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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) New 1...e5! book by Mikhail Marin! (Read 131327 times)
GMTonyKosten
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Re: New 1...e5! book by Mikhail Marin!
Reply #263 - 01/17/08 at 21:27:11
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Jacob's rather belligerent style, which is so effective when he is playing chess, might not be so suited to Forums! Wink
  
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Antillian
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Re: New 1...e5! book by Mikhail Marin!
Reply #262 - 01/17/08 at 20:58:01
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Matemax wrote on 01/17/08 at 16:28:43:
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this is probably the last time we will listen to the concerns of the readers and react to them by providing corrections, updates and expansions when we reprint

Unbelievable! Modern business knows that its all about the customer or shall I say in this case the reader  Shocked

I really appreciated books like "Learn from the legends" and "Experts vs. Sicilian", which I bought - even if they are not perfect (the "Experts" book is a good working basis - but not a solution), I did not expect this. Reading this shocking statement from Aagaard makes me really thinking about NEVER buying any book from them anymore  Angry

What happened to your mission?
"Our central to our mission statement is to improve conditions for writers and readers alike"  (from: http://www.qualitychessbooks.com/about.aspx) Cry


I am sure Aagaard will regret those unfortunate words if he has not already. He obviously overacted to what appears to be an angry vocal minority. One should know to stay off the pitch if you can't handle the short ball.

It is amazing how this thread has managed to conjure up such passion normally reserved for BDG threads and the like. Quality Chess is a very awkward position. Clearly the first edition was flawed. But personally, I happen to own both of the Marin books and I am quite satisfied. But different people expect different things from chess opening books. In spite of its flaws, I would sooner part with my copy of Davies and Emms anyday than my copy of Marin. All opening books have some flaws or deliberate trade-offs. One has to make up one’s own mind whether on balance the benefit of the book to you personally is worth it.

It seems to be that because the holes in the book produced some an extensive discussion on the net, Quality Books decided to produce  a new edition. And they have indicated that they will make the updates available free on the net. Certainly this is highly commendable of Quality Chess. They should be applauded for doing this. But , there is a John Maxwell quotation: "A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them."

Quality Chess is strong enough to correct their mistakes in the first edition. It seems like there are smart enough to profit from them too since according to Aagaard, they will be selling the second edition for more than the first one.  Grin  However, they have not been big enough to admit their mistakes, which is where they have fallen down.

Not everyone is like me and feels happy with the first edition. Quality Chess should simply be forthright enough to admit that in spite of the good reviews and good sales, there were genuine flaws.  I manage a business where I deal with dissatisfied customers from time to time and the best way of dealing with those customers is to be forthright. People understand and respond better to this.
  

"Breakthrough results come about by a series of good decisions, diligently executed and accumulated one on top of another." Jim Collins --- Good to Great
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drkodos
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Re: New 1...e5! book by Mikhail Marin!
Reply #261 - 01/17/08 at 20:26:01
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Jacob Aagaard wrote on 01/16/08 at 17:18:56:
I cannot see what the objection is.


Seems one main objection is that the (leaked)info seems to be married to a seemingly belligerent attitude from the publisher.

A second objection is the perception that the playing field is littered with what maybe not all-too-honest missives.

Third objection could be that whatever your intention may have been, the perception that lingers is the unwarranted arrogance/baggage  woven into your defensive position.

Fourth objection is that the books ALREADY had issues of omittance that needed addresssing and the newly emerging mandala from both your own words and the actual product seems to be one that lacks accountability.


So now, Mr. Aagaard, if you choose to keep your eyes closed, I am certain you can continue to keep these objections out of your sight.  OR, you could undertstand that even though you do not personally agree with these objections, that people DO INDEED have them, and that they may indeed be valid.  

Either way, what has happened here is not helping your company, whether you choose to, or are even capable of, seeing it.


~drkodos.


PS: Your THREAT to not keep up with the thread is a childish fabrication at best, and a petulent piss into the wind at worst.  Then again, maybe you actually like the look, since you decide to keep on wearing those micturated-upon pants.
  

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Antillian
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Re: New 1...e5! book by Mikhail Marin!
Reply #260 - 01/17/08 at 19:31:36
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Knut S. wrote on 01/13/08 at 14:13:08:
Apparently, the info in the previous version of this post was a big secret (for some reason I was/am not aware), so I have deleted it. Antillan, can you delete your quote in the post below? Probably doesn't help much, but still...


