In our series on chess in Chile and following an interview with Chile’s no1 Chess player Ivan Morovic, Erwin Schneider gives us his perspective on playing the game and his opinion on how chess is developing in the country. Erwin is currently near completion of his degree in Computer Science but has been playing chess at a high level for some time.

Name: Schneider Solari, Erwin
Federation: Chile
Highest rating: 2139
Born: 1979
Sex: Male
Chileno – When did you start to play chess and how much time do you devote to practice and development? 

Erwin – Empecé a jugar a los 15 años.

Erwin – I started when I was 15 years old.

Chileno – What are your ambitions in chess?

Erwin – Mi ambición en este momento es poder participar en la mayor cantidad de torneos e ir poder subiendo en el ranking a nivel nacional e internacional.

Erwin – At this moment, my ambition is to participate in top quality tournaments and to move up the rankings on national and international levels.

Chileno – How important is studying chess theory to your game?

Erwin – Es importante para establecer una base en el desarrollo inicial del juego, poder lograr de forma mas eficiente un buen desarrollo de las piezas y así obtener una ventaja posicional en el transcurso de la partida.

Erwin – It is important to establish a base at the initial development of the game, to reach a more efficient way of developing the pieces and obtain a positional advantage during the match.

Chileno – Do you use computers as part of your studies?

Erwin – Sí, la computadora maneja una gran base de aperturas y un nivel de juego bastante avanzado debido a la gran capacidad de cálculo que posee.

Erwin – Yes, the computer manages a large database of openings and a fairly advanced level of play due to the high computing power that it has.

Chileno – The English grandmaster Nigel Short has complained that computers may destroy chess and that “cheating with computers is the gravest threat to chess today”, do you agree with that statement?

Erwin – Estoy de acuerdo en que los computadores son una seria amenaza ya que pueden realizan muchas tareas de cálculo en pequeñas cantidades de tiempo para realizar una buena táctica. Es difícil poder hacer trampas en un torneo donde se toman medidas de seguridad como instalación de cámaras.  La FIDE (federación internacional de ajedrez) impuso medidas drásticas en ese sentido como el prohibir por ejemplo el uso de un celular en una partida oficial de cualquier torneo con la pérdida de la partida de infringir este reglamento.

Erwin – I agree that computers are a serious threat as they can perform many computational tasks in small amounts of time to make good tactics. It is difficult to cheat in a tournament where they take security measures like the installation of cameras.  FIDE (World Chess Federation) has implemented drastic measures like forbidding the use of mobile phones during an official chess match in any tournament with the loss of the game for any offending player who violates this regulation.

Chileno – How vital is it to have a very powerful memory in chess – How many moves ahead can you calculate on the chess board?

Erwin – Tener una buena memoria ayuda a llevar una buena ejecución de una táctica, puede ayudar a obtener una ventaja en un momento crítico donde se requiere una mayor concentración y precisión. 

Erwin – Having a good memory helps to execute your tactics well, it helps you to obtain a good advantage in critical moments, where a great deal of concentration and attention to detail is required.

Chileno – Would you say that chess is about combat perhaps fuelled by testosterone, or is it a strategic exercise?

Erwin – Es una combinación de ambas, por un lado está siempre las ganas y el deseo de derrotar a tu adversario. Por otro necesitas un gran conocimiento y sabiduría para lograrlo.

Erwin – It is a combination of both, on one hand the willingness to defeat your opponent is always present, on the other hand, you need great knowledge and wisdom to do this.

Chileno – Fischer, and others in Chess have sometimes been associated with insanity. Do you think there is a danger of becoming obsessed with chess and it damaging your health?

Erwin – Sí puede hacerlo, existe un mínimo contacto social para jugar una partida de ajedrez lo cual pudiese en un extremo llegar a ser perturbador para una persona que solamente desea jugar ajedrez.

Erwin – It can happen, there is often minimal social contact in chess, which in extreme cases could lead to [mental] disruption to someone who only wants to play chess.

Chileno – What is the chess scene like in Chile today? How does it compare to other countries and do you think it has changed over time?

Erwin – El nivel de Chile en ajedrez es bajo todavía. Está muy por debajo de Argentina, Perú, Brasil. Existe poco apoyo del gobierno para este deporte lo cual hace que muy buenos jugadores tengan que dejar de competir al no haber un apoyo económico para poder participar en grandes torneos.

Erwin – The level of chess in Chile is still low. It is well below Argentina, Peru, Brazil. There is little government support for this sport which makes very good players have to stop competing in the absence of financial support to participate in big tournaments.

Chileno – As with the rest of the world, there are many more men than women playing at top levels in Chile. Why do you think this is?

Erwin – Hay una gran jugadora como la húngara judit Polgar que le ha ganado partidas al campeón del mundo y ha llegado a estar dentro de los top ten a nivel mundial. Las mujeres juegan muy bien al ajedrez tanto como los hombres. Debe ser que a las mujeres les gusta jugar menos ajedrez que a los hombres.

Erwin – There is, for example, a great female player Judit Polgar of Hungary who has won world champion games and has come to be within the top ten worldwide. The women play chess as well as men. It must be that women like to play chess less than men.

Chileno – What do you think the future holds for chess in Chile? What are the three most important developments that need to happen to make improvements?

Erwin – Creo que vamos a seguir como estábamos antes si no se mejoran las políticas deportivas.

Erwin – I think we will continue as we were before if they don’t improve the  policies in this sport.

Chileno – Thanks for your time Erwin, best of luck with your chess.

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