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Emil Sutovsky vs. Evgeny Postny (and interview) – How To Be A GrandMaster Series

About Israel GM Evgeny Postny

Picture of Evgeny PostnyEvgeny Postny is a 30 year old Israel Grandmaster who has won the Israeli chess championship in 2001. He has an impressive peak rating of 2674. This game was taken from the same year he won the championship. He was only 19 years old and already had a FIDE of 2432.

Watch the Amazing Video where he defeats Sutovsky

Our interview with Postny (August 2011)

When did you learn chess and who taught you?
My father taught me when I was 5 years old.

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

I started playing in official tournaments at age 8, and with fine success, because I already had enough knowledge, playing training games with my father and other players since age 5.

When did you begin making legitimate progress in your game and How?

Well, I can’t really spot a specific point, but at the early stage of the career the progress comes by itself, thanks to theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

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

There were some games, memorable and highly important, as well as chess coaches that helped me on my way, but I wouldn’t be so dramatic to recall a turning point. This is because the key to success is hard work on my own.

What are your top book recommendations for beginner to intermediate players? (Below 2000)

“My system” by Nimzowitsch is a must study book for players of every level. “My Great Predecessors” by Kasparov.

What are your top book recommendations for advanced players? (2200+)

In addition to above mentioned, “Endgame Manual” by Dvoretzky is very much recommended.

How did you become a Grandmaster? (What tournaments, did you have a chess coach, etc..)

I made my first GM norm in Israeli international open championship 2001, and then two GM norms in a row in Elekes memorial and First Saturday tournaments, both in Budapest 2002. At that time I had the chess coach GM Avigdor Bykhovsky, he definitely contributed to this success as well.

What was your exact study regimen when you were working towards GM? (What exactly did you study, what study materials do you recommend, how much were you working with a chess trainer to prepare, etc..)

I studied openings, checking the actual games by leading players, and then analysing them, improving my tactical skills by solving studies and exercises, as well as improving my knowledge in endgames, using old books (at that time the great Dvoretzky’s books about endgames hadn’t appear yet). I was working mainly on my own but also with a chess coach – it was about 80% working on my own, and 20% with my chess coach.

What is your study routine now? (how is it different?)

The only difference is that now it’s 100% working on my own.

What is next in your chess career – what are your aspirations as a player/instructor/promoter/organizer, etc..?

I will try to improve my play and get my rating as high as possible. In the near future I intend only to play, not to coach chess or organise.

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?

It’s a combination of all the factors. The natural talent is important, but the key to success is hard work.

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

It’s a big problem in modern chess. I do not know how to solve this, but the punishment should be life-time disqualification.

Who is your favorite player and why?

My favourite player is Robert Fischer. I admire his talent and determination, as well as the fact that he was the only player that managed to beat the “Soviet machine”.

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.

Hardwork and talent but that isn’t all …

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 video and text 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.

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