Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Interview with WIM Emma Guo

Posted by Andrew Ooi

Venue: Midvalley Cititel
Interview by: yatzchess

Yatz: So, how do you think you performed in   this rapid event?
Emma: I did alright. I didn’t do horrible well. The main idea was to warm up, to practice all my openings.

Yatz: You are representing Australia for the coming Olympiad?

Emma: Yep


Yatz: What is your total score in the rapids?

Emma: 6 out of 9.


Yatz: So, you are happy with your performance?

Emma: Yes.. I am happy (laughs).


Yatz: Are you a full time chess player?

Emma: Well I am still in school but I try to do both.

Yatz: How old are you?

Emma: I am 17, still in school. So I am not a full time chess player.

Yatz: At what age you started playing chess?
Emma: Err.. I was 5 or 6.


Yatz:  Who is the one that encouraged you to play chess?

Emma: My older brother because he studied chess in school… and we got a coach.


Yatz: Is your brother a strong chess player?
Emma: No (laughs). He gave up chess years ago. He still plays chess from time to time.



Yatz: Is it hard to balance chess and studies?
Emma: Definitely. At the moment I am actually missing a few of my exams. But my school has been very cooperative and they moved the test but it is still very hard. For this tournament I’ve been doing assignments.

Yatz: Wow. That is pretty difficult.

Emma: Yeah, it’s pretty difficult to keep up your chess ability and school at the same time.


Yatz: Do you plan to become a full time chess player in future?

Emma: Chess pro? No I don’t think so. Too hard to be and I’ve got of other things going. But chess will always be there. For the enjoyment.


Yatz: On chess training. How many hours do you spend in training  .. usually ?

Emma: Usually? (laughs) I’d like to spend an hour at least. But that’s very hard. During the holidays , I try to spend a few hours a day and get a few coaching sessions and  ICC.

Yatz: What type of exercises you do when you train? You train your openings, tactics…?
Emma: I do a lot of tactics but I do a lot of work on openings which I’ve improved on.


Yatz: Do you regard chess engines as an important tool in your chess training?

Emma: No (laughs). I think my coach is.

Yatz: Who is your coach?

Emma: GM Ian Rogers. I think he has played here a couple of times before he retired.


Yatz: Do you prefer if chess engines never existed?

Emma: No. I do enjoy them. But I get more work done with my coach then using chess engines.


Yatz: Working with coaches you get a better understanding?

Emma: Yeah. Definitely without question. With a chess engine you have to go through all the lines and find out why but a chess coach can help you help explain better.


Yatz: Besides chess do you do other sports because you need to be physically fit ?

Emma: Yeah. Very draining. I do indoor soccer and football.

Yatz: Do you watch football?

Emma: Yeah. The EPL.



Yatz: What is your preparation before a tournament?

Emma: ICC is pretty much a big part of it. And just practicing my tactics and openings.


Yatz: How much sleep do you get before a tournament?

Emma: I try to get as much sleep as I can. Maybe 8 hours at least.

Yatz: 8 hours?
Emma: At least. Yeah.

Yatz: I usually couldn't sleep the night before a tournament due to nervousness, have you experience it?

Emma : Well, I don’t have that problem. I am more nervous DURING the game.

Yatz: So do you consider yourselves a tactical player or more positional player?
Emma: Tactical definitely. I am pretty hopeless at positional. (laughs). I find it too boring.

Yatz: I supposed experience helps in positional understanding.
Emma: Yeah. Definitely. I’d like to think I am good at positional but I prefer tactical position a lot more.

Yatz: What was your first FIDE rated tournament.?

Emma: (laughs) I don’t have a clue but it’s probably the Australian Championship.


Yatz: You have been travelling around the world playing chess. Which country have you visited the most?
Emma: Definitely Malaysia. I have been coming here for the past 5 years.

Yatz: So you have been here 5 years in a row?

Emma: Yeah. Last year I was sick so I got to play only a couple of rounds.But I’ve been coming to Malaysia for a long time now.


Yatz: So will you be here next year?
Emma: Yeah. Hopefully.


Yatz: So, which chess player inspire you the most?

Emma: I don’t really have one.

Yatz: I mean an idol?

Emma: Chess idol? (laughs) I don’t really have one.


Yatz: What is your chess targets?

Emma: I just want to improve my rating at the moment.

Yatz: Any targets of a chess title, WFM etc.?

Emma: I already got a WIM. I reached that last year in January. So the WGM… But I want to improve my rating first. One step at a time.

Yatz: Thanks for the interview.


This interview took place at the Malaysian Chess Festival 2012.

Yatz also did an interview with WGM Irene Sukhandar (http://yatzchess.blogspot.com/2012/08/an-interview-with-irene-sukandar.html)  and IM Senador for the same event.