Starting in Feb of this year I took on the challenge of improving using mostly Quality Chess books. The only times I have allowed myself to go outside of QC items is when there is a topic that they simply don’t cover or don’t cover well.
So I have used some non-QC books on endings and tactics specifically. For example, Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual, Minev’s Practical Rook Endings, Susan Polgar’s A World Champions Guide to Tactics, and Lazlo Polgar’s book Chess.
I have also read the magazines I subscribe too. Namely Chess Life, New in Chess, and American Chess Magazine, which of course I also write for.
The books that I have used the most from Quality Chess are Positional Play by Jacob Aagaard, How I Beat Fischer’s Record by Judit Polgar, Questions of Modern Chess Theory by Isaac Lipnitsky, Soviet Middlegame Technique by Petr Romanovsky, Tactimania by Glenn Flear, and the first two Yusupov books.
I have also used the Kotronias on the King’s Indian series quite a lot, as well as his book Carlsen’s Assault on the Throne.
Although my rating has oscillated between 1760-1815 for most of the last year I can tell that my knowledge has increased. Mathematically the truth is that to go from 1770-1900 (actually any 130 point differential) requires learning twice as much as one already knows. That is not a short journey that can be achieved at a sprint.
As noted previously I can tell by the way that I analyze and annotate that I am getting stronger in my abilities. Now I just have to implement them in practice and the rating should follow.
Easier said than done, but I intend to give myself the opportunity to do so over the coming year by playing much more than I have been.
The takeaway from this project is that QC puts out excellent training materials, and that anyone who actively uses their books for learning should do quite well.
Til Next Time,