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Grandmaster Preparation - Attack and Defence by Jacob Aagaard


Digital Version Available from Forward Chess (read more)

In Attack & Defence Jacob Aagaard presents the main principles of how to attack and defend in chess. By carving dynamic chess into separate areas of ability, he gives the reader a clear way to expand his understanding of this vital part of the game.

"Playing the violin and learning languages are similar activities - the brain needs a special map for these kinds of activities, so it has to be learned at an early age - due to some brain chemistry stuff, I guess. That explains why so many players get stuck at a certain level - their map is done! Depressing, eh? But that's where Aagaard (and other heavyweights like Dvoretsky and Yusupov) come to the rescue! The books in this series are designed to change the ‘chess map' in your brain! Jacob wants to transform that narrow path of finding good moves into a freeway where good moves flow!"
From the foreword by Sune Berg Hansen

Grandmaster Jacob Aagaard won the British Championship at his first and only attempt. He is the only author to have won the Boleslavsky Medal as well as the ACP, Guardian, ECF and ChessCafe Book of the Year awards. He is a FIDE Senior Trainer, and on his retirement from professional chess he has taken up the post of trainer for the Danish elite. His training material is used by amateurs, grandmasters and World Champions alike.

The Grandmaster Preparation series is aimed at ambitious players.

ISBN 978-1-907982-69-9 - 304 pages - Published (paperback) 2 July 2014


"It is true that the material is not easy: even a GM can't solve them without some effort. On the other hand, I've been solving the exercises [in 'Attack & Defence' and 'Endgame Play'] during 20-minute train trips to work with a pretty good success rate so they are certainly not at the impossible scale of things. My experience is that there is a pretty good mix of easier and harder exercises."

GM Matthew Sadler, New in Chess

"Exercises, exercises and yet more exercises. That was what was characteristic for the old Soviet school of chess, which placed them on top after World War 2. Danish GM Jacob Aagaard continues this tradition in the series Grandmaster Preparation on Quality Chess, where you can find enough exercises for several years, sorted by theme.

Obviously you will not get the same position in a game. Luckily chess is too rich for this. You cannot study everything in chess as though cramming for an exam. But you can train your head and this is exactly what you achieve with this type of exercises. It worked for the Russians - and it should work for the rest of us as well."

GM Simen Agdestein

"Each chapter starts with a prose explanation of the theme, backed up by illustrative examples of it in action. Then the reader must be ready to do some serious work on the test positions. Aagaard has chosen his material very well. Apart from being extremely instructive, the positions are taken mainly from very recent games (the years 2012 and 2013 figure prominently), giving them a certain freshness."

Sean Marsh, CHESS magazine

"It’s for the serious player. For those of you who still keep dreaming about their master titles and want to work for them...

The style in which [it is] written truly reflects the high level of writing Quality Chess is known and famous for!"

Lukas Wedrychowski (full review)

"With Jacob Aagard's book, Attack & Defence, part of a five-volume series, you immediately feel that it will bring you more than any opening book. It is particularly welcome that in this book not only the popular 'attack' but also the unpopular 'defence' is given space."

André Schulz, ChessBase (full review in German)

"Attack & Defence is not a beginners book, but for the reader who is already pretty strong, it can certainly make him even better."

Uwe Bekemann, Fernschachpost

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