Only just saw this reply. Well, I guess the cat is out of the bag now since Jacob Aagard himself has appeared on the thread.
  

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Seth_Xoma
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Re: New 1...e5! book by Mikhail Marin!
Reply #259 - 01/17/08 at 17:59:52
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I don't understand all the hub bub. Because Quality Chess is updating the books this means the first two are completely obsolete, terrible, worthless works? How do we know whether all 100 pages are addressing omissions, mistakes etc and not also giving more explanations, strategic ideas and such? And I find it a bit odd for someone to complain about the books when they have not even read them.

The idea is to know the openings inside out, to feel so comfortable in them you find the correct move even if you have forgotten theory, are taken by surprise, or what not. The only serious, glaring errors are when the Belgrade Opening, or bishop's opening are omitted...and that was covered free of charge by QualityChess to correct this mistake.

I think we're nitpicking this issue too much, when we have a really good product on our hands.

These are great opening and middlegame works. I prefer to know the reasons behind each move, or I'll forget endless memorized lines very quickly. For updates, or errors when they are found, there is always Chesspublishing.com  Smiley

-Seth Homa, National Master
  
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Matemax
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Re: New 1...e5! book by Mikhail Marin!
Reply #258 - 01/17/08 at 16:28:43
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Quote:
this is probably the last time we will listen to the concerns of the readers and react to them by providing corrections, updates and expansions when we reprint

Unbelievable! Modern business knows that its all about the customer or shall I say in this case the reader  Shocked

I really appreciated books like "Learn from the legends" and "Experts vs. Sicilian", which I bought - even if they are not perfect (the "Experts" book is a good working basis - but not a solution), I did not expect this. Reading this shocking statement from Aagaard makes me really thinking about NEVER buying any book from them anymore  Angry

What happened to your mission?
"Our central to our mission statement is to improve conditions for writers and readers alike"  (from: http://www.qualitychessbooks.com/about.aspx) Cry
  
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Jacob Aagaard
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Re: New 1...e5! book by Mikhail Marin!
Reply #257 - 01/17/08 at 15:42:51
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It is still astonishing to me that the knowledge of an upgraded version of a book is seen as changing the value of the already existing edition. I am not out to be offensive, but the logic is not clear to me.

The presupposition that the book was rushed through is strange. Anyone who has looked at it carefully will know that this is not the case. Rather it has been highly praised everywhere.

Yes, the book has omissions. But many opening books have omissions and are automatically reprinted without complaints.

However, before anyone gets really annoyed, know that you had the book before the new edition was available (and it will be a while still) and that you will get free access to the updates on the website.

But, as we are not out to annoy anyone, this is probably the last time we will listen to the concerns of the readers and react to them by providing corrections, updates and expansions when we reprint. Why do the extra effort for no financial gain when it is so unappreciated?

Jacob


  
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GMTonyKosten
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Re: New 1...e5! book by Mikhail Marin!
Reply #256 - 01/17/08 at 13:50:17
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I feel sympathy for Quality Chess here, as the original oversights and omissions are down to the author, and the fact that they are going to such cost and effort to improve the book is to their credit. As Jacob points out, few other publishers bother.
It is a bit annoying for people like myself who bought the first copy, though! Angry

ZCC wrote on 09/24/07 at 20:46:28:
Stefan Kindermann in his book "THE SPANISH EXCHANGE VARIATION - 2005"  suggested as main line a very interesting new idea of Vladimir Baklan :   9.dxe5!?
...

At first impression It seems to me not analyzed in Marin's book... in Megabase 2007 there are 2 games but white scores 100% ...  Cry

I was doing some research into this variation (for my own repertoire) and also noticed that after 9 Nbd2 instead (which Stefan gives as an alternative) 9...0-0 10 Qc2 Marin gives 10...Kh8 11 c4 exd4 12 Nxd4 c5 13 N4b3 b6 "with a comfortable position", but Stefan points out that 11 c4 is dubious and that playing (the fairly obvious) 11 h3! first gives White the advantage!
Woe betide anyone who uses Marin's repertoire against someone who uses Stefan's!! Sad
Incidentally, the Marin note in question is actually a full 30 pages after the original line!! Angry
  
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Re: New 1...e5! book by Mikhail Marin!
Reply #255 - 01/17/08 at 12:59:15
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My sense is that the disagreement can be summarized thusly:

On the one hand, the book is hardly a year old and is receiving a substantial upgrade.  Great news, but maybe the book was hastily run through the publishing process if considerable revisions need to be made so soon.  As I understand the discussion here, these are additions rather than corrections for the most part (like the Belgrade insert).

