Meet David Hua, a Princeton teenager and accomplished chess player, who will be spending the next four weeks at the library on Wednesday afternoons and evenings leading chess workshops for beginners and intermediate players, all ages. Read on to find out more about David’s experiences in competitive chess, his inspiration, and some tips on improving your game:
Q. Hi David, first, the basics — can you tell us a bit about where you are from, and status in school?
A. I grew up in West Windsor, NJ, but moved to Princeton in the summer of 2009. I am a rising sophomore at Princeton High School.
Q. How old where you when you got interested in chess, and who taught you to play?
A. I was four when my father first taught me how to play chess. I was interested immediately and began playing a lot.
Q. What has your journey been like growing up playing chess?
A. My journey has been absolutely phenomenal– I've met so many great people and have traveled to so many different places. I've learned so much, and not just about chess, about life. It’s truly been an exceptional roller-coaster ride for me.
Q. Please share any resources or experiences that have helped you improve as a chess player.
A. Undoubtedly, the person who helped me take the training wheels off in chess was my first coach, Princeton University alumni Jon Edwards. He was an energetic and truly exceptional coach who helped me blossom as a player. In terms of other resources, I find chess books very useful as you can read them over and over again and you will find something new every time.
Q. What has your experience playing on the PHS team been like?
A. Playing on the PHS Chess Team has been an awesome experience for me. It’s a great feeling to know that you are representing your school and your community. This year we participated in the World Amateur Team tournament (not really a tournament for amateurs, I'm not quite sure why it’s called that) and won the Top High School Award, a tremendous achievement. This upcoming school year, we plan on playing the NJ Jersey Shore Chess League, where we will be one of the top seeds.
Q. Do you have any suggestions for those intererested in improving their game?
A. The best way for new players to improve is to play as much as possible. Online — chess.com, freechess.org — are fantastic free sites, in tournaments; and at home with friends and family. Once you start playing a lot, you'll start to see patterns and I guarantee you'll get better. If a player gets extremely serious about the game, then a coach will also prove to be beneficial.
Q. What chess players, past or present, inspire you?
A. The chess player who inspired me most is current World #1, 21-year-old Magnus Carlsen. I started playing chess at the time when Magnus started to move up the world rankings, and he really inspired me to work hard to get better.
Q. What are your other interests?
A. Outside of chess, I enjoy playing the piano, reading, hanging out with friends, and just enjoying life. 🙂
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