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Abigail Romero Woman FIDE Master Interview

 

EXTREME:

How often do you study a new opening?

Abigail:
I got used to studying a new opening every time that I study a Masters games, like general culture, but I add a new opening in a period of 6 months, some times more than that, because it requires hard study and time to practice.

EXTREME:

What do you think is more important to study most of all; The Opening, Middle or Endgame?

Abigail:
Well all of them are important, since I was a child I have dedicated more time to endgame, I remember a phrase that says, play opening like books, middle game as a magician and endgame as a machine.

EXTREME:

What was your latest tournament and your best game in it?

Abigail:
My latest tournament was a national team championship thank God, I won in my board and the same in the team score we won, I had another in Cuba 2 months ago, Capablanca in memoriam international tournament, my best game was one that I played in round 2, I didn’t know that my opponent was a GM and I played, thanks God I won, when I checked the rating list I couldn’t believe it. It was a hard match.

EXTREME:
You’ve been in a unique position, having met a number of the worlds top Chess Players.
Could you tell us who made the best impression on you based on your experience with them?

Abigail:

That’s a good question, I saw them like idols but when you met them they are totally friendly, and many of them like to analyze a position if you played with them, my best impression is the humble and simplicity they are. And I think that is the base of success.

 

 

Higgie:

How do you prepare to face an opponent before a tournament?

Abigail:
I prepare two months earlier, Its better in that way I think, because you prepare yourself , you can dedicate your time mainly to strengthen your openings, look for new plans in the middle game and study possible endgame. Making the tournament just an opportunity to enjoy.

Higgie:

Why did you choose chess as a career, And what other career are you interested in?

Abigail:
I like chess because it’s my life, I feel it in my blood, its something that you know you are born to do , and I am trying to combine with architecture, it is the career that I have chosen in the university, I really like it, and I always make it like chess. I could say that chess helps me to imagine causes of the calculation we have to do in variants when we are playing.

Higgie:

Who have been your toughest opponents, and why?

Abigail:
In a tournament like Capablanca in Memoriam you have toughest opponents all the time, you’ve never know when you have to play against Grand Masters, a game with GM Kristansen Jens was hard. Because you might miss some movements that your opponent knows and sometimes you feel insecure about those thoughts.

Don Clavito:

Do you believe that with the years a chess player changes style even so being a Grand Master?

Abigail:
I think it depends on your personality and if you feel secure maybe I’m wrong but, I think if you are a person whom likes to attack, you cannot feel good in a passive position. So you may decide what kind of play you like the most.

Don Clavito:

When you participate in a tournament, after you have made your move do you, walk around, see other matches, or things like that?

Abigail:
Yes, not so often but I used to do that, trying to make my brain breathe, keeping the position in my mind, and trying to observe what’s news in other tables, maybe there are more interesting positions. Or maybe just a walk to renew or organize my ideas.

 

 

AWOLNATION:

Do you play music while you study chess or do you like complete silence ? We like to play this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPhnOKmhbBw Modest Mouse video on chessrex.com .

Abigail:
No, I prefer the silence to study chess, I think concentration help to analyze.

AWOLNATION:
Would you share your favorite Vimeo.com or youtube video with us so we may play it on our chat?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_U6iSAn_fY one of my favorite songs.

AWOLNATION:

Which do you prefer, bishop or knight during the end game?

Abigail:
Bishop, in a better position obviously.
AWOLNATION:

Who do you think was better in his prime, Kasparov or Fischer?

Abigail:
Hard question, I like both of them, I think I’m feeling inclined towards Fischer. He made a revolution in chess, many of his requirements are implemented now. He is a big legend.
HAL9000:

When playing a stronger opponent, what issues do you typically give the most consideration?

Abigail:
Is not easy to consider one most important than other, because that’s the reason why your opponent is stronger, so I calm down, and be secure of what I studied, trained before the tournament, and let the knowledge flow. Most of the time I consider the tactics in the position.

HAL9000:
How would you describe your play style?

Abigail:
Big percentage Positional.

HAL9000:

What is your favorite place that chess has taken you to in your travels?

Abigail:
It’s a dream when I remember, I prefer places that are so hidden maybe because I think I’m the only person who knows hahaha… One of them is in Cienfuegos Cuba, I trained there in 2009, I visited a hidden beach, and it was so amazing, I thanks God who gave me the opportunity to know it and I’ll never forget , the sun was in the right angle that makes the sea  an emerald color shining in front of me, and behind me there was  a big tree that made me feel a hug, that’s why I call it like a dream.

HAL9000:

What kind of chess board do you have at home?

Abigail:
I have one that I bought in chess Olympiad, not like a Staunton but I like it.
EXTREME over CAST:
Chess is a Universal game that many people all over the world love to play.
But Sadly many of them never get to play it because of educational resources and willingness.
What would you say to those countries or learning institutions that outlaw or put a ban on playing chess?

