2020 Update
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2020 Update

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2020, what a year! We’re 9 months in, and I thought I’d better give an update for those of you who’ve been following my blogs and wondering if I’ll ever post again.

I started off the year with grand plans for my blog – I wanted to write about my past chess travels and write about my trips, tournaments, and personal study in preparation for the 2020 World Chess Olympiad in Russia. I was also excited to interview the members of the South African Olympiad team to introduce our top players to both a local and international audience.

Just one of the many events postponed during 2020.

On the one hand, the global Covid-19 pandemic put a stop to many of those articles, while on the other hand, streaming, personal work, dozens of online chess events, and general working-from-home burnout put a stop to any other writing. As a result, my last blog post was nearly 3 months ago and the one before that is now nearly 6 months old. I’d like to get back into writing, though, so here are some posts you can expect from me in future, and I’ll try not to space them out 3 months apart!

South African Interviews

Towards the start of South Africa’s lockdown, I interviewed the 2017 South African co-Champion, FM Calvin Klaasen – it was a long and really interesting interview, and I’m currently working on the write-up and getting it into a publishable format. If you’d like to get to know him a bit before you read the interview, you can catch his twitch streams over at twitch.tv/calvinklaasenchess where he has a number of educational streams for all levels, and a lot of entertaining South African personalities and players as guests. Once I’ve caught up with that interview, I’ll interview the rest of the South African 2021 Olympiad team (GM Kenny Solomon, IM Daniel Cawdery and WCM Sonia Modi); if you missed the previous interviews, you can find them here.

FM Calvin Klaasen

Streaming Advice

As many of you know, I began streaming on Twitch with WIM Jesse February at the beginning of this year, and it’s been both an amazing and difficult experience. There’s a huge learning curve to streaming, so I’ll be writing some blog posts (and doing recorded content on our Youtube channel) with some advice for new (or small) streamers to make their learning curve a little less steep.

Game analysis

During our nationwide lockdown, I’ve competed in a number of online events, and I was fortunate enough to represent South Africa in the top division of the FIDE Online Olympiad. I ended on a score of 1.5/5, against tough opposition, and although I’ve looked at my games on stream, I’ll likely do some blog posts with more in-depth analysis of my games, both in the Online Olympiad and in other events.

I was lucky enough to be interviewed on the Official Chess.com Broadcast of the 2020 FIDE Online Olympiad

Book reviews

A while back, I was given the opportunity to try out the Forward Chess platform, and I started with Herman Grooten’s book Chess Strategy for Club Players (which I decided upon based on Sam Copeland’s recommendations). Unfortunately, I didn’t get far before I got busy with other things and Online Olympiad prep, but I’m going to try get back into studying chess, and will hopefully be able to provide a review of the book and the Forward Chess interface in the not-too-distant future. I would also still like to do a review of the first book in Yusupov’s Complete Training Course – I finished the first book, Build Up Your Chess: The Fundamentals, earlier this year, and started the second book, but didn’t get far with it. I’m hoping the reviews will be helpful to those of you looking to try out the series yourself.

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Thank you to everyone who has supported my foray into content creation through following and reading my blogs, or following and watching my streams – I really appreciate the support, and I look forward to creating more content that I hope you’ll enjoy! If there’s ever anything specific you’d like me to cover in blogs/streams/videos, feel free to let me know in the comments.

Happy chessing!