Interview With the 94th British Champion GM Jacob Aagaard (pictorial rport)

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Interview with the new British Champion Jacob Aagaard by Meri Grigoryan

MG: Jacob, congratulations on the great achievement!
JA: Thank you!

MG: How do you feel?
JA: Absolutely delighted! I must say that after 7 rounds I felt really tired and just wanted to go home. I didn’t care for the idea of winning the British Championship and even at the end it didn’t mean much to me until I looked at the chart and realised who I played against. I am ecstatic. It is one of the greatest things that happened in my life.

MG: I suppose this must be your best tournament win.
JA: For sure. I won the Scottish Championship once but I don’t mind it. It is not my highest rated tournament performance but for sure is my best tournament win.

MG: Jonathan Rowson won the championship 3 times and now you did, what sort of effect do you think will it have on the future of Scottish chess?
: Well, I think we already are seeing the effect. Many won different British titles this year and many young players becoming strong and I believe the golden years are ahead of us.

MG: Andrew Martin’s best game selection was your game against Nick Pert. What is your favourite game?
: I very much like my games against David Howell and Simon Williams. But I understand why it had such an attraction in the commentary room, apparently the audience made 24 guesses not breaking the 29 guess record back in 1998. On move 11 Nick played a novelty and then I castled and he played his pawn to d5 and I thought that it was strategically wrong move, then I spent 5-6 minutes and realised that I can take on e3. I didn’t even calculate it I thought it was a strategic necessity but maybe it’s not true. Actually it is the prize I preferred to win rather than the championship itself. (That makes him an artist already!)

MG: Jacob, do you see yourself as an artist or a sportsman?
: I am definitely not a sportsman, I am too unfit. I like to create, so I suppose that makes me an artist but I am not a great one. I think it is important for strong players to play interesting games. In this tournament my games had lots of attention because they were combative. Not only did I win the best game prize but the second best prize was won against me, so that shows already something.

MG: Jacob you write chess books. Are you a full time writer?
: I am not full time at anything. I play, I write, I have two students whom I love to work with. I own a publishing house with John Shaw, hopefully that would be a profitable business in the future. I think mainly I am a journalist, writing articles about chess. I don’t think I can do one thing. I am not going to be super great at anything. I enjoy my versatile life.

MG: What is your next book’s subject?
: My next book is going to be in two volumes and it’s titled “The Attacking Manuals”. I have been writing this book on and off for six years now. I have written about 2500 pages of notes, so I will chop it down and hopefully it will be a very good book. I am not writing books for money as it does not pay off. I like to have a feeling that people enjoy reading my books. I like it when people make compliments about my books. I have sent two of my books to Mark Dvoretsky and he said that he liked the first one, as it was written very plainly and understandably. However I think that the book was a rip off of his books with some additional good ideas. I asked him about the second one and he replied that it was stolen by Inarkiev. I was very proud to have such a compliment.

MG: Do you wish to say anything for the final touch, for you fans maybe?
JA: I don’t think so I have any fans.

MG: How about the Scottish fans?
JA: Yes, if I have something to say then I would add that I am happy to bring the trophy back to Scotland and if I did not win it Jonathan Rowson would have done it. Jonathan is a fantastic player, for the last three years he won the title. This year I was riding the luck and I believe Jonathan will win the trophy in the future.

MG: Thank you Jacob and good luck for the future.
: Thank you.

Alexander Best Game Prize

Nick Pert vs. Jacob Aagaard 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 b6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 Bb7 6.Nd2 h6 7.Bh4 Nc6 8.e3 Ne7 9.f3 Nf5 10.Bf2 c5 11.Qc2(N) 0-0 12.d5 Nxe3! 13.Bxe3 exe3 14. Bf2 Re8+ 15.Ne2 dxc4 16.0-0-0 b5 7.Nc3 Bc6 18.Nxc4 bxc4 19.Bxc4 d5 20.Bh4 Qb8 21.Bg3 Qb7 22.Bb3 Rac8 23.Bh4 Bxc3 24.bxc3 c4 25.Ba4 Bxa4 26.Qxa4 Rb8 27.Qc2 Qe7 28.Rd2 Qa3+ 29.Kd1 d4 30.cxd4 Nd5

Second Best Game Prize

Stephen Gordon vs. Jacob Aagaard 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e6 7.0-0 Be7 8.f4 0-0 9.Kh1 Qc7 10.a4 Nc6 11.Be3 Bd7 12.Nb3 b6 13.Bf3 Rfe8 14.g4 Bc8 15.g5 Nd7 16.Bg2 Bb7 17.Qh5 Nb4 18.Rf2 Bf8 19.Nd4 g6 20.Qh3 Bg7 21.f5 exf5 22.exf5 Bxf5 23.Kxg2 Ne5 24.Rd1 Rac8 25.f6 Bf8 26.Kg1 Nc4 27.Bc1 d5 28.Bf4 Qd7 29.b3 Ne3 30.Re1 Rxc3 31.Rxe3 Rexe3 32.Bxe3 Nc6 33.Ne2 Rxc2 34.Nf4 Rxf2 35.Bxf2 Nb4 36.Qc3 Qd7 37.Bxb6 Qg4+ 38.Qg3 Qd1+ 39.Kg2 Bd6 40.Kh3 Qf1+ 41.Kg4 Nd3 42.Be4 d4 0-1

British Ladies Champion Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant

Best Englishman and British U-21 Champion Stephen Gordon, joint 2nd with Jonathan Rowson

Three times British Champion Jonathan Rowson

From right: 4th= David Howell, Anthony Kosten, Mark Hebden and Stuart Haslinger

Glenn C. Flear collecting his 8th= prize money

First English Ladies Champion Lithuanian Dagne Ciuksyte

Senior Champions with the Mayor of Great Yarmouth: David Anderton and Stewart Reuben

Winner of Major Open David Ledger, joint winner with Oliver Jackson and Stephen Orton

U-18 Champion David Howell

Girls U-18 Champion Selina Khoo

U-16 Champion Connor Woods of Scotland (this photo is taken by Bob Jones)

Girls U-14 Champion Sheila Dines

U-13 Champion - Akash Jain, joint winner with Rhys Cumming

Didn’t get the name of the Scottish girl (in the middle) who was a joint winner of the junior major open with girls U-12 and U-13 champion Megan Owens of Wales.

U-12 Champion Saravanan Sathyanandha

Girls U-11 Champion Radha Jain

The Arbiter Mrs Lara Barnes gets a special prize for her enthusiastic work