Updated: Jun 13, 2020
By Sean Finn, ICA Kids Online Coach
Chess players around the world know Artur Jussupow as a legendary player, and one of the most revered and respected coaches in chess history. If you have ever attended one of Jussupow's classes, you know that he's a funny and gracious teacher who uses his sharp mind and soft-spoken wit to guide students through decisions and thought processes in ways that are as enjoyable as informative.
It was my recent privilege to attend one of his virtual lectures via Zoom. I had first met Jussupow about 20 years ago, while I was still a student at ICA rather than a coach, and I naturally jumped at the chance to attend his lecture and learn from this great teacher. The hype is real. Jussupow continues to live up to his reputation.
Jussupow began by analyzing a match between Magnus Carlsen and Boris Gelfand from the 2013 Candidates tournament. He examined critical moments, and the strategic underpinnings of different approaches, and how Carlsen used tactical ideas to press his positional advantage (as only a master of his class can).
Then Jussupow dove into the mind of Boris Spassky and examined the thought processes behind Spassky's game. He examined certain positions, such as when the pawn structure of one opening resembles another, and its implications.
His class was fully interactive, and students could both privately message Jussupow answers as well as unmute and discuss (and sometimes defend) ideas orally. Students who may have expected to sit quietly with their cameras off and their mics muted during the session realized that was not the case. Throughout the class, everyone was gently nudged and drawn into the conversation. Gentle but demanding, Jussupow challenges incomplete answers and pushes students to evaluate and provide explanations for long, complicated lines.
Jussupow left a powerful impression on me as a camper in my teens, but his class impressed me more now that I am a coach.
To train with GM Jussupow is a unique experience and an incredible opportunity for our ICA students. We are very fortunate to have access to him through ICA!