Home Chess News GM Jacob Aagaard – A brief interview

GM Jacob Aagaard – A brief interview

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Interview with GM Jacob Aagaard

GM Jacob Aagaard is a Danish-born Scottish GM and the winner of the 2007 British Chess Championship. He is also a world-renown chess authors and owner of the Quality Chess publishing house.

GM Jacob Aagaard’s most famous books include the following;

Background

Please give us a little background to where you were born and your family.

I was born North of Copenhagen and still have family in the Copenhagen area. In Scotland I have two kids.

When did you learn how to play chess?

At school. Then I joined a chess club at 12.

Jacob Aagaard in action during his earlier years. Photo credit Henrik Mortensen

Did you win any significant events when you were a junior?

Not really. I won the Danish Junior Championship in 1993, just before I turned 20. I was not a prodigy.

Which was the first event where you represented your county and how well did you do?

European Junior 1993. I think I made minus 2 or so.

The young Jacob Aagaard (right) with a friend. Photo credit Henrik Mortensen.
The young Jacob Aagaard (right) with a friend. Photo credit Henrik Mortensen.

Chess Coach

Which chess coaches influenced you over the formative years?

My formative years were in my late 20s. Mark Dvoretsky had a big influence on me.

The young Jacob Aagaard. Photo credit Henrik Mortensen.
The young Jacob Aagaard. Photo credit Henrik Mortensen.

World Champions

Which World Champions have you met on the board and in person?

I beat some women’s champions in blitz. I made a draw with Topalov in a simul. I was already a GM. I helped Anand’s team before 2010. I drew against Carlsen when he was 13 and already a GM. I could have won. I know a number of them a bit, but I don’t consider any of them friends.

GM Jacob Aagaard v GM Magnus Carlsen

Chess Olympiads

How many Olympiads have you been to as a player and as a coach? Which was the best one?

2006 and 2008 for Scotland. 2012 and 2014 for Denmark. 2018 as coach for the Indian Women’s team. 2012 was the most successful. But in general, it has not been a format that suited me. I hope to do better next time I play for Scotland.

GM Jacob Aagaard as Captain of the 2018 Indian Ladies Teams in Batumi, Gerogia. Photo credit Kim Bhari.
GM Jacob Aagaard as Captain of the 2018 Indian Ladies Teams in Batumi, Gerogia. Photo credit Kim Bhari.

Quality Chess

When did you set up Quality Chess and what was the mean reason?

I believed that I could produce better chess books than the people I was working with; or anyone else for that matter. So far I do not think we have been wrong, although not all books have been masterpieces.

Which was the first chess book that you published and who was the publisher?

The Panov-Botvinnik Attack by Everyman – produced by Gambit.

How many books have you authored?

Somewhere around 30. I don’t have count. A lot of the early ones were co-authored, while I was learning the trade.

How many titles does Quality Chess have currently?

166.

How did a Dane end up as a British Chess Champion and now living in Scotland?

I found myself to be too comfortable in my apartment in Copenhagen and decided that I wanted my life to be more of an adventure. So, I decided to leave Denmark and try something new.

World Championship Crown

Who do you think will dethrone Magnus Carlsen?

Alireza Firouzja. I like Alireza and he is a total natural. I also hope Jeffery Xiong will have a shot.

Do you think Russia will ever get the World Chess Crown? Which Russian do you tip to bring the crown back home?

Obviously Russia will get a World Champion again, but we would have to look at the next generation to find him. Among the women several can win any time.

Travel & Food

Have you been to Kenya or Africa?

Not yet

What is your favourite food?

Probably beans and tomatoes; so tomato soup with beans is pretty high up the list. But I am also keep on sushi, miso and other Asian foods.

What is your favourite country?

I presume it will be Kenya; I just need a chance to visit!

 Which is your best chess game?

Against Jacob Pallesen.

Jacob Pallesen v GM Jacob Aagaard

GM Jacob Aagaard v Per Arnt Rasmussen

How many languages do you speak?

I only speak two languages well (Danish & English), but I can make myself understood in two more and have cursory knowledge on 1-2 extra.

Links

Interview with IM Tibor Karolyi.