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Behind the Scenes with Chess Champ Brent McCreesh

KUA's chess master talks strategy and passion for the game

Many students have heard about his skill and level he is playing in chess, but I got to meet with Brent in person for an interview. Brent is currently a sophomore student at KUA. He is 16 years old and is from Southport, CT.

Brent is very passionate about playing chess and has played from a very young age.

BL: Hi, Brent, thanks for taking the time to meet with me. What is your favorite afternoon activity?

BT: At a school like at KUA, I play a lot of online chess after classes, at least an hour a day.

BL: When did you start playing chess?

BT: I started playing chess when I was in 1st grade; I’m in 10th grade now, so [I started] about 9 years ago.

BL: Why did you start playing Chess?

Brent mid-match in Connecticut

BT: Because I had been really good at, I think, [games like] Connect 4 [and] checkers – more strategic things, and my mom told me about chess club and, after joining it, I ended up loving it.

BL: When did you start attending chess tournaments?

BT: I started at the end of the second grade there were chess clubs at school. They had a tournament every three months so the guy running it asked if I wanted to do it, and I thought it would be fun.

BL: What is your decision making process when playing a chess game?

BT: When I’m playing chess the first thing I do I look at my board and look at the other player pieces, and then I try to come up with a plan either to get a certain piece out or to trade off a maybe a pair of pawns and more.

BL: Who is your hero or role model in chess?

BT: My old Chess coach, Daniel Lowinger, was rated 2350, and he taught me a lot of the openings that I know till today, and I admire him a lot.

BL: Wow that’s special, can describe your most challenging match to date?

BT: I played this guy his name is Oliver with a rating of about 2200 and he is better than me but, what happened was we both played well out of the opening we exchanged a bunch of pieces, he was up one pawn at the end of the game  but, my pawn was far advanced ahea

Brent plays against opponents from a variety of age groups

d for two of his pawns. And we ended with a draw.

BL: Did you study theory for the openings?

BT: I used to study a lot of theory but, now only a little bit.

BL: What is your favorite opening in chess for both White and Black?

BT: As the white piece, I like to play the Grand Prix a lot. The Grand Prix is

when you move the F Pawn twice, and you develop the knight and bishop so that you can castle, and as a black piece, I like the Sicilian Defense.

BL: What is your current official rating?

BT: Right now it’s 1806

BL: Can you explain what a chess rating is?

BT: In um for people who don’t know what that is you start at zero and on chess.com you start at 1200.

BL: Do you have a short-term goal or a long-term goal?

BT: My goal for maybe the next year or two I want to get to candidate master that’s a title reserved for people who get over a rating of 2000 that’s my short-term goal

My long-term goal is a national master with 2200.

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