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The World Cup – A competition

September 7th, 2015 9 comments

This is a temporary post. We were talking about the upcoming World Cup and got a bit excited to be honest. So we decided to have a little competition. We are working on the questions at the moment. They will be available Tuesday morning at some point. The deadline for entry will be 1 hour before the start of the first round on Friday.

Look out for more details here tomorrow.

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What to rely on

April 15th, 2015 7 comments

In the recent 4NCL I had the honour of playing first board for Wood Green with Black in two games. As I am entirely out of shape and blunder in more or less every rare game I play, my goal was to make draws, eliminate their best players and hope that the team would win on the other boards. This all went to plan and I gladly donated 1-2 rating points to the well-being of the team. Besides, I hope I will be allowed three white games in the final weekend!

My game on the Saturday was quite interesting at one moment, just after I blundered (always happens!) and I had to decide how best to deal with the defence. I think my considerations at the board were quite interesting and worth a minor discussion.

James Cobb – Jacob Aagaard

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 d5 4.e3 e6 5.b3 Bd6 6.Bb2 Nbd7 7.d4 0–0 8.Be2 Re8 9.0–0 Qe7 10.Qc2 dxc4 11.Bxc4
11.bxc4 e5 12.Nh4 Nf8 13.Nf5 Bxf5 14.Qxf5 exd4 15.exd4 Ne6 looks OK for Black. During the game I was slightly less sure, but I was going to play this way and that is what counts.

11…h6 12.Ne4 Nxe4 13.Qxe4 e5 14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Nxe5 Bxe5 16.Qxe5 Qxe5 17.Bxe5 Rxe5 18.Rfd1 Kf8 19.Rd8+ Re8 20.Rad1 a5 21.a4 Rb8 22.R8d4 b5 23.axb5 cxb5 24.Bd5 Rd8 25.Kf1 Ke7

This is my blunder. I really had no clue that this was coming. As usual when this happens, I smiled. Life has lots of surprises for us; not all will be positive.

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Two games against members of the Scottish team

January 27th, 2015 2 comments

In 2010 I changed back to the Danish Federation after some disappointments with Chess Scotland (though certainly not the players). Federations are imperfect everywhere, but it did allow me to play the Danish Championship with a lot of friends from my early years with good conditions. And it did not stop me from becoming Scottish Champion in 2012!

Last week I played in two local team matches against members of the Scottish Team. On Tuesday I was sitting next to my good friend and colleague Andrew Greet, facing the 2013 Scottish Champion, who was a very strong player around the time I was born! Luckily I have developed more in the last 40 years and recently I have had a good score against Roddy.

Jacob Aagaard – Roddy McKay
Glasgow League, 20.01.2015

1.e4 c5 2.b3

Roddy’s theoretical knowledge ends somewhere in the 1980s, and I just wanted a game.

2…a6 3.Bb2 Nc6 4.f4?

This is an appalling move!

4.Nf3 e6 5.c4 would have made sense.

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Gelfand on Levon Aronian

January 12th, 2015 30 comments

I took the liberty of cutting these unedited paragraphs from the coming book Positional Decision Making in Chess by Boris Gelfand.

Levon Aronian is of course one of the greatest players of our time. However, in team events he is usually even stronger. Due not least to his spirit and leadership, the Armenian team managed to win the 2006, 2008 and 2012 Olympiads, the 2011 World Team Championship, as well as achieving a bronze in the 2007 European Team Championship and the 2004 Olympiad. Armenia also won bronze at the 1992 and 2002 Olympiads, but both times without Aronian on the team. But it was from 2006 where Aronian entered the elite and took over board 1 from Akopian that the team became the most successful team in the World. It would not be unfair to say that Aronian is the soul of the Armenian team.

I consider him to be the most creative player of our time, both over the board and in opening preparation. So far he has failed in the Candidates tournament, but I hope that Anand’s and my results in recent years will inspire him to keep on trying. He has so many qualities that I would not be surprised if he manages to become World Champion one day. I really feel that as long as one wants to work on chess and has the will to progress, there is a possibility to do so.

These days when you read older players complain about younger players that they only know how to push the space bar and have no culture, just think of Aronian. He has a great knowledge of music, literature, arts and culture in general. This is another reason why I would be happy if he kept on improving and reach the highest peak. What a World Champion he would be!

In a recent interview in New in Chess he said that whenever he plays me, he tries to impress me. It is friendly competition. We have warm personal relations and work on chess together. So, in every game we try to come with something new. If one player comes with a good novelty, it is great! This is one of the reasons why we have so many decisive games with each other. It is always an open game where both players want to win.

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Obvious Moves

November 20th, 2014 15 comments

The following position is from a game of mine at the 4ncl last Saturday.

J. Shaw – J. Pitcher, England 2014

I have played a few decent moves to reach this position. I sacrificed a pawn (possibly temporarily) to free my wonder bishops. But my queen is under attack. So what should I play?

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A Nice Tactic

November 13th, 2014 3 comments

Working on Boris Gelfand’s book Positional Decision Making in Chess, I came across a rather fascinating combination in one of the notes to his beautiful win against Grischuk in Beijing last year. The game deals a lot with changes in pawn structure, but at this point, White has won the strategic battle, fixing the f5-pawn as a weakness. But Black has tried to mess things up with 33…Nb5!?.

White to win

This one will take a while to solve, even for a GM!

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Tashkent

October 21st, 2014 5 comments

Noticed that Gelfand drew with Black against Giri, which has been a difficult opponent to him lately. And Caruana lost to Vachier-Legrave with White. Obviously there is a long way to go, but at the moment it looks to me as if Gelfand is leading the Grand Prix!

I continue to believe that age is less important than motivation and that the fact that people lose motivation as they age is what people usually speak about. Chess does not look younger to me than 50 years ago. And will probably look quite old by 2019!

Mamedyarov’s endgame technique is by the way under criticism after today’s game. What a shocker!

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GM Lars Schandorff lecture in Edinburgh 30th October – 2nd November

September 30th, 2014 18 comments

It is with great pleasure that we can announce that Quality Chess author and National Coach of the Danish elite GM Lars Schandorff is coming to Edinburgh to give a 15 hour lecture on aggressive positional chess, with a starting point in the games of Bobby Fischer.

Sjandy

The lectures will take place in Edinburgh Chess Club on 1 Alva Street in the heart of Edinburgh. Attendance costs £80 for the full session and £50 for those aged 24 or less. Also those travelling from outside Scotland will get this discount.

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