Staff Profiles: Mike
Here is another installment in a series of posts to help you get to know the Chess.com team a little better! Today, we get to know FM Mike Klein, whom we thank for his tireless efforts keeping us informed with Chess.com News and he does so much for Chesskid.com that sometimes we think he has 8 arms!
Where do you live?
I'm based in Charlotte, North Carolina. You've heard of it because you changed planes here once. Fun Fact! My county declared independence from England a year before the Declaration of Independence. I probably only spend about half the year here because I travel a lot for Chess.com and ChessKid.com. I grew up in Charlotte and taught a chess program here for more than a decade. The city is changing for the better -- more arts, more mass transit, more urban life, and like all of America, more microbreweries.
How long have you worked for Chess.com?
About 4 years. Though sometimes it feels like 4.5.
What do you do at Chess.com?
I produce lots of content and then I produce even more content. For Chess.com, I write news reports from big tournaments, and some articles and instructional videos. I help out as a producer at some events where Chess.com runs the live show. I'm a regular on ChessCenter, too. Sometimes I play basketball with Magnus when he needs the exercise. For ChessKid.com I record the majority of the videos under my nom de ChessKid, FunMasterMike. It's a name I began using years ago when I got tired of explaining to kids what "FIDE" stands for. I also help market ChessKid by showing parents, coaches, and school districts what tools we have in place to help kids get better. This takes me on the road many times per year to large scholastic events.
What do you like about working at Chess.com?
I mean, have you seen the employee cafeteria? Yeah, neither have I. I like the "reach." Meaning we try to offer something to everyone -- the casual player, the tournament veteran, the professional GM, the precocious kid, the inspirational coach. Chess.com also has a respect for news in a way that's refreshing, and a bit of a throwback (journalistically speaking). They invest heavily in time and resources, and allow my colleague Peter and I to write unbiased news and create a service to the chess world.
What are your other interests and hobbies?
I snowboard, play a lot of tennis, and bike. I like to be an 1800 at everything, as our CEO once said (well, we differ on the chess part of that).
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
The ability to vanquish an entire inbox with a single keystroke.
0-0 or 0-0-0?
There's a Tim Krabbe chess puzzle where an underpromoted rook on e8 is not explicitly barred from castling with an unmoved White king, according to the pre-1972 FIDE rules. The notation for that move was suggested as 0-0-0-0. The only trick is to try playing it at your local club without having a beer thrown at you.
For further reading, Mike also has a Chess.com member created profile, here.
Thanks! Stay tuned for more team profiles and all the news about what's happening at Chess.com!