Now Streaming: Premier Chess Twitch LIVE

By Premier Chess CEO National Master Evan Rabin

Grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura has single-handedly made chess a main-stream activity through his Twitch stream. While Twitch is primarily used by video gamers,  due to COVID-19 and cabin fever, many chess players have started streaming. Several months ago  our Jersey City School Programs manager National Expert Sean Finn  suggested I started streaming. While I thought it would be fun, I did not the see the value in doing it. However, when Former Hong Kong Chess Champion Andrew Koenigsberg   recently told me how many players were on it and how I could build a community. With some intiial guidance from him and some more design work from Liza Orlova, I was able to launch Premier Chess stream.

Thanks to our stream, we have made friends with fellow streamers and fans all around the world. So far, we got two children, including “Ladnayana“, to attend our virtual camp through Twitch.  We would like to thank all the streamers, including FM Anna-Maja, GM Alex Lenderman, Fortuna Chess Coach and GM Benjamin Bok, who decided to become ambassadors for our camp.

Furthermore, I would like to thank these streamer friends who have joined an informal Twitch networking group and have helped one another boost our follower and viewer counts:

  1.  Andrew Koenigsberg, MadQuickChess
  2. Felix Lopez, Chesswithfelix
  3. Angel Lopez, CoachAngelNYC
  4. John Hendrick , ChessCoachJohn
  5. Todd Bryant, StrongChess
  6. William Aramil, DynamicChessInc
  7. Dustin Hopkins, KingsideCoaching

    Follow our stream and send an email to evan@premierchess.com and you can arrange for yourself a complimentary 1-hour virtual private lesson. 

The Carlsen Chess Saga Continues

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

As Magnus Carlsen tours the world from his computer the rest of the world watches on. So far, three of the five tournaments have been completed and Carlsen just brought home his second win. The tour began with the Invitational where Carlsen placed in first. During the second part of the tour Carlsen did not do nearly as well. Hikaru Nakamura placed first in the Lindores Abbey Rapid Challange and Carlsen did not even manage to place in the top three. Although he is known as the best chess player in the world he is able to be beaten.

Fortunately for Carlsen he did much better in the Chessable Masters Tournament. Anish Giri, a Russian Grandmaster, played against the World Champion in the finals of the tournament. Giri became a Grandmaster at the age of 14 (in 2009) which made him the youngest grandmaster at the time.

The first round of the tournament began with 12 players where 4 of them were knocked out. Carlsen then defeated Fabiano Caruana before taking down Ding Liren in the semifinals.

In the finals Carlsen drew the first and third games, won the second game, and lost the fourth game. Each player had 3 points, so the Tournament came down to a tiebreaker challenge where the players played against each other in a game of blitz chess. The first blitz chess game ended in a tie. During the second game the players were disconnected and Carlsen lost two minutes on the clock. However, he managed to continue the game and defeat Giri in the tiebreaker.

Now with the Chessable Masters finished, Carlsen is looking forward to playing in the Legends of Chess tournament.  He has convinced Viswanathan Anand, a former world champion, to compete in the tournament. From there Carlsen will end his tour in August with one final tournament, the Grand Final.

Introductory Blog – Benji Grin

Hello everyone, I am Benji Grin. I am a new intern for Premier Chess and am looking forward to writing on this blog in the future.

I first got into chess because of my father. He introduced the complex game to me at a young age. His father was an exceptional chess player and even played a game against the esteemed Bobby Fischer,  which I look forward to talking about in the future.

For most of my life, I just played chess with my family for fun. Then, about a year ago, a friend of mine who was the captain of my high school’s chess team approached me. He knew that I played a bit of chess for fun and suggested that I try out for the team. So, I agreed and tried out.

Not too long after, I was told that I had made the team. I couldn’t believe it and was ecstatic. I did not expect  to make the team and was excited to be part of it for the season.

With the Covid-19 outbreak, this past school year was a strange one to say the least. Due to the virus, not only was in-person attendance cancelled, but the chess season was cancelled as well.

Before the virus, we had played three matches against three other schools. Through the first three matches of the chess season before it was cancelled, I-When the season was cut short due to Covid-19 we were devastated.

