Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Brief Return to Chess Blogging

My apologies for letting this blog sleep for so long with no explanation. I will return for some months now and some time in the spring 2012 I hope to move to a more appropriate forum for my future chess writing.

Quite likely a lot of my next postings will be about the King's Gambit (D).



I am working on a manuscript on this fascinating opening now. I feel I have a lot of good content but I am struggling with the organization of the material. And of course there is always the danger that essential variations are refuted during analysis.

For now I don't have any co-author but I hope that will change in the coming month.

PS: I am using a new set of tools to produce diagrams. I expect there will be some test and trials for the next few days.

12 comments:

Farbror the Guru said...

Great News! i wish I had the tactics muscle to play the King of Openings.

Fling said...

Great news!

What are you using for the diagrams, btw?

Sverre Johnsen said...

Farbror,

A valid point. The King's Gambit often turns very tactical. However, White's basic idea is positional and his compensation usually is positional. So the need for tactical muscles usually only shows at a few critical points where White must turn his compensation into something concrete - regain of the sacrificed material or (preferably) a mating attack.

Farbror the Guru said...

Sverre,

Thank you for interesting feedback. I have been sleeping with "Win with the London system" under my pillow for some time. I like the book that much. It will be interesting to read your text on the KG.

Sverre Johnsen said...

Fling,

I mostly use Chessbase 12 (although I still like Chessbase 10). However, my little challenge now is to find a good program to make small gif/jpg/png files of good quality, small file size and standard dimension in a program except Photoshop (which was my previous tool). I have tried Paint, Photo Editor and Visio. It seems they can all do the job (even if Visio is really for vectorized graphics). But I don't really feel at home in any of them. It seems I have to make too many steps (e.g. first setting the canvas the right size and only then pasting the picture) in order to get a good result. However, I expect to sort this out during the coming week.

Sverre Johnsen said...

Farbror,

Glad you liked the London book. One of my challenges with the King's Gambit book is how to cater for players with little King's Gambit experience. In the London book my solution was to offer quite a lot of Illustrative Games in the first part of the book.

That seems a natural approach also for the King's Gambit book. However, this makes it quite difficult to quickly demonstrate the new and (hopefully) important ideas that I hope will revive the gambit. Now I am experimenting with other ways to structure the book. I tried to place the Illustrative Games at the end of the book but was not really happy with the result, so I keep shuffling the content around.

Farbror the Guru said...

Sverre, The Opening book design that has impressed me the much recently would be the Chess Stars books with their three step approach (Quick Repertoire, Step by Step and Complete Games).

I am just guessing, but I thing something as wild and "branchy" as KG might be suitable for a similar treatment.

The 30(?) games on the London system worked excellent as a kick-start for playing the London. My gut feel is that you need maybe ten times as many games to get a basic homely feel for the KG.

So, I will try not to distract you anymore and I will be looking forward to see the final product!

Anonymous said...

Will your King's Gambit book cover the Bishop's Gambit, Knight's Gambit, or both?

Are you publishing your King's Gambit book with Gambit publishing? Quality and Everyman also have King's Gambit books scheduled to come out soon. How do you think this will effect the sale of your book? I don't know the timeline for your book but you will probably be able to use these other 2 books as sources and this combined with your own analysis should make it the best King's Gambit book ever published!

Also, are you still planning to write a "Win With the..." book against 1.e4 and if you are have to decided what defense it will be?

Sverre Johnsen said...

Farbror,

In general I don't believe in writing chess books "by formulae". I think every book should be designed according to the pecularities of its subject and its intended target group.

Nevertheless Quick Repertoire, Step by Step and Complete Games (or maybe Quick Repertoire, Analysis and Complete Games) could well be the ideal way to organize the KG book.

Sverre Johnsen said...

Anonymous,

I will offer a repertoire (in the broad sense) for White in the Knight variation (3.Nf3).

I plan to publish this book independently (or rather to start my own chess publishing company). I will return to this in a later blog entry.

I have an informal agreement with Gambit Publishing that until further notice they will reserve a spot for a third "Win with the ..." book for Black against 1.e4.

As a matter of fact I have drafted a manuscript based on the Scandinavian Defence but so far I don't have anything really interesting to offer. It's just a theoretical overview of no particular interest (and slowly getting out-dated).

Anonymous said...

A SET of tools to produce diagram? Why don't you simply use Aquarium for that. You can copy/paste the board image or save it to file. You can set the exact dimensions of the image (works both for copying and saving to file) and you can save in PNG or JPG format. It's a one-step operation and no additional tools are needed.
I know this works fine in Aquarium 2011. Haven't tested in previous versions.

Sverre Johnsen said...

Anonymous,

Thanks for some useful input!

I see now that Rybka 3.1 and (more importantly) Chessbase 10 can create jpg- or bmp-files. I cannot see how I set the dimensions (or the resolution) but maybe it's a function of the board size.

I will check with Rybka 4 and Chessbase 12 when I am at my home computer.