On the other hand—and speaking from experience—a book is never finished.  There are always additions, corrections, etc., so kudos for deciding to revise.

Frankly, I'm a big fan of the two Marin opening books.  They will disappoint the reader who just wants to know what move to play after move x, but they are incredibly instructive and rewarding to the reader who wants to understand what they are looking at in the openings in question.  Neither book is comprehensive, but I have found myself able to respond intelligently to opponents who make a move out of book, thanks to Marin's descriptive explanations.

I own both books.  I have spent a lot of time with the Spanish volume, and a little less with the Open Games, but have been working my way through it slowly.  Yes, I'm sure there are gaps and opening lines that are missing, but my study leaves me feeling rather well prepared even in lines that aren't in the book.  In all likelihood, I'll probably buy a new edition, but I don't think I really need to in terms of the instruction Marin provides.  And given the number of other volumes out there, not least John Emms's good book, I really don't think owners of the first edition need feel jilted.  If you were looking for a manual that simply showed you what move to play rather than one tried to provide deeper insight into important positions, then the first edition was probably disappointing in the first place (although, even that section's not bad, but I don't understand why everyone seems to have skipped over Marin's text)...
  

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Jacob Aagaard
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Re: New 1...e5! book by Mikhail Marin!
Reply #254 - 01/17/08 at 08:31:21
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So I dropped in anyway, I guess I got curious.

Beating the Open Games is a great book by anyone's standard. The great reviews of it were not an accident. To say that these book lack in theoretical depth is simply ridiculous. Or to say that I do not care about disgruntled customers.

I remember that Everyman sold the first 5000 copies of the first Kasparov book and that reviewers chopped it to pieces. There were too many mistakes. Kasparov then corrected the manuscript and in all other editions it was longer and better.

In English they just reprinted the first edition. Again and again. Reason: Why work when people buy it anyway.

Maybe we should do the same. In this case our customers would not have to be unhappy that if they had waited 1 year then a better edition might appear. Which by the way will have to be more expensive. And the additions will all be freely available on our website. As is Mihail's update with the Belgrade Gambit, an update we at some cost had inserted in all the books sold in the US, as well as advised our European sellers to include it or make their customers aware of it.

To compare I could criticise those books mentioned, but I think this would be unfair on their authors, who just like Mihail, tried to present something useful to their readers.

Finally, I always answer e-mails on jacob@qualitychessbooks.com. If anyone else has something they want to say about our books, positive or negative, I am always happy to listen. We are a business, but we also care about the quality of our product intensely. Unfortunately this is not always the case with other publishers, which is why I went from writing into publishing in the first place.

So, no, I do not feel guilty about improving our products.

  
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Re: New 1...e5! book by Mikhail Marin!
Reply #253 - 01/17/08 at 08:08:32
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Hello,

I would just like to comment that the comparison of what is happening with this two book series, and chess stars ones, like the QGA one which is now in third edition, is not really fair. The chess stars ones have the concept of looking at the most upto date ideas possible, where there was always going to be updates. I think there was very reasonable coverage of all lines in these books, for the date published. At my level of play, ~ 2000, it is not really crucial to keep up with the arms race in QGA, so might not buy the third edition. (Will probably anyway because of sort of obsessed with this book).
                    In contrast what is happening with Marin books looks like trying to repair major flaws.

Bye John S
  
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Re: New 1...e5! book by Mikhail Marin!
Reply #252 - 01/17/08 at 07:14:48
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Sorry, but I am now too busy to continue to represent the views of those amongst us who feel disgruntled.
  
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Re: New 1...e5! book by Mikhail Marin!
Reply #251 - 01/17/08 at 02:49:34
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Would you rather that he didn't update the book?

The fact that they try to improve their products is a good thing, not a bad one.  If you don't want the updated version, then don't buy it.  You're no worse off than you were before. 



