 | #59


    I’d like to inquire about Michael Roiz’s main recommendation on 4.e3 and 4.Qc2 main line?As I’d like to use this book together with Playing 1.d4 d5 of Nikos.Wiaiting for the book of Nikos to arrive.
    Thanks in advance.

  60. Jacob Aagaard
    October 22nd, 2017 at 11:50 | #60

    We don’t do repertoire revelations before the book is at the printer.

  61. PaulH
    October 22nd, 2017 at 13:29 | #61

    If you are talking about the Nimzo book, which I think you are, it is e3 O-O, with the Bd3 line met by d5. For Qc2, it is d5 lines.

  62. Jacob Aagaard
    October 22nd, 2017 at 14:20 | #62

    Gosh yeah, I thought it was the QID book 🙂

  63. kingfury
    October 22nd, 2017 at 15:54 | #63



  64. Leon Trotsky
    October 24th, 2017 at 08:08 | #64

    Is the Forward Chess version published on the given date at QC local time or another timezone?

  65. Johnnyboy
    October 25th, 2017 at 15:01 | #65

    Wee question on pricing on Forward Chess . Have accepted that you must have some agreement with Boris as his books are all priced higher than the other qc tomes as he is a big ‘name’ in chess but why is Sharp Endgames similarly priced higher. Can’t be just a ‘prices are going up’ as Marin released on same day but has a bigger name and reputation as an author and his book is bigger but priced cheaper. Thanks

  66. Ray
    October 25th, 2017 at 16:46 | #66

    Marin cheaper? I see on Forward Chess that both GM Pirc and Sharp Endgames are priced $ 19,99.

  67. Johnnyboy
    October 25th, 2017 at 16:57 | #67

    its 17.99 lund and 13.99 marin in uk pounds

  68. Johnnyboy
    October 25th, 2017 at 16:58 | #68

    looks like a pricing mistake

  69. Johnnyboy
    October 25th, 2017 at 16:59 | #69

    are the gelfand books more expensive than standard in the us then as here?

  70. Pinpon
    October 25th, 2017 at 17:14 | #70

    Same price in euros .
    Most probably a Brexit effect 🙂

  71. Johnnyboy
    October 25th, 2017 at 17:17 | #71

    final straw for Theresa May if chess book consequences for Brexit- mass revolt in the streets

  72. bebbe
    October 26th, 2017 at 09:19 | #72

    What is Roiz recomendation against 4.f3 in the NID?

    Is the queens gambit toally harmless for black now after Nikos 1.d4, d5?
    What is whites best shot at an edge after 1.d4, d5? Catalan?
    I know nikos recomend 4.-dxc4 5.Nf3, a6 against the catalan,
    What is his recomendations against 6.Ne5 and 6.0-0?

  73. bebbe
    October 26th, 2017 at 09:22 | #73

    Should be 4.-dxc4 5.Bg2, a6

  74. bebbe
    October 26th, 2017 at 09:28 | #74

    Is the Catalan a good choice for an attacking player?
    Some lines were black takes the pawn and try to hang on to it are really exciting.
    The mainline 6.-dxc4 and the closed Catalan can however be quite dull.

    Some lines in the Bogoindian after 1.d4, Nf6 2.c4, e6 3.g3, Bb4+ can also be quite dull.

    Currently I play the 4.f3 NID which almost always leads to exciting play.

  75. James2
    October 26th, 2017 at 12:28 | #75

    Just a thought, why don’t you buy the book and find out?


  76. James2
    October 26th, 2017 at 12:35 | #76

    Hi all,

    I have already ordered the new Marin Pirc book which will be released next week, but I wanted to ask if anybody who has already purchased the electronic version what their initial thoughts are? Also, if they have the Kornev Pirc book from the end of last year, how does it compare to that.

    Thank you very much.


  77. John Shaw
    October 26th, 2017 at 15:20 | #77

    Johnnyboy :
    its 17.99 lund and 13.99 marin in uk pounds

    Lund and Marin on Forward Chess look the same UK pound price as each other on my devices (as they should be). Maybe something was changed by FC since you commented.

  78. October 26th, 2017 at 17:49 | #78


    Roiz gives 4…c5 against 4 f3.

    The Catalan tends to be more about building on small positional advantages than direct attacks.

  79. PaulH
    October 26th, 2017 at 22:08 | #79

    Mr Sadler does not like the e3 poison book in latest New in Chess. First negative QC review I can recall….but having read the book I thought he makes some good points.

  80. James2
    October 26th, 2017 at 22:59 | #80

    Hi Jacob,

    I know Kotronias has completed his work on the King’s Indian, but I was wondering if there was any chance he might be considering a book on 1 d4 sidelines, together with lines against the English and Reti (and perhaps 1 b3, f4, etc) from a King’s Indian player’s perspective. I think while it would be popular the answer will perhaps be ‘No’…..

    Anyway, thank you.


  81. Johnnyboy
    October 27th, 2017 at 00:22 | #81

    @John Shaw
    Yes price change same as yours on my device too

  82. Ray
    October 27th, 2017 at 08:12 | #82

    I think I read somewhere (on this blog?) that Kotronias has quit writing chess books?

  83. Cowe
    October 27th, 2017 at 09:59 | #83

    @Bebbe on Catalan vs Nimzo, adding to Michael’s comment:
    – With Nf3 and g3 White is buying King safety, which is especially important in rapid games. Clearly you can’t expect king safety AND attacking chances, so be ready for a long game, barring the occasional blunder on the long diagonal.
    – Quite often White has to sacrifce a queenside pawn for uncertain compensation (e.g. stranded b7 bishop), “uncertain” being related to players strength. There’s a risk for White to let the compensation slip away whitout even noticing. See if it fits your style.

    If you like exciting chess and you’re happy with the f3 nimzo, imo there’s no reason to move to Catalan, which is primarioly an anti-nimzo option. Just my 2c of course.

  84. Bebbe
    October 27th, 2017 at 12:14 | #84


    Thanks for your advice!

    I want to keep my 4.f3 Nimzo. It really fits my style better than the Catalan.

