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Scottish Champion 2012

Is me!

I went into the event as 9th seed and highest rated Scottish resident. Having not defeated a GM for two years, I did two in the final two days to end shared 1st to 5th and claim the trophy, the cheque and 11 rating points (all won on those last two days). Some of the games from the event can be found in the August newsletter, but first we need to put the final touches to the April-July Newsletter, which might be out tomorrow!

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    July 16th, 2012 at 15:10 | #1

    Bravo !!

  2. Jacob Aagaard
    July 16th, 2012 at 16:04 | #2

    Checked with John, Newsletter out Wednesday it seems. Sorry. Everything gets delayed in this office!

  3. boki
    July 16th, 2012 at 17:12 | #3

    Congratulations Jacob !! You should reconsider your decision to retire as a player !

    Two days ago I received “Grandmaster Calculation” . Nice puzzle book 🙂
    Jut kidding, looks great, really hard training stuff, but still witty explanations.
    Great book by my favorite author an my favorite chess book publishing company

  4. Paul
    July 16th, 2012 at 17:16 | #4

    Congratulations. Any opening influences from recent QC books played a helping hand?

  5. John Shaw
    July 16th, 2012 at 17:35 | #5


    Jacob has left the building, but I think he had at least a couple of games where his opening choice was influenced by future QC books. And Colin had a win with 1.c4 where his position went to “plus-minus” while still following Marin (that one should find a way into a newsletter).

  6. Alea
    July 16th, 2012 at 18:02 | #6

    Well done!

  7. TonyRo
    July 16th, 2012 at 18:24 | #7

    Many congrats! Good news!

  8. Benoni
    July 16th, 2012 at 18:31 | #8

    Outstanding Jacob, well done!!

  9. decredico
    July 16th, 2012 at 19:38 | #9

    If you are truly going to retire from competitive play this is a great way to go out!

    Congratulations on the awesome performance. 🙂

  10. Tom Tidom
    July 16th, 2012 at 19:41 | #10


    Perhaps the retirement in sight gave a boost to your motivation?! Maybe I should try this myself… 😉

  11. July 16th, 2012 at 21:14 | #11


  12. David MacD
    July 16th, 2012 at 21:18 | #12

    Congratulations. I’ve read so many of your newsletters that I feel guilty about never giving any feedback. Well done!

  13. Michael
    July 16th, 2012 at 23:31 | #13

    Congrats Jacob!

  14. kaimano
    July 17th, 2012 at 09:45 | #14

    Jacob, this result shows clearly that you play better when not worried by the result…why not giving yourself a chance to improve your psychological approach to the game?

  15. Jacob Aagaard
    July 17th, 2012 at 10:55 | #15

    I am definitely still going to retire after the Olympiad. I have been playing tournaments to get in better shape for the Olympiad. And it seems like it is working.

    I used a recommendation from Schandorff against Imra, and recommendations from John’s 1.e4 books against Ruck and Hebden. All misinterpretations of these systems are entirely my own fault, but I got a good endgame against Hebden and caused some annoyance to both Ruck and Imra, so I was quite happy with that support.

  16. John Johnson
    July 17th, 2012 at 11:54 | #16

    Well done, and at the Olympics also.

  17. Jacob Aagaard
    July 17th, 2012 at 15:03 | #17

    Thank you.

  18. Michael LaRue
    July 17th, 2012 at 17:07 | #18


  19. July 18th, 2012 at 06:36 | #19

    Congratulations Jacob! You do not seem worry as a retired chess player ;). Could you tell us what was inside this empty cup? :).

    If everything in QC is delayed, maybe your games were a little delayed too ;). Some says it is accelerated dragon, but others argue it is delayed Aagaards (variation)! Do not be late for the office!

  20. Jacob Aagaard
    July 18th, 2012 at 09:32 | #20

    @Tomasz Chessthinker
    Very funny! I am definitely retiring. But I am of course happier to do so when playing decently than when playing as badly as I did at the Danish Championship in April. But ok, I have improved a bit at every event, which was the intention, peaking at the olympiad.

