|Posted: 5/28/2020 | Updated: 5/28/2020|
GM Artur Jussupow
Chess players around the world know Artur Jussupow as a legendary player and one of the most respected coaches in chess history. If you have ever attended one of his classes, however, you know that he also a funny and gracious teacher who uses his sharp mind and soft-spoken wit to guide his students through the decisions and thought processes of elite players in way that is as enjoyable as it is informative. As a coach at ICA, it was my recent privilege to attend one of his virtual lecture series through Zoom. I had first met Jussupow about 20 years ago as an ICA camper rather than a coach and I naturally jumped at the chance to learn from the great teacher again. Needless to say, the hype is real (as the kids say), and Jussupow continues to live up to his reputation.
Guided by Jussupow, we started our journey analyzing a great battle between Magnus Carlsen and Boris Gelfand at the 2013 Candidates tournament. We unpacked the critical moments, examining the strategic underpinnings of different plans and how Carlsen used tactical ideas to press his positional advantage as only a master of his class can. We continued our journey into the mind of Boris Spassky as Jussupow continued to illuminate the thought processes behind the plans, noting for instance when the pawn structure of one opening resembled another, and helping us follow the implications of such insights.
The class was interactive with opportunities for students to both privately message Jussupow answers as well as to unmute and discuss (and sometimes defend) ideas orally. Students who may have expected to sit quietly with their camera off and their mic muted for the duration quickly realized their mistake as they were gently nudged and drawn into the conversation. Gentle but demanding, Jussupow challenged incomplete answers and pushed students to commit to an evaluation when offering a long, complicated line.
Jussupow left a powerful impression on me as a camper in my teens and his classes impress me even more from my perspective as a coach. Training with Jussupow is a unique opportunity for any student of the game, and our ICA family is very lucky to have him!
By Sean Finn, May 2020