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Duncan McDonald

Duncan McDonald

What do you think makes you a good coach? 
I am an extremely patient coach and a great listener and can communicate where my students went wrong and how they can improve for next time. 

What are your key strengths as a coach?
My main strengths are my opening knowledge and ability to learn openings at the student's request. I have a great understanding of the chess fundamentals and can teach them well.

Why do you love Chess?
I love chess not just because of the game's complexity and the fun of the competition, but also because of the community of people in the New Zealand chess scene. I have met so many great people through chess and that is part of the reason why I have continued to play it.

When did you first learn to play?
I first learnt the rules of chess in primary school but didn’t know how to play well at all. I started learning to play chess well near the end of 2019. Since then, I was hooked and have been playing ever since.

Why do you enjoy working with kids?

I enjoy working with kids because I can see myself on my chess improvement journey in all of them. Since I have had so much fun improving in chess I love giving other people that enjoyment of chess as well.

What are your main Chess achievements? 

  • 2022 North island junior blitz chess champion 
  • 2022 Northland champion 
  • 3rd place in IMCxAUCA tournament
  • 3rd place in Bob Wade memorial challengers division

How do you think chess helps kids?
Chess has been proven to improve memory, deepen focus, and elevate creativity among other major benefits, but I believe chess helps beyond these benefits and improves life skills time management, planning and even communication.


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