This week the Adult Improver Series continues with another inspiring guest. Twenty eight year-old Stjepan Tomić (creator of the Hanging Pawns Channel on Youtube) learned the rules of and fell in love with chess only a few years ago. Since that time he has not let a full-time job or a girlfriend (his life currently includes both) interfere with his drive to improve at the royal game. Stjepan details for us how he created a nine-year plan to become a Grandmaster, and three years into the plan, he has made steady progress, with an ELO peak nearing 1900. In our conversation Stjepan shares what he has learned about how to manage one’s time, deal with defeat, create a Youtube channel, and of course, improve at chess. Read on for many more details and timestamps:
0- Stjepan tells the story of how he discovered chess by happenstance in Poland, and breaks down the chess scene in Zagreb, Croatia, where he lives. He also recounts the first steps he took in his study of chess, before he became systematic and serious about this pursuit.
11:45- Stjepan details the nine-year plan he made to become a grandmaster after he decided to commit himself to chess. The video we mention of Stjepan’s, discussing how to deal with defeat, can be viewed here.
16:45- Stjepan answers a question from a Patreon supporter of the podcast- What challenges are unique to the efforts of adults to improve at chess, as opposed to those of kids?
19:00- We dive into a regular feature of the Adult Improver Series, in which Stjepan gives his opinion about the relative merits of some different ways to study chess, including solving tactics, watching videos, playing blitz and analyzing one’s own games. An excellent YouTube video of Stjepan’s discussing his recommended study methods can be viewed here.
36:00- Stjepan answers a question from another Perpetual Chess supporter regarding his favorite tactics books, and also rattles off some other chess books which have really helped him. They include: Think Like a Grandmaster. My System. Tal-Botvinnik 1960. The Meran and Anti-Meran and The Moscow and Anti-Moscow by Alexei Dreev. The Rules of WInning Chess by GM Nigel Davies. Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual. John Nunn’s Understanding Middlegames. Winning Chess Strategies- by GM Yasser Seirawan. Attack like Mikhail Tal. GM Ivan Sokolov’s Winning Chess Middlegames. Concise Chess Middlegames. My Great Predecessors. My 60 Most Memorable Games. The Complete Book of Chess Strategy. Grandmaster Preparation: Strategic Play.
43:00- Stjepan discusses the vision behind his Youtube Channel, Hanging Pawns, and its rapid growth. He also gives some helpful tips for other content creators and aspiring content creators. The Youtube Channel that helped Stjepan with his own channel is called Video Creators
56:00 Goodbye and contact info. Here is Stjepan’s Youtube Channel, Email address, Twitter and Instagram
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