There comes few events during one’s journey, which becomes life’s defining moments for its changes your perception to the things you are doing. And, one such event for me was Grandmaster Jacob Aagaard’s camp at Russian Centre for Science & Culture (RCSC), Mumbai on 26 – 27 March 2017.

I have attended few training camps (of course, as a student!) and the big one for me was by my guru, FST & IM Jovan Petronic at Singapore International Chess Convention 2007. The 6-day seminar at Singapore indeed a great learning experience and it paved the way for new insights into chess training, which I am now successfully using at my chess school.

A similar experience awaited me during GM Jacob Aagaard’s camp and I consider myself fortunate for having got an opportunity not only to host the event but also to attend it! I am sanguine that all those players (including few giants of chess) who have been part of it will surely agree with me for it has enhanced knowledge and widened horizon.

We all know Jacob as one of the legends in chess writings but meeting him in person doubled my respect for great author and trainer. For me he is man of boundless energy, stamina, a down-to-earth attitude and ready to share his wealth of knowledge.

For a man who was jet-lagged after a long travel and little to rest, he started his hectic tour of Asia with immediate preparations in the taxi on his way to Sagar’s home! This was followed by a hectic training schedule at day 1 of the camp which extended well beyond the schedule time. However, we all got to know of his energy level when he preferred to blitz out with young Aryan Polakhare after lunch instead of taking a rest!

The only rest he got when we were forced to wind up the camp proceedings as we had the last round of the tournament scheduled at 5.30 pm. We dropped him at his hotel at around 4.30 pm only to be back at 6.30 pm for a ‘Key Note’ lecture at the auditorium of RCSC. It was really nice to see so many chess players and passionate chess fans coming over to hear him. The fact that it was a houseful at 250 seat RSCS auditorium is a pointer to his popularity!

This was preceded by the prize distribution ceremony of the parallel rapid tournament, which we had conducted and GM Jacob Aagard along with honourable Director & Vice Consul, V.V. Dementiev gave away the prizes.


The prize distribution event turned out memorable for all of us involved as it witnessed young kids lining up to obtain autograph of Jacob!