    The Catalan is a good safe extra option that can be used against 1.d4, Nf6 2.c4, e6, against 1.d4, d5 2.c4, e6 and the triangle system. I dont mind sacrificing a pawn for uncertain compensation. The king is safer than in the f3-Nimzo.

    What really concerns me are the dull variations (closed, bogo) and also the Benoni after 1.d4, Nf6 2.c4, e6 3.g3 since I play the Taimanov against the Benoni which fits wit the NID.

  85. Jacob Aagaard
    October 27th, 2017 at 13:58 | #85

    Kotronias has indeed taken a break from writing after writing a lot over a few years.

  86. James2
    October 27th, 2017 at 14:48 | #86

    Thanks Ray, and thanks Jacob. That’s a shame as it would have been a nice subject to get his views on.

    Thanks all.


  87. Ray
    October 27th, 2017 at 14:58 | #87

    I.m.o. the Catalan set-up is pretty harmless against the Triangle System (see e.g. Scherbakov’s book on the Triangle).

  88. Bebbe
    October 27th, 2017 at 15:47 | #88


    I do not agree. What do you play after 1.d4,d5 2.c4,e6 3.Nf3,c6 4.g3?

  89. Bebbe
    October 27th, 2017 at 15:51 | #89

    Thinking of sticking to the f3 nimzo and play the Catalan only after the Queen’s gambit moveorder. If black plays 3.-d5 instead of nimzo there is cxd5.

  90. Jacob Aagaard
    October 27th, 2017 at 16:11 | #90

    The Noteboom is not in a good shape at the moment though 🙁

  91. Ray
    October 27th, 2017 at 17:02 | #91

    I suggest you look it up yourself in Scherbakov’s book…

  92. Ray
    October 27th, 2017 at 17:02 | #92

    @Jacob Aagaard
    That’s true 🙂

  93. Ray
    October 27th, 2017 at 17:05 | #93

    If I were you I would switch to 1.e4. I’ve tried the Catalan myself a few times (and I have also played the 4.f3 Nimzo), but it’s an awful lot of theory and it’s so flexible that most of the time I don’t have a clue what to do. When I played 1.d4, I preferred the QG Exchange, since the plans are quite clear. But of course in the meantime this has been defused by Nikos 🙂

  94. Seth
    October 27th, 2017 at 19:44 | #94

    Hi! I was unsure where to post this question. Hopefully this is OK.

    Would Nikolaos have a recommendation against 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Nf6 4.b3? This annoying sideline is rather popular around these parts. Any areas (like games) to base further my further investigations would be really appreciated.

    I love this book, by the way! The introductions in the chapters serve as a nice foundation to teach this opening to my students. I also want to play some of these lines. 10/10 Would buy again. 🙂

  95. Bebbe
    October 27th, 2017 at 19:46 | #95


    I have, he recommends 4.-dxc4 5. Bg2, b5, very sharp and critical.

    I do not think there is less theory after1.e4 if White plays mainline theory.
    Played it a lot as junior and tried it again in some games ten years ago.
    I like being white in the Sicilian, but had problems against the e5 French and the Caro.
    The French is also very flexible and difficult strategically. I got outplayed pretty badly in a couple of French games against strong opponents.

    The Petroff and the Berlin is not my cup of tea. Some of the e4 lines ebbs out to quickly.

    Personally I think d4 is the most combative move, but this is of course.

    Appreciate your advice but have already tried this.

    I agree that the Catalan is very theoretical and is hard to play well.
    But the queens gambit seems a dead end right now.

  96. Bebbe
    October 27th, 2017 at 19:47 | #96

    This is of course a matter of taste.

  97. Bebbe
    October 27th, 2017 at 19:49 | #97

    The f3-nimzo is not that theoretical. It is a great fighting weapon I think.

  98. mn
    October 28th, 2017 at 03:31 | #98

    Can we have some hints to the recommendation against 4 Bg5 in the Pirc book please? 🙂

  99. Andre
    October 28th, 2017 at 08:40 | #99

    Jacob Aagaard :
    The Noteboom is not in a good shape at the moment though

    What’s the critical line(s)?

  100. Franck steenbekkers
    October 28th, 2017 at 11:44 | #100

    Marin recommend 4…c6

  101. James2
    October 28th, 2017 at 11:55 | #101

    I was hoping to see John front up for Scotland at the European Team Championships… Has Jacob confiscated his passport while he puts the finishing touches to Playing 1 e4 vol. 2?! ;0)


  102. Jacob Aagaard
    October 28th, 2017 at 11:59 | #102

    John is sort of retired I think, although we have not spoken about it. Not even a league game for almost a year.

  103. TD
    October 28th, 2017 at 13:04 | #103


    I was thinking of buying “e3 Poison”, but I am curious about Sadler’s (and your) negative points.

  104. Paul H
    October 28th, 2017 at 13:59 | #104

    Some comments from Sadler:
    “The first feeling I had was that I could barely follow which lines Smith was recommending. Nuggets of information were spread – almost hidden you might say – all over the book. For example- I found just 3 quick references to Smith’s preferred move order”

    “Why does Smith spend a whole chapter analysing the anti Benko ….. where the move e3 never comes into play”

    “There’s a really good book on 1Nf3/2 e3 somewhere in there, but the organisation of the material is too chaotic to bring that out properly”

    From my perspective I enjoyed it very much as a general treatise, with a view to improving the range of positions I could play. But I didn’t feel it gave me a repertoire or coherent understanding of a system. Which I think is similar to Sadler’s commentary.

    I would be interested to hear the QC’s guys thoughts when they digest the whole review.

  105. TD
    October 28th, 2017 at 14:28 | #105

    Thanks PaulH!

  106. James2
    October 28th, 2017 at 15:23 | #106

    @Franck steenbekkers
    Hi Franck,

    I was just wondering, the only 4..c6 line that Shaw gives in his book is 5 Qd2 b5 6 e5. What does Marin recommend against 5 Qd2, and if it is not covered by Shaw, does John have any suggestions after reading Marin’s book?

    Thank you very much.


