Who is your favorite chess grandmaster?

Game Faces powered by Blue

Welcome to episode 27 of Game Faces powered by Blue, your hopefully new, not so new, but still new favorite podcast on gaming and everything that goes with it.

We invited someone, as we always do here on this podcast. Someone who is more than knowledgeable. He is the chess grandmaster - Jan Gustafsson.

Questions from Frodo to Jan Gustafsson:

  • What do you do when you are not playing chess?
  • How did you get into chess?
  • How long have you been playing chess?
  • What is it that excites you so much about the royal game?
  • Can you have a day without chess?
  • Do you have a favorite game?
  • What happened to your chess friend Javier Moreno Carnero?
  • Since you love rhymes so much - do you have one in stock?
  • Is Ariel still your favorite Disney princess?
  • Is playing chess a “real” job for you?
  • What would you compare chess to?
  • Do you currently see yourself more as a coach, commentator or player?
  • Due to Corona, the well-known chess game is no longer possible, the new chess boom was foreseeable beforehand - how do you see the future?
  • Chess players are contracted by eSports teams, how do you feel about that?
  • Is chess realistic as an eSports?
  • How many moves can you predict in a game?
  • Are there parallels between esports players and chess players?
  • Cheating when playing chess online - is it still fair?
  • The ability to concentrate is essential for both eSports players and chess players. How do you train this ability?
  • Do you have any tips on how to improve your ability to concentrate?
  • How long was your longest game?
  • How did you become a chess commentator?
  • Is there a difference to other sports that have emotionally charged commentators through fast moves?
  • Who is your Rocket Beans chess show for? For newbies or professionals?
  • What requirements does a good chess player need?
  • Are you still superstitious or do you always need a new suit after a defeat?
  • Do you like the hype or was chess in the classic format more pleasant for you?
  • “Ladies Gambit” - the series from a master's point of view?
  • What does your future look like for you? Are you still an active player and defend the Thailand Open?

But the practice looks different. There are already very, very many children's and youth tournaments and the average age of good players is now more like 20 to 35 in football and not like the old men.

I also find these beginners tournaments, which I do, here at Rocket Beans, where there are also other formats, especially relatively new people playing chess against each other and experts like me commenting on it, actually almost more entertaining. Because everyone can follow somehow. While, when you now see two grandmasters making their clever moves, I can make an effort and try to explain what they are doing, but everyone who looks in then understands exactly what is going on. That's just hard and easy.

The term Elo:

Elo such a term that you may hear more often in gaming that you say: I play "League of Legends" on Gold Elo. Or I'm in "Overwatch", there are also masters and grandmasters. At Valorant there is then Gold 3 or in Overwatch, for example, there is also an Elo of 3285. But that originally comes from chess.

In chess, to become a grandmaster you need a certain ELO number. For us it's 2500, which roughly corresponds to, I don't know, number 200 in the world, maybe 300 I'm not sure. Then you need three so-called grandmaster norms, which basically means you have to have played three good tournaments.

Do you see chess as an eSport realistically?

I have to admit that I have always been relatively indifferent to this dividing line. Whether one calls chess a sport, a game, a science, an art. Everyone can somehow name what they want.

It used to be important in chess because chess has long dreamed of becoming Olympic, which then has a direct impact on funding. I always found chess as chess has more aspects of sport for me. It has this competitive thought, that leagues thing and in the end it's about winning. It's organized like sports tournaments. But if you want to see it as a game or as a science or entertainment, that's fine with me too.

There are more parallels - the ability to concentrate. The ability to concentrate is of course very much in demand with eSports enthusiasts.

Do you have any tips on how to improve this ability to concentrate?

  • Be physically fit
  • to do sports
  • Sensible nutrition
  • Get enough sleep
  • In chess, it is important to prepare for your opponent
  • You train a discipline by practicing it frequently

I basically believe that all people who invest a lot of time in a certain skill, probably sacrifice a bit of social skills.

Thank you very much for the very exciting interview with Jan Gustafsson. We owe the great sound of Max 'Frodo' to Logitech G and Blue. If you just don't want to stop listening to us - this way. If you absolutely want to have a guest here on the podcast, write to us or Frodo on Twitter with #GameFaces and we will do all we can to make this possible.