Meet the Players: Brian Zhang!

My name is Brian, and I am 10 years old. I have played chess for three years and my CFC rating is currently 1676. I have a lot of medals and trophies in chess.

Tell us about your journey into becoming a chess player. Was it a particular individual who inspired you or was chess something you found yourself?

Chris Felix, one of the best players in Nova Scotia, introduced me to chess. When I was seven years old, my mom and I went to Halifax central library on a weekend. I found a sign next to a door labeled “Chess at Library”. Curiously, my mom and I went in and we met Chris, my future chess coach.

When I first saw the chess board and pieces, I was fascinated. Seeing that I was interested, Chris recommended the junior chess club at Alderney Gate library to me. And that was just the beginning. Later on I met many good chess players including Don Bidgood, Ken Cashin and Laurie Parker. They all helped me to make chess an important part of my life

What is your favorite part of chess? Creating solid pawn structures? Finding checkmates against the enemy king? Figuring out complex endgame tactics? 

I like to attack and checkmate the enemy king. I always feel good and proud of myself after I win with a brilliant attack.

Who is your favourite chess player, and why?

Bobby Fischer. I like this chess player a lot for his excellent games. His ideas are very creative and he plays them skillfully. He is also very good at calculation. He had won a lot of awards and titles( World Champion, 1972-1975)

What is your favourite part about the NSSCA tournaments and events? Is it the competition? Or is it perhaps seeing your friends and socializing at tournaments?

I think the competition is really fun. When everything is intense and anything could happen, it is always exciting especially when I win a tournament.

Do you have a favourite chess opening? If so, which one is your favorite and why? 

I try to play different chess openings.

How far would you like to go in chess? Do you want to become a chess master or do you see yourself simply playing casually for fun?

I really enjoy playing chess and I want to be a NM.

Improving at chess can be difficult! Are there any things you do at home or with others that has helped you improve your chess skills?

Chris Felix is my first chess coach, who helped me improve my play. I also spent some time reading chess books. They give me new knowledge about chess strategy, tactics, etc.

How has playing the game of chess impacted other areas of your life?

Playing chess brought me a lot of fun and I really enjoy it. I introduced chess to my friends and chess became popular at my school last year. I taught chess in school chess club, where I made a lot of friends.

Besides chess, what other sports or activities do you do?

I also play hockey, baseball, tennis, swimming, piano and video games.

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