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  1. #226
    Premium Member ER's Avatar
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    Questions have been sent, including aspects of contemporary Australian Chess reality.
    I was pleasantly surprised by the immediacy and willingness to respond of our interviewee and I am sure we will all enjoy a very useful discussion.
    But, as I previously stated it will take a bit of patience, since I am going interstate this wekend and I might have to fly to LA for a week or so after returning to Melbourne!
    (and no, the trip to LA has nothing to do with MJ's funeral. Actually my aunty has moved to LA from Portland Oregon and I have to visit her at some stage sooner rather than later!)
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    In defense of Capitalism.
    Money is the cause of all evil!
    Wrong
    Lack of money is the cause of all evil!

  2. #227
    CC International Master
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    La

    Quote Originally Posted by justaknight
    (and no, the trip to LA has nothing to do with MJ's funeral. Actually my aunty has moved to LA from Portland Oregon and I have to visit her at some stage sooner rather than later!)
    LA has got to have better weather than Portland Oregon. While you are there take the ferry to Santa catalina Island

  3. #228
    Premium Member ER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davidflude
    LA has got to have better weather than Portland Oregon. While you are there take the ferry to Santa catalina Island
    Yes I will, weather permitting cause the waters there as in Frisco can be very treacherous!
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    In defense of Capitalism.
    Money is the cause of all evil!
    Wrong
    Lack of money is the cause of all evil!

  4. #229
    Premium Member ER's Avatar
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    Part One of the Interview with GM David Smerdon soon to be published here!
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    https://aus2020.chesschamp.net/

    In defense of Capitalism.
    Money is the cause of all evil!
    Wrong
    Lack of money is the cause of all evil!

  5. #230
    Premium Member ER's Avatar
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    GM David Smerdon Interview PART ONE

    Always smiling, always polite and approachable, always very popular GM David Smerdon is the latest Australian Chess' Jewel of the Crown.
    He responded almost immediately to our request for an interview and answered our questions in a most thorough, eloquent and direct way!



    The GM David Smerdon Interview Part I


    GM David Smerdon, thanks for responding to our questions and welcome to the Chess Forum’s Interview thread…
    First of all share with us your feelings and reaction the moment you achieved the GM title!




    A huge sense of relief, first and foremost, because I was starting to doubt that I'd ever get there! My style is very attacking, all-systems-go, burn-your-bridges, etc, so my results can vary wildly. However, I've now settled down into a more consistent strength, without losing too much of that style. Secondly, of course, a huge sense of personal satisfaction.

    When did you first realise that Chess was going to play a major part in your life?



    From when I first learnt the moves at 4. I was immediately captivated, and have never looked back.

    Did you grow up in Chess playing surroundings?




    Not at all. Noone in my family knew how to play, and it was more by chance than anything that I learnt. I stumbled across a set that my Dad had won in an architecture contest, and he read the rules from the set and taught me from that. My family is highly artistic, particularly the visual arts such as painting and architecture.

    How much support did you have by your family?



    Immeasurable amounts. Not just financially, but also time and general encouragement. They allowed me to pursue my chess dreams as far as I wanted, and supported me all the way. But they would have been equally supportive of me, had I chosen a different pursuit.

    Who was your first Chess mentor?

    Paul Chalupa, a Czech chess coach in Brisbane.

    Who were your Chess idols when you started playing serious Chess?

    Marshall, and Nik Stawski!

    Who do you think is the most influential Chess player of modern times?

    Kasparov, of course.

    The one whose playing style you have been inspired by and have tried to adopt?

    Maybe Morozevich.

    The strongest?

    Kasparov

    The one that you always wanted to meet?

    Johnny Hector

    Of the top grandmasters you ‘ve met who’s the one that impressed you most not only with his/her Chess talent but with his/her personality as well?

    Ivanchuk, for his humility and his passion.

    Name three of Australia’s most promising young players?


    Bobby Cheng, Emma Guo, Anton Smirnov
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    In defense of Capitalism.
    Money is the cause of all evil!
    Wrong
    Lack of money is the cause of all evil!

  6. #231
    Premium Member ER's Avatar
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    GM David Smerdon Interview: PART II

    Soft FM titles! What’s your view about this controversial topic?

    Australia is at a huge disadvantage in nurturing chess talents, not just from a financial level, but also geographical. It's virtually impossible for us to get titles without playing overseas, and most of us don't have these resources nor the time. The 'soft' titles are really more of an equaliser for what is an uneven global playing field.


    Now for another controversial topic: While I am sending you these questions, the Vic Junior Championships take place. Of what we have witnessed, clearly some of the best junior players of the State, do not participate. Does that diminish the value of the title?

