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  1. #31
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    Strong junior player tend to have good intellectual abilities and caring parents. When it comes to VCE they have to make a choice. Most of them do what's right for them, and chess community loses talented players.
    Parents tell their children that chess is not the best career choice, which is usually a sound advice.
    Yet choosing tertiary education and professional career is not necessarily an impediment to chess improvement. Zhao and Smerdon managed to combine both.
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  2. #32
    Account Shoutbox Banned antichrist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg View Post
    Strong junior player tend to have good intellectual abilities and caring parents. When it comes to VCE they have to make a choice. Most of them do what's right for them, and chess community loses talented players.
    Parents tell their children that chess is not the best career choice, which is usually a sound advice.
    Yet choosing tertiary education and professional career is not necessarily an impediment to chess improvement. Zhao and Smerdon managed to combine both.
    I don't like to discuss personal situations but maybe Zhao would have got into medicine first degree if no chess
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  3. #33
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    Yet choosing tertiary education and professional career is not necessarily an impediment to chess improvement. Zhao and Smerdon managed to combine both.
    Perhaps this is true in the case of Jan Werle, but Yuan himself has stated in an interview that he would be much higher-rated if he had pursued chess professionally and for me this is quite obvious. Smerdon has stated in a recent post that he felt the skills he learned from university have made his chess study more efficient, but 18-20 is a phase where a lot of talented players really develop and doing something else full-time would limit this increase in playing strength, compared to full-time chess. Webster University seems to have several GMs who are combining chess and university (from memory the university has Alexander Onischuk as the official coach) but I don't know their degree of success in university!

    I'd even extend this to school, in that high school is often an impediment for chess improvement, unless the school has a proper system to support the chess player. For example, Dariusz Swiercz's high school had a system that allowed him to do 50% school and 50% chess.

    I don't like to discuss personal situations but maybe Zhao would have got into medicine first degree if no chess
    Yuan did get into medicine, and played chess through his HSC year.
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  4. #34
    CC Grandmaster ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Igor_Goldenberg View Post
    Strong junior player tend to have good intellectual abilities and caring parents. When it comes to VCE they have to make a choice. Most of them do what's right for them, and chess community loses talented players.
    Parents tell their children that chess is not the best career choice, which is usually a sound advice.
    Yet choosing tertiary education and professional career is not necessarily an impediment to chess improvement. Zhao and Smerdon managed to combine both.
    Domagoj told me that he never had any trouble to combine uni studies and now professional career with chess. Also the Stojic Brothers (well Dusan hasn't begun practicing the legal profession yet but he is about to, he never took long breaks from chess. For Svetozar uni and chess wasn't a problem but now with business is a different story, he still plays good chess though!

    From the younger set we have Max who looks like he has put chess as his no. 1 priority. (*) Chris who combines academia and chess brilliantly, and so is Laurence who is a phenomenon really since he was doing VCE subjects at 13 I think, was accepted in uni at 14 and now is one of the greatest young concert pianists in his 16th year! As for chess he is still amongst the best players in Victoria and Australia.

    Young Lekkas talks semi retirement from chess but he has an overload of studies as well as his swimming career. James will continue doing brilliantly both at chess as well as at his tertiary studies which he begins this year. So is Bobby who of what I hear is doing great at school. As for his success in chess well that's well known and undisputable! So is Ari, Eugene, Zach and Jack H.

    Jack P. is pure class. (he deserves a paragraph of his own). I don't know how he is going at school but look at his chess results.

    We also have had great returns. The very talented John N. came back after a longish absence, performing extremely well!


    From the ladies, things look bright too. Miranda and Jenny after long absences are back strongly! Even Sally who's studying at Trenton NJ, gives it a go either here in Victoria when she comes back for a break or at the US where she is represents her Uni. Recently Team Trenton (with Sally in the line up of course made first page news when they gave simuls vs inmates at a high security penitentiary institution!

    I left Karl for last but not least. The Victorian blitz champion absolutely adores chess and loves his school studies. Last week we discussed his plans and he is enthusiastic about his new field of studies which begins next year!