  107. October 28th, 2017 at 18:32 | #107

    @Franck steenbekkers

    Out of interest does Marin cover 5 Bxf6 after 4…c6 and similarly if he is recommending 5….b5 after 5 Qd2 does he again look at the Bxf6 capture.

    Rarely played, but a line in which black needs to know what he is doing to avoid a disadvantage. One of the reasons I prefer 4….Bg7 to 4….c6.


  108. Ray
    October 29th, 2017 at 08:08 | #108

    @Paul H
    I agree with Sadler’s points. I also tried to distill a repertoire from the book, but it was too cumbersome. Also (a point not mentioned by Sadler) what really bothered me is that Smith doesn’s give any (computer) assessments at the end of his lines. To be fair, he explains his views on this, but still it’s annoying if (like me) you go for an ambitious white repertoire. I think the book is more for understanding and one should not try to build a repertoire from it with a variation tree. I can imagine this works fine for a lot of people, but not so for me.

  109. Jacob Aagaard
    October 29th, 2017 at 18:00 | #109

    Smith’s book cannot be seen as a simple repertoire a la Avrukh, play this, this and this. It is based on understanding the arising position and knowing where you are better and where you are not and then trying to steer in that direction. Some feedback we have had is fantastic, some of it is more like Sadler’s. This always happens when someone does something non-standard and ambitious. If you try to look for the simple repertoire, as Sadler seemed to have done, it fails. But square pecks do not fit in round holes. which I would argue is not the fault of the hole or the peck, but of the person trying to make them fit.

  110. Jacob Aagaard
    October 29th, 2017 at 18:01 | #110

    Sadler once gave Practical Chess Defence 3/5 (ten years after publication, he had written that no books on defence existed so I sent it to him as a present, not with the intention of having it reviewed). I strongly disagree with this evaluation. It is my first really good book. But we all have different taste and I do not think a lukewarm review means we have done anything wrong.

  111. Pinpon
    October 29th, 2017 at 20:26 | #111

    Smith’s book is a good book and there are many interesting ideas .
    As a 1.c4/1.Nf3/1.d4 player , i was the ideal customer and i was most interested by QGR / Anti Gruenfeld / Anti Nimzo / Anti Slav positions .
    Of course there is nothing magical with e3 ( surprised ? ) but even the so called ” Poor Man’s Benoni ” is worth analysis ( just don’t play it against Svidler ? )

  112. Pinpon
    October 29th, 2017 at 21:42 | #112

    Began to read and study E.Lund’s book .
    Looks excellent !

  113. Jacob Aagaard
    October 29th, 2017 at 22:28 | #113

    Sadler is a great reviewer, because he is honest about what he likes and does not like and argues his case. Sometimes he likes some of our books more than I do, sometimes less. I can live with that :-).

  114. RWL
    October 30th, 2017 at 14:56 | #114

    If I ordered Pirc…Sharp Endgames…The Thinkers are they being shipped separately or are you holding the order until The Thinkers is ready to ship and ship all three together?

  115. An Ordinary Chessplayer
    October 30th, 2017 at 15:11 | #115

    There was also Soltis _The Art of Defense in Chess_ (1975), Marin _Secrets of Chess Defence_ (2003), Crouch _How to Defend in Chess_ (2007), etc., etc., so GM Sadler does not know everything. Unless he was slyly suggesting these books are so bad they don’t actually teach defence.

    I don’t mind if a reviewer dislikes a book that I like. All they have to do is give enough information about the book that I can decide whether I want to buy it. I remember back in the day when Siskel and Ebert were doing their syndicated movie reviews. Two thumbs up, probably good movie. Two thumbs down, probably bad movie. Siskel thumb down, Ebert thumb up, not sure. Siskel thumb up, Ebert thumb down, must see it!

  116. James2
    October 30th, 2017 at 18:12 | #116

    Hi Jacaob!

    The coming soon section is looking a little skinny again……………. :o(

    Ah well, at least the Pirc book will be with me at some point this week! :o)


  117. Jacob Aagaard
    October 31st, 2017 at 11:35 | #117

    All three together. Because the UPS savings we get, which we pass on to the customer, do not come into account if we have to ship twice.

  118. Jacob Aagaard
    October 31st, 2017 at 11:37 | #118

    @An Ordinary Chessplayer
    Sadler did know about these books. I am away and cannot search for his review right now to quote him directly. But somehow it was about working on defence or something like that. It made sense, except he did not know my book 🙂

  119. Jacob Aagaard
    October 31st, 2017 at 11:37 | #119

    I will think of you here from Mallorca, where I am continuing my hell holes of the World lecture tour 😉

  120. Jacob Aagaard
    October 31st, 2017 at 12:13 | #120

    I know the coming soon section is very slim, we simply have not finished the covers!

  121. Paul H
    October 31st, 2017 at 12:50 | #121

    Is the Thinkers delayed by 2 weeks?

    Hopefully Marin/Lund will be at London Chess Centre On Friday, and will acquire those then.

  122. Jacob Aagaard
    October 31st, 2017 at 13:59 | #122

    @Paul H
    Yes, we encountered a technical problem, which I am not really up for talking about right now. But it will be two weeks delayed and everything is OK. The other two books were sent out to all the shops according to the schedule.

  123. James2
    October 31st, 2017 at 14:36 | #123

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Well, I’m hoping to see Negi 5, Avrukh 2 and maybe some we’ve never heard of there soon!!

    I hope you are enjoying your tour Jacob.


  124. RWL
    October 31st, 2017 at 16:45 | #124

    @Jacob Aagaard
    That is disappointing, I understand your need to save money is it possible to invoice me the additional amount so that the books can go out immediately?

  125. Leon Trotsky
    October 31st, 2017 at 21:17 | #125

    @Jacob Aagaard
    So if I understand correctly, Pirc is in the shop tomorrow, and Thinkers in mid-Novembre ?

  126. John Shaw
    November 1st, 2017 at 11:22 | #126

    RWL :
    @Jacob Aagaard
    That is disappointing, I understand your need to save money is it possible to invoice me the additional amount so that the books can go out immediately?