    Yes, very much so. I think top juniors should play; they are role models in themselves, and need to take that responsibility in setting an example for their peers and the younger generation.
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    In defense of Capitalism.
    Money is the cause of all evil!
    Wrong
    Lack of money is the cause of all evil!

  7. #232
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    I met Jonny Hector at the World Junior! Very nice bloke. Even scored 1-1 in lightning, which I certainly couldn't now.
    “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.”
    “There’s no point blaming the tragedies of socialism on the flaws or corruption of particular leaders. Any system which allows some people to exercise unbridled power over others is an open invitation to abuse, whether that system is called slavery or socialism or something else.”—Thomas Sowell

  8. #233
    Premium Member ER's Avatar
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    GM David Smerdon Interview, PART III (final)

    This is Part III, (final part) of our interview with GM David Smerdon. It is a verry important part for our junior players since it provides some very important information and advice!

    You are a very popular personality, especially amongst young Chess players… What’s a general advice for them?

    Play chess because you love it, and for no other reason. If you get sick of it, take a break for a while. I enjoy games the most against people who are passionate about the game, no matter what their strength. And the interesting chess moves usually follow.

    Being more specific, please suggest some books for them!

    Openings for Juniors, by J. Walker

    Attacking the King, by J. Walker

    Chess Endings: Essential Knowledge, by Averbahk

    Simple Chess, by M. Stean



    And what about coaching? Do you suggest systematic, thorough coaching by professionals as a good approach to a youngster’s improvement?



    Yes, coaching is very important, but so are different coaching styles. Know what you want when you want coaching, and target coaches accordingly. Also, ask coaches what your weaknesses are, and how you can improve outside of the sessions.

    What would you suggest to Chess parents so they can better help their youngsters on the road to improvement?

    Give your child freedom, encouragement, and devotion. If they want to quit, present them with all the arguments, but allow them the freedom to know it's their choice. Encourage them to work at their chess, but don't be over-pressuring them. Most of all, nurture their love for the game, choosing coaches and chess friends who display passion for chess themselves.

    What are your Chess plans for the future? Are you planning to go overseas to further enhance your strength and rating?

    At the moment, I'm very happy with my job, which pays the bills and allows me to keep playing chess for fun. Maybe in the future I'll take some time off for another crack at the European circuit, but I hated playing chess for my next meal, and will never do it again!


    Are you happy with Chess the Aussie Way in regards to tournament organisation, junior development programs, and ACF / State Authorities co-operation?

    No, of course not, but I blame noone. It's largely a cultural thing in Australia, and while it's a shame, it's nobody's individual fault. But I think Australian chess is getting better, and more professional.

    What do they do in Europe or elsewhere, that we should try
    to imitate and/or adopt here?


    At the moment, there is no realisable dream of becoming a professional chess player here, and no role models to follow in that regard. Getting govt/corporate sponsorship for the top players, allowing them to try their hand at full-time pro chessplaying, is the first step to encouraging juniors and club players to take the game more seriously and possibly with a full-time focus. From that, money flows, and corporate sponsorship and better organisation become easier.

    Do you think Chess will ever be recognised as a Sport and obtain some Govt backing in Australia?

    I'm not sure. But of course this is the dream!

    GM David Smerdon, thanks very much for your time and good luck with your future career!
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    In defense of Capitalism.
    Money is the cause of all evil!
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    Lack of money is the cause of all evil!

  9. #234
    CC International Master Watto's Avatar
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    An interesting interview! Thanks JaK and David.

  10. #235
    Premium Member ER's Avatar
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    Thanks Jean, I appreciate your response!
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    In defense of Capitalism.
    Money is the cause of all evil!
    Wrong
    Lack of money is the cause of all evil!

  11. #236
    CC International Master Mischa's Avatar
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    Has Jean been interviewed?
    (if so I apologise for missing it)

  12. #237
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    No. First post of this thread now contains a listing of who has been interviewed which I update when I see a new interview added.
    Moderation Requests: All requests for moderation of any kind including thread changes must be made in the Help and Feedback section and not on the thread in question. (Or by private message for routine changes or sensitive matters.)

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  13. #238
    CC International Master Mischa's Avatar
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    good idea
    thank you

  14. #239
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    Very good interview!!!!
    Interested in Chess Lessons?
    Email webbaron!@gmail.com for more Info!

  15. #240
    Premium Member ER's Avatar
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    thanks Michael, glad you enjoyed it!
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    In defense of Capitalism.
    Money is the cause of all evil!
    Wrong
    Lack of money is the cause of all evil!

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