  21. Paul
    July 18th, 2012 at 14:31 | #21

    @Jacob Aagaard
    Are you playing for Scotland or Denmark in the Olympiad?

  22. John Shaw
    July 18th, 2012 at 15:00 | #22


    I can answer that. Jacob is playing for Denmark.

    Colin and I are playing for Scotland.

    Andrew was not selected for England.

  23. Jacob Aagaard
    July 18th, 2012 at 15:38 | #23

    Various things made it so that I ended up playing for Denmark again. The main reason was that the 2010 Danish Championship was played where I come from and I wanted to play and be around a lot of my old friends, not that my ambitions were dying out. I am not especially eager to play for Denmark, would just as well play for Scotland, but I had to change federation to play the Danish Championship. At the same time there were some other things about chess politics that meant that I did not expect to play any team events ever anyway; so when I changed it was to play one tournament only. Later on the Danish Federation talked me into playing twice, waiting for a lot of talents to make it to the scene. Luckily they do not seem to be too far away now and I can retire with a clean conscience!

  24. Nikos Ntirlis
    July 18th, 2012 at 16:09 | #24

    ….and i was not selected to play for Greece at the last moment….but the good thing is that i’ll be at the Olympiad anyway! 😀

  25. Jacob Aagaard
    July 18th, 2012 at 20:32 | #25

    @Nikos Ntirlis
    You can sleep on the spare bed in my room if you like…

  26. Hesam
    July 19th, 2012 at 10:41 | #26

    Congratulations to Jacob!

    Idea for QC: A second edition of Gelfand’s game collection! The first edition is a paperback published by Olms in 2005! A 2012 hardcover by QC would be a wonderful addition to any chess library. Gelfand should be happy to do the second version as well, after all his career has taken off ever since he wrote the first book!

  27. Jacob Aagaard
    July 19th, 2012 at 12:57 | #27

    I think we have to wait for another lull in his career before approaching him; at the moment he has the grand prix, the world cup and London 2013 to work towards!

  28. Jacob Aagaard
    July 19th, 2012 at 12:58 | #28

    By the way, I interviewed Boris after the match – the interview is in the latest issue of CHESS MONTHLY.

  29. John Johnson
    July 19th, 2012 at 13:46 | #29

    I thought he was very forthcoming in the interview. The match was too short (imo) but economics I guess…

  30. Jacob Aagaard
    July 19th, 2012 at 17:28 | #30

    @John Johnson
    I am not sure a 14 or 16 games match would have been much different. But yes, Boris is as nice a guy as he came across in this interview and it is in my opinion a great loss for the game that he did not take the title from Anand.

  31. Patrick
    July 19th, 2012 at 18:57 | #31

    A 14 or 16 game match may not have changed things, but what about 24? Or First to 6 draws are worth zip? In the case of the former, world champion retains the title automatically in the event of a tie.

    I think the current system is a hoax. It encourages players to play for a draw if they think they can win a 4-game blitz mini-match. So now the mini-match is deciding it, and not real chess. That would be like saying that Wimbledon match are won by being the first to score a break point, or hockey being decided by who can shoot more goals at an empty net from center-ice out of 10 shots. Pot luck in other words.

    If they had used the 24-game format champion retains title in a tie, or first to 6 draws are worthless, I doubt 10 of the first 12 games would have been drawn. I’d predict more of a 50% draw ratio.

  32. Jacob Aagaard
    July 19th, 2012 at 20:50 | #32

    I would definitely be in favour of playing the play-off in advance, to decide the draw odds. The second best option is to give the draw odds to the challenger. The World Champion has to show more in two years than being able to draw a match with whomever survives all the way to the match…

  33. July 20th, 2012 at 01:25 | #33


    I am sure you are preparing your “Grandmaster Preparation” (series) mostly to your needs! ;). It is why the series are delayed and they were published just after the Olympiad is finished! You can reveal a secret weapon that you are using now (winning this trophy) and in Olympiad! I keep fingers crossed! I believe you want to make great score as to proof your books (GP series) are beneficial! :). Great marketing trick and I am very happy to see that your amazing books makes magic (not only on/at the chessboard!).