    No need to send us anything more. We posted the first two books in your order two days ago (30th). ‘The Thinkers’ will follow separately as soon as it is available. And we are doing the same for others in a similar position. I know Jacob said differently above, but he is away at the moment, so he didn’t know.

  127. John Shaw
    November 1st, 2017 at 11:27 | #127

    Leon Trotsky :
    @Jacob Aagaard
    So if I understand correctly, Pirc is in the shop tomorrow, and Thinkers in mid-Novembre ?

    Correct. The exceptions are a couple of shops in Spain who received ‘The Thinkers’ directly from the printer, so they are lucky. The rest of us, including me, will have to wait until mid-November to see it.

  128. Boki
    November 1st, 2017 at 14:59 | #128

    The coming soon section is quite funny: One book which is already published and another book which propably will not be published soon ?
    (Sorry could not resist, keep up the Great work)

  129. Jacob Aagaard
    November 2nd, 2017 at 10:40 | #129

    Avrukh 2A is progressing well and Negi has promised us that something will happen in the next few months, but let’s see how that works out before making promises. 🙂

  130. Zigurds
    November 4th, 2017 at 09:41 | #130

    Hi guys,

    just an observation on an extremely minor line in John’s “playing 1.e4” (which I’m loving): on page 173 after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.Bd3 d6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Nc3 Ng4 9. h3 Ne5 10.Na4 Bb6 11.Be2 0-0 12.b3 (the novelty) Re8 13.Nxb6 axb6 14.Bb2 John only mentions 14…Bb7 after which his idea is to play a4, f3 and enjoy the pair of bishops. While I agree, the engine suggests 14…Qh4 which puts e4 under pressure and apparently forces white to play f4 in the next couple of moves after which e4 may become a weakness.

  131. AliceB
    November 9th, 2017 at 06:26 | #131

    I just bought Marin’s book about Pirc defence, which is my lovely opening. I am happy that there is analysed lot of new ideas and lines, but I found (at the moment) one inconsistency, which is not tragical but little bit annoying.
    After 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bf4 (yes, definitelly sideline) c6 5.Qd2 Nbd7 6.Nf3 Bg7 and now 7.Bh6! which is not mentioned (page 329). In fact black shouldnt play 7…0-0, because then transpose to 7…Nbd7?! line on page 210 (after 8.Bxg7 Kxg7 9.e5 de5 10.de5 Ng4 11.0-0-0 +/-, but position maybe is not so bad), when remains 7..Bxh6 8.Qxh6 which is position, what is maybe somewhere mentioned in the book, bud definitelly not everyone taste (Kasparov-Radjabov 2002)

  132. middlewave
    November 9th, 2017 at 09:39 | #132

    David Llada made a presentation of “The Thinkers” at the European Team Chess Championships in Crete a few days ag, where a few copies were available.
    I got hold of one of them. I saw, touched, smelled the book. Then went through it.
    It’s magical.
    Cannot possibly think of a better chess-related gift to give around. It’s just beautiful.

  133. Areopagiet
    November 9th, 2017 at 11:57 | #133

    Unfortunately, exactly the same problem exists in the 4) Be3 line. Page 236 gives 4) Be3 c6 5) Qd2 Nbd7 7) Bh6 0-0 and now Marin only mentions 8) 0-0-0, but 8) Bxg7! again leads to the same variation on page 210. This is actually a pretty serious problem for black.

  134. John Shaw
    November 9th, 2017 at 17:01 | #134


    We will make an update file of any extra Pirc lines that should be mentioned.

    Before we printed, we had two players, with several decades of Pirc-playing experience, check all the key lines were covered , but it seems the many possible transpositions proved too tricky.

  135. Thomas
    November 10th, 2017 at 07:19 | #135

    @John Shaw
    Finding 3.Nd2 doesn’t look too tricky to me.

  136. John Shaw
    November 10th, 2017 at 10:14 | #136

    Thomas :
    @John Shaw
    Finding 3.Nd2 doesn’t look too tricky to me.

    True, but I was referring to the transpositional line that AliceB and Areopagiet mentioned, which was why I put @AliceB and @Areopagiet at the start of my reply. I didn’t think that was too tricky to understand, but here we are.

    Any update will also include 3.Nd2 and the 4.h4 move that James2 mentioned in the other thread. Though 4.h4 should not take too long. After 4…Bg7 the only sensible move is 5.Be2, transposing to line C4 of Chapter 14. White could play a non-sensible move such as 5.h5 but I will happily take that with 5…Nxh5.

  137. James2
    November 10th, 2017 at 16:04 | #137

    @John Shaw Lots of blitz games on ICC by Vlassov (Bazar-Wokzal) with 4 h4. Smerdon also payed this recently. I’m not saying it is any good, but these 4 h4 systems are sometimes met so it would be nice to see what Marin thought.

    Thanks John.


  138. bebbe
    November 16th, 2017 at 09:38 | #138

    I wonder what will be the recommendation in GM repertoire 6a against 6.Bg5?
    Preferably it should be something that gives winning chances, is practical and holds theorethically as well.

  139. bebbe
    November 16th, 2017 at 09:41 | #139

    It would be nice if it could cover the Gelfand variation or the delayed poisoned pawn. I think these variations are in pretty good shape. The poisoned pawn is of course valid but has had extensive coverage elsewhere and is too drawish.

  140. bebbe
    November 16th, 2017 at 10:57 | #140

    What Sicilian gives black best attacking chances? Many would say the dragon but I dont agree. It is true for 9.Bc4 but for other variations it is another matter. Many exchanges and early endgames are normal. I would say the classical with the Kozul against richter rauzer gives black attacking chances or the Najdorf. The Tajmanov,Kan ,the Áccelerated dragon and the Sveshnikov are all rather solid.

  141. Christoph
    November 18th, 2017 at 23:50 | #141

    One short question about the Grunfeld:
    There is the line in the Avrukh about
    1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3 c5 8.
    Be3 Qa5 9. Qd2 Nc6 10. Rb1 a6 11. Rc1 Bg4 12. d5 Rd8 13. Be2 O-O 14. O-O Bxf3
    15. Bxf3 e6 *
    where Svidler points out in his video, that he thinks black has quite some problems after 16. Be2 which is not mentioned by Avrukh. I checked the Updates and didn’t find something as well. Will you update this particular line in the next feature?

