Archive for October, 2016

Inflation or a Golden Era

October 10th, 2016 50 comments

Last week’s question was: ‘Which country will dominate world chess ten years from now?’  And the answer is… Scotland?! Ignoring all those super-patriots and jokers, I will rule out a tartan charge to greatness, and view the true order as China, India, USA, Russia. Intriguing to see Russia so low in your rankings. Maybe the Russian conveyor belt of elite chess talent is slowing, if not quite grinding to a halt?


This week I am interested in FIDE ratings, inflation (or deflation?) and whether today is a golden era for elite chess. If you look at the Live Chess Ratings site, you will see four players rated over 2800, with Magnus Carlsen naturally first, on 2853. I believe Bobby Fischer peaked at 2785.

Even if you believe there has been inflation in the system (as I think most do) it’s still possible that today’s batch of top players represent a golden era of chess. Just one example: Pavel Eljanov’s recent brilliance at the Baku Olympiad and especially the Isle of Man International have jumped him up to Number 16 in the world. Eljanov is a wonderful player, but the rating system says there are 15 even better. Has there ever before been such strength in depth in world chess?

There are many ways to frame a poll question to debate playing strength versus inflation. One option was “How many players will be rated over 2800 three years from now?” But I will go with another Jacob suggestion: “How does a 2500 player now compare with a 2500 player 20 years ago?” Stronger or weaker or about the same?

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A sort of publishing schedule

October 7th, 2016 145 comments

Obviously we have just published King’s Indian Warfare and Grandmaster Repertoire 19 – Beating Minor Openings. We are very pleased with both of these.

But a number of you have asked for a peek behind the curtain, to see what we are working on besides these. I do not have dates to give you, but I will give you a quick rundown of the general direction of things.

The first books coming out will be something like Luther’s Chess Reformation, which is essentially done and Richard Pert on the Ragozin for Black (starting on move 3, I think). Also Michael Roiz on the Nimzo-Indian is close to completion, as is Key Concepts of Gambit Play by Razuvaev. All four books could make it out in 2016, but it could be close. The reason is that printing and distribution time is usually four weeks, but with Christmas coming, things slow down as we fight for a slot in at the printer with Swedish and Finnish Christmas catalogues. Add a few weeks for finishing the editing and proof reading and it is a bit tight. But there is very reasonable hope.

A bit further down the line we will have the final volume on the King’s Indian by Kotronias, which he delivered quite recently. It will take serious editing, but is next in line. Also the final book in the Tal trilogy, Mikhail Tal – The Invincible will be on the books for early next year.

Of course we are working hard on Playing 1.e4 – The Sicilian and the French

. It is far advanced, but all analysis are not done, so I do not want to be too definite. But a lot has been done and I hope we will surprise and bring it out quite quickly.

I am also working on Thinking Inside the Box and Chess from Scratch at the moment. I am sure that the latter has no interest to you guys, but to me it is quite interesting work.


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Looking ahead – a World Championship Quiz

October 6th, 2016 16 comments

We are going to have a quiz for the World Championship with entries starting in a few weeks time and ending an hour before the first move is played. It would be great if you would help us with your possible questions for the quiz, making it possible for us to focus on books.

Categories: Prizes Tags:

Dominate the Future

October 4th, 2016 17 comments

Last week’s poll question asked “How do you remember Mark Dvoretsky?” For the vast majority, it is as an author of excellent books. To me that feels a fitting memorial: as an author Mark shared his chess ideas with many more people than he could coach in person.


This week we ask: Which country will dominate world chess ten years from now? For clues you might care to study the results of all sections at the recent World Youth Chess Championships. Countries with big populations such as China, India, USA and Russia must be strong contenders. Iran may not be quite so big, but it seems to have a promising crop of juniors, while Armenia is relatively tiny, but has an amazing chess tradition, as a couple of gold medals in those Youth events shows. Who else?

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Free ‘Book of the Month’ – October

October 4th, 2016 8 comments

We are continuing our special offer – if you buy three books or more and live in the normal European Union zone (as defined by UPS – for example, they exclude some islands and remote areas but include the United Kingdom) we will send you an extra book free. The previous default option on the free book was the Quality Chess Puzzle Book.

For October we will change that to THE ALTERMAN GAMBIT GUIDE – WHITE GAMBITS by Boris Alterman. The plan for November and December will be to switch the default option to BLACK GAMBITS VOLUME 1 for November, then VOLUME 2 for December. But if you already have the Alterman Gambit Guide book, or would prefer a different free book, then send us an email to with your order, asking to have it replaced with one of the following titles:


Categories: Publishing Schedule Tags: