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Archive for the ‘Jacob Aagaard’s training tips’ Category

Jacob in India

December 15th, 2017 3 comments

Jacob is on a coaching trip in India, and ChessBase India have published an article by our friend Sagar Shah with many photos, including the one below. You can click on the image to get a bigger view.

 

 

 

Question from QC Reader

November 22nd, 2017 23 comments

Hi all,

I will continue my tradition of answering questions put in private on the blog, without giving the source of the question to cause no embarrassment. I do this because I know that a lot of people will find the question and answer interesting. Read more…

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The best chess trainer in the World?

October 23rd, 2017 25 comments

A potential student of mine has made an application and named me as the best chess trainer in the World. While I am perfectly suited for what he needs, probably the best suited trainer alive, I could not help feeling slightly repulsed by the idea. Obviously, the best trainer is Mark Dvoretsky, I was thinking, which led to very unhappy thoughts. I will go to Moscow to participate in a rapid tournament for his 70th birthday in December, but sadly Mark will not be there…

How do you define who is the best trainer? Read more…

Training Seminar in Edinburgh with GM Jacob Aagaard 6-8 Oct

August 28th, 2017 7 comments

Training Seminar in Edinburgh with Grandmaster and FIDE Senior Trainer Jacob Aagaard 6-8 October

On the first weekend of October there will be a three-day training seminar with Grandmaster Jacob Aagaard in Edinburgh Chess Club. The training weekend is organised in collaboration with Chess Scotland, offering free participation to the members of the national team participating in the European Team Championship in Crete in November.

The themes will be changing from day to day, with a focus on positional play, calculation and endgame technique. The sessions will be evenly balanced between lecturing and practical application.

The place of the training seminar is Edinburgh Chess Club, 1 Alva Street, in the centre of Edinburgh.

The timings are:

Friday 6th October         7pm – 10pm

Saturday 7th October      1pm – 5.30pm

Sunday 8th October        11am – 3.30pm

The cost of participation is £75. Please register by emailing ECCseminar2017@qualitychess.co.uk.

 

 

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Making a solving collective

August 21st, 2017 17 comments

One thing that many people struggle with is solving puzzles on their own. It requires some discipline to get started and distractions can get you diverted. It is popular to meet up with friends and solve together. It makes it social and a bit competitive. But for most people, this is not an option. Their friends are far away and local players might have no ambition or be unsuitable for other reasons.

The idea I came up with years ago that worked really well, was to have group training on PlayChess (or it could be many other servers or even Whatsapp on your phone).

The way to do it is that one person has gathered positions in advance, preferably from a Quality Chess book of course, but other good exercise books have been published (I have been told).

He presents the first problem to the group.

When you have a solution, you say so.

When only one person is left, he gets an extra minute to find the solution, while the others prepare their solutions (but don’t press return).

When time’s up everyone gives their solutions.

Correct solutions get one point, mistakes get no points. The group decides if the solution is correct in disputes.

Next problem.

After a fixed amount of time, you have a winner.

This worked for a long time with a group I set up. I supplied them with the exercises, but since then these have been published in many books, so there are no excuses…

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Critical Moments – two opposing definitions

July 11th, 2017 77 comments

Having debated CRITICAL MOMENTS here on the blog with a number of readers, I received a longer email from our friend and one-time author, Amatzia Avni.

Hello Jacob,

I’m following your blog and although I haven’t yet read your “Thinking inside the box”, I strongly disagree with some observations you make regarding the nature of “critical position” (or critical moment).

First, here is your own definition: “A critical moment …is something along the lines of a moment where the problems in front of you (hold great complexity) and failing to find a good move will a) lead to great suffering, or b) lose the advantage”. 29/4/13

“A position where the difference between the best move and the second-best move is high, let’s say half a point”. 9/5/2017.

Correct. (Also, when the decision is irreversible or hard to rectify). Read more…

Solving and guessing

April 25th, 2017 34 comments

The last four weeks I have been travelling through Asia, visiting 12 cities in eight countries. Sometimes for less than 24 hours, arriving at 6 in the morning in Manila, for example, and flying out at half past midnight the same day…

On my trip, I have talked a lot about Thinking Inside the Box and the core ideas in the book. It has been an amazing experience, seeing how the ideas have resonated with people of all ages and all levels, from young kids to top grandmasters. I wish I was going to write the book now, as the ideas are so much clearer in my head and the diverse ways I have found to explain them would have improved it.

One thing I realised along the way is to emphasise the difference between guessing and solving. When I was an improving player, I struggled a lot with solving exercises. I would find ideas and then my concentration would crumble. I would flick to the solutions page and see how close I was.

Because close was the best I did – for a long time. Discipline was always a problem for the younger me. I had a spine similar to cooked spaghetti, according to a friend.

What I needed to do was to get into a habit of solving positions. When we are talking about tactical exercises, you should calculate all the variations till the end, working out all the details. This is an important skill to develop in training. It will take you far.

But this does not mean that guessing is all wrong. In my model there are four types of decisions.

1. Automatic Decisions
2. Simple Decisions
3. Critical Moments
4. Strategic Decisions

I deal more with this model in both Grandmaster Preparation – Strategic Play and in Thinking Inside the Box. And in previous blog posts, most likely. (No, I do not routinely look through them!) For here it suffices to say that only automatic decisions and critical moments require a high level of accuracy. Simple decisions are often taken on an intuitive basis and are as such, a pure guess. Strategic decisions include more calculation and logical thinking, but will in most cases include guessing as well.

This is important, because we simply cannot work everything out till the end. If you try to solve every move, you lose on time. For some people this is their existence.

The average player is directed by impulses and his inability to stay concentrated. The great practical player finds a good balance between guessing and solving and is always aware of which tool he uses. Moving from the first category to the second is a big jump and one the Grandmaster Preparation series is all about (as well as a few other things).

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Talking to Yusupov about the Yusupov challenge

March 22nd, 2017 12 comments