Sunday, March 15, 2009

Study first, play later?

Excerpt from

GRANDMASTER John Paul Gomez is torn between two priorities. And he has little time to accomplish both....Gomez, the country’s 10th grandmaster, said he will have to make a lot of choices and sacrifices in order to pursue his dreams of becoming a Super GM and a full-pledged mechanical engineer.

“I am still checking my schedule. It may be too late because most of my batchmates will start enrolling in review centers by April. If it happens, I may skip some tournaments”

Young players these days can learn a thing or two from Gata Kamsky - in some area. Study first, play later. Although one cannot argue the fact that unless you reached 2700 level, you are based in Europe and most importantly, have strong sponsors to back your ambition to become a professional chess player, you'll hardly earn a living by choosing chess as a profession, alone. That's a sad fact. On the other hand, John Paul is already up there, he worked himself very hard to become a grandmaster and there is nothing more satisfactory than enjoying a lifelong glory of being one of the few 2600 players this nation of 90 million populace ever produced. And perhaps behind Wesley So and Eugene Torre, he is the most recognizable chess figure among the young people today. I personally think that in two or three years time, he may become the second highest rank player behind So. We understand Gomez dilemma but if he is really determined to pursue his goal of breaking the 2600 mark, he should do it as fast as he can otherwise, he should think about his study first and forget of becoming a 2600 player inside five years time.

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