Carla Heredia Serrano Interview.

 

 

 

Carla Heredia is 22 years old and she is from Ecuador. She earned the Woman Grand Master title at the end of 2012 when she became Panamerican Champion
(soon the WGM title will be published in FIDE). Her best chess achievements are: South American Champion, First Ecuadorian to qualify to a FIDE World Cup
(2009). Carla has won chess tournaments in Paraguay, Hungary and USA, she has been 10 time in different category national championship. As in the life of
many chess players her path has not been easy, at the beginning of her chess career only her family supported her. When she was 14 years old she changed
schools to a distant school, the purpose was to dedicate her life to chess and to earn the WIM title. In 2008 she became Woman International Master and her
life changed because her city started to support her. For Carla to play chess and represent her country is important but also to share with the chess
community, that is why since last year she gave simuls in 3 different cities form Ecuador including the Galapaos Islands. Also, she went to Ecuadorian
schools to motivate the children. She was also invited to the Super Saturday chess tournament in St Louis, USA to speak with the children about chess and
its real purpose, to connect people from different countries, cultures, race and religions. Carla is also studying psychology, she wants to become sports
psychologist and help athletes to perform their best. In chess her goals are to become International Master and get into the top 100 Women of the world.

Extreme:
Thank You Carla for granting your fans at ChessRex this interview.

 

 

 

Higginator:
What would you say to those countries or learning institutions that outlaw or put a ban on playing chess?
Carla:
As “Gens Una Sumus”  “we are one people” we should do our best to promote the benefits in our sport and be an ambassador of our game and promote it.
To the institutions that ban chess, it’s up to us, up to everyone of us to create interesting projects to let the learning institutions teach and have chess.

Higginator:
But Sadly many never get to play it because of educational resources and dispositions.
Carla:
Well, it is sad because chess is such a inclusive sport, age, race, cultures, blind people, girls, boys, everyone can join chess.
But, we can “share” chess, with social chess projects, simuls.. etc.

Haigginator:
When you participate in a tournament, after you have made your move do you, walk around, see other matches, or things like that?
Carla:
Normally, I try to stay concentrated in my own game. I do not deny that I walk around and see others games as well, but just a bit. One can ask but it is impossible to be 4 hours concentrated! I can say that with breath exercises during the game, and the right attitude it is impossible to stay concentrated, and when the mind flies away, one should come back to the game.

Higginator:
What is your opinion on Robert Fischer’s game and style?
Carla:
Fischer is one of the greatest, therefore he was a fighter in every game. I like specially his Sozin Attack.
Higginator:
Magnus Carlson takes his father everywhere with him, who travels with you as your rock?
Carla:
In the past I traveled by myself and just sometimes with  peers. In the present I try to travel with my trainer GM Arthur Kohan, when it is possible.
Higginator:
Garry Kasparov once said, “MEN ARE SUPERIOR THAN WOMEN IN EVERY STAGE”..What are your beliefs about this?
Carla:
It is clear than only Judit has been in the top of the top in chess. But it is because of the opportunities.. for example when 1000 men play chess is obvious that at least 10 will be elite players… but if only 100 women play chess, how many girls do you expect to be elite? 1.  There is just a tiny percent of woman’s that play chess compared with man. Another issue is the government support if it is equally to woman and men, money prizes, and it is crucial to invite woman to top tournaments. I think that Wijk Aan Zee is an example of tournament that mix woman and men in a super competitive closed tournament.

Higgie:

Is Traditional Chess based on the Players Memory …and the more that’s Memorized the Stronger
that Player will become, or gain a Higher Rating when Playing in ChessTournaments?
Carla:
Memory is an important element in chess but I think chess is based in comprehension, when you understand something you “memorize” it.. In the past I tried to memorize longer opening lines and then I forgot on the board or after the game, now I try to do critical thinking when I am learning an opening. Is like when one read a text for fun, probably you will not remember a lot, but when you answer questions or ask something you star to think and therefore to memorize.