Abigail:
Many things I cannot say, I’m studying because I like my career, and it took much of time that’s the reason why I have to combine it with chess, for example the university is one of the institutions that they do not put chess in a higher position, I’m fighting against that kind of thought, I always say that sports are a school of life, so chess has a valuable addition. Chess players need a consideration, we represent our countries in a contest that consume the person not only mentally even more physically, so the institutions might support us. We need to improve a chess conscience, and chess culture.

EXTREME over CAST:
Are there any projects that you are working on that you would like to us to help you promote?

Abigail:
Yes, as I said, I would like that people of my country consider chess like an important sport, and give it time to know of it.

EXTREME over CAST:
Is there anything that you would like to add?

Abigail:
Thanks God many things you can know in travels, many people that become your close friends even if they live so far from you, I mean winning is important but it’s not all, playing chess is a compendium of many details, the point of success is enjoy and do your best, do what you know to do, play chess, breath chess.

 

I want to thank the Commission for woman’s chess of FIDE (WOM) because they added me on a project “Rumbo a la Gran Maestría” by IM Martha Fierro who is a great person, chess player and friend. It’s a great experience and I’m so grateful to train with GM Carlos García Palermo, GM Alonso Zapata, GM Victor Moskalenko. I thank MF Arnaldo Valdes for being my couch since I was 15.

 


 

Chess World Innovators.

 

 

SHESS: Making Strategic Moves From Pawn to Queen


 

Q & A – CHESS REX and Author Wendy Oliveras:

Ernesto:  When did you begin writing “Let’s Play SHESS” and what was the motivation behind it?

 

Oliveras:  I began writing “Let’s Play SHESS” on or about October 2011. I self-published the book in June 2012 and it is available inall formats worldwide, including four stores at Barnes & Noble in New York City. Interestingly, the motivation behind writing the book
arose from two driving forces. One is the fact I am a passionate chess lover and have been playing for 35 years, but only for fun.The other is the journey and challenges I faced as a small business owner during the economic downturn in 2008.These two forces are what inspired and motivated me to create the “SHESS” ideology and dedicate the book to girls and women.As a result of my life journey both on a personal and professional level, I realized it is because of my chess-playing skills that I have been able to think, analyze and solve my problems with more logical clarity and prepare for unexpected situations.

 

Ernesto:  “SHESS” is an interesting word. What does it actually represent?

 

Oliveras:  SHESS is a play on two words, i.e., “she” for female and “chess” for the game. SHESS simply represents a metaphor for “your game of life” and all of the circumstances, which occur in your life, represent your personal “battlefield.” If you keep in mind chess
is a logical game, which mimics a battle of war between two minds, then also remember SHESS represents a battle of war between your own mind and that of your opponent in life or in business. Think of the creative analogy between a chessboard and your life board as the foundation for setting and accomplishing your goals. Either way, both games require the same cognitive and tactical strategies to solve problems and analyze things in life or in business development. In chess, you develop these skills and in SHESS, you sharpen your intellectual weaponry and learn to successfully transfer those skills into real life. It’s really fascinating the relevance of chess and your game of life.

 

Ernesto:  Who inspired you to play chess and what do you get out of it?

 

Oliveras: My Dad taught me how to play chess when I was 14 years old. At first, I was not interested. I thought it was boring and too intellectual for me. I remember watching my Dad play chess with my uncles or his friends, and I was very intimidated by the game.
I actually thought it was only a man’s game because I had not seen girls or women playing before. Regardless, I am very thankful my Dad insisted I learn to play. Once I memorized how each piece moves and learned the basics of the game, I was intrigued and captivated.

 

Ernesto:  Did you ever consider competing professionally?

 

Oliveras: That’s a great question. Unfortunately, when I was growing up, my public schools did not offer chess as part of the curriculum or as part of an after school program. Chess clubs were not prevalent in my community in Manhattan and certainly not marketed for girls to learn during that time. Nevertheless, even though I loved playing chess, I also had a few other passions such as learning Jujitsu and playing percussion instruments, which kept me busy aside from schoolwork. Regardless, playing chess was always a favorite hobby of mine. For this reason, my vision and mission is to strongly urge girls and women to approach chess with an open mind and learn to play for fun. The key is to know you always have the choice to play for fun or compete professionally and turn it into a profitable career. What I have obtained from playing chess all of these years is relevant to being a better thinker, planner, strategist, and confident person as a result. This is an extremely important message to send out to all females in the world. I think women approach chess with intimidation and probably feel that it is only for chess masters to benefit from. This is old fashion thinking. “Let’s Play SHESS” is the appropriate tool which helps me to spread the message to women worldwide. For example, playing chess is
essential because the skills inherent in this fascinating game are transferable into real life activities, including business development.

 

 

 

Ernesto:  Although your book is dedicated to women, can men benefit from the book’s messages as well?

