Crumpled question marks heap

QUESTION TO MY FANS

Couple of days ago, I asked my fan these questions: “How does chess make you feel? What exactly goes through your thoughts when playing a game? Why has chess become one of your passions?” for a chance to get a signed business card by one and only, Yelizaveta Orlova. The reason why I’ve decided to post their answer is because I found it interesting that every one of them was different, yet inspiring in every way. It’s great to see each and every one of you has your very own opinion – and this is not only about chess but everything in life! Especially, all of you are from different country which might make answers different because of lifestyle, culture, beliefs etc. If you’d like to see answers, please do not stop reading! There is more yet to come. But firstly, I’ll tell you my answers to the questions.

“Chess is a game that has been apart of me for more than half of my life. My father, my grandfather, and most likely my ancestors passed it down through my family. It’s practically in my blood. In the beginning, I didn’t find chess that fun (child age) but when I started to grow up, I realized that I could never actually let go of Chess. During a game, I try to only focus on the board. At times it can be hard because of my own psychological state during that specific time. My favorite part of the game is the middle game, that’s where I find the game is most interesting, and a lot of strategy and tactics come to play. When I lose a game, most of the time I take it hardly – but I always try to learn from my mistakes. It’s extremely important! Since I was 9 I’ve been playing this dangerous mind game and I have never gotten bored of it. Every game is different, I’m sure we have yet to find a chess player who has played to of the same exact games! In chess, as in other games and sports, you learn the more you play. In Chess you can only grow, I am not talking about rating but by knowledge. Yes, sometimes we might forget but it is usually always with us in our minds. Chess will always be apart of my life. Till death do we part.” – WCM Yelizaveta Orlova 

Two people I know personally answered my question:

“I have been playing chess on and off for many years, was even president of a chess club. I don’t really know why I love chess so much, I just do! Even though I don’t have much visual intelligence… I agree with many things others have posted, improved concentration and such. And if anyone is wondering what kind of teacher Yelízaveta is, I have been taking lessons from her since last September. Bottom line, she’s a great coach, patient and of course super bright! She really understands the game and has improved mine substantially. Thanks Liza!” – Gilles Dumouchel (My online student)

“I love chess because of your beauty. When I go to tournaments and see you, I feel inspired; I reach into my inner soul and allow it to break free and express itself over the board.” - WFM Alexandra Botez (My closest and oldest Chess friend)

Here are answers made by my fans!

“When I play Chess I am participating in a tradition which dates back centuries. I am taking part in a contest of wit, will and strategy. It is an invigorating mental battle. However, it is just as much a social occasion between competitors or friends. You can enjoy a conversation as much as the competition. I have been playing since I was eight years old with my Father and uncles as tutors. Being taught Chess at that age the game really had an impact on my formative years. I developed passions for history and legend directly because of my exposure to Chess and I am very glad for it. I am a strong supporter of the instititution and am heartened when I see young grandmasters such as you being tremendous examples for your generation.” - Eric M Baker

“Each game is different, so I have a new challenge each Time I play to find the best move, plan or combination. We can play during our entire life without playing the same game. So many variations.” - Stephane Trassaert 

“Chess is my passion, my outlet from the doldrums of life, when I play I get lost in the complexity which the position brings, I even try to play the sharpest lines, most attacking lines. I’m not a quiet player, I enjoy invoking my will on my opponent forcing he, or she to make moves uncomfortable for them, my favorite phase of the game is the middle game when I upset the position and low and behold they find themselves totally and completely lost!” – Bob Byers

“I love so many sports and games since I was young. Soccer, billiard, swimming, etc… The only game I feel sad when I lose is Chess .. I believe I love chess more than any other game or sport.” - Ayman Soliman

“When I’m playing chess, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself king of infinite space.” - Sid Gandhi

“I consider myself to be an average player. I have been playing for nearly 30 years now.I was taught chess at school when I was 6 and it was something me and my best friend just took too, within 6 months we were both in the under 9′s county team and later joined a local club team were it just became a chance to play stronger players and keep testing myself, a game that when you lose you can learn and comeback stronger and wiser next time, a strange game you can win and not be happy, you can lose and be pleased. Having said that to play well and win in style gives you the biggest rush ever. I recently played a gentleman he is a very respected local chess player 7 times county champion although not for a while , I was fortunate to beat him but after the game he said “It was a honour to play in that game, I haven’t been so savagely attacked and beaten like that in years” How could anyone not feel amazing!” – William Bates

“This game relaxes me and takes my mind off other things.” - Bob Joks

“I love chess a lot because it is like my second mom. I can give up home, office, gf , etc for chess.. but chess is my life. I will manage life without wife but without chess life is unimaginable.” - Chinmay Josh

