Archive for May, 2013

Lost along the road to the King’s Gambit

May 9th, 2013 130 comments

John has finished Chapter 1 of the King’s Gambit. This does not mean that he has now started on Chapter 2 – this was done a long long time ago. Of the 22 chapters, only 3 remain; and none of them are too challenging.

Chapter 1 is mainly original analysis and spreads over 82 pages in the book. No wonder it was wearing him down.

I predict that this book is written in two weeks from now. Last I did prediction (read gambling on chess results) I lost 16 out of 16 bets. Luckily the betting agency sponsored the blitz event and I won my money back. Here is the prediction regarding some of our publications this year.

Vassilios Kotronias Kotronias on the King’s Indian – Fianchetto June
Richard Pert Playing the Trompowsky June
John Shaw The King’s Gambit June
Ntirlis/Aagaard Playing the French June/July
Emanuel Berg GM Repertoire – The French Defence Winawer July
Axel Smith Pump Up Your Rating July
Jacob Aagaard GM Preparation – Attack and Defence August
John Shaw Playing 1.e4 – Caro-Kann, 1…e5 & Minor Lines Aug/Sep
Ftacnik (Aagaard) GM6a – Beating the Anti-Sicilians Later
Danny Gormally Mating the Castled King Sep
John Shaw Playing 1.e4 – Sicilian & French Oct
Jacob Aagaard Grandmaster Preparation – Endgame Play Oct
Tibor Karolyi Mikhail Tal’s best games 1 Oct
Judit Polgar From GM to Top Ten – JP Teaches Chess 2 Oct
Jacob Aagaard GM Preparation – Thinking Inside the Box Later
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Under the sign of uncertainty by Willy Hendriks

May 7th, 2013 24 comments


Quick comment by Jacob:

Before engaging with this debate about critical moments, I contacted Willy Hendriks and asked if he would take offence, promising to disagree, but not be disagreeable. He would not, he said. I offered if he wanted to close off the debate with his personal view. As I did not want to invite him into a quagmire of never-ending arguments, I will not comment on his piece (which I have purposefully not read yet), although I am sure that I will disagree to some extent.

In the autumn I will publish Thinking Inside the Box, which will lay out my full view of chess and chess improvement. I will probably not refer directly to other books there, but state everything in the positive. But those wanting to find it, can find my view there and then (or earlier in this debate, most likely).

Next week I will return to focusing on chess improvement in the positive. Now to our guest writer:


Under the sign of uncertainty

Willy Hendriks


In last week’s post Jacob Aagaard discusses chapter 14 of my book Move First, Think Later about the usefulness of the notion of the critical moment. I gladly accept his invitation to delve a bit deeper into this subject.

Aagaard considers this notion to be “well established” but I’m not sure it has the same meaning for everyone. Anyway, those who have read my book know that ‘well established chess theory’ is not sacred for me.

There are two aspects of this notion I’m a bit skeptical about, though they are not always explicitly brought forward. The first is the idea that games (very often) consist of a few (one or two) moments of extraordinary importance or difficulty and a lot of moments of much lesser importance.

The second is the idea that these moments not only can be identified with hindsight but also can be detected when you’re actually playing a game. Which would make the notion a constructive part of our thinking process. Read more…

Categories: Jacob Aagaard's training tips Tags:

Monday training

May 6th, 2013 No comments

We have a guest blogger this week. We will put it up tomorrow.

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