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Interview with Jim Mundy

jimJim Mundy

Date of Birth: 17.12.1971

Federation: USA

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Profession: Chess coach

Anastasiya Karlovich: There is no-tolerance rule in the tournament. Before we start our conversation aren't you afraid to be late on your game?

Jim Mundy: I'll say it's not my fault I was doing interview (laughing).

A.K. How is the tournament going for you so far?

J.M. It's going great! I want to thank the Turkish Chess Federation for hosting the event. I've been to couple of other events before but it's my first time where every game is FIDE rated. I've played in North Carolina before and there were three rated games, later on there were 4 or 5 rated games in Chicago. Only after two days I started to sleep like a normal person. It took me 30 hours to get here! We had all those delays and it was like my worst trip ever. I was surprised I did well in the first round. I feel better right now.

A.K. Is it your first World Amateur tournament?

J.W.Yes, it's my first tournament, all FIDE events kind of new for me.


A.K. What were your expectations before the start of the tournament?

J.W. Well, I guess it's always nice to think you can win it and probably everyone here thinks they can do it. You come to the event and other players want to win against you and they make it really hard to achieve your goal (laughing). I lost 2 games, I made mistakes, just dropped the material - obvious stuff. I was hallucinating in the first game and in the second game I just pushed the pawn and immediately realized I was losing that pawn. I think the strongest tournament I've participated in before this one was the World Open in Philadelphia but this one is also very strong and has really high quality players.

A.K. When did you start playing chess? Who taught you to play chess?

J.W. I started playing when I was about six. My brother and I were watching my uncle and my father playing. We didn't really pick up all the rules, so we could have our own rules, like bishop can capture a piece and keep going...Two years later my brother knew the real rules and we were competing and studying till I reached 12. When I was 15, I started taking chess seriously. During high school I continued playing and after graduation I participated in some tournaments as well. I started growing as a player when I started teaching chess. I started participating in more tournaments and I was playing all the time because I was teaching and coaching at the same time. I changed my job and became a coach. So I work as a coach for 15 years in the USA.

A.K.What was your previous job and why did you decide to become a coach?

J.M. I was a studio electrician. Actually I worked on movies and studios like TNT for sports and things like that. It was actually a big cut to go from nice studio job to chess coaching but it was so much fun! I think it was related with my passion, so it was enough. Things went down at the beginning but it's fine now - I make a good living on it.


A.K. Did you bring your pupils here?

J.M. No, but a lot of them are following me on facebook (laughing). I'm sure some of them would like to go there if they knew about the event in advance and could prepare for it. My wife was going to come with me but it was impossible because of her work. I wish she was here.

A.K. Did you have a chance to have holidays here as well?

J.M. Yes, on a free day American team, Colombian team and Russian guy Oleg Barantsev went to Antalya. We had a good time there and I wish to spend more time in that place. The bazaar is incredible, a very big one and it's easy to get lost there.

A.K. How did you prepare for this event? Do you have a coach?

J.M. Yes, I have a couch – IM from Colombia Carlos Perdomo. He helps me and of course I do tactics. I try to study something every day. I'm not a big fan of opening theory - I prefer tactics and endings. Even I'm not a big fan of openings, I can get into equal position and overplay my opponent. I like to study endgames but there are so much to learn! Sometimes you can find amazing positions. For example I played against Virkud Apurva, who is also American representative and our ending looked like an endgame puzzle. We got into the position where we both thought it was a draw with correct play. Still both of us were wrong about how to make this draw. I put the position on Rybka and found out there was only move which leaded to draw. Even simple endings can be so complicated!

A.K. Did you manage to win that game?

J.M. My opponent didn't find the only move that drew the game and I won.

A.K. Do you have kids or do you plan to teach your future children how to play chess?

J.M. No, we don't have kids yet but hopefully soon we'll have. I hope they will want to play chess. In any case I don't want to put force on them.


Jim is chatting with his other representatives of American Team

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