This week’s New In Chess podcast episode features an interview with grandmaster Jacob Aagaard.

Jacob Aagaard is a GM - he was the British Champion in 2007 – but he is best known as a prolific and award-winning chess writer, the founder of Quality Chess publishers, and a top coach who has worked with many big names we know and no doubt various that have remained a secret.

The occasion is the publication of the book Chess Coach, The profound and lasting Influence of Mark Dvoretsky by New In Chess, a tribute to Dvoretsky compiled by Vladimir Barsky that first appeared in Russian.

Aagaard has called Dvoretsky ‘the biggest authority in my adult life’ and considers Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual ‘the best chess book ever written’. In a one-hour interview he explains why that is and tells many wonderful stories about one of the most influential writers and coaches chess has ever seen.

He also advises how to read Dvoretsky’s (and his close associate Jussupow’s) books and speaks about his own acclaimed books, which would not have been written without the inspiration of a great example and their interaction.  

In short, it is an interview that you don’t want to miss if you love listening to heartfelt appreciation, warm memories, and great insights.

00:00 – Intro
02:16 – What Mark Dvoretsky meant to Jacob during his adult life
04:30 – Jacob clarifies that two of his chess awards are now defunct and emphasizes Dvoretsky’s legacy
06:47 – Jacob’s first meeting with Dvoretsky, attending the Dvoretsky school as a kid
11:19 – How the relationship between Kasparov and Dvoretsky soured
15:51 – Life as a young Dvoretsky pupil
18:28 – Dvoretsky’s strong personal convictions
19:59 – Jacob recalls Mark Taimanov getting arrested in the Soviet Union after his loss to Fischer
21:20 – How wealth and fame affected Dvoretsky, him refusing to charge money from his strongest pupils
26:19 – Jacob rebuffing a request to coach a national team
27:50 – Why Jacob chose to end his coaching relationship with Nodirbek Abdusattorov
32:30 – The mental toughness required to become world champion
34:30 – The complex characters of Karpov and Kasparov
38:39 – Insights about Dvoretsky from his wife Inna
40:17 – Jacob shares a personal story about Dvoretsky
43:42 – AD BREAK
44:15 – Dvoretsky knowing even the most obscure books
44:55 – Why Dvoretsky’s “Endgame Manual” is the greatest chess book ever written
49:35 – Jacob’s book “Practical Chess Defence”
52:30 – Are Dvoretsky’s books accessible to beginners?
53:30 – Being proud to publish books containing Dvoretsky’s lessons
56:48 – Outro