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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Yusupov’s 9 Book Series (Read 23653 times)
RoleyPoley
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Re: Yusupov’s 9 Book Series
Reply #49 - 03/27/17 at 20:42:31
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Paul Brondal wrote on 03/27/17 at 10:59:48:
I don't know if this one is off-topic but in the weekend I bought Soltis' How to become a Grandmaster. Naturally, only really stupid people buy a book with this title  Wink

Anyway, in the above it is clear that Yusupov may find it difficult to understand club players. I'm not, in general, a big fan of Soltis' books but I like what I've read so far in the above. To me it seems clear that Soltis understands club players as the above book has "50 attributes of grandmaster thinking" as he puts it. The topics explain the difference between amateurs and grandmasters. For example, the first topic Uber Luft shows how GM's may play h4 instead of h3 to avoid back-rank mates where many players would choose h3. It is very interesting!


I like Soltis' work. It's usually his older opening books that attract criticism for being rushed, or less than thorough. His historical books tend to be well thought of, and his more explanatory books (his book on pawn structures and the one you had mentioned for example). However, i think he is writing for a different audience to that of Yusupov, whose books are probably aimed at a higher end of club player than Soltis.
  

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Paul Brondal
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Re: Yusupov’s 9 Book Series
Reply #48 - 03/27/17 at 10:59:48
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I don't know if this one is off-topic but in the weekend I bought Soltis' How to become a Grandmaster. Naturally, only really stupid people buy a book with this title  Wink

Anyway, in the above it is clear that Yusupov may find it difficult to understand club players. I'm not, in general, a big fan of Soltis' books but I like what I've read so far in the above. To me it seems clear that Soltis understands club players as the above book has "50 attributes of grandmaster thinking" as he puts it. The topics explain the difference between amateurs and grandmasters. For example, the first topic Uber Luft shows how GM's may play h4 instead of h3 to avoid back-rank mates where many players would choose h3. It is very interesting!
  
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Re: Yusupov’s 9 Book Series
Reply #47 - 03/24/17 at 12:08:19
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I find the interview extremely entertaining. It is also great to hear him say, as Straggler wrote, that the rating ranges are approximate. It may be an excellent idea to make books like  Gulko's Lessons with a Grandmaster where a non-elite player is the co-author of the book.
  
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Straggler
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Re: Yusupov’s 9 Book Series
Reply #46 - 03/24/17 at 11:48:50
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Incidentally, I've noticed an annoying aspect of the Steps books, which are discussed earlier in this thread: the publishers seem to let the updates get out of kilter, so that the answers in the current edition of a manual don't always match the exercises in the current edition of the corresponding workbook. It's not a major problem because you can check for yourself whether your answer is right, and indeed that is (or should be) part of the exercise. But it's inconvenient, and I haven't seen it pointed out elsewhere.

Edit: Ah, but I now see that the answers for the latest edition can be downloaded from their website. So not a problem at all. (I also see that I got one wrong which I was sure I had got right, so it's worth checking the answers.)
  
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Re: Yusupov’s 9 Book Series
Reply #45 - 03/24/17 at 10:08:17
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The QC blog now has a video of Aagaard interviewing Yusupov about the series. In response to Aagaard's suggestion that the advertised rating bands are "wrong", Yusupov admits that they are "approximate": "a big difficulty was not to push too much over the target, which of course I partly failed". He does admit that he is "over-qualified" for such a project, because "as a grandmaster" (a bit of an under-statement!) he "sometimes" doesn't know what a club player would be thinking.

There is some discussion of the importance of writing down the variations, but no clarification of whether the reader is supposed to do this while calculating them or only afterwards.
  
