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Going to Moscow

I am in Denmark playing a perpetual double round event (lost to a promising junior in round 4 after some escapes earlier and am on 2.5/4). Monday I am going to Moscow to follow the World Championship from game 9. Meanwhile Andrew, Colin and John work non-stop to finish books back in Glasgow.

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  1. Kieran
    May 19th, 2012 at 10:39 | #1

    I fear you will spend more time on the plane than watching the games….

  2. Jacob Aagaard
    May 19th, 2012 at 12:34 | #2

    @Kieran
    It is quite clear that Anand is increasingly coming under pressure. The way things are turning out at the moment, the match is approaching a lottery and this cannot be in Anand’s interest. So, maybe the last four games will be more interesting.

    On the other hand, both players lack any confidence to actually play chess and seem to focus entirely on their prepartion – and on safety. It was quite telling that Anand missed his winning chances in game 3.

  3. Nikos Ntirlis
    May 19th, 2012 at 13:09 | #3

    I am playing in the same tournament as Jacob and i can tell you that some of the games here are indeed more interesting than the Anand-Gelfand ones (probably not by own ones!).

  4. Abramov Anjuhin
    May 19th, 2012 at 19:08 | #4

    Recently I started working with Johan Hellsten’s book “Mastering Chess Strategy” which I found to be a must for every aspiring chess player. It has 240 educative examples and corresponding 382 exercises to train what has been learned. Besides the material the author is also outstanding: peak Elo rating 2592.

    Jacob, do you have in mind to publish similar book by Quality? Herewith I excluded your GM Preparation books which shall be advanced and predominantly pure training books, while Hellsten’s book comes as a handbook.

    Also please let me pass you some title suggestions:

    1. GM Repertoire King’s Indian

    2. Compendium of chess strategy

    3. Advanced training: Tactics
    – workbook with 600 positions ranging from ELO 1600-2300

    4. Advanced training: Strategy & positional play
    – workbook with 600 positions ranging from ELO 1600-2300

    5. Advanced training: Endgame
    – workbook with 600 positions ranging from ELO 1600-2300

    6. Advanced training: Calculation
    – workbook with 600 positions ranging from ELO 1600-2300

    7. Advanced training: Attack
    – workbook with 600 positions ranging from ELO 1600-2300

    8. Advanced training: Defence
    – workbook with 600 positions ranging from ELO 1600-2300

    The “Advanced training” series can be seen as a prelude to GM Preparation series. I personal think that you are lacking at puzzle books for players in ELO 1600-2300 range.

    Besides 5 books in GM Preparation series, you could repair and update The Quality Chess Puzzle Book and Practical Chess Defence as GM Preparation – Tactics and GM Preparation – Defence.

    Thanks for care 🙂

  5. Hesam
    May 20th, 2012 at 01:35 | #5

    I don’t know why people are doubting Anand so much (Kasparov said Anand has lost motivation, somebody should have told him that when he was Anand’s age he quit the game altogether!). Has anyone noticed how comfortable Anad has been with Black pieces compared to Gelfand? And with White pieces Anand got a promising position in game 1 (missed 15. Bf4), a winning position in game 3 (missed 34. d7) and I think he played 1. e4 in game 5 so that his team can finish their work on Gruenfeld (we will see the results in game 8).

  6. Seth
    May 21st, 2012 at 06:46 | #6

    People are doubting Anand because he was an overwhelming favorite going into the match and not only is he not blowing Gelfand away, but he is now down a point past the half-way mark of the contest.

    This is clearly not the same inspired Anand who literally blew Kramnik away in a World Championship match just a few years ago.

  7. John Pugh
    May 21st, 2012 at 14:55 | #7

    Then Anand strikes back winning game 8 in 18 moves!

    It’s getting interesting – shame its such a short match – I liked the old 24 game format ( showing my age again!)@Seth

  8. Jacob Aagaard
    May 22nd, 2012 at 05:58 | #8

    I missed game 8 because it was so short! Not only was it quick, but it was even less than 18 moves…

    I hope that Gelfand will still win, but I also have a slightly selfish hope that it wil go all the way to the play-off, rewarding me for coming for the end of the match only!

  9. ray
    May 22nd, 2012 at 14:33 | #9

    i think the tide has changed for good and from now it will be Anand all the way !

  10. Patrick
    May 22nd, 2012 at 14:38 | #10

    John Pugh :Then Anand strikes back winning game 8 in 18 moves!
    It’s getting interesting – shame its such a short match – I liked the old 24 game format ( showing my age again!)@Seth

    John – not that I’m showing age, I was only 9 when this happened, but what about the even older “First to 6 – draws count for nothing” format, and no stopping at 5 to 3? 😀

  11. John Shaw
    May 22nd, 2012 at 14:52 | #11

    @Patrick

    Patrick,

    I know you were talking to a different John, but I will reply anyway. I think the “first to win six” format could be too long (as the two K’s proved). This 12-game match is too short. I vote for 24 games as being just right.

