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Chess Grandmaster Alexander Goldin – How to be a Grandmaster (#9) – Queen's Indian (Interview)

This game is a brilliant classic from way back in 1982 when Goldin was one of the most successful chess players of the Soviet chess machine. The game opens with a standard Queen’s Indian and then transforms itself into a really interesting game. Watch how 27. h6 turns the game in Goldin’s favor. We caught up with GM Alexander Goldin and he was kind enough to give us an interview telling us how he became a GM, his favorite books and more.

Watch the Chess Game between Goldin and Efimov

The Chess Interview with Alexander Goldin

When did you learn chess and who taught you?

My dad taught me how to play chess when I was 4.

When did you begin playing tournaments and how did you do?

I started playing in tournaments at age 7 and did very well (winning almost everything)

Can you recall a specific turning point? (a game, event, working with a chess coach, etc..)

Nothing stands out from the top of my head. Maybe year of 1981 when I worked with GM Timoshenko Genady (former coach of Kasparov) The same year i won USSR championship under 18.

What are your top book recommendations for beginner to intermediate players?

“My System” by Nimzowitsch. Also any books on tactics or endgame studies.

What are your top book recommendations for advanced players?

“International chess tournament in Zurich 1953” by Bronstein.

How did you become a GM? (What tournaments, did you have a chess trainer, etc..)

I earned the GM title from the first attempt, winning 2 international tournaments
A. 1988 Polanica Zdroj , Poland
B. 1989 Trnava Chech republic
-I did not have a trainer at that time but worked with many strong players.

What was your exact study regimen when you were working towards GM?

I never had any kind of regiment, study plan, or schedule. When I was young I liked to analyze my own games, I would go over one interesting game for hours. That kind of work helped me a lot. I always enjoyed solving combinations and endgame studies, I could do it forever. The tournaments in the USSR were long (2-3 weeks) I played a lot and very often preferred to enjoy life rather than study chess between the tournaments.

What is next in your chess career?

I just started to teach chess recently, mostly online. I enjoy the lessons a lot. I want to write a book at some point.
[You can contact Alex for lessons at]

Nature or Nurture: Do you think top chess players are born with a natural ability/gift or do they become so talented through hard work and the right environment?

Nobody becomes talented, you either have it or you don’t. In order to become a world class GM , one has to
A. have talent (10% )
B. work hard (the most important factor 90%)
C. love the game

How do you feel about cheating in chess? (specific deterrents/punishments?)

Cheating is cheating, there is nothing to think about. It’s illegal and comes from people’s low self esteem. Strict rules should be in place.

Who is your favorite player and why?

I never had one. Those who I admired most are Kasparov (simply the best of all time), Ivanchuk (super talented and independent thinker), Topalov (strong fighter, intelligent, never pretends to be someone else than he is, never follows the pack).


How to be a Grandmaster Series

People always want to know how Grandmaster’s achieved the extraordinary feat of becoming a GrandMaster. I noticed most Grandmaster interview’s focus more on recent and upcoming tournament’s and do not focus on how they became a GrandMaster.

More then just nature and nurture, there are secrets

While most people assume that becoming a GrandMaster is simply a formula of natural talent and hard work, we’ve discovered there is more to the secret formula. Our interview series hopes to unlock these “GrandMaster secrets” so we can learn to not only work harder, but smarter as well.

More chess interviews on the way

Our GrandMaster Interview series includes both audio and video interviews on our YouTube as well as text interviews with corresponding games on our site. We hope you enjoy these grandmaster interviews. Comments are appreciated and if you have questions you’d like to ask future grandmasters, let us know.

By Chess Coach Will Stewart (USCF 2256, FIDE 2234). Follow William on Facebook and Twitter Thank you to for letting us use their interface.

The 5 Mistakes ALL Club Players Make
Damian Lemos
A recent iChess survey has concluded that 78% of club players rated between 1200 and 1900 commit these same 5 crucial mistakes. Find out what they are in this free course created by Grandmaster Damian Lemos who has years of experience coaching club players

One Comment

Armen says:

The 8th rank is too close to the top of the video box. I can’t think. And you are saying too many umm’s . If I look at the game without you talking, I can learn more. Sorry, but please fix your bad habit.

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