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Re: Yusupov’s 9 Book Series
Reply #44 - 03/06/17 at 22:09:39
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ReneDescartes wrote on 03/06/17 at 16:56:14:
Paul Brondal wrote on 03/02/17 at 07:02:59:
ReneDescartes, in general I really enjoy reading your comments which are eloquent and full of insight. I also  understand your point about the challenge. However, here I find you are a bit harsh. Sure, Aagaard's suggestions for reading the books are at a much faster pace than Yusupov's recommendations as you write. On the other hand, even though Yusupov's books are superb, it doesn't mean that you have to use the books exactly as he points out. In Saddler's review of a Yusupov book, it is clear that he doesn't follow the recommendations but still gives the books a high grade.

Over the past few years, I have teased a chess friend about him having all of Yusupov's books but never reading them. The challenge was an incentive for him to start reading them. He wrote me that I have given him such a bad conscience but seeing the post on QC was what could seriously make him try the challenge.

I find Aagaard a very nice and helpful guy and I have a high regard about his person. When you see what is offered on the market with over-priced videos, low-quality chess books and so on, I don't see a problem here Smiley

Honestly, very inventive harsh expressions often occur to me, but I try to exercise restraint because I think that what is negative is usually vain in every sense of the word.

This is just a post in a chess forum, but I have noticed that, even in very great works, what is ultimately negative--for example, masterful sarcasm by Voltaire against the church--is eventually forgotten, while what  is of positive inherent interest, though it might be, for example, tragic, is remembered. But these matters are both subtle and complicated. I very much respect Oscar Wilde, for example. Anyway, I aspire to take care on this point whenever I write or speak.

I retract the first two paragraphs of the quoted post--the "Super Yusupov Challenge" and the reference to not upholding professed standards. I would be glad to ask a mod to delete it if other posters would agree to take it out of their quotes.

On the other hand, I stand by the last paragraph, which is not exaggerated with too-clever writing. Aagard is a tough-talking teacher of integrity--that's no act--as well as a businessman. Though clearly a super-GM talent like Sadler hardly needs to do the material the suggested way to get maximum benefit out of it, and maybe you and some others don't either--readers obviously vary in their ability to visualize without a board, even at the same level, and to hold a tree of variations in short-term memory--I think that for most people a rapid traversal is not as useful as a slow one. And while for someone like your friend doing them in a suboptimal way undoubtedly  really is better than not doing them at all, I still don't think it's a positive development for someone with Aagard's deserved influence or authority to encourage the general public to do them in a way that's not the best.



Your comments were not harsh in any way.

  
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Re: Yusupov’s 9 Book Series
Reply #43 - 03/06/17 at 21:20:56
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Some interesting comments on here as always.

I was surprised, like Rene, by Aagaard's recommendation/challenge given the great books they have produced and his belief in the power of hard work (he mentions "brain damage material" in a recent blog comment).

Nevertheless it looks like it got people excited and maybe now they will try the books. For me, any blog/post on the topic helps to keep my motivation. I need something as we all have a full and busy life. So I liked Jonathan's idea of a blog post with ongoing comments about progress for the Yusupov series.


  
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ReneDescartes
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Re: Yusupov’s 9 Book Series
Reply #42 - 03/06/17 at 16:56:14
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Paul Brondal wrote on 03/02/17 at 07:02:59:
ReneDescartes, in general I really enjoy reading your comments which are eloquent and full of insight. I also  understand your point about the challenge. However, here I find you are a bit harsh. Sure, Aagaard's suggestions for reading the books are at a much faster pace than Yusupov's recommendations as you write. On the other hand, even though Yusupov's books are superb, it doesn't mean that you have to use the books exactly as he points out. In Saddler's review of a Yusupov book, it is clear that he doesn't follow the recommendations but still gives the books a high grade.

Over the past few years, I have teased a chess friend about him having all of Yusupov's books but never reading them. The challenge was an incentive for him to start reading them. He wrote me that I have given him such a bad conscience but seeing the post on QC was what could seriously make him try the challenge.

