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How One Mom Inspires Her Children's Chess

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

It’s the 25th issue of the Mindful Masters Newsletter, the best (and only?) monthly chess newsletter you receive. I cover chess culture and relevant wisdom I've collected along the way. Please let’s welcome the newest MMChess.org students: Nina, Darian, Jia, Warren, Francis, Kylan, Leela, Jonathan, Hunter, Micah, Sarah Jane, Ezra, Patrik, Ashima, Julia, Olivia, Shubham, and welcome back to Levi and Lori-Ann!


Student Success🏆

Every month, we’ll highlight some of our students' successes. Please send me a message if you need help finding local tournaments to attend. I didn’t get any photos this month, but I know many have played tournaments (please submit your photos to my email!).


I do want to share supermom Carmen McLevin’s process for spawning her sons’ education: rewards for playing chess that her children can redeem for chess tournaments, outings, and more. I’m excited to see how they do in their first tournament next week!


My story🖼️

I met one of MM Chess’ online students this month! Oliver joined MM Chess Academy in December 2021 and has been taught by Fabian Vivas. Today, he’s 1700 online.


I teach at schools in Chicago and started teaching at Oliver’s school, the Midwest Academy for Gifted Children, in October. We just realized last week that we already knew each other!


Monthly Tournament♟️

📅 This month’s tournament will take place on Wednesday, December 14th, at 7pm EST (6pm CT, 5pm MT, 4pm PT). Most of the players will be rated from 500-1800. The tournaments typically have 25-40 students, both kids & adults! The Zoom for the tournament is here, and the password is Smile.


To Play: Reply to this email, join the MM team (if you haven’t already) and press the big green button here.


To Attend The Beginner Lesson: Don’t feel ready to play? Help me find the best moves during the tournament games on the Zoom link.


Congrats to Yoan (Gold), Anish (Silver), and Oliver (Bronze)! There were some big upsets and unexpected wins.


Chess News 📰

🥇Diamonds everywhere! A formerly homeless 12-year-old Nigerian refugee could become the youngest chess grandmaster of all time! In 2019, 8-year-old Tani Adewumi gained worldwide attention when became the state champion and subsequently won 2nd in a national competition. This month, he got his International Master norms and is on his way to breaking more records!


😵 Magnus Carlsen is been officially replaced by Ding Liren in the World Championship game. For the first time, former world champion Magnus Carlsen has officially stated in writing to FIDE that he will not be defending his World Championship title in 2019 and that Ding Liren will take his place!


👑 The World Fischer Random Championship has a new champ! Fischer Random is chess, but with the pieces are placed randomly. This year they hosted the first world championship. World #5 Hikaru Nakamura gained his first world title (and $150,000) in Reykjavik, Iceland, defeating Ian Nepomniachtchi, who’s playing for the regular chess world title in November!


⚔️ After 9 months there’s finally a winner on the Meltwater Champions Chess Tour Finals 2022. We all love the 17-year-old prodigy Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, but world champion Carlsen just showed us his great dominance in online chess one more time, winning with a round to spare! Also, if you’re curious about what this tournament is, you can check it out here.


Fun Facts💡

👩 Anna Cramling has been getting pretty famous recently. How’d that happen? Check out my thread.


🙊 Chess could be played at any time, even in the Korean National Assembly! A member of Korean National Assembly was caught playing chess during a meeting. And the assemblywoman knew what she was doing - she was developing her bishops and knights out of the opening.


📈 Numbers talk by themselves. In this chart, we can see the development of the Juniors by age, including Carlsen, based on their rating. The Y-axis is rating, the X-axis is age.


♟️ More than 900 years ago this chess set was used in Nishapur, Iran. This month, it was discovered. It is one of the oldest nearly complete chess sets ever discovered - the only piece that’s missing is one black pawn


P.S. did you know “checkmate” means “king’s dead?” Shah = king, mat = mate.


🤓 A puzzle for those thinking brains. White to move, checkmate in 2.



🍰 The icing on the cake it’s here with another great puzzle. White to move, forced mate in 3.




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