  142. Nikos Ntirlis
    November 19th, 2017 at 20:08 | #142

    Yes, theory goes on sadly… The line remains a good fighting option for Black in practical play, but i think that indeed White gets an edge. I’d suggest to study 11…cxd4 as a simple line for Black to play. If he is any worse, he is by very little.

  143. Luís Bacelar
    November 20th, 2017 at 14:45 | #143

    Avrukh is my favourite chess book author and all his works are high profile. His books about the Grunfeld remain the absolute reference about this complex opening. A update from the two volumes publiched are “screaming” for a actual review. I’m sure it would be a best seller and, most important, a high quality chess!

    Best Regards

  144. Bulkington
    December 3rd, 2017 at 14:09 | #144

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Jacob, below some feedback on e3 Poison:
    Part 3, Chapter 10, „Move Orders“, I believe is a critical chapter as it explains how it all connects. But there might be some incorrect statements. In the box summarizing the 1.c4 repertoire it is stated: „Avoids: […] the Queens Gambit Accepted“. However, when Black chooses the Tarrasch move order, i.e. e6-d5-c5, then this can end up in the QGA, main line. Therefore, I believe the author meant „avoids Queens Gambit Declined“ ?
    Same applies to the box summarizing the 1.Nf3 repertoire, where it is also stated, that the QGA is avoided, however, after the Tarrasch move order it is not possible to avoid it if you want to stay in the book`s repertoire. Instead, the QGD is avoided ?
    Those boxes summarizing the repertoires would be of great help if only they listed all relevant chapters or at least systems. Instead, the c4-box and the Nf3 box merely state „allows the Symmetrical English“, which is misleading. Could also have stated „avoids the Symmetrical English“ because it all transposes to Tarrasch, Panov, QGA or anti-QGD systems, isnt it…

    Chapter 4, „Junctions“ lists the systems you need to know in any case, no matter the first move is Nf3, d4 or c4. At least, this is my understanding of „Junctions“. This chapter, however, misses the QGA, main variation. In my view and to be consistent, the QGA main line from chapter 18 should belong to „Junctions“ and not to Part 6 (dealing with…

  145. Bulkington
    December 3rd, 2017 at 14:10 | #145

    … continued

    (dealing with 1.d4 only) because it is huge and relevant and you can reach it by all three move orders.

    Maybe it is all on purpose, another exercise by Smith to let us get the move orders straight…? Don`t get me wrong here, I like the book and I am working with it. Maybe the feeback helps to improve whaterver needs improvement. Let me know if I am totally wrong here.

  146. Jacob Aagaard
    December 3rd, 2017 at 19:04 | #146

    I will have someone with more knowledge of the book look at this.

  147. Dextro53
    December 3rd, 2017 at 22:18 | #147

    Out of interest, what font and typeface is used for your books and will there be a najdorf book? Also I found out that a major branch of the Schandorff semi-slav book is unsound and loses by force. The variant is from move 10.

  148. Johnnyboy
    December 4th, 2017 at 08:13 | #148

    Dextro53 :
    Out of interest, what font and typeface is used for your books and will there be a najdorf book? Also I found out that a major branch of the Schandorff semi-slav book is unsound and loses by force. The variant is from move 10.

    please tell…

  149. Jacob Aagaard
    December 4th, 2017 at 12:08 | #149

    We use Adobe Garamond Pro size 10.5. Hardly a trade secret. For headers I change the value of the font to 125% or even 150% vertical, creating a different look.

    Yes, we are hoping for a Najdorf book in 2018.

    Please give us the refutation. Everyone here on the blog would love to see it :-).

  150. John Shaw
    December 4th, 2017 at 12:20 | #150


    Thanks for you feedback, though I do largely disagree with you.

    “In the box summarizing the 1.c4 repertoire it is stated: „Avoids: […] the Queens Gambit Accepted“. However, when Black chooses the Tarrasch move order, i.e. e6-d5-c5, then this can end up in the QGA, main line. Therefore, I believe the author meant „avoids Queens Gambit Declined“ ?”

    No, Axel does not mean that. It is impossible to avoid the Queen’s Gambit Declined structure, as Black can go …e6 and then …d5 against anything (OK, if White play e2-e4 on move 1 or 2 we can be in a French). But White can make it more difficult to reach the Queen’s Gambit Accepted in various ways, particularly using 1.c4 or 1.Nf3. For example, in your Tarrasch example after 1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e3 c5, there is 4.cxd5 exd5 5.d4, with no QGA. Same thing with 1.Nf3.

    I take your point that transpositions to the QGA are possible if White absolutely insists on playing c4, Nf3, e3 and d4 on the first 4 moves, no matter what Black does, but being flexible is a large part of what the book is about. For example, note the 4.b3 options in Chapter 16 if Black plays …Nf6 instead of the pure Tarrasch move order you mentioned.

  151. John Shaw
    December 4th, 2017 at 12:23 | #151



    “Instead, the c4-box and the Nf3 box merely state „allows the Symmetrical English“, which is misleading. Could also have stated „avoids the Symmetrical English“ because it all transposes to Tarrasch, Panov, QGA or anti-QGD systems, isnt it…”

    I don’t find that misleading at all. If we had said 1.c4 avoids the Symmetrical English, I think that would have been misleading, and baffled readers – 1.c4 c5 is the Symmetrical English. Where the game goes later is unknown at that point.

    I also disagree with you on the best location of the QGA chapter. I think the 1.d4 section is most logical, not junctions. Axel says in the book that junctions “are the openings that many opponents will transpose into when they meet the e3 poison, even if these openings are outside their normal repertoire.” It would be unusual for Black to choose to play a QGA because of White’s tricky move order; if they play the QGA, it is probably because it is their normal repertoire.

  152. Tom Tidom
    December 4th, 2017 at 16:20 | #152

    I really love “e3 Poison” and have chosen to convert after being a lifelong (over 30 years!) e4-player. I do not think a possible transposition into the QGA after 1.c4 or 1.Nf3 to be a problem either since I intend to play all of 1.d4, 1.c4 and 1.Nf3.

