Player Profile: Daniel Wiebe (1914)
Daniel Wiebe is a 25-year-old chess player from Winnipeg. He is now an active player in Toronto: a regular member of both Annex Chess Club (on Monday nights) and Scarborough Chess Club (on Thursday nights). His CFC rating is 1914.
Daniel was first introduced to the game at age 8 on a giant chess set in a mall in Winnipeg, where his dad used to take him and his siblings. He admits that he didn’t take to the game at first: “Not until grade 3, when a girl from school tried to teach me the moves.” Although his new knowledge was not completely accurate, his uncle soon set him straight. “My uncle was my first teacher. We played a lot during summer holidays,” he remembers. “Eventually I got good enough to win my school championships in grades 5 and 6.”
Chess = guitar + taekwondo + physics
His best chess memory was winning the Winnipeg TNT (Tuesday night tournament): “Though the field wasn’t that strong,” he remembers, “it was a good accomplishment, a stepping stone that put me over 1900 for the first time.” Another proud moment was when he tied for first place in a Winnipeg sectional. The small group of experts in his section included Aaron Kaptsan, who used to be a Candidate Master back in Russia.
Growing up, Daniel always had “a large range of interests,” from guitar, to taekwondo, to physics and astronomy. But, in chess he found a combination of all three: “I like that chess combines art, competition, and calculation,” he says.
Tactics is the way to go…
Like his chess heroes – Alekhine, Fischer, and Kasparov, all of whom are known for their work ethic – Daniel takes his chess seriously, and trains for several hours every day. “I try to study a bit of everything, devoting several hours to tactics, endgames, strategy, practice, and openings.” In maintaining a diverse training programme, rather than focusing on one element of the game, he is following the advice of his favourite authors that it is “better to study an hour or two on each different subject … than to just study one topic.”
Not everyone has the luxury of so much time to devote to chess. For most people, Daniel advises studying tactics as the fastest way to improve: “I’ve known of players that have just played a lot, just learned openings from each game, and have only spent their free time on tactics,” he says. “They have made it well over 2000, so I think it’s the way to go.”
In the future, Daniel hopes soon “to crack 2000, finally.” Then, he will aim for master, and after that, Grandmaster. “I figure I’m still a young guy, so I should shoot high. Why not go for GM?” If that fails and he ends up “unfortunately” as just a strong master, he says, “I guess that’ll have to do…maybe.”
Daniel will be giving the Annex Chess Club chess lecture this Monday June 27 at 7:00 pm: “Practical Sacrifices.”
Here is Daniel using his Najdorf to destroy a Scarborough Chess Club player, Mr. Juliaan Posaratnanathan, in a nice miniature:
White: Posaratnanathan, Juliaan (1920)
Black: Wiebe, Daniel (1926)
2011.01.27 SCC Jack Frost Swiss (4)
B90 Sicilian: Najdorf