What do you think makes you a good coach
I think ultimately it's my passion for the game. I love teaching people to play something that has brought so much enjoyment into my own life. I am also naturally a patient person, which helps. I believe I'm able to explain myself carefully, and I genuinely want to help people learn and thrive.
What are your key strengths?
Patience is a big one, alongside empathy, a willingness to learn, and the acquisition of knowledge and skills. I am an attentive person, but I can also relax around younger people and have a fun while teaching (and learning). I strive to always do the best I can in whatever I'm doing.
Why do you love Chess?
I am fascinated by the history of the game and how it has captivated people all around the world for so many years. When I play chess, I feel completely engrossed in the game. It's as if my mind has the chance to escape to a different world for a short time, where nothing else matters except the pieces on the board.
When/how did you first learn to play?
I learned from a very young age. My father taught all of us kids how to play. It's funny because I don't remember ever learning the names of the pieces or anything. I only have memories of playing against my older siblings. We grew up playing on a large chess set with famous sculptures representing the pieces. For example, the king was Michelangelo's King David.
Why do you enjoy working with kids?
I enjoy working with kids because they offer such a unique perspective on life. There's so much we as adults can learn from children too. I have worked with kids throughout my career, and I have missed it when I haven't been doing it as much.
What are your main Chess achievements?
My biggest chess flex would be a draw against U.S woman’s chess champion, Nazi Paikidze. Nazi is an international master and accomplished chess player well known in the chess community. I’m also very proud with how I played that particular game. I’ve received placings in small tournaments across New Zealand. I was lucky enough to attend an international chess tournament in 2012 which had some of the top players in the world at that time.
How do you think Chess helps kids?
Chess helps kids to think logically, strategically and creatively. It is a game that requires patients and focus as well as applied study. To be a good chess player you need all of these attributes and more. It’s also a social game which is great for kids too.