Jacob Aagaard's 3 Questions

Apr 1, 2013, 1:36 AM |

I recently received 1st 3 books of Aagaard's latest series Grandmaster Preparation in the mail this weekend. I'm at not at a point where I will be able derive the full benefit of these books, but I did look through the introductory parts to see what GM Aagaard had to say.

One thing I thought was interesting was his training method for developing intuition. He has a set of 3 questions (pared down from an initial 9) that he has his students ask when looking at a position prior to selecting candidate moves and analyzing.

1. What are the weaknesses? (potential targets)

2. What is the worst piece? (improve position)

3. What is my opponent intending? (prophylaxis)

For training ask and answer these before doing anything else and it will help you focus on the proper things. Eventually you will do it automatically without even thinking about it.

So while I am not ready to work through these books, I plan using this training method immediately. My path to these books currently consists of working through Yusupov's 9 volume set, Aagaard's earlier excelling series for Everyman, and then finally this latest series. After that it will be time to take a crack at Dvoretsky, but that is a long way off.

After a long hiatus I am back at chess and chess.com. My daughter is now 3, and while another is soon to arrive, I am finally finding time to focus on chess. So I will be updating this more often now.

I am a bit rusty and prior to re-suscribing yesterday, I had let my tactics trainer score atrophy from 2500 down to 1700, by occasionally doing the limited set of 3 problems, without any warmup. That isn't really important, but now I am working in the tactics trainer again, and it will be interesting to see if I can reach that level once more. It is taking a bit to get used to the blitz form of tactics problems. My training outside of here has mostly been the standard problems on chesstempo. So here sometimes you have to go with intuition instead of full analysis.

I have started some correspondence games on here as well as the lss server, and I plan on trying live chess on here once I have a block of time where I will not be interrupted. It looks like Erik and company have done a great job continuing to grow the site over the past couple of years. The number of players in live chess equals the peak levels of playchess, icc, and fics combined. It is good to see titled players playing here as well. The constant schedule of tournaments looks nice as well. I know when live chess began it had some issues, but from what I have seen observing the last couple of days it seems to be working pretty well now.