This story is about the new Under-8 World Champion, Aren Emrikian, and Under-10 Silver Medalist, Arthur Xu. It is about how they trained to achieve their goals, and how all motivated, ambitious chess players (and their parents) can use the same strategies to achieve their goals as well.
Mesgen Amanov is the founder and owner of improvemychess.com, and in his first article for US Chess, he describes his process in training his super star young students.
Figuring out what your opponent “generally plays” is the easy part; what really matters is figuring out what your opponent will play against you. The problem is this: Your opponent might not play what he or she “generally plays.” Why? Because, he or she also analyzed your games, and, perhaps, found your weaknesses and cracks in your openings. Knowing this, it is important that you know what information your opponent can find about you online. Make sure you know your weaknesses! For example, if you have a game online that showcases inaccuracy in the opening that you played, your opponent might want to repeat that same opening in the hopes that this inaccuracy will happen again. As you can see, knowing what is available on you can help you predict what your opponent might play. (Of course, this scenario only works in your favor if you have an improvement over your previous inaccuracy!)
Listen to an interview with Mesgen on Ben Johnson’s Perpetual Podcast, and watch Amanov’s most recent video promotion below:
The Judges Sound Off
This article includes excellent advice to young players (and parents) who aspire to becoming a chess master or higher. GM Amanov shares how he taught two of the world’s best U8 and U10 juniors from when they were 5 years old. While having a coach is an advantage, much of his advice applies to any kid, even those without formal coaching.- Michael “f-pawn” Aigner
It is nice to get a coaches perspective on training youngsters for the World Youth Cadet Championship. I think we forget the stress and anticipation a coach undergoes when his or her star player is at battle. I love that the author provides his training recipe for coaching an 8 year old. The author supplies a list of instructional chess books he recommends and includes a guide for what level player. I have never seen his www.improvemychess.com website, but after reading the article, I will check it out. I especially enjoyed GM Amanov’s keys to success: making sure you find out what weaknesses your opponent can research on your play and the importance of parent support.- Jennifer Vallens
GM Amanov must be the most passionate and enthusiastic teacher in the game. His love and
dedication to his students and seeing them fulfill their goals is unmatched. His passion is visible in this
piece and you couldn’t help but feel pulled into the games.- Dan Schultz