GM Jacob Aagaard on Endgame Rules of Thumb, the Indian Chess Phenoms & and the World Champ Format

This week on Perpetual Chess we are joined by award winning chess author and renowned trainer, GM Jacob Aagaard. It had been more than 2 years since our last long-form interview, and we had tons of topics to cover. We discussed topics including the rise of the top young talents in the chess world, potential World Championship format chances, chess business news, to plenty of talk about chess training and improvement. Our improvement was particularly focused on endgames, because Jacob has recently released an ambitious and highly informative new book, A Matter of Endgame Technique. This book is nearly 900 pages in length and is packed with practical endgames tips and illustrations of moments where Grandmasters have gone wrong in endgames. Although Perpetual Chess is an audio only format, we tried to extract a few lessons that listeners can apply to their own games. GM Aagaard is never hesitant to share his opinions, and I always learn a lot from speaking with him. You can find timestamps of the topics discussed, as well as links for topics referenced below.

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GM Jacob Aagaard Blog post about his experience working with GM Hans Niemann

0:02- Jacob discusses the “tidal wave” of young chess talents emerging from India and elsewhere. In 10 years, how many of the top 20 players in the world does he think will be from India?

13:00- Which young players does Aagaard consider most likely to someday be World Champion?
Mentioned: Gukesh-Abdussatorov 2022, IM Levy Rozman Gukesh Interview

21:00- What causes Jacob to suggest IM Vaishali R may someday be Woman’s World Champion?

24:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by Aimchess’ algorithm reviews your games and gives you actionable advice on how to improve your game. Check it out for free, and if you choose to subscribe you can use the code Perpetual30 to save 30%.
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25:00- What did Jacob thing of the news that is acquiring The Play Magnus Group?
35:00- Patreon Mailbag Question- What does Jacob think of potential changes to the World Championship Format?

51:00- Perpetual Chess is brought to you in part by You can check out all of their latest offerings here:

53:00- What chess lessons can we learn from Jacob’s great new book A Matter of Endgame Technique?
Mentioned: Think Like a Super GM, Under the Surface, Chess Tactics from Scratch, Positional Decision Making in Chess, Thinking Inside the Box

1:05:00- What is “The Steinitz Rule”?

1:11:00- What is “The Shankland Rule”?

1:16:00- Patreon Mailbag Question- What books similar to Thinking Inside the Box would Jacob recommend?
Mentioned: Chess Structures, GM Johan Hellsten, The Seven Deadly Chess Sins, The Road to Chess Improvement

1:20:00- What does Jacob think of GM Firouzja’s game?

1:24:00- Patreon Mailbag Question- Does Jacob think its important for trainers to play occasionally?
Mentioned: Charlotte Chess Center, IM Kassa Korley

1:30:00- Jacob discusses his pending emigration back to his native country, Denmark

1:33:00- What is the structure of Jacob’s training academy, Killer Chess Training?
Mentioned: GM RB Ramesh

1:41:00- Thanks to GM Aagaard for joining us! Links below:

Book- A Matter of Endgame Technique
Quality Chess-
Killer Chess Training Facebook- 365 Chess Academy / Killer Chess Training | Facebook
GM Jacob Aagaard’s Twitter-


  1. "Equal" in computer terms is definitely not "equal" in practical terms. There needs to be some sort of metric for measuring the likelihood of maintaining a so-called equal position by a human.

  2. “And when you resist, it’s an insult (to a predator like Magnus)”…. Hmmm…. 😊

  3. Is it me or did somebody else feels a striking similarity with Aagard and PH Nielsen' s way of speaking??

  4. Great content but a little disappointed to not get at least a little preview of what's upcoming at Quality Chess – I'm constantly refreshing their homepage but no new catalogue 🙁

  5. Great interview. As a 43 year old chess enthusiast that has been a member of killer chess training for the past six months, I can't tell you what an incredible experience it has been. It's sort of like being part of the old Soviet School of Chess that you read about in Dvoretsky's books. I get stronger every day due to these guys (2436 rapid on lichess) and look forward to my first tournament playing with the masters OTB next month. They teach you 'how' to think when making chess decisions and it makes a massive difference. It's incredible that something like this even exists for those looking to become strong players, I'm loving life having these classes to look forward to each and every day! 🙂

  6. Ben, thanks a lot for this great interview! Talking about books, I once asked Yusupov to sign one of his books for me when he was playing a tournament in Bern, Switzerland. He is very kind.
    At this occasion I asked him why in the books he wrote together with Dvoretsky the diagrams usually don’t have information where is to play. He was very surprised to hear about it! Sometimes I follow the instructions from some players (I think Nunn mention this) to take a diagram from a book where you see a lot of analysis to this position and analise it. However, if you don’t know who is to play you have to get this information from the text, and you have to be careful not to get any further information on the position. Quite annoying and completely unnecessary.

    In Aagaard’s books is the same story. For me there is simply not reason not to show who has to play at every diagram, like in Nunn’s Understanding Chess Move by Move (w or b, or sometimes like this).

  7. Strange to write a book on endgame without any mention of the greatest end game player of our time, arguably of all time.

  8. A lot of talk about Indians chess players but they haven’t won a single tournament. Good players but hyperbole

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