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The Aagaard challenge from Quality Chess Academy camp in Greece

by Sagar Shah - 06/11/2018

The first Quality Chess Academy Camp is being held in Lyttos Resort near Heraklion, Greece from the 4th to the 10th of November 2018. This camp is open only for players above the rating of 2300. A lot of strong players have taken part in the camp, including one of India's top GMs. The trainers for the camp are GM Jacob Aagaard and GM Boris Gelfand. In this article we show you the serene environment in which the camp is taking place and also present you a Jacob Aagaard challenge. Jacob shows us a position from the game of his student Sam Shankland and asks you to find the best move! Are you up for the challenge? If yes, check out the article for the position.

The first camp of the Quality Chess Academy is being hosted at the Lyttos Resort, near Heraklion, Greece from the 4th to the 10th of November 2018. The trainers are Grandmasters Boris Gelfand and Jacob Aagaard. This is the first camp and the organizers want to acquire some experience before opening up for a larger audience in May 2019. Hence, the participation at this camp has been limited to:

1. Grandmasters

2. International Masters

3. Women Grandmasters

4. Players with a rating of 2300 on a FIDE list at some point during 2018

A bird's eye view of the beautiful Lyttos Beach Resort where the camp is taking place!

Nice accommodation for all the participants

The perfect classroom setup

All the students were provided a notebook with a Quality Chess Academy logo and a pencil!

The most important ingredients of the Quality Chess Academy - Trainers Boris Gelfand and Jacob Aagaard!

The classroom is in full swing! Can you guess the Indian player sitting on the front row on the left?

He is none other than the beast aka Adhiban!

The key is to think inside the box!

Jacob Aagaard's 15 minute Challenge:

The camp is restricted to players above 2300. There are many who would like to know what's going on at the camp! Jacob Aagaard has sent a special position for everyone to solve.


Kevin Joel Quispe - Sam Shankland, American Continental 2018, round 4

White player thought for 45 minutes in this position and went wrong. The challenge for you is to think for 15 minutes and find the right way for White to continue.

After you have solved the position, watch the video below for the solution.

Jacob Aagaard shares the solution and also the common mistake that players make in a winning position like this

Replay the game with annotations by Aagaard:

The next Quality Chess Academy camp will be organised for players of all levels from 8-14 May 2019. Grandmasters Jacob Aagaard and RB Ramesh have confirmed their participation. QC Academy is in conversation with other famous trainers at this point. The camp will mainly consist of work in group training, based on rating. The organizers promise that this camp will be designed for both grandmasters and club players. The dates are chosen to make it possible to participate in tournaments in Heraklion right before or right after the camp. More details will follow.


Check the Quality Chess Academy Website for more information

Quality Chess Academy Facebook page for pictures

The logo of Quality Chess India!

Quality Chess Books:

There are many Quality Chess Books which we could recommend to you. We had a stall at the Goa GM International 2018 and based on that experience and the regular online sale, we would like to let you know about the bestsellers:

If Shankland's book helps him to beat 2700+ opponents, I am sure it can help you as well.

The Woodpecker method is a training regime found by GM Hans Tikkanen when he was stuck in the 2400 zone and wanted to make the next leap towards the GM title. He devised a strategy which involved heavy focus on solving tactical positions. The book consists of 1128 tactical positions. The real meaning of the Woodpecker method is to complete the book and then do it all over again in lesser time and then once again in even lesser time and so on, until you have a strong grasp of these tactical patterns.

Jaan Ehlvest's talent in chess was comparable to the greats like Kasparov and Karpov. His understanding of the game was at the highest level. It's a pity that he couldn't achieve up to his potential. In the book Grandmaster Opening Preparation you get to see how a world class GM approaches the first phase of the game. It is not theoretical or based on lines and variations, but as you can see from the contents below, it is more about developing an understanding about the opening phase of the game.

Check out point 2. It shows how the Isolated Queen Pawn was evolved and what approach different top players would take when they were playing with and against an isolated pawn. Now such insights are not easy to find! 

There are many reasons to buy Under the Surface by Jan Markos. The best one being it is really a fantastic book that gives you insights into what goes "under the surface" i.e in the mind of a grandmaster. But if this reason is not enough, here's another one:

Tactimania is something that is loved by children. It is filled with animated pictures throughout the book. But let not these drawings fool you! The book has excellent positions selected by GM Glenn Flear and some very nice illustrations by his son James.

Of course, getting Polgar's best game books is never a bad idea! And if they are autobiographies, then it's just a must read! We have the first two books in the series - How I beat Fischer's record and from GM to Top Ten. Don't worry about the third part, we will order it in our next shipment!

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