View Full Version : Chesspublishing.com

Sir Cromulent Sparkles
14-10-2014, 03:03 AM

I was just wondering what people think of chesspublishing.com as I am considering dipping my feet into the water and subscribing (3 sections initially).

Is it good value ?
Are there any sections that are better than others ?
Are there any aspects of the service that strike folks as being good/bad ?

Any feedback would be much appreciated.


Ian Rout
14-10-2014, 09:38 AM
I recently subscribed and I find it interesting. Each section has about six or more of the latest games, and it's a lot easier to get them this way than trawling through the databases.

It should be said that it is not about shock value openings like SOS, which is not its purpose. The examples are mainly GM/IM practice and mainly "approved" lines, though there has been the odd Bird and Polish over the years. You could compare it to an academic journal promulgating incremental advancements in an area of knowledge.

Nor is it about teaching the openings; this is also not its purpose, but having said that many of the annotations would benefit from a few words identifying and explaining the key point of the opening phase and what makes the game important.

If you were just trying three I would include Anti-Sicilians since most people could find something they can manage to use, it inherently has more entertainment potential, and David Smerdon writes it. Max Illingworth does the d4 d5 (mainly Queen's Gambit) if that suits your repertoire. Dragons and Nimzo/Benoni are a couple that come to mind as having more approachable annotations. But be aware that authors change over time.

Overall I'd say the site is a good way to follow chess (albeit from a particular focus), but I don't think I've ever managed to play anything I studied from it.

Max Illingworth
14-10-2014, 09:49 AM
I've been a Gold subscriber for many years and think it's fantastic value for money. In the case of the gold subscription (all 12 sections) you have access to over 19,000 annotated games (some of the early ones are annotated quite lightly though). You can also find a summary of the key points of each major variation (called 'ChessPub Guides') to help you make sense of all the material and form a repertoire. There are other features but it's perhaps best to think of it as an opening book that continually updates itself. Anyone can get something out of it, but you won't find much explanation of the ideas behind the early moves as the contributors assume that the reader is already quite strong and knows this.

At the moment I write the 1.d4 d5 section so I'll let you be the judge of that. All of the sections are quite good (though in the narrow ones there can be a bit of unavoidable repetition, and in the broad ones there will inevitably be gaps). I find Smerdon's column on the Anti-Sicilians quite inspiring and I get a lot out of the Flank Openings section (currently written by the site owner, Tony Kosten). Watson's French column is also extremely good.

The only criticism I have is that sometimes the game annotations are a bit too light for my liking or some rare but important line is ignored, but I don't think that will be a problem for you.

To give you an idea of how much you get for each update, I'll give the length of each column (in ChessBase Print Preview pages) for September 2014:

1.e4 e5 - 15 pages
French - 10 pages
Dragons - 14 pages
Open Sicilians - 19 pages
Anti-Sicilians - 11 pages
1.e4... - 16 pages
1.d4 d5 - 29 pages
d-Pawn Specials - 15 pages
King's Indian - 12 pages
Nimzo & Benoni - 9 pages
Daring Defences - 21 pages
Flank Openings - 15 pages

14-10-2014, 11:02 AM
Lol, the 1. d4 d5 section is at least double the length of most of the others :P

14-10-2014, 05:43 PM
Lol, the 1. d4 d5 section is at least double the length of most of the others :P

I have seen some of the materials they published - not bad at all! It is of a lot of help to those who want to master a new opening. But then again, given the amount of free study materials available online, no need to subscribe to this one really. Furthermore, unless you are 2100+ no need to spend too much time on openings - many other areas to study.

Sir Cromulent Sparkles
14-10-2014, 08:45 PM
Hi again,

Thanks for all the responses.

I'm mainly angling towards "flank openings" to learn something new and probably both "anti-Sicilians"/"1.d4 specials" to help negate against whites refusal to enter beefier openings and to possibly include something from these sections into the white side of the repertoire.

I will check back with an evaluation of the service once signed up.


Max Illingworth
15-10-2014, 10:12 PM
By the way, my October column is up now (http://www.chesspublishing.com/content/7/index.htm). You can read the text introduction without being a subscriber.

Sir Cromulent Sparkles
16-10-2014, 08:02 PM
I have subscribed and it looks like there is plenty on offer to wade through but I am wondering why some of the sub section game files are more recent than others.

Looking at what I've subscribed to..........

"d4 pawn specials" features 6 sub sections although the Tromp and Veresov section includes games only as recently as 2004. I am wondering why this is so as all of the other sections in "d4 pawn specials" include a nice selection of games till as recently as 2014.

I have noticed the same occurrence in the "Anti-Sicilians" where the "GPA" section only includes annotated games until 2004, "morra gambit" section until 2004, "c3" until 2005, "Bb5" until 2006 whilst the "Closed Sicilian" section is the only sub section in "Anti-Sicilians" to include games as recently as 2014.

The "Flank Openings" section features the subsections "English symmetrical" with annotated games until 2004, "Other flank" until 2004, "Reti" until 2004, whilst those with annotated games as recently as 2014 include "English ...Nf6 and others" and the section on "Kings English".

I am interested to know why some sections have annotated games collections that are current, whilst some are as much as 10 years old. I can understand that some openings are infrequently played like the flank openings but I cant see why a few more annotated games could be added to bridge, in some cases, a 10 year gap in activity.

I was also wondering why there is not a single game by Vladimir Kramnik in the Reti section on the white side ?


17-10-2014, 08:45 PM
By the way, my October column is up now (http://www.chesspublishing.com/content/7/index.htm)
Excellent work Max! :clap: Finally something on the QGD Exchange :lol::lol: