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
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 Movie: The Lion King