    I don´t know if I will ever get so far to play 1.e3 though since the pawn might accidentally end up on e4 then out of habit ;-).

    However, on a more serious note, the one thing I really miss in Smith´s great book is coverage of the Anti-Slav 1.Nf3 d5 2.e3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 e6 5.b3. At least since Black can transpose into that via the Anti-QGD after 1.Nf3 d5 2.e3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.b3 (which is in the book) and now 4…c6 (which is not in the book).

    I know Axel Smith wrote somewhere in his book that he has nothing new to add about this which wasn´t already covered by other Authors, but I would have preferred a decent summary of this line instead of the chapter about the French Exchange, which I refuse to play. 😉

  153. Bulkington
    December 4th, 2017 at 18:16 | #153

    @Tom Tidom
    Maybe you misunderstood me. I do not have a problem with playing the QGA either. But I believe the statement “1c4 avoids QGA” or “1Nf3 avoids QGA” is not correct. In my opinion we can not avoid it if we want to stay inside what is presented in games and theory sections. That`s all.

  154. Tom Tidom
    December 4th, 2017 at 19:11 | #154

    Bulkington, theoretically speaking you are right. I just do not see the problem here even if the statement in the book is not accurate. I find it hard to imagine that someone wanting to play the QGA chooses a Tarrasch move order to get there. John Shaw has already pointed out that Black must be willing to accept playing with the IQP rather than against it as is more common in the QGA.

    While working trough the book I came to the conclusion that the core is a repertoire based on 1.d4, 2.Nf3, 3.c4 and 4.e3 while 1.Nf3 and 1.c4 give some additional options.

    But you still have to know something about the lines involving an early d2-d4. Remember, if Black plays an Indian Defence, the book suggests no alternatives to this.

  155. Bulkington
    December 4th, 2017 at 20:09 | #155

    @John Shaw
    Re “1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e3 c5, there is 4.cxd5 exd5 5.d4, with no QGA”: Right… did Smith spend more than one sentence on this particular line ? I do not consider this one-liner being part of the presented repertoire. If I want to stay inside what is presented in games and theory, then neither 1.Sf3 nor 1.c4 prevents QGA. Which it is not a problem at all… However, when starting with 1Nf3 or 1.c4 it is possible to avoid the QGD from chapter 19, isn´t it. Therefore I thought the concerned statement simply was a mix-up…
    And splitting the Slav into two parts, Junctions and Part 6 but not the QGA, still do not understand it.
    Anyway, I like the repertoire, in itself it is clear and logical, not much theory and offers a lot of flexibility. But in my opinion it is presented in a bit of a chaotic, esoteric way… And with questionable statements framed in boxes :-). Thought this might be a reason why it had mixed reviews.

  156. Dextro53
    December 4th, 2017 at 22:28 | #156

    Well I would give the refutation to the major line in the semi- slav but since I spent so much time analysing the variation I’m not so sure whether I should alert everyone.

    Who are the authors of the najdorf and taimanov books? And will there be a queens Indian book?

  157. Jacob Aagaard
    December 4th, 2017 at 23:10 | #157

    Yes there will be a QID book. Soon, hopefully.

  158. Claretjames
    December 5th, 2017 at 00:01 | #158

    Just relax about these questions of whether a particular move order of the e3 Poison repertoire avoids/allows the QGA or whatever!! That is all really just a matter of terminology and rather unimportant. It is clearly a repertoire to be learned primarily through experience – for example, Axel Smith himself (refreshingly) admits on page 288 of the book (notes to the game Smith-Mindlin) that, at the time of playing that game, he did not know the consistent 6th move to remain within the Anti-QGD repertoire. It is a solid repertoire, it is not like plunging into the sharpest lines of the Sicilian Najdorf under-prepared, so just play it, learn as you go, you are not risking a lot, and enjoy the ride! Clearly tastes differ, but I think that this is a top class opening book, with the potential to teach a lot about chess more generally (achieving an advantage from an unambitious opening etc.).

  159. December 5th, 2017 at 00:42 | #159


    I’m very surprised that you have found such a hole in Schandorff’s book on the Semi Slav. I have used it pretty extensively at correspondence level and have found it to hold up extremely well. I also keep an eye on the games of highly rated correspondence players who also seem to be using his book. To date I have seen nothing in their games (or on Chesspublishing) to cause alarm.

    At one stage, like you, I thought I had found something for white in the 12 b4 c5! line (B3 page 224) only to find that in fact black was fine and the analysis given held up.

    So perhaps when you have had the chance to play your line you could share it with us!

  160. Ray
    December 5th, 2017 at 06:59 | #160


    Frankly, I wonder why you are sharing this with us when you won’t give the “refutation”. What action do you expect from the QC team? That they re-analyse the entire book? Or is this a joke maybe, like a false bomb alarm? E.g. I could also make an unsubstantiated claim that I have refuted the Najdorf Poisened Pawn somewhere around move 22. What purpose would this serve?

  161. Jacob Aagaard
    December 5th, 2017 at 14:18 | #161

    I am happy to inspect this refutation in confidence and state it is real, if it is, keeping it forever to myself. But without it, I do not take it seriously.

  162. Johnnyboy
    December 5th, 2017 at 15:49 | #162

    Jacob Aagaard :
    I am happy to inspect this refutation in confidence and state it is real, if it is, keeping it forever to myself. But without it, I do not take it seriously.

    agree Jacob………if you don’t want to be accused of trolling you need to put up or it is worthless. The evaluation of all variations are not set in stone or we wouldn’t have a thing called opening theory and new opening books but my litmus test is that the main lines given in bold on the first page of each chapter are reliable- the fine grain of the lines that follow on from this less so. Of all the QC books I only know of one line which is decidedly dodgy in these bolded main lines. Will tell as soon as I get home and look it up but point I’m trying to make is that the QC staff check very carefully that this doesn’t happen.

