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  • Misha Vilenchuk

Magnus Carlsen Has An Opponent

May 1 | Issue #6 | MMChess.org


Magnus Carlsen Officially Has An Opponent For The World Championship Match.

Welcome back to the 6th issue of the Mindful Masters Newsletter, the best (and only?) monthly chess newsletter you receive. I cover chess culture and some relevant ideas and wisdom I've collected along the way. Last month we welcomed the newest MMChess.org student, Mitch!


My story♟️






One of my obsessions in my professional life has been Design Thinking, a framework not so different from chess. Design Thinking helps solve a challenge through a method: first you ask the right question, think through your options, and and try it out. If it doesn’t work, reiterate. In chess, that starts with asking yourself: WWMOD (What Would My Opponent Do)? As the Director of a Chicago-based start-up, I used this framework every day.

One of my proudest moments as a chess coach in April was during a group class, when one student helped another: “A., look at their knight. What’s it attacking?”


Chess Ideas 💡

Puzzle Storm, Puzzle Storm, Puzzle Storm. A friend recently came to me and asked me how to beat her husband. I gave her one suggestion to do daily: Puzzle Storm! I play this fun timed game weekly and assign it for homework. Here are some of my best students’ records can you beat them? Anything over 15 is excellent. Aaron, I’m looking at you!

Oliver: 31, Arnaud: 28, Liam/Juliet/Levi/Max: 22, Raphael: 21.


In-Person Tournaments Are Back. The big grandmaster tournaments are back in Russia and all over Europe, and tournaments in the U.S. are returning too. As of this morning, The New In Chess Classic (with World Champion Magnus Carlsen and 5-Time US Champion and Twitch streamer Hikaru) semifinals and finals played this weekend. Watch the streams with commentary here!


Ian Nepomniachtchi Is Playing Magnus Carlsen For The World Championship In November. To play the world championship, you need to win the Candidates Tournament. To play in the Candidates, you need to qualify or be selected. This year, 8 of the best players in world competed and the tournament was won by Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi, the 4th best player in the world. Check out the full recap on chess.com. I’m very excited to watch the game—Ian is one of the few grandmasters that has a positive record against Carlsen!

Look out for Jeffrey Xiong. Jeffrey is a 20-year-old American Super-GM who’s competing against the world’s best, and has even beat many of the players playing in the Candidates. Most recently, he won the online Titled Tuesday.


That’s it for this month. You know where to find me: vilenchuk@gmail.com!

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