The big failure of most opening books

eindspel_300Since I was young I had the dream of writing a book. I did not have a clue what this book should be about, but for some kind of weird reason I thought life would be completely different if I ever would succeed in my endeavour.

In my twenties I was a fanatic chess player. So I had vague ideas about writing a chess book.

Finally almost thirty years later my first book rolled from the presses. It was off a, maybe in the eyes of most people, little less glamorous nature than a novel or a chess book. It was about selling. Anyhow, it became a big success.

What I can remember from my first contacts with publishers was the question:

  • ‘For whom are you writing this book?’

Their second question was:

  • ‘After they have read your book, what value would this book have given to them?’ or ‘What’s in it for them?’

By the way: they asked lots of other unpleasant questions. But these two questions stuck out like a sore thumb. Publishers are an annoying bunch of people. It was of course obvious what my book was about?! Please don’t start to nag about trivia such as my intended target group. Why didn’t they understand?Read More »

Chess puzzle #24: some nice stuff

The 13th edition of the European Individual Championship (Plovdiv 2012) was a disappointing tournament for former winner Emil Sutovsky. But that didn’t mean he only played bad chess. On the contrary.

He produced some nice stuff. See the diagram. This position arose after 31. … Qd5. Question: how did Sutovsky finish the game in great style?

I found this pretty combination in New In Chess magazine 2012#3