  163. Pinpon
    December 5th, 2017 at 18:26 | #163

    I don’t see where is the problem ( if there is any problem ) : Kotronias has reevaluated some lines in his final book on KID and i found it very smart of him.
    Semi-Slav is not as tactical as KID but there is theory up to 30 moves or more , which increases the probability of slight mistakes ( i don’t think there are many refutations really possible , maybe in the G3 variation or some other sidelines )

  164. Jacob Aagaard
    December 6th, 2017 at 00:15 | #164

    There is no problem, we just do not believe him without evidence 🙂

  165. Jose
    December 6th, 2017 at 09:39 | #165

    Will there be a new book on calculation in 2018 with a lower degree of difficulty than the one that already exists?

  166. Thomas
    December 6th, 2017 at 14:49 | #166

    I’ll definitely buy that new Titanic book by Markos.
    “How do go down quickly!”

  167. James2
    December 6th, 2017 at 15:23 | #167

    Apparently the Titanic had only 3 working funnels and the 4th was for show…


  168. Jacob Aagaard
    December 6th, 2017 at 19:55 | #168

    I am not sure exactly what you are looking for. My initial feeling is that this would be something that is already covered with Chess Tactics from Scratch or in the Yusupov series!?

  169. Jose
    December 6th, 2017 at 20:40 | #169

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I am thinking in a Yusupov-style book that deals with the subject of visualization, calculation, etc. with a variable level from less to more difficult.
    With examples and exercises.
    Like the calculation chapter of Pump up your rating but in a whole book.
    The calculation book GMP Calculation would be the next level.

  170. Jacob Aagaard
    December 6th, 2017 at 21:23 | #170

    I will give it serious consideration. I am planning something along those lines, which might be easily reworked (expanded) into what you are talking about. Probably an improvement. We are talking a year from now though.

  171. James2
    December 6th, 2017 at 22:17 | #171

    Hi Jacob,

    I was just wondering when you were hoping to put up the 2018 catalogue? Might be wishful thinking but thought I’d ask.

    Thank you.


  172. Jacob Aagaard
    December 6th, 2017 at 22:19 | #172

    February probably. We have a 2018 plan, but we need a lot of work on the graphics.

    But I will write a publishing schedule this week.

  173. jose
    December 7th, 2017 at 10:27 | #173

    @Jacob Aagaard
    I am sure that Quality Chess will make books even better year after year.

  174. James2
    December 7th, 2017 at 12:31 | #174

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Great! Thanks Jacob.

  175. Dextro53
    December 9th, 2017 at 12:56 | #175

    Hi Michael and Jacob,
    I can send the analysis if you give me your email. The 12.b4 c5 is exactly the line I am talking about but my analysis is a year old (I think we are talking about the same move) and you say that you have found something for black. If your analysis does not hold up then it might be the reason why Giri went for 12…a5 in the Candidates last year.

  176. Jacob Aagaard
    December 9th, 2017 at 15:38 | #176

    Jacob (at) qualitychess.co.uk

  177. December 9th, 2017 at 17:51 | #177


    Hi Dextro53 and thanks for sharing this…my e-mail is

  178. Johnnyboy
    December 10th, 2017 at 08:52 | #178

    Dextro53 :
    Hi Michael and Jacob,
    I can send the analysis if you give me your email. The 12.b4 c5 is exactly the line I am talking about but my analysis is a year old (I think we are talking about the same move) and you say that you have found something for black. If your analysis does not hold up then it might be the reason why Giri went for 12…a5 in the Candidates last year.

    Don’t have my semi slave book with me but is that the Kasmdzhanov line which almost forces a draw? Take care as engines don’t like it to start with.

  179. Johnnyboy
    December 10th, 2017 at 08:54 | #179

    I think… a5 by Giri was just a different idea to avoid a quick draw

  180. Johnnyboy
    December 10th, 2017 at 09:04 | #180

    This article from August mentions it and it seems nielsen the expert still considers it drawn . And the fact shirov has played it 7 times for a quick draw. Dextro has found something big if he is right

  181. Johnnyboy
    January 20th, 2021 at 17:44 | #181

    Hey everyone. While we have time on our hands in lockdown has anyone looked at Sharp Endgames recently? Not sure where else to post this but as I’ve dusted it off and looked a bit deeper than just doing the exercises, checking my answers and reflecting on my success as I did originally I’ve realised you cannot be fully relying on the text as kosher and there seems to be a few errors or lack of detail and glossing over of important alternatives in the early chapters at least eg the Lund- De Haan game and the Zhao Jianchao- Li Chao games in the first part of the book. It’s almost as if they weren’t engine checked so that answers you give in your tests may be correct after all or the refutation is not obvious and needs explaining. Not got further than chapter 3.2 at the moment but worried there’s more to come. Anyone have the same experience? The studies I presume are rock solid (though I should maybe run them through HvdH database)…I guess it is the more complex positions from games that are susceptible but even in 2017 when it was published I’m sure engines were strong enough to give some of the very obvious omissions and errors. I’ve not got a fancy high powered rig myself and it points out some obvious stuff pretty quickly.

  182. sanrensei
    January 21st, 2021 at 11:08 | #182

    Interesting comment because I’ve made the same observation less than a week ago, mostly on the Lund – De Haan game. I don’t have a powerful machine to confirm, but my engine evaluation can differ rather significantly at several moments on this game for example.

  183. Johnnyboy
    January 21st, 2021 at 15:53 | #183

    I only have it on Forward Chess so never trusted the FC engine was strong enough. Lund talks about “silly engine moves” when playing through the positions so thought this was the case when my choices didn’t match what Lund considers to be the correct moves. It’s only when I started looking at it on my pc with an engine that I realized that some of my “mistakes” weren’t mistakes at all or were ok but hadn’t been considered.

  184. Johnnyboy
    January 21st, 2021 at 16:07 | #184

    My choices in the Nielsen Lund game also don’t feature in Lund’s text but stand up according to the engine but for a different reason than I thought. But would be good to see all the obvious options in the exercises commented on in the text so you can fully understand the motifs in the position. Still like the book and really like his 12 parameters but the text needs fleshing out especially in the training exercises as with hindsight you feel some of the moves you make fully follow the parameters but don’t get acknowledged as correct, interesting or are explained as to why they are bad.

