Chess Interview: Harish Kumar from India


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Harish Kumar is an International chess coach and a chess enthusiast who is looking to promote the game of chess by teaching the growing players. Harish has been teaching since the age of 20 and trained many students across the globe. In a short playing career, Harish Kumar has been in top 20s Nationally, top 10 in the State and won many Regional events. He’s always been enthusiastic to do something for the game. Harish achieved the Title of Arena Grandmaster in Chess.

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General Questions

When and how did you start playing chess?

I was first introduced to the game of chess at the age of 9 by my uncle when I saw him playing chess with his friends.

What studying techniques have you used to get to your current level?

I used to play solitary chess which helped me a lot to understand the patterns and practice a lot of tactics. Moreover I like to go through master games, especially of my idol Viswanathan Anand. I like to play blitz chess over the internet as analyzing those games helped me a lot to improve my openings.

What is your most fond memory you have of chess? You may state multiple.

To be honest I can’t really differentiate which is the best moment, I have three unforgettable moments in my life, first when i defeated a 2100 elo player after sacrificing my 2 pieces. As a coach I became happy when my student won $2300 in an age group championship. Moreover maybe this is the best, as I met Vishy Anand and also invited him to visit my city.

Has chess helped you become the person you are today?

Definitely chess helped me a lot it helped me to plan my life. Of course it made me creative and imaginative person.

Who is your chess idol and why?

My Chess Idol is Viswanathan Anand, five times World Chess Champion. He is India’s first Grand Master and is a big inspiration for every Indian chess player. After spending some time with him, I found him to be a man of friendship which I like the most about him.

Is there advice you can give to a person who is interested to begin?

My advice to beginners who want to start playing is to enjoy the game, make milestones in their career and work hard to achieve it. I will suggest them to learn chess as a hobby and if you have a good feeling for it do not hesitate to become a professional. You can be a good coach, player or an organizer. There are lots of opportunities in chess. This game is endless!

Would you recommend this game to your family and friends?

Definitely, I will recommend chess to my family and friends because it is a great game. It will really help them to improve their life. It improves memory concentration, imagination and is helpful for everyone as I think that there is no age limit in chess.

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Harish Kumar  with 1st Australian GM Ian Rogers at the Fide World Chess Championship

Unique Questions

Do you teach most levels?

I teach chess to beginners, intermediate and advanced players ( up to 2200 USCF level).My experience and involvement in the game is helping me a lot to do this.

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Chess Student: Danielle from Texas

Do you use a different teaching method for beginners, intermediate and advanced players?

Definitely I need to use different teaching methods.

I need to slow down while teaching beginners because they take more time to understand. After teaching basics, we should ask them to play with each other. Practice is the key factor in chess. Intermediate section is different We need to go for different tactical themes. More basic openings we need to cover Level of problem is different. Advanced level is unique We need to teach them more complicated positions, advanced opening strategy, endings etc.

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Chess Student: Jack Baile from Hong Kong

Would you recommend your friends who have young children to start playing chess? Will it improve their school habits?

Yes, I recommend everyone who have young children to introduce this game to them because it improves their school performance. Moreover it improves memory concentration, will power and creativity. This game is a combination of math, science and sports.

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Chess Student: Joshua Lewis from California

What advice can you give other chess instructors out there?

My advice to all the chess coaches is simple that is to teach chess with utmost dedication. A coach should be honest and always be friendly with students. They should try to have a student for a long term and try to do self analysis instead of using computers.

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Chess Students: Shreyas Reddy/Nitin 1st place in Sai Baba Mandir Temple Chess Tournament

Do you prefer private/semi private lessons, group lessons or online lessons?

I prefer all kinds of lessons. According to my experience, private lessons are best. Online lessons are best when you work with advanced students if they don’t have the option for private lessons. I always prefer one to one coaching as its good for both the student and the coach’s growth.

Chess Student: Dhruva Patil, 2nd Place at K-12 National Chess championship – Kindergarten 2016

Thank you for the interview 😀

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