My chess story - How I Started Playing Chess and Became a FM (part 1)

My chess story - How I Started Playing Chess and Became a FM (part 1)

Gertsog
FM Gertsog
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Hey Guys!

This is FM Viktor Neustroev and in this video I’m going to tell you my chess story. How I started playing chess, how I became a title player and then a FM.

This is the first part of my story where I’m going to focus on my childhood and tell you how I learned chess and started progressing in it.

Would you like to know at what age it’s better to start playing chess? What to start with? And how to make significant progress?

If yes, please, watch this video and learn from my own experience. Ok, this is FM Viktor Neustroev and “My Chess Story”!

How did I learn chess? Good question. When I was five years old, my cousin Vladimir (he was 6) and I spent our school holidays at our grandparent’s house. We played games like soccer and army, typical kid games. Our grandfather Stepan was a military man and he had a lot of military stuff at home. No weapons of course, but some map cases, medals and military clothing.

One day he suggested that we play chess. Chess was quite popular in the Soviet Union, especially among the military. My cousin and I both agreed, and after learning the rules we spent the rest of the day playing chess. Sometimes we got to play against our grandfather, but we never had any hope of outplaying him. I was so young then and more interested in sports where I could run around, but my cousin decided to go to a chess school and study with a professional coach. After that, he made very rapid progress and eventually he became a Candidate Master with FIDE rating of 2266! For some reason he quickly lost interest and didn’t play chess for 15 years after that.

Photo 1. Me (on the left), my cousin Vladimir (on the right) and my older brother Sergey (not a chessplayer) in the center

I finally went to a chess school at the age of seven, too late I think. 5 or 6 years is the best age to start playing chess, in my opinion. However, some strong players started learning chess even at an older age. For example, GM Dmitry Bocharov learned to play chess at the age of 12.

The school that I attended was only a five minute walk from my home, but we attended the classes together with my grandfather Stepan. My coach Aleksandr Tyulin (FIDE 2137) gave us chess puzzles to solve every day. That was my main task at the school, and I’m absolutely sure that solving tactical puzzles is the best way to make rapid progress. In my school, moving the pieces was prohibited. The first few puzzles were solved by my grandpa, but then I started to solve them faster than him!

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Best Regards,
FM Viktor Neustroev