 

AWOLNATION:
Most people play chess for fun and not a in the serious and dedicated environment and a Grandmaster would.
What do you do for fun when you are not playing chess ?
Carla:
I like to play soccer or tennis  when there is a chance emo I enjoy to watch  comedy movies.  I love to play a chess tournament and then to explore the city, the museums. I love to read philosophy and to be around positive persons. I also like to collaborate in social projects and charity.
AWOLNATION:
What other talents do you have apart from the skills that make you a great chess player?
Carla:
I read sport psychology books because I think is important to train myself in that area.
AWOLNATION:
What types of research do you do before you enter a tournament?
Carla:
If it is a norm or a closed tournament I do databases of the players and prepare in advance what I would play in case of a or b. Then in the tournament I review the lines that I expect to play before the game and finally my trainer and I analyze the errors after the game.
AWOLNATION:
What is the typical day in the life of a Woman Grand Master like?
Carla:
When I am in a training season, I train 4-5 hours per day,  try to sleep well… do a little of exercise.
AWOLNATION:
What can a person rated 1600 do to improve their game?
Carla:
Read the classics, find the right coach that can explain how to think in chess and that he/she has values.
AWOLNATION:
When playing a stronger opponent, what issues do you typically give the most consideration?
Carla:
I respect all my opponents therefore I prepare for all of them. I check their games, style.
AVIJIT DAS:
Which is the best win in your chess career and why? It’s very difficult to pick one quickly but I want to know which game comes first in your mind and you would never forget?
Carla:
I will never forget in 2009 I beat WGM Deysi Cori, 3 times world junior championship. In 2010 I was 2080 of rating and she was 2407. It was magic because at that moment I was not used to play with such strong opponents, therefore it was my opportunity. I thought that elo is just a number, therefore I was convinced that I can yes I Can! I prepared very well for that game and it was one of my best games in my career.

AVIJIT DAS:
Have you been in systematic training from the beginning?
Who inspired you to play chess?
Carla:
It was a coincidence that I started in chess. When I was 8 years old, my parents signed for a chess course and a gymnastic one in the school. At the beginning it was a hobby and in Ecuador we don´t have a step by step chess school as in Russia or Cuba. Therefore, I was getting better but in a slow way. At 15 years old, I took a big decision,  I changed a normal school to a distance school, therefore I could have more hours to train and play chess.

AVIJIT DAS:
In a tremendous pressure situation how far can you calculate? Does it differ from normal situation?
Carla:
Of course time pressure you should be faster and accurate, sometimes I calculate better in time trouble because of the adrenaline, sometimes not. I think it is better to not have time trouble and always, even in the end of the game, to have more than 4 minutes plus the 30 seconds. I suffered a lot of time troubles in the past, but now I can decide better and only take my time in the critical moments. Confidence is the key to play good and faster.

EXTREMEoverCAST:
What did you learn in your first tournament that would be useful for you today?
Carla:
That I was very motivated in that tournament, and the most important lesson of my first tournament is that I should keep dreaming, training hard and I will achieve my goals.
EXTREMEoverCAST:
What were some of the highs and lows of your career as a chess player that you would like to
share with us?
Carla:
I have been Women Grand Master and  Panamerican Champion (2012, South American champion (2009). I was the first Ecuadorian to qualify to the FIDE World Cup (2009), then I played in the first round  against GM  Hou Yifan; I lost but was a great experience and in that tournament she became World Champion.

I have been 10 times different categories National champion, as well I have won masters tournaments in Hungary, Paraguay, USA.

I think lows are also important, in 2010 I was training hard but I hadn’t  successful results so I was stressing. I keep training hard but nothing get better, so maybe was not my chess skills… Therefore, I went to a Buddhist monastery in India and it changed my life and chess career. I learned there meditation and to see chess in an objectively way and to not get depressed if I lost… Somehow I was taking chess as my job and not enjoying it anymore. But after India I changed my mind and I was getting fun playing chess, no more stress and the results came and came.

http://www.carlaheredia.com/

https://twitter.com/HerediaCarla

https://www.facebook.com/carla.herediaserrano

https://www.youtube.com/user/rap4everecuador

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