Monday, August 22, 2011

Interview with Grandmaster Wesley So (and Video Review)





In this game Grandmaster Gadir Guseinov places the white pieces against Wesley So with the Black pieces at the 2009 World Cup. Wesley so is a TRUE chess prodigy, not only achieving the GM title at age 14 but maintaining the highest rated youth player in 2008 and 2009. In this game he just turned 16 but already had a FIDE approaching 2640!



First 3 Questions of the Interview (rest available on my website)



When did you learn chess and who taught you?




I learned when I was 7, my dad taught me the moves although he isn’t much of a player himself. After a few months of playing I eventually got stronger than him.



When did you begin playing chess tournaments and how did you do?



I started playing tournaments when I was 8. It was weekend rapid tournaments. My dad bought me books and asked a local chess coach (not a master though) to train me on openings and some endings. I won my first big event when I was 10 – when I won our National Age Group Under 10.



When did you begin making legitimate progress in your game and How?



The first local chess coach I had helped me choose the right openings for me and enhanced them. But when I got my FM title (I was 12 then) working with him wasn’t essential anymore and I started to work on my own. I got my IM title a year later. During those times, I tried to improve my openings and analyze my games. And it is also essential to practice and play regularly to improve.



The rest of the interview with Wesley So is available on William's website. (Along with interactive chessboard of the above game.)

By Chess Coach Will Stewart (USCF 2256, FIDE 2234). Follow William on Facebook and Twitter