Bruce Pollard - Chess Coach and Arbiter
Bruce has been with Chess Power since the very beginning. As the most experienced arbiter in New Zealand, Bruce runs all the regional interschool events across New Zealand. Bruce is also a highly experienced chess coach.
Why do you love Chess?
I learned chess when I was young, and played in a chess club at a school I went to, which helped me to develop my game. Later I joined the Waitemata chess club where I stayed for about 6 months. I was playing a lot of players who knew how to play and so lost a lot of games and got discouraged and left.
I didn’t play a lot of chess for a long time. At one job I had, I saw someone having a game of chess. My interest was aroused and we played some games. I won the first five games, and then he changed his style of play and caught me out with something I didn’t know how to handle. It took all my efforts to resist his attacks. I had to learn a new way of playing. I came to realise we were of equal strength and we had about an equal number of wins.
At that time I became friends with a member of the Waitemata chess club and we would meet and play some games and discuss them. I started learning a lot more about chess and started enjoying chess a lot more. I came to realise the reason I got discouraged when I first went to the chess club was not because I lost a lot of games but because I was not learning anything. I have been learning ever since!
What are your main Chess achievements?
After rejoining the Waitemata chess club I became club captain, then started running national tournaments, and even going to Australia to help at a tournament there. The running of tournaments has lead to me obtaining the title of FIDE Arbiter (FA).
I got involved with coaching at the Waitemata junior chess club and have continued to expand my coaching ever since.
Why do you enjoy working with kids?
Coaching helps me understand and organise what I know in a clear way as I explain important concepts in chess to children. It gives me a way to share my enjoyment and understanding of chess. And what's more, kids love chess!