 

  
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Re: New 1...e5! book by Mikhail Marin!
Reply #250 - 01/17/08 at 01:47:03
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slates wrote on 01/16/08 at 19:56:16:
It's unfortunate that my comments may have been interpreted as unnecessarily harsh - they may not represent the views of others who bought the book (which I do think looks excellent, by the way). I just found myself in agreement with BlkSabb on this one, despite generally enjoying Quality Chess products (such as the San Luis tournament book, which is excellent by anybody's standards) and also after having been impressed by Mr Aagaard's own books in the past, especially the Sveshnikov and first 'Excelling ...' title.  I appreciate that they want to give the best product possible and applaud that philosophy, so will await developments with interest.  
However, it seems unlikely that Jacob will revisit this thread, which is a shame.


Why apologise?

A book on 1...e5 that warrants an update of 100 plus pages so soon after being published, by definition cannot be excellent.

Thankfully I never purchased the previous book, and I am grateful to this forum for guiding me to this decision.

Marin is a strong Grandmaster and acclaimed writer, but in the specialised realm of Opening books he remained largely untested. I think his acclaim in writing about other aspects of the game influenced some of the overly glowing reviews this two part series got.

A clear warning sign that this book had some major problems, was the ommission of the Belgrade Gambit. Granted this gambit is not so popular nowadays, but still it is a rather dangerous line for those not familiar with its nuances. Such a glaring omission was enough to put me off as a buyer, not because I hold the Belgrade in high esteem, I certainly do not, but rather because it pointed to a lack of diligence which I surmised would more than likely manifest itself in other areas of the book.

Moreover, at least three preceeding major repertoire works that covered this 1...e5 material, namely:  Play the Open Ganes as Black by Emms; Play 1e4 e5! by Nigel Davies and The Chess Advantage in Black & White by Larry Kaufman all covered the Belgrade Gambit adequately and in the case of Kaufman and Davies works were all the more impressive as he had to cover not only the non Ruy Lopez lines but the Ruy Lopez as well, a task which they both accomplished admirably. This raises another important question for me, that is, what source materials were cited in the Bibliography.

This next query may seem amusing for some, but I wonder if Marin considered the Halloween Gambit. The Halloween surely lacks the respectibility of some of the more long standing and established Gambits, but yet again this is one not to be dismissed too lightly in a repertoire book aimed primarily at club level players. Of the three repertoire books I mentioned earlier, only Emms book failed to consider the Halloween Gambit, and this may have a bit to do with its  publication date of 2000 which may have been just prior to the rise of this gambit as a dangerous and popular cult weapon particularly in online chess.  

Considering Marin's credentials and the fact that this book only deals with 1...e5 non Ruy Lopez lines, there really is no excuse for glaring omissions or a lack of theoretical depth in the lines considered.

The fact that such a massive updated new edition has appeared or is planned so soon after the first one was released does not surprise me that much. The speed of this  new release could possibly be as a consequence of many letters and emails to the editor from dissatisfied customers.

Regrettably I suspect that those luckless souls who rushed impulsively to pick up the first edition will have to bite the bullet and once again pay full price of admission for the second.

Its a pity that chess books aren't more like motor cars, in that where a serious manufacturers flaw is detected there is usually a mass recall and customers compensated accordingly. In this case, considering the time frame between the first and second editions, it seems only equitable that prior customers should be granted free access to the new updated material, but that's just me.

Lets not blame Mr. Aagaard for being 'too busy' to follow the customer feedback in this thread, after all, why empathise with the feelings of one or two disgruntled customers who feel like they are being milked for all they are worth. I eagerly look forward to the third edition of 1...e5! by Marin with all the updated analysis in a few months, as I am sure there must be loads of repeat customers willing to pay full price yet again for overlapping analysis with a few new ideas tossed into the mix.    

Caveat Emptor my friends, Caveat Emptor.

Toppy Smiley  

 

  

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Re: New 1...e5! book by Mikhail Marin!
Reply #249 - 01/16/08 at 19:56:16
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It's unfortunate that my comments may have been interpreted as unnecessarily harsh - they may not represent the views of others who bought the book (which I do think looks excellent, by the way). I just found myself in agreement with BlkSabb on this one, despite generally enjoying Quality Chess products (such as the San Luis tournament book, which is excellent by anybody's standards) and also after having been impressed by Mr Aagaard's own books in the past, especially the Sveshnikov and first 'Excelling ...' title.  I appreciate that they want to give the best product possible and applaud that philosophy, so will await developments with interest.  
However, it seems unlikely that Jacob will revisit this thread, which is a shame.
  
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