 

Oliveras: Absolutely! Although the book is dedicated to women of all ages and backgrounds, men are certainly welcome to learn from its wisdom. Let us not forget statistically there are only 3% of women who compete professionally in chess worldwide. This is a main reason the book focuses on inspiring women to learn to play chess and take advantage of its benefits and rewards such as gaining confidence and facing your
opponent without fear to name a few. Every little girl and woman has the choice – just as I did – to play for fun or commit to it for a more serious and competitive career path. Either way, playing chess will help you to develop your overall intellectual weaponry.
SHESS does not discriminate, does not foster a gender or chess rankings competition, nor is it about winning or losing a game. On the contrary, SHESS is about having lots of fun with the learning process, challenging your mind and capabilities, as well as playing your own game of life — at your own pace. In SHESS there are no mandatory rules or regulations to play by. Only you know what you need to succeed. But, you have to start somewhere – why not start by learning chess.

 

Ernesto:  What is the meaning of the phrase “From Pawn to Queen” and how does it apply to real life?

 

Oliveras:  The metaphor “From Pawn to Queen” is actually PART III of the book, which represents the essential SHESS message to empower yourself — for yourself. For instance, in the chess set, the “pawn” is the weakest piece and worth one point and the “Queen” is the most powerful piece and worth nine points. Although the pawn may be considered weak, it is the only piece, which has a special move and can be promoted to a Queen. In SHESS, your game of life, every female born into the world is considered a “pawn in life” but only you can promote herself to a Queen status in life or in business. Here, the analogies between a “pawn in chess” and “a pawn in life” are creatively intertwined and are too important to ignore.  Thus, SHESS represents the acronym: Self-empowerment – Honor – Engagement, Strategies to move from Pawn to Queen – Success.

 

Ernesto:  “Let’s Play SHESS” is an inspirational empowerment book that prepares women with the resources needed to succeed in business and life.
What are your plans for “Let’s Play SHESS” and your ultimate vision for it?

 

Oliveras:  I am very excited about all of the possibilities for “Let’s Play SHESS.” A product line is in the works, a Spanish version of the book is coming out this Fall, and I hope to start the children’s book series by mid- to late next year. I also hope to continue growing my
invaluable corporate partnerships to help support the SHESS global movement as quickly and expeditiously as possible. SHESS has been gaining momentum and I am working very diligently to get this important message out to our little girls and women from here and abroad to take advantage of the skills and benefits naturally built in chess.

 

Ernesto:  Any last words of wisdom or advice for our readers and SHESS fans?

 

Oliveras:  Always remember “A SHESS player never considers herself a victim, but rather a victorious warrior on her battlefield. Think, plan, react…be the SHESS player, not the chess piece…from Pawn to Queen!”


http://www.playshess.com
https://twitter.com/LetsPlaySHESS
https://twitter.com/WendyOliveras
https://www.facebook.com/LetsPlayShess?fref=ts
http://pinterest.com/letsplayshess/
https://plus.google.com/113165907689841493439/posts
https://www.youtube.com/user/PlayShess

 

 

Chess Origins

Egyptian Chess??
The Egyptian board game Senet.
Is a game of chance were you need to advance pieces through a 30 square maze.

Senet is nothing like chess.
It is a game of chance were dice are used when taking a turn to move.
It is more like shoots and ladders were you advance through a maze and the goal is to go from start to finish having landed on fortunate squares to make the task lighter.
This is not a war game and very weak on the tactical approach unless you have loaded dice.
It is a two player game that can be played with spirits of the dead or amongst the dead.


When a single player is depicted playing the game it is a sign that the player shown is playing
against some one that has passed into the afterlife, Or that a deceased player is playing his own soul and in these cases I do not know who rolls the dice or throws the sticks for the dead players and moves their pieces. .But it could be like the weegie or Ouija board where it is powered by a demonic entities and no batteries are needed to make the oracle move.

This game of chance has nothing that indicates it having a root connections to chess.
Sure it could have black and white pieces and was played on a board composed of squares, just like any other game could too. There are no battles between players in Senet, only small obstacles with your opponent returning you to a previous space on the board to advance or gain position over you.

Imagine chess played with dice and your goal is to get all your pieces from one end to the other, throw a little shoots and ladders into the mix and you have Senet on a larger board.


The game is supposed to resemble life’s struggle into the afterlife. Certainly much more advanced than chess in this aspect since there is no focus on spirituality in chess, only the desire to tactically send the other guys pieces to the afterlife the fastest rout possible.

Chess was not invented in Africa.

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

The Spirit of War Knight

The Spirit of War Knight.

 

 

 

Spirited Robert James Fischer quotes;

“I like them (Soviet chess players) a lot.  The way they play just suits me.  It’s sharp, attacking, full of fighting spirit.” –
interview with a Russian reporter, New York 1958

“I think my subconscious mind is working on it (chess) all the time.  Even when I’m not playing or studying, I sit down at the board and get a
lot of new ideas.  Things are coming to me all the time.” -1968

“I win my games not with the help of some kind of spells, but much more simply; I arrive, I sit  down at the board and…I win!”
– Palma de Mallorca, 1970

When asked what his greatest pleasure in chess was, Fischer responded, “Crushing the other guy’s ego.  I like to see ‘em squirm.”
– Dick Cavett interview 1971

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