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Janessa Palunas

Janessa Palunas

What do you think makes you a good coach? 

​​Doing my best to focus on, help and understand what is needed to improve more. Winning and losing is part of the game and often times, kids are competitive. Balancing the situation is important like cheering up for my students if they lose the game and encouraging them to do better next time by letting them know what has gone wrong.

What are your key strengths?

In my view, being a great coach from being open and learning a lot from my mistakes and from others as well. For example in coaching, it is not always about them learning from me but also more of me learning from them.

I think another strength of mine is patience. For example, understanding kids' and working with them to appreciate their weaknesses and strengths. This is something that builds my patience.

Why do you love Chess?

I honestly love watching people playing chess games more rather than playing the game myself! I am not a superstar chess gamer but chess has been a big part of my childhood. Chess often brings my relatives to gather together in our leisure times and even at school,  hence, I have had heaps of good (and bad he he) memories with it along with my classmates, friends and families. And I think this is what made me love chess. 

When/how did you first learn to play?

I was not born in a 'techy' area in the Philippines, hence, I was more exposed to outdoor games and board games when I was around 10. I used to hang out with my boy cousins and that time, they loved playing chess. From then on, they introduced me to the basic chess rules and I played with them which I often lost to them.  

Why do you enjoy working with kids?

I have younger siblings and more younger cousins. I think I got the hang of being with kids. They may have a short span of attention but they are attentive and eager to learn.  They sometimes like to play with my patience but often are one of my stress relievers. 

What are your main Chess achievements? 

I played one tournament in primary school. I represented my class out of 30 class sections for one chess tournament in junior high school in the Philippines.

How do you think Chess helps kids?

Chess helps kids by improving their planning and teaching them how to managing risk. It also improves their memory, problem solving skills and creativity and exercises their brain a lot! These skills are helpful as they grow which can potentially boost their performances in academics at school and even in their decision-making outside school.

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