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Strategic Play

Not sure anyone are interested, but I am in the process of putting the exercises for Grandmaster Preparation – Strategic Play into Word. It will take to the end of the week. There will be a bit of extra organising of the remaining material as well as a bit of extra writing to do, but I am more than 90% there. It has been a very challenging book to write so far (the hardest bit should be over) and it will be very difficult chess wise. I appreciate that this book will not be for everybody, but it was a book I always wanted to write. And after all – it is Grandmaster Preparation, not amateur training :-).

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  1. Barry
    January 16th, 2013 at 07:30 | #1

    I’m very much interested in all of the Grandmaster Preparation books (not that I’m anywhere near done with the first two books…and quite possibly will never be the way I’m going :-)). I’m eagerly awaiting the Strategic Play book. I was actually worried that it’s being delayed because of all the other projects. Thanks for the update.

  2. Jacob Aagaard
    January 16th, 2013 at 10:14 | #2

    @Barry
    You are welcome

  3. Capodoglio
    January 16th, 2013 at 15:17 | #3

    After the excellent reading of AM1+2 I’ve recently bought both GM Prep books and I’m working my way through (slowly atm, I’m preparing opening for a coming tournament).

    Do you think I should get your “Excelling” series too, or the contents could be considered redundant in the “training process”? (I’m a 2200-2300 player, trying to improve now that I have more time and will to dedicate to chess).

    Any other tips or suggestions are welcome indeed!

  4. Patrick
    January 16th, 2013 at 16:19 | #4

    Hey, I’m up for the challenge. I am only on the first book right now, but I’m picking up a lot already, even only being about 2100. Some may say these books are over the head of a 2100 player, but not this 2100 player!

    For example, I just finished the chapter on Prophylaxis and am on the text portion of Comparison right now. Didn’t get as high a percentage right as I did the first two chapters, but it still told me what my problem is. I have a case of “over-prophylaxis”, if there is such a thing. Problems with concrete threats on a piece (i.e. Problem 1), concrete threats on the King (i.e. Problem 22), camoflagued threats on the King mixed in with the concrete threats (i.e. Problem 8), and eliminating defenders (i.e. Problem 12) are all ones I got right.

    However, I seem to have the opposite problem of what Jacob advertises at the start of the chapter about being much more interested in ourselves than our opponents. I, on the other hand, think Defense first, then Offense, and often find the defensive threats along with “false threats”. Problem is, I deem a move a threat when it really isn’t. This might explain why I draw too much at my level. My career draw ratio, including games when I was 1200 back in 1996 where draws are supposedly rare, is almost 23%, which seems high for someone my rating.

    A prime example of this is problem 21 in that same chapter on prophylaxis, where while I did consider the correct move (which I won’t disclose so as not to spoil), I didn’t go with it because I saw problems with Qb6 by Black, albeit not immediately because of a check and then capture of the Bishop, but determined that threats to the Rook, King, and in some cases Queen (in the event of Qb6 and a discovered check with c4), made the move 1.c4 necessary, and was what I went with, thinking Black has the Ng6 defense to any Queen checks down the g-file, and Kh8 if White ever attacks down the a2-g8 diagonal.

    In my own games, most my losses and draws come from failure to make moves I actually consider, not failure to find them. Now the reason behind each mistake is different. Sometimes it’s a tactical oversight, other times a poor strategic idea, many times seeing these “false threats” by my opponent, and other times it’s mere time trouble (if the problems in Jacob’s books take 20 minutes each, imagine my clock by move 25! :-)).

    However, I say, BRING IT ON JACOB! If you can write it, I can solve it! 😀

  5. Jacob Aagaard
    January 16th, 2013 at 21:59 | #5

    @Patrick
    An important chapter in Thinking Inside the Box is supposed to deal with decision making. To me this is one of the most important part of being successful in chess. When I look at the games by the most successful players, then they overwhelmingly (with the caveat that there is always many ways to do almost anything) make certain types of quickly, but know quite well, when it is important to concentrate for a longer amount of time. Those prone to continuous time trouble do not make it all the way to the top. They exist further down, but if they had solved their ability for decision making, then maybe they would be doing much better?

  6. January 23rd, 2013 at 04:13 | #6

    This sounds like the next level version of position play… Cant wait!!

  7. Paul Brøndal
    January 30th, 2013 at 09:12 | #7

    Jacob, I really enjoy your book on Positional Play in the GP series. It is so much fun to solve the exercises on my train trips to work, so I have also ordered your book on calculation and also look forward to buying the remaining 3 books in the series.

    I just love the concept of reading chess books without a chess set as my time is very limited with a full-time job, family and total addiction to marathon running.

    Probably I’m not the typical reader of your books as my last serious tournament game was back in the early 90’s. Once in a while I play a rapid tournament why an exercise in the book gets max 6-7 minutes…

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