EP.204 - FM Nathan Resika (Adult Improver Series)


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Perpetual Chess Podcast


FM Nathan Resika has accomplished one of the rarest feats in the annals of adult competitive chess, progressing  from rank beginner to FIDE Master. Along the way, Nathan has picked up many more titles: USCF Master at age 31, FM Title at age 40, rating high of 2318 and US Senior Open at age the of 53. Despite some breaks along the way, at age 60, Nathan is still going strong, as he recently had a stellar showing at the 2020 Southwest Open, where he defeated a 2550 IM!  How does Nathan continue to amass new titles, all  while he is working and helping to raise his twin sons? What is his top chess advice? In  this very inspiring conversation, Nathan shares lots of tips, many book and opening recommendations, and even discusses the story of how he defied the odds in another field and became a professional opera singer in his 40s! As always, please read on for lots more details, timestamps, and relevant hyperlinks.     0:00- Nathan shares the story of his chess beginnings, playing in the park at Harvard Square in Boston at the age of 23, and mentions some books fundamental to his growth as a player.  Mentioned: Logical Chess Move by Move, Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess , Lasker’s Manual of Chess, GM Eugene Perelshteyn, My 60 Memorable Games . Nathan’s article in US Chess about his career can be found here: https://new.uschess.org/news/fm-resika-us-senior-singing-chess-icing-cake,  Mentioned: GM Boris Gelfand, GM Tigran Petrosian, GM Daniel King’s How Good is Your Chess, NM Bruce Pandolfini    15:30- How much time was Nathan putting into the  study of chess in his early competitive days circa 1985?  Mentioned: NM Murray Turnbull, GM Alexander Ivanov, NM Christopher Chabris, NM Danny Edelman, NM Girome Bono, IM Joseph Fang, IM David Vigorito, IM William Paschall, Secrets of Grandmaster Play by GM John Nunn    24:00- Perpetual Chess is proud to be brought to you in part by Chessable.com. A few of the courses in which you might be interested, based on this interview, are: The Modern Defense Against Everything by CM Vjeokslave Nemec, and Lifetime Repertoires, 1.c4/ 1. Nf3 by IM Christof Sielecki and FM Carsten Hansen    25:00- Nathan answers a question from the Perpetual Chess Patreon mailbag about whether adult improvers should consider playing less aggressive repertoires as they age, and another about the rating level at which opening knowledge begins to take on an added importance.  Mentioned: The Berlin Opening, The Scotch Game, The English/Reti, How to Think Ahead in Chess by Fred Reinfeld , FM William Kelleher, Small Steps to Giant Improvement by GM Sam Shankland,  Pawn Power in Chess  by Hans Kmoch, GM Richard Reti’s Best Games, Grandmaster Repertoire by GM Mikhail Marin, Starting Out: The Reti by GM Neil McDonald, Howard Staunton, GM Mikhail Botvinnik, GM Tony Miles, NM Harry Lyman    52:00- Nathan tells the story of how he became a professional opera singer past the age of 40.    58:00- Nathan answers another question from a Patreon supporter of the podcast. How does  Nathan’s musical knowledge help his chess, if at all?  GM Mikhail Tal, GM Mark Taimaino, GM Lajos Portisch, Andre Phillidor, Gregor Piatigorsky    1:03:00- IM Kare Kristensen writes in to ask, “What is the biggest challenge of competing at a high level as an adult?”  Mentioned: IM Ilya Figler, Perpetual Chess Episode 178 with IM Kare Kristensen, GM James Tarjan vs. GM Vladimir Kramnik 2017, GM Boris Gelfand, Nakamura-Resika, GM Alexander Chernin    1:14:00 What went wrong when Nathan had a rating slump of nearly 130 points? How did he seek to correct it?  Mentioned: Episode 201 with FM Peter Giannatos    1:19:30- What was it like to play in a tournament in Texas amidst the pandemic? How did Nathan and his family get comfortable with the decision to play?  Mentioned: 2020 Southwest Open, IM Justin Sarkar, IM Zurab Javakhadze, Raghav Kalyanaraman,  Check out the Whole Crosstable here: http://www.dallaschess.com/2020SWOpen/OpenWallchart.html   1:30:00- What are Nathan’s current chess goals? Why does he think it's important to play stronger competition?    1:34:00- Question from Neal Bruce! What are the minimum and maximum amount of hours per day/week that an improver should study? Mentioned: GM Sam Shankland’s Method 1 and 2, GM Neil McDonald, GM Daniel King, GM John Nunn, IM Andrew Martin    1:39:00- Closing summary of Nathan’s improvement advice!  Don’t get discouraged Study Structures Keep up with Your Tactics, no matter your age  Read good chess books and great authors  Read biographies of great players    1:41:00- Thanks so much to Nathan for joining the podcast! You can reach him at nateresi@hotmail.com See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.