Saturday, April 24, 2010


Yesterday I received a very fine book, by Artur Yusupov. It, as you can see, is called Boost Your Chess The Fundamentals 1. It's from Quality Chess in Scotland.

Also pictured is Build Up Your Chess The Fundamentals 1. Notice the similarities.

Although publishers tend to defend stupid choices, certain things never seem to stand out to them:
1. Same or similar colors (see ChessBase DVDs for really great examples of PP manufacturing).
2. Similar titles (Boost and Build), Subtitles are the same, the indicia (1) is the same.
3. The graphic design really went overboard putting a square on the recent book's cover and a circle on the previous books cover! But the same photograph!
4. The inside Preface from Anand and the Introduction by Yusupov are the same!! No real reason for what this new book is except a very brief note on the back cover!

After that first visual introduction the books veer off into two different volumes, yet, they are part of a series.

You might call the new one "more information," or "more subjects" in a similar vein. Indeed, the material is good. The choice of presenting the books was terrible, and this from a company who has "Quality" in their name! It's like the USPS. The last "S" stands for service and one certainly doesn't get that when waiting in long lines at the counter day after day because the local postmaster is too preoccupied to care.

When looking the new book over last night at a coffee shop, at first I wasn't sure I had grabbed the right book. I finally convinced myself I had gotten the right book, but still realized what a dumb job was done in marketing it. The other two books in the first "series" were other colors, I think blue and green. Are we going to get two more titles in this "new" series in blue and green too!

Whoever does the design work HAS to take into consideration:
a) pulling the correct stock from the shelves;
b) color-blind employees;
c) people filling orders who don't use barcodes (after all, customers don't use them!);
d) Getting the RIGHT title to customers who know what they are ordering (and who will be just as flummoxed when they get the wrong book). Time and postage as well as bookkeeping, wasted.

Most established companies do not make this mistake (ChessBase is established but they keep making this mistake).

It's time to get back to Design Basics 101, not "Design Basics (sort of) 101."

The retail on this 265 page book is $29.95. The G&L price is $25.50, and the Gold Card price is $22.50.

A review will appear in The Chess Reports.

1 comment:

  1. On the Quality Chess website there is a link to Yusupov's training course, 3 series w/ 3 levels. The only difference between the series that I could see was a circle, square, or triangle over the same chess picture. Maybe you could email J.A. about this issue as 5/9ths of this series hasn't been published.