I find Aagaard a very nice and helpful guy and I have a high regard about his person. When you see what is offered on the market with over-priced videos, low-quality chess books and so on, I don't see a problem here Smiley

Honestly, very inventive harsh expressions often occur to me, but I try to exercise restraint because I think that what is negative is usually vain in every sense of the word.

This is just a post in a chess forum, but I have noticed that, even in very great works, what is ultimately negative--for example, masterful sarcasm by Voltaire against the church--is eventually forgotten, while what  is of positive inherent interest, though it might be, for example, tragic, is remembered. But these matters are both subtle and complicated. I very much respect Oscar Wilde, for example. Anyway, I aspire to take care on this point whenever I write or speak.

I retract the first two paragraphs of the quoted post--the "Super Yusupov Challenge" and the reference to not upholding professed standards. I would be glad to ask a mod to delete it if other posters would agree to take it out of their quotes.

On the other hand, I stand by the last paragraph, which is not exaggerated with too-clever writing. Aagard is a tough-talking teacher of integrity--that's no act--as well as a businessman. Though clearly a super-GM talent like Sadler hardly needs to do the material the suggested way to get maximum benefit out of it, and maybe you and some others don't either--readers obviously vary in their ability to visualize without a board, even at the same level, and to hold a tree of variations in short-term memory--I think that for most people a rapid traversal is not as useful as a slow one. And while for someone like your friend doing them in a suboptimal way undoubtedly  really is better than not doing them at all, I still don't think it's a positive development for someone with Aagard's deserved influence or authority to encourage the general public to do them in a way that's not the best.
« Last Edit: 03/06/17 at 20:25:19 by ReneDescartes »  
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Re: Yusupov’s 9 Book Series
Reply #41 - 03/06/17 at 12:46:54
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JonathanB wrote on 01/27/17 at 13:02:25:
Serious question:

Are there any documented cases of someone working their way through the lot. Fom page 1 of book 1 to the last page of book 9
.




The quality chess blog has found 76 such people.

http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/blog/5905

  

www.streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com  "I don't call you f**k face" - GM Nigel Short.
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Re: Yusupov’s 9 Book Series
Reply #40 - 03/06/17 at 09:02:56
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I was so inspired by the Yusupov Challenge, so that I decided to make an alternative Challenge: The Grandmaster Preparation Challenge. Have already tried these books earlier on but they were on the tough side. Did the first 39 exercises in Calculation in the chapter Candidate Moves and the results are really good now. Use about 4 minutes per exercise with a score of 70%!
  
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Re: Yusupov’s 9 Book Series
Reply #39 - 03/02/17 at 07:02:59
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ReneDescartes, in general I really enjoy reading your comments which are eloquent and full of insight. I also  understand your point about the challenge. However, here I find you are a bit harsh. Sure, Aagaard's suggestions for reading the books are at a much faster pace than Yusupov's recommendations as you write. On the other hand, even though Yusupov's books are superb, it doesn't mean that you have to use the books exactly as he points out. In Saddler's review of a Yusupov book, it is clear that he doesn't follow the recommendations but still gives the books a high grade.

Over the past few years, I have teased a chess friend about him having all of Yusupov's books but never reading them. The challenge was an incentive for him to start reading them. He wrote me that I have given him such a bad conscience but seeing the post on QC was what could seriously make him try the challenge.

I find Aagaard a very nice and helpful guy and I have a high regard about his person. When you see what is offered on the market with over-priced videos, low-quality chess books and so on, I don't see a problem here Smiley
  
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Re: Yusupov’s 9 Book Series
Reply #38 - 03/01/17 at 15:22:00
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ReneDescartes wrote on 02/28/17 at 13:00:55:
Why did QC not go all the way to the "super Yusupov challenge": not to read his books in the time recommended (1-2 hours per chapter and 1-2 more per test), nor even to punt each in 10-20 minutes, but--wait for it--simply to buy all 10 books in a year!