  12. decredico
    May 22nd, 2012 at 20:49 | #12

    How about first to gain a two game advantage?

    Why is ‘too long’ a fear?

  13. Jacob Aagaard
    May 22nd, 2012 at 21:09 | #13

    @ray
    Hopefully not! BORIS!!

  14. Jacob Aagaard
    May 22nd, 2012 at 21:19 | #14

    @decredico
    Money. This kind of matches worked mainly because the only one that was this way was played in the Soviet Union and the prizes were only official and not really paid out.
    I remember in Seirawan’s book, in the final chapter, at one point he says that World Championships do not have the financial support they once had, and in another he criticises the 12-16 game matches played over the last 20 years. But really, think of the need for paying 4-6 members of your team only – not to think of the extra strain and other expenses for the players. Then think of the expenses for the organisors. Journalists, FIDE and so on. We just do not have the support to have longer matches at the moment.

  15. Hesam
    May 23rd, 2012 at 00:55 | #15

    Seth :
    People are doubting Anand because he was an overwhelming favorite going into the match and not only is he not blowing Gelfand away, but he is now down a point past the half-way mark of the contest.
    This is clearly not the same inspired Anand who literally blew Kramnik away in a World Championship match just a few years ago.

    Two things:

    1. Anyone who expected a 6.5 – 2.5 score before the match were simply deluding themselves.

    2. Anand – Kramnik match turned the way it did mostly b/c of Anand opening preparation which had little to do with motivation. He got to play all his ace ideas and all of them got him a point. As Leko pointed out in game 3 (first game in Anand-Meran line) Kramnik could have opted for draw but tried to win. In game 5 (second game in Anand-Meran line) Anand and his team decided to repeat the line only an hour or so before the game …

  16. Frankfurter Bub
    May 23rd, 2012 at 08:30 | #16

    @ decredico
    Imagine you are 1:0 behind. On the one hand you will have play to get equal, but on the other you know with second loss its immediately, maybe even in the second or third game, over. Will you really take any risk to to get equal or will you wait for mistakes of your opponent?

    Besides: over the weekend I was working with a book of Everyman. Content: 100 %, cover page: 100%, paper: 50 %, back 25%. It is a working book, but the risk that the back is breaking extremly high. Quality Chess you are spoiling us with technically well made books 🙂

  17. Jacob Aagaard
    May 23rd, 2012 at 10:21 | #17

    @Frankfurter Bub
    I am always very happy when people say nice things about us. You know, my parents did not love me and now I do everything I can to get the praise of the public; this is the driving force of Quality Chess (not really, it is John’s violent temper that keeps us all in check – luckily he does not read the blog).

  18. decredico
    May 23rd, 2012 at 16:39 | #18

    @Frankfurter Bub

    My own anecdotal perceptions are not so valid here (nor are anyone else’s!), but yes I would play ovaries to the wall to win even 1 point down.

    I don’t mind draws in chess or in WC chess but I do think 12 games is too short and that many people feel the right people are not playing for the WC and that this creates a bias for us.

  19. Jacob Aagaard
    May 23rd, 2012 at 18:34 | #19

    @decredico
    I think the match could be 14 or 16 games and be better, but the dream of 24 games is long gone I fear. Also, the qualification process was really not good. I am very happy with the winner we got, because I like him, but of course he is no the best possible candidate.

  20. decredico
    May 24th, 2012 at 03:47 | #20

    @Jacob Aagaard

    In the USA we are very used to the best team not winning championships so I have no problem if player ranked below top ten does what it takes to win. In fact, I am pulling for Mr Gelfand here as a change at the top would be good for the sport, I think. I thought he should great resilience and fortitude in coming back after that 17 move nightmare the other day and looks as if he is poised to make a real run at it.

    But, I don’t think we are seeing the Anand we are used to seeing, the one that could blitz out 50 moves in complex positions.

    It should be an most interesting set of games coming up; a best of three format!

  21. Jacob Aagaard
    May 24th, 2012 at 06:27 | #21

    @decredico
    One of the reasons why the match has become a bit dull to some is that Gelfand clearly have understood that Anand’s great understanding of the initiative should be contained to some extend. Once this has happened, they both have their weaknesses, Gelfand miscalculates a bit too much and Anand does not have a great enough feeling for long term things – though this is compared to all others on this level of cause, and not in general…

  22. Sunil
    May 25th, 2012 at 13:41 | #22

    Hi Jacob,

    What are your views on publishing books in the range of ELO 1600-2100/2300. I am really eager to buy these books.
    I bet the quality in your books are unmatched and if you cover the whole set as mentioned in the blog below, what more to say.