“The most enjoyable moments I had at chess were those when I took great risks. I believe in my opponent’s ability to beat me, but I also believe in my opponent’s ability to make mistakes. When I take great risks and win, the victory is much sweeter. This is why I stopped playing defensive and started to develop more aggressive tactics. When I started playing it I was four and most of my opponents were old men from my neighborhood obviously they had much more experience than me. It was quite frustrating to loose so often, and back then I didn’t know about studying my own games to become better, and I didn’t have access to chess books about openings , end-games etc. Beating a more experienced opponent was only about adapting to his game, it was the only thing I knew when I was young, adapting to different positions. It probably had some influence over my personality too, for I grew up with the ability to adapt to many different environments, people, or ways of life.” - Andrei Eleodor Toykhov 

“Chess is a silent way of getting adrenaline rush. And I love that feeling.” – Jason Egama

“My dad taught me to play chess when I was a kid, he always has some story to tell while playing. Later he took me to see the chess match between Fischer and Spassky in Belgrade. It was great. I like chess not so much to beat other players as much to see where do I stand and how can I cope with pressure, survive it, and go for attack (or go straight to attack from beginning and cope with pressure later:)). I can talk about chess for hours…” - Srdjan Olujic

“Chess makes me feel alive; I cannot go too long without a game. I travel all over Europe to play, make friends and socialize!” – Pat McGovern

“I love the combinations and tactics, I always love a good sacrifice. I try to find ways that exploit my opponent’s weakness and try to prevent my own. I love a game where I’m in a lost position and find a way to win. Its fun and challenging. It also helps me to look at life with a different perspective.” – Mike Wilson

“I love chess because it’s a game that is a part of my brain. I have been playing since 2007 but only played one official tournament and I lost – but i am not loser! I am confident one day I will win the chess champion in world. My aim is developing friendship between all people in the world! Chess is my life. My life is great. I have no more word for chess because it is amazing game. Chess is not only exercise of the brain but it’s all problems and solutions which is apart of my life. I want to meet you because I am interested to develop future brain and more and more development in chess.” – Neel Shah

“I grew up playing as a young boy, I won some school tournaments in a small town. Now like then I just play for fun. I like to follow some players. The game keeps my mind sharp, Life like chess, you better know some good moves” – Quarter Man

“The reason I like playing chess is because I can be one of the stars. You get to learn something new about your self every time you play. Did you have what it takes? How did you respond in the face of adversity? How do you face losing? You only get one chance and there are no take backs. Glory is all on you. sometimes your best just is not good enough. The people are also awesome.” - Michael Giglio 

“Chess makes me feel like I am at war. I love the game. Playing competitively feels amazing.” - Ryan Garza

“For me chess is art. You get the chance to create with an opponent. Its a dance, conversation and a conflict that can produce great beauty. Sure the tools are logical analysis and visualization, but the realized line and forgone lines are like a symphony or a complex painted picture. Most times the two playing the game only partially appreciate it. If, however, you just once contribute to a recorded masterpiece, then be very happy. Others just dream of the chance. ” – Greg Hough

“Chess makes me feel in love. When playing it opens a universe of possibilities and creative ideas. It’s amazing the sensation when you playing a very important game in tournament and you go for it! The art and beauty of the fluid thoughts in your mind that creates a connection between chess and you being one!” -  Alexandre Guerreiro 

“Because ironically, despite its being called a lengthy game, to me it looked liked a miniature and shorter version of life. You make decisions which rise you or kill you. In chess, it’s much more quicker than in real life.” - Kabir Invictus

“Personally I like to teach the game as well as play, I like some of the brilliant I come up with at times, and experimenting new ideas I play, I’ve been studying for over 20 years, and frankly still improving. but more importantly sharing the knowledge. The local Chess club see me as something special!!” - Howard E. Anderson III 

Thank you everyone who answered my question!

If you’d like to add on to anything – or answer these questions yourself, please write your answers in the comment below! I’d love to read your thoughts, and I’m sure others will as well! :)

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Michigan Chess Festival

Hi everyone,

I’m terribly sorry I have not posted anything since now.

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This post is about my first American tournament experience. I was invited to this tournament by the organizer, Alan Kaufman. Alan Kaufman is a great chess enthusiast. Not to the say the least, he’s a chess player himself! Alan, one day – about a little over a year ago messaged me about his tournament. Not only was I interested to play because it was close to home (I live in Toronto, the tournament was in a small city not far from Detroit) but because of the recommendations to play were very high!

