Friday, August 22

US Chess School Bio Article

(These photos were posted on the blog. At left, Gregory plays blitz. At right, Sam stands and preaches to the choir.)

Check out the latest exciting article by Elizabeth Vicary on Chess Life Online. She interviewed all eight of the young participants (no pun intended) at the US Chess School in New Jersey a week ago and produced a novella that could have been titled "Young Chess Masters: What Does It Take?" Of course, the sections about Sam Shankland and Gregory Young are especially enlightening because we know these young men (pun intended) very well, but I would read the rest too.

If you're 1800 and wondering what it takes to become a master, I think Elizabeth Vicary found the answer for you. Read and learn! For example, most of the students spoke about the importance of studying tactics regularly. Yet Victor Shen takes it one step further: "There are many different types of tactics: kids are good at calculating forced lines, long variations that end in mate, but they are less good when the positions are unclear or the variations are unforced. Also, they aren’t so great at endgame tactics." Chess isn't just about finding checkmates or winning material. That's why many of these young men emphasized studying Grandmaster games.

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