Admittedly it's a challenge making challenges less challenging. And evidently to maintain your professed standards while selling what was designed to be a long program of hard work to a public not patient enough to do it.

In this case I think the nervous-businessman Aagard got the better of the tough-talking-teacher-with-integrity Aagard. Maybe he justified it by telling himself that reading the books as blitz chess is better than not reading them at all, but it goes against his whole persona and I find it disappointing. But to err is human, and he does a lot of good things for the chess world.




I think this is a little harsh - but I do know what you mean. It surprised me more than a little to see the suggested rate of progress.

Mind you the context of the blog post makes clear that JA is also planning to read 100 books this year. I’m surprised at that rate of progress too.

It’s not quite the same thing, I grant you, but I don’t think this is just about flogging books.

It’s a blog post, after all. That’s a pretty crappy method for flogging off books, I’d guess.
  

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Re: Yusupov’s 9 Book Series
Reply #37 - 02/28/17 at 22:09:32
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ReneDescartes wrote on 02/28/17 at 13:00:55:
selling what was designed to be a long program of hard work to a public not patient enough to do it. 


That is some serious insight being well articulated right there.

ReneDescartes wrote on 02/28/17 at 13:00:55:
In this case I think the nervous-businessman Aagard got the better of the tough-talking-teacher-with-integrity Aagard. Maybe he justified it by telling himself that reading the books as blitz chess is better than not reading them at all, but it goes against his whole persona and I find it disappointing. But to err is human, and he does a lot of good things for the chess world.



Agreed and since no one is actually forced to work beyond their own pace its all good!

As per the original intent of this thread:

~ I started the series five years ago and have managed to get through all of them one time and am actually going through them a 2md time and close to finishing the 3rd book (again). 

On many times I scored a lot better and far too many times I scored worse on the second go round.   Grin

I am still on the cusp is USA class A/expert last 3 years but was on the cusp class B/class A when I started.

I feel like a know a lot more chess and some things have clarified but one thing is that I have started accepting that if there is a ceiling I might be closing in on mine.  I love studying and playing so I keep doing it but at this point how much better am I going to get?

I am really good now at Knight & Bishop mates.  I actually played into one as the inferior side recently and my opponent (an expert!)  immediately offered a draw because he said he was tired and knew he did not know how to do it so why bother letting a crowd gather for that debacle, eh?    Cool

I still have dreams of making it to actual expert level (USCF Floor rating 2000) and will keep working.


edit to add: and i just re-up my sub here and went all sections

Smiley



  
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ReneDescartes
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Re: Yusupov’s 9 Book Series
Reply #36 - 02/28/17 at 13:00:55
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Why did QC not go all the way to the "super Yusupov challenge": not to read his books in the time recommended (1-2 hours per chapter and 1-2 more per test), nor even to punt each in 10-20 minutes, but--wait for it--simply to buy all 10 books in a year!

Admittedly it's a challenge making challenges less challenging. And evidently to maintain your professed standards while selling what was designed to be a long program of hard work to a public not patient enough to do it.

In this case I think the nervous-businessman Aagard got the better of the tough-talking-teacher-with-integrity Aagard. Maybe he justified it by telling himself that reading the books as blitz chess is better than not reading them at all, but it goes against his whole persona and I find it disappointing. But to err is human, and he does a lot of good things for the chess world.
« Last Edit: 02/28/17 at 19:58:41 by ReneDescartes »  
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Re: Yusupov’s 9 Book Series
Reply #35 - 02/28/17 at 12:29:58
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Well this thread title should be corrected - it’s 10 books, of course.

Anyway, it seems like they’ll be quite a few folk who’ve finished the series by the end of the year.

See the Yusupov Challenge thread on the QC blog.

http://www.qualitychess.co.uk/blog/5895



PS: I’m 1 book and 1 chapter ahead of the game.
  

www.streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.com  "I don't call you f**k face" - GM Nigel Short.
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