    PS. Are you consious that making such books make you a better player? You might not even see, but typing, checking and looking at huge tons of chess material – gives advantage at the real board playing :). Good luck Jacob!

  34. John Johnson
    July 20th, 2012 at 11:53 | #34

    I know the economics are a big factor but too Kirsan leaves greasy marks wherever his fingers have been. I didn’t think Vishy had been a disaster as world champion, but it is obvious there are stronger players now. Still to be the man you have to beat the man!

  35. Jacob Aagaard
    July 22nd, 2012 at 13:13 | #35

    @John Johnson
    The system has to be stronger than the taste of the crowd. Gelfand won 10 matches to get to the World Championship and those in the top (Aronian, Anand) did not think of him as unworthy or inferior. But sure, Carlsen – Aronian would be the match of the 21st century, but it cannot be bought, it needs to be earned.

  36. Alan Hartley
    July 22nd, 2012 at 17:30 | #36

    Congratulations, Jacob. In honor of your victory I will quit hounding Quality Chess about the King’s Gambit book for at least two weeks. . .

  37. July 22nd, 2012 at 23:17 | #37

    Sir Jacob, you are Scotland’s greatest pride since Connery. Denmark weeps. 🙂

  38. Jacob Aagaard
    July 23rd, 2012 at 10:47 | #38

    @Alan Hartley
    I will put an excerpt on the website in return!

  39. John Johnson
    July 23rd, 2012 at 12:49 | #39

    More fewmets! I may break down and order this one direct and bite the bullet on postage; if Congress doesn’t abolish the Post Office before then.

  40. Jacob Aagaard
    July 23rd, 2012 at 22:13 | #40

    @John Johnson
    50-50 then!

    We already have 420 pages typeset (but with a 5% smaller font than usual, to make the book less than 800 pages!).

  41. decredico
    July 23rd, 2012 at 23:54 | #41

    Recent sonar readings show substantial mass and the world’s top flight cryptochessologists are certain it is Nessie, ready to make an appearance.

  42. Jacob Aagaard
    July 24th, 2012 at 09:09 | #42

    Sep/Oct. There is just so much to do. Those who got the Morra Gambit have hopefully enjoyed the last page!

  43. John Johnson
    July 24th, 2012 at 12:19 | #43

    the penalty of success Jacob! More to do.

  44. Jacob Aagaard
    July 24th, 2012 at 13:00 | #44

    @John Johnson
    What about the fruits of success? When are they going to show up??

  45. decredico
    July 24th, 2012 at 19:36 | #45

    Fruits usually take a long time to ripen but seem to only take a short time to spoil.

    Enjoy them (Scottish Champion, Boleslavsky Medals, etc) while you can!


  46. Jacob Aagaard
    July 25th, 2012 at 08:54 | #46

    I am more focused on the Olympiad and on finishing a few books. I like work more than play, generally.

  47. John Johnson
    July 25th, 2012 at 11:52 | #47

    Jacob you may have to get your satisfaction from writing well crafted books; I didn’t say anything about the fruits of success. Although they are sitting on many bookshelves I would argue.

  48. Jacob Aagaard
    July 25th, 2012 at 13:10 | #48

    @John Johnson
    I am sure the middleman is very happy :-).

  49. AirChess
    July 26th, 2012 at 03:28 | #49

    @Jacob Aagaard
    How should we ever enjoy to hear such shocking news? I think it’s rather frightening to hear there are criminals out there doing such cruel things to innocent chess book authors. That’s probably the reason why I will never write a chess book myself. I hope the main suspect will soon be punished!

  50. Jacob Aagaard
    July 26th, 2012 at 10:31 | #50

    Force them to play chess? Truly shocking!

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