    Apologies for the ones I have left out. I won't refer to a couple of youngsters (is Michael A. amongst them) who seem to have preferred their tertiary education and forgot about chess. I am sure that sooner or later will come back. Coming back to Igor's post above, I must say that all the players I have referred to have the continuous and devoted support of their parents who be it in local or national or even international events are always there to provide support and encouragement!

    (*) More about Max soon on a Max Illinworth special.
    Last edited by ER; 11-12-2013 at 01:48 AM.
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  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max Illingworth View Post
    Perhaps this is true in the case of Jan Werle, but Yuan himself has stated in an interview that he would be much higher-rated if he had pursued chess professionally and for me this is quite obvious. Smerdon has stated in a recent post that he felt the skills he learned from university have made his chess study more efficient, but 18-20 is a phase where a lot of talented players really develop and doing something else full-time would limit this increase in playing strength, compared to full-time chess. Webster University seems to have several GMs who are combining chess and university (from memory the university has Alexander Onischuk as the official coach) but I don't know their degree of success in university!

    I'd even extend this to school, in that high school is often an impediment for chess improvement, unless the school has a proper system to support the chess player. For example, Dariusz Swiercz's high school had a system that allowed him to do 50% school and 50% chess.



    Yuan did get into medicine, and played chess through his HSC year.
    But I don't know if could have directly into medicine or only after having done pharmacy
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  6. #36
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    I think my view is backed up by interview with IM Max Illingworth
    Zionism is racism as defined by the UN, Israel by every dirty means available steals land and water, kill Palestinian freedom fighters and civilians, and operates an apartheid system to drive more Palestinians off their land

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike_salter View Post
    I can't resist mentioning here a line from the always iconoclastic Andrew Boldeman just before the start of the Australian Junior in 1988. Some local dignitary was giving a flattering but basically shallow speech about how wonderful all we participants were, and at one point he said "it's really great that you're all here playing chess, when you could be out surfing."

    Andrew quite audibly mock-gasped and said to his first-round opponent "S--t, we could too!"

    Most of the NSW juniors of my generation just moved on to other things, even some extremely promising ones - Colin Davis, Peter Cotton, Shane Hill, Ry Curtis, all former Oz Junior champions. I think that most of them realised the amount of work needed to progress from 2250-2300 or so to a truly professional level, and realised it was not the best life choice for them.

    know this is an old thread, but as i knew or played against a few of these people, thought I would reply.
    I remember playing against you Mike when i was 12 or 13, it was the first time I had encountered the French Defence !

    I think when you hit 15 or 16 (around start of year 11) you realise it is hard to do enough study for chess when also trying to do school work, and then University comes after that for many people.
    Most juniors realise that it is very difficult to make a living as a chess player and their focus drifts to other areas or their interests turn to the going out and dating etc..

    Shane Hill got an IM at 16 I think, but don't think he played for too many years after that.
    I remember Greg Canfell quit school to become a full time chess professional at around 16 or 17 and was around the same age as that group, but like you said most of those juniors listed above stopped playing chess.

    I remember Boldeman he was definitely a character, I heard he became an Actuary. I played at that same Australian Junior in Adelaide, that was probably the last tournament I played in, that was a fun time.

  8. #38
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    I mostly stopped playing because I was far stronger than anyone I knew in my personal life and making my way to tournaments was difficult as we didn't really have the money to travel / pay for entry fees. Had I known of a local chess club, that'd likely have kept my interest. That said, I got back into it in 2019 mostly through online play and I'm far stronger now than I was ever before, kinda wish I stuck with it as who knows where I'd be with it now if I had. Oh well