  185. January 28th, 2021 at 02:37 | #185

    Regarding Sharp Endgames
    When working with these sharp endgame positions and preparing them as playing exercises, my main priority was to get out the main (human) ideas of the line, of course backed by engine analysis. These main ideas I would then connect to the 12/16 parameters. The main challenge was, and is, that the human chess mind works in mysterious ways, and trying to cover everything would be tiresome and take up a lot of space in the solutions. So, a certain pragmatic approach was called for, with focus on the human ideas behind the decision-making.
    Thanks for your interest in my book. Apart from the new concept, I consider the chapters on Q+pawn vs. Q as well as Lord of the Rings as the greatest contributions.

  186. sanrensei
    January 30th, 2021 at 15:48 | #186

    @Silas Esben Lund
    Thanks for your answer and the interesting book. I hope to go through it after spending a long time with Dvoretsky’s manual. Even if we might have looked picky about certain variations, I’m also more interested in the human ideas that you took time to convey. As I’m facing the issue of some engine silly moves in drawn positions (i.e. not playing the most testing variation), I’m currently experimenting with setting higher values for “contempt”.

  187. Johnnyboy
    January 31st, 2021 at 21:14 | #187

    @Silas Esben Lund
    Esben thanks for your reply…it really is a deep book and if you ever reprint or do a second edition there is a lot of other stuff hidden below the surface. For instance in the Zhou Li Chao game although 37 Bc4 is clearly stronger it keeps more pieces on the board and Bxh5 as played on the game also wins but you have to be able to see that preventing the b4 resource for black is the priority rather than taking the pawn on a7 so that 40 a3! is the only winning move. This allows you to return to capture the b pawn without allowing an exchange of pawns that 40 a4 allows or the 40 Kb6? b4 killing the passed pawn possiblity.Tricky stuff indeed and well worth reading through the second time as I’ve been doing ☺️👍

  188. Kulio
    February 1st, 2021 at 09:36 | #188

    Well, it is a pity that already in chapter 1 the example Nielsen-Hagen contains some mistakes. First of all 50…Rd2 deserves a ? not a !?. Secondly I could not find a win for Black in the line 53…Kc554.Nxa3 Nxf3 55.Nc2 Nd4 56.Ne3 Ne2+ 57.Kf2 Nc3 58.a3 Kd4 -+. How can Black break the blockade of the e3 square? I failed to find a way.

  189. Johnnyboy
    February 1st, 2021 at 19:27 | #189

    Yes I found those errors too in the Nielsen game. I couldn’t break the e3 blockade either though I’d gone for 56 Ne1 so my king could sit an e3 instead via f2 and leave the knight free and have the a pawn as a distraction which seems to hold too. There is no mention of immediate 51 Nd4 either which though it probably transposes and whether this is a better option when trying to make black choose Ke5 rather than Kc5. Feel all these nuances need to have been acknowledged in the text (or a new edition). Guess Hagen was trying to use parameter 12 of forcing the game but agree that Rd2 was an error if there are multiple ways for white to draw

  190. February 1st, 2021 at 21:32 | #190

    Has the Caro-Kann theory changed so much that 4…Cf6 is now the main line instead of 4…Af5? How is 4…Cd7 doing?

    Interesting that Lars has still chosen 3. e5 Af5. What does he think of the presently fashionable 3…c5?

  191. Johnnyboy
    February 2nd, 2021 at 13:14 | #191

    5…exf6 seems the heart of fashion…both recent Chessable LTR by Edwin L’Ami and the new Gambit book by Johnsen and Thomsen go for this too so guess Lars may have to be doing some edits 🤣

  192. The Doctor
    February 2nd, 2021 at 23:16 | #192

    Hi Guys, hope you are all well.

    Is there any plans to publish Negi GM Rep 1 e4 Vol 6 this year.


  193. February 3rd, 2021 at 09:01 | #193

    Andrew when will we have the PDF of the caro kan book

  194. John Shaw
    February 3rd, 2021 at 10:21 | #194

    Excerpt of Playing the Caro-Kann will be ready in a few days. Sometime next week, and early next week if things go well.

  195. February 3rd, 2021 at 16:01 | #195

    @John Shaw thanks looking forward

  196. Nick
    February 4th, 2021 at 04:04 | #196

    And John, whatever happened to Jacob’s forthcoming book? It seems it had disappeared from the “Coming Soon” area…

  197. James
    February 12th, 2021 at 18:46 | #197

    How long till caro kann is ready?

    • Jacob Aagaard
      February 18th, 2021 at 17:57 | #198

      It has now been sent to the printer. I think an excerpt and print date will be up very soon, if not already there.

  198. JB
    February 14th, 2021 at 09:26 | #199

    Looking forward to Street Smart Chess as the excerpt looks good but when will we see the excerpt of the Secret Ingredient?. Street Smart looks applicable to club players ( something QC is a bit thin on for improvement rather than opening books and presumably makes up the majority of your readership) and we had some practical guides on coaching yourself e.g. Use of engines in Thinking inside the box that applied to everyone irrespective of elo rating..will Markos book provide some more advice for your non GM readers?

  199. Andrew Greet
    February 16th, 2021 at 12:25 | #200

    Yes, The Secret Ingredient has a ton of practical guidance that will be useful to players over a wide range of playing strengths.
    I understand John will be proofreading it any time now, but he’ll be able to confirm when that’s been done and the excerpt is ready.

  200. George Hollands
    February 21st, 2021 at 18:51 | #201

    Just seen Nigel Short mention on Twitter he is writing a book for QC. Are you at a stage to elaborate at all?

  201. Paul H
    February 22nd, 2021 at 15:03 | #202

    @George Hollands
    Perhaps he deleted the tweet as I do not see it.

  202. Paul H
    February 22nd, 2021 at 15:04 | #203

    Actually I see now.

  203. JB
    February 22nd, 2021 at 17:19 | #204

    Slightly preparing the Short book title competition, how about “Making plans with Nigel” for those who remember XTC

  204. Ray
    February 23rd, 2021 at 15:57 | #205

    “We only want what’s best for him”.

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