Like most high school students across the country, my summer plans were cancelled. I was supposed to do an internship overseas for the summer, but due to the unforeseen consequences of the virus, the internship was called off. As a result, I set out to find a different endeavor that I could do for the summer that was both interesting and something that could be done completely virtually.

Then, I found out about Premier Chess. I was very intrigued by the opportunity to intern for Premier Chess, because it met my needs and was a great opportunity. My hope for this summer is that I can not only help Premier Chess with my marketing and hands-on experience with the complex game of strategy and skill, but also to perhaps learn something about myself that I can take on in life for years to come.

Introductory Blog – Eliana Bane

My name is Eliana Bane. I am a rising junior at The Frisch School in Paramus, New Jersey. I am an active member on my school’s Model UN team, girls basketball team, and am the junior captain of the Robotics Team. In all the activities and extracurriculars I participate in, I enjoy challenging myself. I try to push my limits and exceed my own expectations. When I came across the Premier Chess program, I felt the same excitement for an opportunity to challenge myself and develop new skills.

Before being introduced to Premier Chess, I thought chess was just another game that filled the shelves of board games in my house. I have played chess at a beginners level for fun but never realized the many complex aspects of the game. However, on my first day as an intern for Premier Chess, I sat in on their wonderful day camp and on a private lesson. The information and level of sophistication this game involves blew my mind. The new strategies the instructors introduce to students and help them strengthen their chess game is incredible. Both in the private lesson and the group camp, the instructors create an environment that makes it fun for the students to learn chess, while challenging them as well. 

I am excited to continue working with Premier Chess throughout the summer to build upon my skills not only in the game of chess, but in marketing strategies and social media as well. 

Week 4 Virtual Camp Reflection

by Premer Chess CEO Evan Rabin


Time flies; it feels like just yesterday I was planning our virtual camp back in May.  However, we are now past the 1/2 way point of week 4.  After this Friday, we will have 7 weeks to go, until August 28. We have now had over 100 registrations and have had entries from New York to California to Norway. Students have come from a variety of sources, including our school programs, US Chess blasts, our Twitch stream , Facebook page and others sources.

The students have had a lot of fun, working with our instructors Phil Rosenberg, Danilo Cuellar and Brian Wilmeth, and playing in-camp tournaments on Lichess.org. We also make sure students maintain phsyical stamnina by doing hourly stretching/exercise breaks. Last week we had a special ball skills workshop with our education partner  Hands on Hoops Skills. Find out more about Hands on Hoops CEO Michael Deutsch on this podcast episode.

While a few kids did sign up for the whole summer, most parents have registered their children for a week or two at a time. For those parents that would like save some money but do not know exactly when their children can make camp, we now have a “5- Week, Make Your Own Schedule” option, where you will essentially get a credit for 5 weeks and get 10% off, on our registration page.

Would your child be interested in attending but are not sure he could last 3-6 hours at virtual camp per day? If so, you can also make $40 payment via www.paypal.me.premierchess  and send an email to evan@premierchess.com with youur child’s name, chess experience and desired day/session and he can do a 1/2 day trial.

Behind the Game

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

Chess is one of the most popular games in the world. What’s so different about this game is that it is played in every country with the same rules. It’s similar to music as musical notes are the same in every language so is chess. All one needs is a board and the 32 pieces to play the game. No language is required to play the game allowing competitors from any country to play against each other. Chess is a game that brings people together.

Sports are generally associated with certain countries. What’s different about chess is that it is a universal game. Magnus Carlsen is the current Chess World Champion and he is from Norway. Another one of the top chess players in the world, Ding Liren, is from China. Ian Nepomniachtchi is a Russian chess player, while Levon Aronian is from Armenia. These are just a few of the top chess players in the world and they all come from different countries.

The game of chess was created in the 6th century so it seems that the game has spread all over the world. The game doesn’t belong to any country, and the game is not dominated by any country either. It’s a game of critical thinking and can be played by anyone from any background.

