Interview with Marcos V., Student of 3rd year of ESO in Palacio de Granda – Winner of ISP Chess Tournament

PdG: How and when did you start playing chess?

MV: I learned to move the pieces from the age of 7 because my uncle, a well-known chess player, instilled in me his passion for the game. Five years ago, I started to take it more seriously and dedicate more time to it.


PdG: Where do you currently play?

MV: I play with RGCC (Real Grupo de Cultura Covadonga).


PdG: What do you like about chess?

MV: Chess requires a lot of concentration and I love to think. I enjoy the mental challenge of each game.


PdG: Why did you join ISP?

MV: I joined ISP because I knew they organised tournaments and, as I play, I wanted to take part in them.

PdG: Tell us about the ISP International Tournament.

MV: It’s a very exciting tournament where students from 80 schools from all over the world participate. It’s a great opportunity to measure your skills against players from different places.


PdG: What opening moves do you like the most?

MV: I like to play the Scotch opening when I have White and the Sicilian when I play Black.


PdG: How do you handle the pressure in tournaments?

MV: In slow-paced tournaments, drinking water helps me a lot. In fast tournaments, like 3+2 tempo tournaments, if my opponent has a higher ELO, I take the opportunity to breathe and calm down even if I lose a few seconds. It’s better to stop for a while and be in the best condition.


PdG: Would you recommend other students to take up chess and why?

MV: Yes, definitely. Chess brings benefits on a sporting level such as learning to manage nerves, socialising and encouraging competitiveness. On a personal level, there is always something new to learn. It improves concentration and problem-solving skills.