Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Chess Inspiration with Magnus

Today I was at the Australian Junior Championship in Melbourne. It is a fantastic event with hundreds of kids from across Australia playing, and the venue at Swinburne University is great. There is even an excellent cafe just across the road serving superb coffee, the Axil Coffee Roastery.

So I have been chatting to some people,and looking at some of the kids game, a pretty good way to spend some time!

The question that always interests me as a chess coach is how can you bridge the gap between teaching and engaging? How can you improve someone's game while keeping it fun? There has to be some inspiration to guide the education. For oldies like me, it can be difficult to remember exactly what I found inspirational as a child, or even a young teenager. And as times change, things that inspire can change.

One thing that is constant are the top players in the game, and talking about Wijk aan Zee and how the superstars are doing is a great inspiration for the kids. (I actually like when the Junior Champs takes place at the same time as the Senior Championship, such as kids in the morning, adults in the afternoon so the kids get to see the best players in the country in action after their own games) There is no bigger superstar at the moment than Magnus Carlsen, so he is currently the biggest inspiration to kids in chess. On my recent trip to NZ I saw a book about Magnus that I nearly bought...

I didn't see much chess, but I learned that Magnus is keen to ride a motorcycle and go punk!

I took a look at my life now that I live in the country, and I finally decided to switch clubs from Melbourne to Box Hill. I have entered the next Friday night Box Hill tournament, the Autumn Cup which starts on 26 January, and I'll start writing about this as it happens. I won't stop writing about MCC which I have a great fondness for, and I'll try to play a weekend event or two this year.

Anyway, I'll be back to chess blogging as well!

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