If you go to city squares you can find people playing chess on the street. The games brings people together from all sorts of backgrounds. Now as we remain indoors during Covid-19 many players have started playing chess online. You can now play against someone on the other side of the world. Chess is not just a fun game, as it also creates a community, as portrayed in CEO National Master Evan Rabin’s  US Chess travel tips article.

The Magic Needed for Future Skills

By Melissa Subban

The world is changing at an exponential rate, artificial intelligence is replacing many tasks.

Staying motivated and keeping a positive workforce in these times is a challenge most leaders face. I find that companies are increasingly trying to keep up with having the most skilled workforce. I sometimes feel like a ‘muggle’ in a world where technology advances magically. 

In a world where technology is growing rapidly, how do leaders ensure that a workforce is engaged, resilient, and moving towards its purpose? I started investigating ways for companies to build out the required skill sets needed in their organizations that will improve their dynamic capability. After all, people are the creators of technology. If people move at the same pace as technology, a natural exponential company is created.  So down the rabbit hole, I went!

While there are many models, processes, programs, and training initiatives out there, I found that the simplest answers are usually the best.

Chess requires both problem solving and creativity to play. Two skills I am passionate about, as together they bring about innovation. That, coupled with the ability to stay calm under pressure makes for a spell that can’t fail. 

Creativity:

It has been scientifically proven that the right brain is activated during chess as this is the creative side of the brain. The right side helps you come up with original ideas. One four-year study had students in grades 7 to 9 play chess, use computers, or do another activity once a week for 32 weeks to see which activities fostered the most growth in creative thinking. The chess group scored higher in all measures of creativity, with originality being their largest area of gain.

Problem Solving:

Chess is a game of constant problem-solving. Each time a new move is made, a new problem is placed on the board. Being able to evaluate the situation and think strategically is critical. A study done with chess experts showed that both sides of the brain are used to answer chess problems.

So then, should everyone stop training initiatives and start playing chess?

Including chess-related activities in companies will create a better environment.

Even smaller companies can place a chessboard in the coffee area for people to use during a lunch break. Larger companies can build outdoor chess areas which are also excellent social distancing avenues for observers and players alike.

Cathy Davidson, co-director of the annual MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning Competitions, says “65% of today’s grade school kids will end up doing work that has yet to be invented.” Being able to practice skills that enable us to adapt quickly to new environments is essential for all companies. By developing a unique people strategy that supports this, there will be the magic that promotes this exponential growth.

Finding ways to develop skills that are used both in everyday life and in business is a simple, effective tool to create a happy, inspired and ultimately more productive workforce.

Melissa M Subban

People Strategist | Office Fairy | Organisational Development & Culture Consultant |HappyFactory • 27 June 2020

www.happyfactory.us

How Can Chess Prepare You for a Disaster?

By Beth Rowan, Founder of Evergreen Ally

To succeed in chess, you must decide up front whose game you want to play – yours or your opponent’s? If you don’t open strong and set up your play early, you may be relegated to merely defending your pieces from being taken.

The concept is the same in emergency preparedness.

Home disasters and crises do happen (hello, Coronavirus). The only thing you can control is how to deal with it. Will it be panic-hoarding toilet paper or confidently behaving to manage the situation?

My business, Evergreen Ally, customizes emergency preparedness & disaster recovery plans. I learned through a family tragedy how tough it is to rebuild your life after losing everything. Put simply, I help people identify the holes in their planning. I then educate and design safeguards so that they can navigate emergencies better.

It’s about being preemptive.

Here are 3 top tips to winning chess, from the United States Chess Federation, and how they align with optimum emergency preparedness.

1. Have a plan.

While the goal in chess is, of course, to win the game, it doesn’t just happen. A player must set up the board and initiate sequential moves that result in gaining the winning pieces.

When facing a disaster or crisis, having a plan improves the chances for survival and a quicker, less costly recovery. Without planning ahead, one is merely reacting and dodging hurdles, like a weaker chess player losing pieces. The weaker player knows he will lose, it’s just a matter of how big the loss will be.

 

2. Make the best possible move

Chess matches are timed, so each player must be strategic while using the least amount of time per move. They practice in order to excel at remaining calm and focused on maximizing each move’s advancement.

Staying calm and focused are also goals for an emergency plan. Once the likely hazards are identified and the best course of action learned, then you should practice this course of action.

