About Me


That’s me!

Nationality: Canadian

Learned Chess: six-years old, 1991

Favourite Book: Tarrasch, The Game of Chess

Favourite Players: Tarrasch, Karpov, Morphy

Highest Rating: 2160 (online)

Playing Style: Prefer simpler, open positions


In Depth

My grandfather taught me chess when I was six.  He learned in Russia, and he took chess very seriously.  This caused me to take chess seriously, much more so than anyone I knew.  I was soon better than all my friends, but chess didn’t become my passion until my teenage years.

Just before high school, I joined the local chess club.  I was better than all the students (mostly young children), but the instructors challenged me.  Under the guidance of Ted Craven, John Campbell and others, I blossomed into a strong club player.  By the end of Grade 12, I was an 1800-rated player and the youngest instructor at the chess club.

And I stayed 1800 for a decade.

It wasn’t for a lack of trying.  I read countless books, played numerous games, analyzed dozens and dozens of high-level games.  Nothing worked.  I’d win a few games, beat a 1950 player only to lose to a 1400 the very next game.  I gave up chess for a good period, thinking this was it.  I had reached my limit, so why bother keep trying?

During my final year at university, I found GM Igor Smirnov and his chess teaching.  He rekindled my interest, and in 2015 I began studying his material in depth.  By the end of the year, I had soared over 2000 rating, and as of Jan 2017 my rating is over 2150.

I know what it’s like to feel stuck, to try really hard and not get anywhere.  On this blog, I offer tips, advice and analysis.  I want to give the information that I wish I had years ago, and I want to do it in a way that’s both entertaining and effective.  I invite you to share my chess journey, and if you ever want someone to talk chess with, I’m always here.


Education: MA in Philosophy, 2011, York University

Passions: Chess, Martial Arts

Interests: Ancient History, Object Manipulation, Writing, Video Games

Favourite Animal: The Cat

Favourite MovieThe Lion King