Have there ben times during a game when you have calculated a position for half an hour, only to find out that most of what you were thinking about was of little use? If you have not, maybe the only way to improve your calculation is to upgrade your processor. But if you are human, then this book will offer you practical advice and an effective training plan to think differently and make decisions far more efficiently.
In Calculation thinking methods such as Candidates, Combinations, Prophylaxis, Comparison, Elimination, Intermediate Moves, Imagination and Traps are explained to the reader, and ownership of them is offered through a carefully selected series of exercises.
“There is no shortcut to the grandmaster title, but there is a well-known route that many people have walked over the years. Jacob offers to guide you on part of this journey and I hope you will take him up on the offer.”
From the foreword by Boris Gelfand
Grandmaster Jacob Aagaard won the British Championship at his first and only attempt. He has received the Guardian, ECF and ChessCafe Book of the Year awards and the FIDE Senior Trainer title. His training material is used by amateurs and grandmasters alike.
The Grandmaster Preparation series is aimed at ambitious players.
The second edition includes a new chapter entitled „24 Brain Crushers“.
First Published 25 May 2012
Second Edition published 2020
Association of Chess Professionals Book of the Year 2013
„I have used Calculation in work with my students. It is very valuable and I am very happy I bought it.“ – GM Artur Yusupov
„The best three chess books: Kasparov’s books of best games, The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal, and Calculation by Jacob Aagaard“ – GM Timur Gareyev, Chess Monthly 2016
„I really like Jacob Aagaard’s books; I always recommend them and use them myself.“ – GM Viktor Bologan
„In November 2012 I had 2 very poor results in a row. I found that on the whole my calculation was by far the biggest cause for my failures – I was outcalculated by my 2000 opponent in round 1 of my first event, and went from a +9 position to slightly worse over the course of 4 moves. I flat out hung a piece to a basic tactic the next event on move 9. It was clear that I had not been working on my calculation enough, so I decided to try Jacob Aagaard’s ‘Grandmaster Preparation: Calculation’. Sure enough I started to calculate like my old self again in no time, and in my next 2 tournaments I got through the first rounds without issue and scored un undefeated 4.5/6 against GMs, including one of the best attacking wins of my life.“ – GM Sam Shankland
„Congratulations on another amazing book.“ – GM Yuri Shulman
„I would highly recommend anyone about to play a GM event to work on Chapter 9 of GM Preparation – Calculation by Jacob Aagaard. It is a collection of exceptionally difficult exercises and it was fun for me trying to solve them.“ – IM Kevin Goh, after making his final GM norm
„I was struggling to make my final IM norm for about two years sir, and your calculation book has changed my standard to the next level.“ – Pradeep Kumar
„Studying Grandmaster Preparation: Calculation carefully will make you a much stronger player, open your eyes to new possibilities, allow you to immerse yourself into positions from completely different angles, and see possibilities that would have surprised you before. This book teaches your mind to think differently and solve complicated task; provided you have taken the time to work your way through this book. It is written for strong players and those who are serious about improving their chess understanding and their ability to calculate accurately. To benefit from this book you should probably be rated at least 2000. Nevertheless, there is really no limit to how strong you can be to benefit from studying the material.
My assessment of this book: 6/6“
Carsten Hansen, ChessCafe
„Will Jacob’s book (Grandmaster Preparation – Calculation) make you a better player? Again I will allow the author to speak:
‘You know that if you go to an Italian language course for a year you will be able to speak some Italian at the end.’
Working with this book will mean a lot of hours of struggle, sweat and tears (I had my share), but also a deep satisfaction when you see improvements at the board and realise your goals. Just remember that in chess there will always be someone on the other side of the board doing his best to make your life bitter:
‘But you also know that this does not mean you will automatically be able to charm the Italian girl you want to impress!’
I give this book my highest recommendation.“
GM Leif Erland Johannessen, Norsk Sjakk Blad
„Grandmaster Aagaard is an ardent believer in the benefits of hard work. With this book, Attacking Manual 1 and 2, Practical Chess Defense and the Quality Chess Puzzle Book (co-written with John Shaw) he has provided a wealth of material for the aspiring student. Whether this will help lead them to the Grandmaster title is an open question, but there can be no question that they will show serious improvement if they conscientiously work through Calculation.“
IM John Donaldson (full review)
„The best three chess books: The brilliant Grandmaster Preparation series (Strategic Play, Positional Play and Calculation), which I would warmly recommend to anyone wanting to reach the next step with their chess.“
James Adair, CHESS Magazine
„Aagaard is an engaging writer, and sometimes makes his points in a humorous and memorable way… In summary, this book is a workbook designed for the improving player and there can be little doubt that serious study of it will bring improvement.“
„The best three chess books: The brilliant Grandmaster Preparation series (Strategic Play, Positional Play and Calculation), which I would warmly recommend to anyone wanting to reach the next step with their chess.“ James Adair, CHESS Magazine
Colin Purdon, British Chess Magazine (full review)
„Calculation is highly recommended to the already strong player. He gets a workout book of the highest class.“
Uwe Bekemann, www.bdf-fernschachbund.de