    If others share my opinion, please do support me.

    Abramov Anjuhin :Recently I started working with Johan Hellsten’s book “Mastering Chess Strategy” which I found to be a must for every aspiring chess player. It has 240 educative examples and corresponding 382 exercises to train what has been learned. Besides the material the author is also outstanding: peak Elo rating 2592.
    Jacob, do you have in mind to publish similar book by Quality? Herewith I excluded your GM Preparation books which shall be advanced and predominantly pure training books, while Hellsten’s book comes as a handbook.
    Also please let me pass you some title suggestions:
    1. GM Repertoire King’s Indian
    2. Compendium of chess strategy
    3. Advanced training: Tactics- workbook with 600 positions ranging from ELO 1600-2300
    4. Advanced training: Strategy & positional play- workbook with 600 positions ranging from ELO 1600-2300
    5. Advanced training: Endgame- workbook with 600 positions ranging from ELO 1600-2300
    6. Advanced training: Calculation- workbook with 600 positions ranging from ELO 1600-2300
    7. Advanced training: Attack- workbook with 600 positions ranging from ELO 1600-2300
    8. Advanced training: Defence- workbook with 600 positions ranging from ELO 1600-2300
    The “Advanced training” series can be seen as a prelude to GM Preparation series. I personal think that you are lacking at puzzle books for players in ELO 1600-2300 range.
    Besides 5 books in GM Preparation series, you could repair and update The Quality Chess Puzzle Book and Practical Chess Defence as GM Preparation – Tactics and GM Preparation – Defence.
    Thanks for care

  23. Waldorf
    May 25th, 2012 at 14:03 | #23

    I think Yusupows training series is exactly what you want to have.

  24. Jacob Aagaard
    May 25th, 2012 at 20:38 | #24

    @Sunil
    1) We want to do this
    2) My two next books cover this to some extend
    3) Quality Chess Puzzle Book
    4) Again – my next two books
    5) Also in the coming soon section
    6) CALCULATION – just out
    7) There are some 200+ exercises in my Attacking Manuals if you use them right. Otherwise I would say QUALITY CHESS PUZZLE BOOK!
    8) Practical Chess Defence

    Sure, you could always have more material on everything, but before we sell truckloads of the books we have on these subjects, we are not going about producing more on the same subjects.

  25. Jacob Aagaard
    May 25th, 2012 at 20:38 | #25

    @Waldorf
    The Yusupov series goes almost up to 2300 in level in my opinion. My books are more 2000-2800…

  26. Waldorf
    May 25th, 2012 at 22:04 | #26

    Hasn`t Sunial asked for training books in the range of 1600-2300?
    Aren`t Yusupows 9 books directly adressed to that range?

  27. Jacob Aagaard
    May 25th, 2012 at 22:14 | #27

    @Waldorf
    Yes. But I think he was asking my opinion, so I just piggy-backed…

  28. Anand
    May 26th, 2012 at 05:29 | #28

    Hi Jacob/ Hi Waldorf,

    Yusupov book’s are great workbooks. The problem for my students is to find a set of books by one singe author who would cover the subjects – Tactics, Defence, Strategy, Positional chess, Endgame, Calculation.
    Many a times students end up juggling between books not knowing which books to read and in what order. This is the biggest reason why they loose direction and are not able to increase their rating.

    I have read Attacking manual and I find them very good. Hence I recommend you/Shaw/Yusupov to pen down this series, because if one person handles this, he would know what needs to be covered in the set of books to bring a student from 1600 to 2300. This would ensure that students read your books as the primary material with Yusupov’s as an exercise book.

    Regards,
    Anand

  29. Kieran
    May 29th, 2012 at 09:36 | #29

    Kieran :I fear you will spend more time on the plane than watching the games….

    Well, I was hoping that i would be proved wrong. Anyway, the blitz games will hopefully provide some more interesting games, even if it is a rather unsatisfactory way of deciding the champ

  30. Hesam
    June 3rd, 2012 at 03:07 | #30

    Seth :
    People are doubting Anand because he was an overwhelming favorite going into the match and not only is he not blowing Gelfand away, but he is now down a point past the half-way mark of the contest.
    This is clearly not the same inspired Anand who literally blew Kramnik away in a World Championship match just a few years ago.

    The world champion after the match:

    “I never saw myself as a favourite, the thing I knew Gelfand would be a very very difficult opponent. And looking at his recent plays I understood that this is how the match would go. And so I never felt I had to answer after every game ‘what was going wrong?’ because nothing was going wrong.

    This was Gelfand playing well and me trying to play equally well, hang in there and wait for my chance. But all those people who said I was a favourite were reluctant to admit that they were wrong and were simply saying that I lacked motivation and was playing badly and so on and on. And I definitely feel like I proved something here.”

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