US Junior Chess Champion Marc Arnold on How Chess Could be a Profession for More People!
BM: Motivation is an important part of getting good results. How do you keep yourself motivated?
MA: I think that every chess player is motivated just by being competitive. I try to do my best in each event and that keeps me motivated during tournaments.
BM: This year’s US Junior Closed had a total prize fund (for all places) of $18,000. You as the champion took home $4,000. Do you think it’s important to include prize money in junior events?
MA: It is nice to have a monetary reward during tournaments even for juniors. I think that juniors as well as older players like having conditions and it makes juniors feel more professional. I think that juniors can also be motivated by prizes and it is indeed necessary.
BM: What are your thoughts about professional chess in the USA? Do you think it’s possible for a young talented player such as yourself to continue playing chess at a high level and at the same time pursue a different profession?
MA: I think that it is very hard to have a second profession along with playing chess at a high level. Unless you can teach on the side while you play chess I would say that only players who are over 2700 can do this without teaching.
BM: Most players at some point need to make a decision regarding career choices and how to make it work. What do you think needs to change or improve in chess in order for chess to be a suitable career choice?MA: The only way for more people to play chess as a career is to have more tournaments with higher prizes as well as conditions that cover all, or almost all expenses to tournaments.
BM: So far, you have two Grandmaster norms, and you are playing very well. When is your next chess tournament?
MA: I might already have all 3 norms but it is unclear. My next tournament starts August 3rd in LA and is a round robin.
BM: I wish you the best. You are a role model for thousands of American young players. Keep it up!