An unexamined life is not worth living.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Liudmila Belavenetz – Best Chess Coach for Juniors

Liudmila Belavenetz (Людмила Сергеевна Белавенец) is mentioned in most reports on Russian junior cthat you see online today. That is not a surprise to me because I have been honoured to be her student for several years in the mid 90’s when I attended the Spartak Chess School in Moscow. A rare chess teacher has so much love for the game and passion about their students successes in competitions.


Liudmila Belavenetz was USSR Champion among Women in OTB play in 1975, and she was also the World Chess Correspondence Champion (1984-1992), so she is a very strong player herself. However she has a talent to explain chess in simple terms to young kids and teach the basics – with kindness and humour.

image I was delighted to read this interview (in Russian) that tells a story very similar to mine.

I played chess a lot between the ages of 4 and 8, but later took a break as the game suddenly became no longer fun. When I was 12 - curiosity brought be back to the chess club, but it was really Liudmila Sergeevna Belavenetz who made me interested in chess again. Moreover, it was probably because of her that I got myself into teaching chess years later. As I was getting older and more competitive – I got to understand why several of her students were world champions in their age groups. In addition to explaining opening tricks, a coach needs to know how to support a young player during the competition – after a win, and after a loss. I have seen very few chess teachers do this with as much kindness and skill as Liudmila Belavenetz. Computer software can help you to prepare for opponent’s openings before the game, but only a good coach can set you with a positive mood and inspire you to succeed.

I was recently glad to see lead the awards ceremony for a Women’s blitz tournament in Moscow:

image Liudmila Sergeevna awards Valentina Gunina

I hope Liudmila Sergeevna continues to be a vibrant force in Russian Junior Chess for many years to come!

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