I am starting to feel back to normal. In the last few weeks of finishing Endgame Play, I was up to 80 hour work weeks (excluding taking care of a family). One Saturday night I went to bed at 2pm only to continue the work at 6.30 am the next morning.

Not fun, but I wanted the book finished.

I just want to put up this post to say thank you to the many people who have bought the book. I really hope it will live up to your expectations. I gave it all I could and so did the team (Danny, John, Colin, Andrew and Karsten Mueller). Personally we are happy with the result.

And yes, I would like to hear your opinion, positive or not. When you spend about 1000 hours writing a book (more than any other book I have done by far), you really would like to know what people think of it.

I will put a publishing schedule up within the next 48 hours, whenever I have a free moment.

16 thoughts on “Normality”

  1. Wow! Spending about 1000 hours writing a book is really tough task! I personally would like to thank you Dear Jacob – for your dedication! However I strongly believe – you will be very famous and respected chess author – in the very near future – as your books are not just really well written, but helpful as well! And it is not so often the case to publish a chess book with two elements in one cover! Take a rest Jacob! You deserved it without a doubt. Believe me: I know how it feels when you barely sleep and wait to finish the project! Take care of yourself! 🙂


    Dear Jacob,

    My copy of your endgame book is on the way to my home! Before working on it should I firstly study Dvoretsky’s “Endspiel Universitat” in detail? I also ordered Jesus de la Villa’s “100 Endgames You must Know”.

    What do you suggest to start working with? I’m cca 2100 FIDE.

    Thx 🙂

    I have the first 4 books in the Preparation series and they fantastic but also very difficult. My FIDE is 2078, not far from your rating. I truly enjoy Villa’s book which is easy to get through. If the difficulty level is the same as in Jacob’s other preparation books, I would start with Villa. I also have Dvoretsky’s endgame manual which is good but so tough that I’m not sure I’ll ever manage to finish it. Reading Villa combined with Practical Chess Defence is quite fantastic. Also because the difficulty level is so different in these two books. By the way, of you don’t have this book pn defence, I can really recommend it! Will order Jacob’s endgame book in a month, so that the vacation in Nice also will contain some mind boggling problems 🙂

  4. @Paul Brondal
    Jacob aleady answered this question – I asked the same a few weeks ago. He said that you don;t need to finish Engame University or some other manual of theoretical endings before starting with Endgame Play. In only a few cases will it have added value (or similar words by Jacob).

  5. Jacob, why was it so much more difficult, apparently, to finish Endgame Play compared to the other books? And do you plan to publish another training book in the GMP series?


    Black player certainly read Playing the French 🙂

    Ramirez, Alejandro (2679) – Lenderman, Aleksandr (2693)
    ch-USA 2014 Saint Louis USA (3.2), 2014.05.10

    1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Ngf3 cxd4 6.Bc4 Qd6 🙂

    7.O-O Nf6 8.Nb3 Nc6 9.Nbxd4 Nxd4 10.Nxd4 a6 11.Re1 Qc7 12.Qe2 Bc5 13.c3 h6 🙂

    14.Nf5 Kf8 15.Ng3 h5 🙂

    16.Ne4 Ng4 17.g3 Ba7 18.Bf4 e5 19.Bg5 Bf5 20.Rf1 f6 21.Bd2 Rd8 22.Rad1 Qc6 23.Be3 Rxd1 24.Qxd1 Nxe3 25.Qd8+ Qe8 26.Qxe8+ Kxe8 27.Nd6+ Kd7 28.fxe3 Bh3 29.Nf5 Bxf1 30.Kxf1 h4 31.Kg2 hxg3 32.hxg3 g6 33.Nh4 Rh6 34.e4 Ke7 35.Bd5 b6 36.Bb7 a5 37.a4 Bb8 38.b4 Bd6 39.bxa5 bxa5 40.Bd5 Bc5 41.Kf3 Kf8 42.Bc6 Kf7 43.Bd5+ Kg7 44.Ke2 Rh8 45.Bc6 Bb6 46.Bb5 Rc8 47.c4 Rd8 48.Nf3 Bc5 49.g4 g5 50.Bc6 Rh8 51.Bd5 Rh3 52.Ne1 Rh2+ 53.Kd1 Kf8 54.Nd3 Be3 55.Ke1 Ke7 56.c5 Rd2 57.Bc4 Rc2 58.Ba6 Bxc5 59.Kd1 Rc3 60.Nb2 Bb4 61.Nc4 Rg3 62.Bc8 Rd3+ 0-1

  7. Indeed an impressive effort – 1000 hours! I hope it will sell well! Based on first impressions the book seems great 🙂

  8. Jacob Aagaard

    Sick as a dog. Why did it take so long? It was hard to find positions. Hard to check them. Hard to explain them. Hard to structure. Everything was just full of resistance. In comparison; the two books I am working on (before Thinking Inside the Box) will take about 2-300 hours in total.

  9. Jacob

    Congratulations. I looked through at the book at the bookstall at 4NCL and I thought it was exceptional and even better than I had anticipated.

    Have you ever considered holding a training event in Glasgow for the many amateurs who are using these books (without a trainer) in trying to establish a serious training regime. I am sure the demand would be there.

  10. Jacob Aagaard

    I held some events in Edinburgh in the past. The last thing we had was Avrukh almost 2 years ago. We have been thinking about reviving it for a while. Maybe we should progress from thinking to doing…

  11. Jacob Aagaard

    I can. They won’t. Entirely different. I had to take a break to do this first. Also, I need to do something easy before Thinking Inside the Box. I have a fear I will burn out on that one too…

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