2014 European Champion Alexander Motylev in New in Chess – Question 5

(Taken from New in Chess Magazine 3/2014)

5. In our previous issue, Levon Aronian said that he didn’t understand what people mean when they speak of good form. Did you feel you were in good form?

I didn’t have that feeling at the tournament – where I was really shining was at the training sessions with Sergey Karjakin that ended a week before Yerevan. I cracked studies like nuts. Usually I take one of Jacob Aagaard’s books to tournaments and solve positions from them to find out what form I’m in. I remember that at the last Super Final of the Russian Championship in Novgorod I was really concerned about the results of my attempts, but it was already too late to do anything about it. But I don’t think I even opened Aagaard’s Calculation in Yerevan, apparently subconsciously feeling that everything was fine.

14 thoughts on “2014 European Champion Alexander Motylev in New in Chess – Question 5”

  1. I’ll go the other way – if it’s good enough for Aronian, maybe it’s above my level? (USCF 1939) I’m over 50 % in solving so far (100 problems); but it takes me hours!

  2. A colleague recommended these books too – incredibly hard, but very useful. Available on ForwardChess soon, perchance? Prefer that, as more convenient.
    Cheers, SB

  3. Jacob Aagaard

    No plans to put them on Forward Chess at the moment. I want to see how well forward chess deals with another puzzle book first.

  4. @SimonB
    It depends a bit on the book I think. Strategic Play seems quite difficult, but Positional Play is really quite ok; I have the correct answer in a little bit more than 50% of the exercises (which gives me just the right balance between keeping my motivation and stretching my capabilities) and take less than 1 hour for 6 exercises. I have a FIDE rating of around 2220. If you have a lower rating you need some more time obviously, but the exercises in Positional Play should be manageable in my humble opinion. What helped me as well was to start with the Yusupov series.

  5. Thank you to Ray and to Jacob for taking the time to reply. @Jacob, I see the issue with the puzzle text – the hyperlink jumping to and fro between Qs and As, I guess?
    @Ray, thank you for your input, that is a great help. I am a little higher rated, active online, but largely inactive OTB, returning to the game a bit more actively probably for the 2018 Olympiad (if it is somewhere nice!), so these should be a good level for me for a 4-year study program.
    Digital is best for me. Like many with jobs and families, time is limited, so one fits in things where one can and digital is great for that.

  6. In the “Pump” chapter on the Openings Axel refers several times to a book by Marin in the Anti -Slav line, which book is this?

  7. Hey Mr. Aagaard, well I have your four of your books in regards to the grandmaster preparation series : calculation, positional play, strategic play, and attack and defense. I was wondering is there any order by which you would recommend to study set books? What would you study first? As an aspiring Actuary and Chess GM what would you recommend I study and why?
    Please and Thank you! 🙂

    1. Jacob Aagaard

      Going through these books will be very good for you. Once you have done this, we can talk again! As I said to the other guy: Positional Play before Strategic Play, otherwise you can jump around between the books as you wish.

      Do consider reading Excelling at Chess Calculation, Attacking Manual 1 and Excelling at Technical Chess as well. They are closely related to the now five books in the GM Preparation series.

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