Episode 142- USCF Master Han Schut (Adult Improver Series)

Han gives a simul at National Chess Day, photo courtesy of Han Schut

Han gives a simul at National Chess Day, photo courtesy of Han Schut

This week the Adult Improver series returns with another great guest. Fifty-five year-old USCF Master Han Schut is a Certified Chess Steps Trainer, a blogger, and a chess parent. His daughters Donna and Lisa were both top Dutch scholastic players, and Lisa is the youngest ever Dutch Women’s Champion. She won it at the age of 19. 

Han returned to competitive chess in 2013 and has since seen his rating steadily climb from 2120 to a recent high of 2270.  Given the age and relatively high rating from which Han started, this is quite an accomplishment! How did he do it? What resources did he use?  How does he combat Father Time? What do we need to know about the Steps Method? Tune in to find out. Timestamps and relevant links below:

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0:00- Intro and discussion of the Steps Method. The Steps is a Dutch chess curriculum which is designed to take you from the Novice to the Master Level. You can order Steps books here. Han also asks some questions from Patreon supporters of the podcast relating to the qualifications for becoming a Certified Steps Trainer and how to “mine the data” of the LiChess Online database . 

Mentioned: Perpetual Chess Patreon Page, Rob Brunia, IM Cor van Wijgerden, GM Loek Van Wely, GM Erwin L’ami, Chess Tutor discs, LiChess Opening Explorer, Hiarcs Opening Book Subscription 

30:00- We transition to talking about Han’s chess playing and chess improvement more generally.  Han shares how he has managed to continue to improve into his 50s, and answers a few questions from supporters of the podcast about how to budget one’s chess study time. 

Mentioned: Chess Steps, Step 3 Books, 100 Endgames You Must Know (Chessable version), Perfect Your Chess, Chess Structures, Keep it Simple 1. D4 (Chessable Course) . Grandmaster Repetoire 1. e4 , 1. d4 : Dynamic Systems, Game Changer, Chess for Life, Vladimir Chuchelov, Alex King, IM Ali Mortazavi, Fred Wilson 

1:04- Han retells a great story from his blog relating to former World Champion, GM Boris Spassky. 

Mentioned: Daniel Yarur Elsaca

1:15- Han shares some advice for other parents based on his experiences as a chess parent. 

Mentioned: GM Robin Van Kampen 

1:18- Goodbye. Keep up with or contact Han via his Chess.com account