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Alan Kaufman and WCM Yelizaveta Orlova

The tournament ended up being much better than I expected. I was treated very well – someone picked me up from the bus terminal, and I had a nice stay at the hotel we were playing in! I got to meet many new people – chess players, parents, enthusiasts! I even got to see people in super hero costumes (there was another event being held in the same hotel). Now, about the chess! I helped Alan to try to get many international chess players to attend the tournament – and even succeeded! The tournament ended up being a greatly organized and strong event. My result: I am not exactly thrilled on the result I had at this tournament but I had to expect it because I was one of the lowest rated players! I did end up getting two draws, one win, and lost about 8 FIDE rating. My chess has been a little rusty, because I am a full-time chess teacher – it’s really hard to teach and study at the same time!

I can’t seem to find any results on this tournament – but the second I find it, I will update it to this page.

Please check out the website for this outstanding strong tournament: http://michiganchessfestival.com/

During the tournament, I was the photographer for this event – please check out the photos I took! There were two tournaments through out the 5 day chess festival. The 9-round tournament which was 5 days (October 23-27) and the 5-round tournament which was 3 days (October 25-27).

9-Round Norm Tournament

5-Round Tournament

My Summer Adventure! Ukraine, England, Wales, and Netherlands. *Warning – Many Photos!

For those of you who did not know, I went on a 3.5 month trip to Europe.

I finished my first year of College at George Brown which ended April 19th, a month later I was already packing up my suitcase for my long getaway! I had a lot of experiences on my trip – good and bad, which I have to admit just made me into a stronger person. The idea of my trip? Why did I do it? Well, I go to Ukraine every summer, because that is originally where I was born. Since I had the money, I decided it was very convenient for me to travel around Europe. This year I decided to go to England, Wales, and Holland. For chess and travelling – but mostly travelling!

Ukraine

Crimea (May 25 – June 1)

My grandmother and I decided to go on a trip to a very nice part of Ukraine – Crimea. One of the historic and touristy places in probably all of Ukraine.

Kiev (June 2 – June 11)

My second time ever setting foot in Kiev! The previous time, I didn’t even get to see the City – I was just passing through. During my visit, I got to see a Stronger Super GM tournament: Sberbank Open. Here is the official results of the tournament.

Ranking of International chess tournament SBERBANK OPEN А
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Rank Name, First Name Title Fed. Rating 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Place
1 Anatoly Karpov GM RUS 2637 ½ ½ 1 2 2½ 2½ 2½ 3 3 9
2 Anton Korobov GM UKR 2719 0 1 1 1½ 2 2 3 4 4½ 7
3 Peter Leko GM HUN 2732 ½ 1 1½ 2 3 4 4½ 4½ 5 3
4 Pavel Elyanov GM UKR 2709 ½ ½ 1½ 1½ 2 2 2½ 3½ 4½ 5
5 Veselin Topalov GM BUL 2775 1 2 3 3 3½ 4½ 5 5 6 2
6 Arkady Naiditsch GM GER 2702 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 10
7 Alexander Areschenko GM UKR 2708 ½ ½ 1½ 2 2 2½ 3½ 3½ 4 8
8 Sergei Zhigalko GM BLR 2684 ½ 1½ 1½ 2½ 3½ 4 4 4½ 5 4
9 Sergey Karjakin GM RUS 2808 1 1½ 1½ 2½ 3½ 4 5 5½ 6½ 1
10 Eugene Tomaszewski GM RUS 2718 ½ 1½ 2½ 3 3 3½ 4 4½ 4½ 6

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England

London (June 21 – 29, July 3 – 11)

It was also my second time visiting London, but I decided it was worth to see again because the last time I visited was when I was 11 years old! Saw some chess friends as well!

Wales

The very first time I visited this Country! Very beautiful – especially the castles!

Cardiff/Barrie (June 30 – July 3)

Netherlands

An amazing first experience. I’d like to live here one day.

Leiden (July 12 – 20)

During my stay in Leiden, I played a tournament. Open Section. I am not exactly proud about how I played – but had certain negatives going on at the time and think not losing rating points was amazing at this point. I was mostly happy after 4 rounds, I only had 0.5 – really bad start but still managed to not lose the rest of the games!

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Lovely city, I want to visit again one day!

 

Amsterdam (July 21 – 23)

Gorgeous City!

 

I hope all of you liked the pictures – Stay tuned for my next article which will be about my lovely birth city – Odessa, Ukraine.

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Ontario Girls’ Chess Championship/Chess Photo-shoot

Hi Everyone,

May 12,  2013 – not only was Mother’s Day in Canada but one of our important girls’ championship!

I was really glad to see so many girls playing in this tournament (and even though it was less than last  year, it still was a hit!)

I’d like to thank my close friend Monica Chung for these lovely pictures!

Here are some pictures of the girls and the tournament: