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Federation transfer to Scotland

April 3rd, 2017 No comments

Dear friends,

From the 31st of March, I will once again represent Scotland as a member of FIDE. This is not only to do my bit for keeping up the FIDE finances, but due to the continued interest in chess shown by both of my daughters. I am no longer an active player, so the shift is entirely optical. I will not become less Danish and I hope my connection to Danish chess will remain undiminished.

I have been highly critical of recent priorities by the Danish Federation and have felt that they were not only unfair, but also going to end up with an entirely different effect than desired. The main problem was the lack of debate and interaction with the highest-rated players. The goals were to a great degree shared by all, but the lack of understanding of what it takes to develop great players did not hold the Federation back. They clearly believe that removing obstacles for kids will make them stronger chess players. Even without the rude behaviour towards Danish grandmasters, this is a bad decision.

In that connection, I cancelled some unpaid work I was going to do with young players in Denmark; I simply felt sick of the whole thing and needed to get out of all commitments for a while.

My decision to change Federation however was taken a long time ago and has simply been delayed. It has nothing to do with anything else than my personal circumstances and desire to commit to the place I have called home for 13 years now. I am sure I will work together with the Danish Federation in the future and I have no intention of playing any chess tournaments, including Olympiads or other team events for Scotland, at the moment.

Jacob Aagaard
New Delhi

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Inside the deep planning at Quality Chess for Jacob’s Thinking Inside the Box book tour of Asia

March 22nd, 2017 18 comments

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Talking to Yusupov about the Yusupov challenge

March 22nd, 2017 12 comments

Vlog 11 – Nikos meets GM Stelios Halkias

March 16th, 2017 3 comments

In this weeks vlog, the experienced Greek GM Stelios Halkias talks a bit about his favourite Quality Chess books and gives to our viewers practical advice on various aspects of chess. It is the kind of things that led Stelios to perform over 2700 elo in the latest Baku Olympiad. He then goes on to show us one of his favourite positions from this Olympiad and gives us a tactical puzzle to solve which the great Nigel Short failed to do when shown!

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Jacob Aagaard book tour of India

March 14th, 2017 19 comments

Grandmaster Jacob Aagaard is going to India to promote his Grandmaster Preparation series in March/April. His tour will give lectures and training seminars in Mumbai (26-27 March), Ahmadabad (28-29 March), New Delhi (30-31 March), Kolkata (2-3 April) and Chennai (4-5 April).

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The Yusupov Challenge

February 27th, 2017 246 comments

I have personally taken up a challenge after reading an interesting article. It is my goal to read 100 books this year. 50 novels and 50 non-fiction books. I used to be an avid reader, but lately I have been caught up in too many things and maybe watched a few too many TV-shows on Netflix. Every second novel must be what we call a “serious” novel. At least!

In that connection, I propose a reading challenge for those who wants to improve their chess, but have never really gotten around to it. The Yusupov challenge.

Artur Yusupov has written 10 volumes in his series of training material for those starting at 1200-1800, wanting to get to 2200+. They cover more or less everything and received the first ever Boleslavsky medal from FIDE, when they started handing them out. And not without competition. Kasparov was in second place and Dvoretsky in third.

Your goal should be to read one book per month. There are 25 chapters in each book, making it a total of 250 chapters. They take maybe 10-20 minutes to read, after which there are 12 exercises, which should take you 20-40 minutes to go through. Some of you might want to spend more time per chapter, but the point stands. You can do six of them a week and make it easily. In a year, you will have learned an immense amount about chess.

Which order you should read the books in

When we acquired the books, we originally only planned to publish one from each series. We all make mistakes. For this reason, the order which the books are intended to be read is not entirely obvious. The order is:

Build up Your Chess 1, Boost Your Chess 1, Chess Evolution 1 – the orange books (Fundamentals series)

Build up Your Chess 2, Boost Your Chess 2, Chess Evolution 2 – the blue books (Beyond the Basics series)

Build up Your Chess 3, Boost Your Chess 3, Chess Evolution 3 – the green books (Mastery series)

The newest book, Revision & Exam 1 should probably be read last.

So, the order to which I suggest you read the books is:

Spring – The Fundamentals series

March: Build up Your Chess 1

Boost Your Chess 1

Chess Evolution 1

Summer – Beyond the Basics series

Build up Your Chess 2

Boost Your Chess 2

Chess Evolution 2

Autumn – Mastery series

Build up Your Chess 3

Boost Your Chess 3

Chess Evolution 3

Winter – Revision time

Revision & Exam 1

If you are up for it, sign up below.

Vlog 10 – Women’s World Championship and Calculation

February 22nd, 2017 No comments

In this video Jacob shows some tragicomedies from the recent Women’s World Championship and Nikos challenges the readers to calculate deeply and solve an endgame position.

The pgn file can be downloaded here.

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Women’s World Championship in Tehran

February 17th, 2017 34 comments

I have been back for a few days from my trip to Tehran, where the second round of the Women’s World Championship has just finished. I went as a coach for Sabina Foisor, who found herself with changed circumstances that are too personal and complex for us to mention here. Once there, she played really well, fought like a lioness and did what we had agreed in advance, which was to take a full swing at her 250-points higher rated opponent. After a good first game, where her opponent almost over-pressed, as we had suspected she might, Sabina had White in the second game and would go into the next round with a win. She played a great game up to a point, but had spent too much time and went in the wrong direction and got a bad position. At some point it was lost in one move, but she resisted and at a later point she could have entered a very fragile, but possible drawing, zone. She did not and eventually went down.

Sabina Foisor (thanks to David Llada for the photo)

Some people have been eager to criticize from far away the arrangement of the tournament. Read more…

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