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The Boris Gelfand Q&A – The Answers

During XtraCon Open in Helsingor, Denmark, I got to spend some time together with Boris Gelfand, face to face, for the first time since the Tromso Olympiad. Since then we have written two books together.

The most important thing we did was of course to get around to answer all of your questions. It took a little longer than we expected (Boris refused to be effective, wanted to be generous with his time instead), but anyway, here are the two videos.

I was not sure if I should mention people by name. I decided against it, as it gave me the freedom to rephrase the questions at time. Hope getting them answered was the main thing!

  1. Jimmy
    August 9th, 2016 at 07:11 | #1

    Qualitychess – Thank you!

    This is why I hang around your blog, because suddenly it provides a lot of value. Like today, I log in and find close to 4 hours of instructive videos with Boris Gelfand – how am I ever gonna get around to working today huh?
    Simply fantastic!
    That you also make good chess books is just a bonus 🙂

    Of course, a big thanks to Boris himself too.

  2. Jacob Aagaard
    August 9th, 2016 at 07:34 | #2

    @Jimmy
    Thank you.

    The book has maybe 50+ hours worth of Boris instruction; and none of it is in the videos. So worth those €29.99…

  3. Vassilis
    August 10th, 2016 at 17:47 | #3

    Great job!
    Thanks

  4. Andre
    August 10th, 2016 at 21:01 | #4

    Wonderful videos you recorded with Boris, especially the lesson. Thanks a lot!
    Maybe you could work a bit on the audio next time though. There must be ways to make the voices clearer by simple means. I sometimes had problems understanding everything. The result was that I had to turn the volume to max, which isn’t exactly ideal here. 😉

  5. Jake
    August 10th, 2016 at 22:44 | #5

    Hi jacob! ,It is one idea ,please , maybe post the answers (for those who do not fully understand English and can translate with the automatic translator?) 🙂

  6. August 12th, 2016 at 00:14 | #6

    Thanks again for this! The answer to my question was unexpected and illuminating.

  7. Fer
    August 12th, 2016 at 06:58 | #7

    dfan :
    Thanks again for this! The answer to my question was unexpected and illuminating.

    Which was you question? 🙂

  8. August 12th, 2016 at 11:41 | #8

    I asked which of Jacob’s shortcomings was most surprising to him when working together (because I am always interested in the difference between very strong players and super-strong players) and Gelfand’s answer (paraphrased) was that he focused overly much on concrete sequences at times that it was better to concentrate on the positional aspects. Sorry to make you ask that, Jacob, hopefully you got something out of the answer too 🙂

  9. Ray
    August 12th, 2016 at 17:17 | #9

    I finally got the time to watch the videos – they are great! Thanks a lot for this excellent service 🙂

  10. Jacob Aagaard
    August 12th, 2016 at 18:37 | #10

    @dfan
    Actually, it is a trick question. A lot of the time when we work together, I have the engine on and Boris does not. A lot of my ideas are personal ideas, but some of them are computer moves. As the machine is very concrete, this is what Boris has picked up. If you look at the final books and compare them with Boris’ own book, you would actually find the opposite pattern. But in neither case I think it is accurate.

  11. Jacob Aagaard
    August 12th, 2016 at 18:38 | #11

    @Jake
    We are an English publishing house, so we presume that people speak English. I know not everyone do, but I do not have a day or two to type all of this up in order to make it available for google translate. Sorry.

  12. Jacob Aagaard
    August 12th, 2016 at 18:39 | #12

    @Andre
    You should focus on work when you are at the office. Besides, I was not in charge of the video and only knew what they looked like after we had done them. I am very grateful to Tom for recording them and don’t think they are so bad.

  13. James
    August 15th, 2016 at 07:09 | #13

    Wow, thought this may have been forgotten about. Great job Jacob and thank you Boris for answering them.

  14. Fer
    August 16th, 2016 at 07:42 | #14

    Thanks, really an interesting question.

    @Jacob, would be nice if you can also give us your perspective about it (I’m sorry if you already done it in the video. I still had not time to watch it).

    dfan :
    I asked which of Jacob’s shortcomings was most surprising to him when working together (because I am always interested in the difference between very strong players and super-strong players) and Gelfand’s answer (paraphrased) was that he focused overly much on concrete sequences at times that it was better to concentrate on the positional aspects. Sorry to make you ask that, Jacob, hopefully you got something out of the answer too

  15. Leaf
    August 20th, 2016 at 22:56 | #15

    Dear Jacob,

    Since youtube.com is not available in some Asian countries, do you mind posing the videos on youku.com as well … ?

    Or, could you please give the short answers for my two questions … ? That is, why 1. b3 and 1 … b6 is not popular ? And, if one likes to play endgame and queenless middle-game, which openings should be played … ?

    Thanks …

  16. Jacob Aagaard
    August 21st, 2016 at 15:31 | #16

    @Leaf
    1.b3 and 1…b6 does not promote kingside development and does not fight hard for the centre. 1.b3 however is reasonably popular with original players still, for example Jobova.

    No, I cannot put it on youku, as I did not make the recording. It was a collaboration with xtracon chess festival. Sorry.

  17. Jacob Aagaard
    August 21st, 2016 at 15:31 | #17

    @Fer
    But I answered it here already…

  18. Leaf
    August 21st, 2016 at 22:03 | #18

    Thank you very much for your advice, it helps a lot …

    Also, could you please have any opening suggestions (or opening books) for players who love endgame and queen-less middle game … ?

  19. Jacob Aagaard
    August 22nd, 2016 at 06:46 | #19

    @Leaf
    The Berlin for Black of course. There is an old book, from the opening to the endgame by Mednis, which might interest. I only remember the exchange spanish from it…

  20. Gollum
    August 22nd, 2016 at 07:34 | #20

    Jacob Aagaard :
    @Leaf
    The Berlin for Black of course. There is an old book, from the opening to the endgame by Mednis, which might interest. I only remember the exchange spanish from it…

    From this book there is

    * the gruenfeld with 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3. Nf3 d5 4.e4 Nc3 5.dc
    * The KID with an exchange on e5

    The book is quite thin for the number of openings covered, but it may be an interesting starting point (or suitable for <2000 elo).

  21. Leaf
    August 23rd, 2016 at 01:23 | #21

    Thank you very much for your precious advice …

  22. Johnathan
    August 26th, 2016 at 10:18 | #22

    Dear Jacob, Boris, and Tom,

    Thank you so much for this. It is a pleasure to get the thoughts of a world championship finalist.

    Your company continues to push the boundaries of chess publishing. Quality.
    Regards,
    Johnathan.

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