The effects of panic are often overlooked. Who behaves intelligently under distress? When facing a new crisis, would you feel confident following someone else’s lead? Who will make the best decisions for your family’s safety and protection?

Without time to evaluate your options, how can one be assured they are making the best move?

3. Know what the pieces are worth.

Chess pieces have different movements and values. Players orchestrate their ‘team’ to work together to achieve a win. Understanding which pieces are more powerful and which can be sacrificed are important nuances for beating an opponent effectively.

In disaster preparedness, it’s vital to know your protections and risk levels. Do you live in a flood zone but are not covered for flood damage? Do your business contracts include a business interruption clause? Does a family member have mobility difficulties that could make fleeing a fire problematic?

Learning the reality of your coverage after a disaster event does not leave room for maneuvering. Addressing questions like a) How much money are you willing to lose? and b) How much disruption can your household endure? are vital, yet very individual.

A sound emergency preparedness plan involves household continuity, personal safety, financial security, and legacy planning that together achieve a speedy and beneficial recovery. Avoiding proper planning in any one of these areas can, essentially, be devastating.

Learning these fundamentals are a life lesson for anyone – even if you aren’t a chess grandmaster.

Beth Rowan is the founder of Evergreen Ally, Inc., providing customized Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Recovery Planning. Peace of Mind, Delivered.

Click here to learn more about Evergreen Ally

It’s All About the Endgame

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

When I first started learning chess my main point of focus was openings. Generally openings are often a starter point for new chess players. Unfortunately many new players like myself forget to learn the endgame as well. This can lead to a game loss as we see in this game between Henry Terrie, playing as white, and International Master Emory Tate, playing as Black. What at first seems like a draw one of the players manages to play a fantastic endgame and take the win. (Emory Tate, May He Rest in Peace, pictured on the right).

The game begins with the English Opening. Terrie plays c4 a powerful move. This opening was first played by English Chess Champion, Howard Staunton, which is how it earned its name. Tate then responds by  playing d6. This move may appear odd as many would combat this move with e5 by taking control of the center which is what Tate does on the following move.

As the game progresses it is a bit hard to tell who is in a better position. The board seems to be in a relatively open state so it would appear that Terrie has the advantage with his two bishops over Tate’s two knights.

Eventually the game reaches a point where each player has six pawns and a rook. Unfortunately for Terrie his pawns are in a worse position as he has stacked pawns. Terrie plays Rd5 offering a Rook trade and an opportunity to unstack his pawns. But then suddenly Tate plays an impressive move. Before scrolling any further try figuring out Tate’s winning move.

Tate then plays Rd1+ sacrificing his rook. Terrie is forced to take the rook with his king and then Tate plays hxg2. Terrie is unable to move his king back to f1 due to the black pawn and resigns as Tate is about to earn a queen. This game shows how important it is to study the endgame. A game that could have ended up in a draw ended up as a win for Tate due to his ingenuity. It’s important to not just explore the beginning and middle of a game, but the end as well.

 

The Carlsen Invitational

By Shai Hecker, Operations Intern

When the World Chess Championship was cancelled many chess players were upset as the tournament happens every other year. Magnus Carlsen was looking forward to playing against the champion of the tournament. Unfortunately the tournament had to end due to the pandemic.

Carlsen decided to take some initiative by creating an online tournament open to only the most elite players. Eight of the strongest chess players in the world were going to compete for a $70,000 first prize.

Many chess events had to be cancelled due to Coronavirus so Carlsen was trying to make up for the cancellations. He called the event the Magnus Carlsen Invitational and it was the first online professional chess tournament. Carlsen faced down Hikaru Nakamura in the finals and took home the first place prize, while also keeping his title as World Chess Champion.

Chess is playable on an online platform and Carlsen has managed to pull in many wins. He is now  in the top ten sports earners for 2020, the first chess player to ever achieve such a feat.

While most sports are unable to be played online, chess is easily accessible on an online platform. Chess is also broadcasted online on Twitch. Click here and you can keep up with our events and US Chess National Master Evan Rabin’s online games.

Here are our upcoming events.