What do you think makes you a good coach?
I strive to connect with every student. In the past, I’ve coached junior sports teams and have honed my ability to motivate and teach kids. I am cognizant of different students’ learning styles, and my approach encompasses all of their needs. I work hard to share my passion for chess and to provide students with a solid foundation involving not only theoretical knowledge, but various mental skills.
What are your key strengths?
I am able to think outside the box and break down complex ideas into simple terms. I use various analogies and background information to provide students with a holistic understanding of each idea. I am calm and patient, and I enjoy interacting with students, creating a safe, fun learning environment.
Why do you love Chess?
Chess’s paradoxical nature fascinates me. It is simple – each piece has a specific function, and the player who successfully attacks their opponent’s King wins. Yet, it is incredibly complex – possible variations of a Chess game are mathematically almost infinite. One opponent will always make different moves to the next. Chess has been played for many centuries, yet no one – not even Magnus Carlsen – can play it perfectly. Simply put: the learning curve is endless and, for this reason, playing Chess will never cease to be a rewarding activity.
When/how did you first learn to play?
I started playing chess essentially when I learnt to walk. I was fortunate enough that both my father and my grandfather passed their love for chess onto me. I played it throughout Primary School and Intermediate School, and it engrossed me even more during College, when I began to study it.
Why do you enjoy working with kids?
Kids possess certain attributes which are present in the most creative adults, and their worldviews are incredibly unique. Their energy is simply infectious. I enjoy encouraging kids to channel those creative attributes into healthy activities and finding ways to connect with them by bridging the gap between my worldview and theirs.
I also find great satisfaction in positively impacting kids’ development.
What are your main Chess achievements?
I have won several tournaments on Lichess, a prominent online chess server. I have also introduced many friends to the game, some of whom are now extremely passionate about the game.
How do you think Chess helps kids?
Chess exercises a plethora of cognitive abilities such as memory, concentration, critical thinking, and problem-solving. Kids’ brains develop rapidly compared to adults’ brains, placing them in a juncture of their lives wherein development of their cognitive abilities is critical. Chess acts a fun, challenging vessel through which kids can develop their brains and, eventually, become more well-rounded adults.
Chess also offers kids a much more rewarding alternative to computer games and an opportunity to form strong relationships with other kids who play the game.