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by alenbasic View Post
    I mostly stopped playing because I was far stronger than anyone I knew in my personal life and making my way to tournaments was difficult as we didn't really have the money to travel / pay for entry fees. Had I known of a local chess club, that'd likely have kept my interest. That said, I got back into it in 2019 mostly through online play and I'm far stronger now than I was ever before, kinda wish I stuck with it as who knows where I'd be with it now if I had. Oh well
    I can understand this re the cost of travel, maybe accommodation and entry fees. In previous eras billeting was more common and entry fees later I thought became a bit prohibitive for some people. I took this into consideration when organizing tournaments. I have recently met a number of retired folk who left as excellent juniors but now decades later are thoroughly enjoying the game. There life is not so busy and love the company and competition.
    Zionism is racism as defined by the UN, Israel by every dirty means available steals land and water, kill Palestinian freedom fighters and civilians, and operates an apartheid system to drive more Palestinians off their land

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by antichrist View Post
    I can understand this re the cost of travel, maybe accommodation and entry fees. In previous eras billeting was more common and entry fees later I thought became a bit prohibitive for some people. I took this into consideration when organizing tournaments. I have recently met a number of retired folk who left as excellent juniors but now decades later are thoroughly enjoying the game. There life is not so busy and love the company and competition.
    Yeah, I grew up with my mum who was relying on a single parent pension to raise me and unless the fee was sub $10 it wasn't happening. Considering we didn't have a car and I'd have to catch a bus and train to get to a place, it adds up quickly. When 2 people are living off like $300 a week it's hard to stretch it out. Of course, most people aren't in as tight of a spots as we were, but that was the case for me at least. Anyway, it's not a problem now and I will be attending tournaments here and there (starting this weekend!) so I'm looking forward to it.

  11. #41
    CC Rookie 1Nf3's Avatar
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    As fun and rewarding as chess can be there are just so many other things in life and only so many hours in the day to do them.

    I was introduced to chess at around age 12, in 1972/73, after a certain American made playing chess mainstream fashionable. People even told me I had 'potential' but didn't they tell every kid who understood en passant and queenside castling that? Anyway, despite the unearned praise I had stopped playing inside 12 months. Having achieved precisely nothing.

    This is turning into an autobiography but what the hell, we are probably all in lockdown.

    I didn't then touch a chess board again until I was about 21. At which time I bought a couple of books. Even bought what was probably one of the very first commercially available chess playing 'computers' and on the higher levels - which would beat me easily - it took all night to play a move. Stopped playing again within a year.

    From memory I did a bit more chess 'tyre kicking' about 20 years later, when I was around 40. Again it lasted less than a year.

    Another 20 or more chess-less years elapse and up pops 'The Queen's Gambit' and as soon as I finished watching the final episode I went in search of my old chess set.

    Found the pieces but not the board. Bought a board. Bought some more books and now that I have taught my self a bit more I realize just how little I actually know.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottT View Post

    I think when you hit 15 or 16 (around start of year 11) you realise it is hard to do enough study for chess when also trying to do school work, and then University comes after that for many people.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Nf3 View Post
    As fun and rewarding as chess can be there are just so many other things in life and only so many hours in the day to do them.
    I often hear such sentiments from other parents, The fact is that students at school / uni have plenty of time outside studies to pursue other things, including sports, friendships and yes, studying chess too. Yes, this can include Year 12 in school too!

    We all know of talented juniors whose parents have effectively curtailed their chess (and all other non-academic) activities in their final school year etc. Of course, this is an entirely personal decision for each parent / child, but it's such a pity as in many such cases, the child never re-starts afterwards with uni, and if they do, their momentum / motivation for improvement has waned (I also do think that K=40 has something to do with it. It is very exhilarating for juniors when they see their rating shoot up fast , but if there is a subsequent major "correction", it can be very de-motivating and many juniors start becoming fearful of losing rating points massively .... but this is another topic entirely). If a child truly loves their chess, it is disheartening to see this suppressed, in my opinion, quite unnecessarily.

    I am a "chess parent" who have been through all of Year 12 and uni finals etc (including the experience of maintaining sports training as well as chess), so have a little personal experience.

    I think it is important for parents to recognise that their child CAN achieve their academic goals and not have to sacrifice their love of chess doing so. And yes, they can even keep playing sports and see their friends too. Year 12 and even the uni finals are stressful enough as they are without taking away all other forms of enjoyment!
    Last edited by Kai; 12-09-2021 at 11:08 AM.

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