Monday, October 29, 2007

Questions With New Jersey Knockout (and he is a knockout!) IM Dean Ippolito



1. You are at an all time rating high after a fantastic performance at the New England Masters. To what do you attribute your recent success? Do you feel you have made a big jump in your understanding of chess / solved some kind of practical problem you were having? How have you done this?

That result was somewhat surprising to me. I can contribute it to several things though. First, I was in good form for this event and felt very focused. I had been studying with IM Vigorito a few days before the event and got zoned in very quickly. I had played 3 tournaments before that over the summer, all of which were disappointing, but had gotten some rust off. Besides narrowly missing a tie for 1st at the US Open by not winning the last round game, I played pretty badly.

I also get very emotional and when things are going badly, and in the past I had tended to have difficulty recovering but when things were going well I would play well above my strength. So when things were going well this tournament, I could feel myself playing better and better each round.

Likely the biggest reason that I played well though was that I wasn’t afraid of losing or making a mistake. That had always been a big problem but got less and less so as I got older and more mature. Then something happened this year that eliminated it altogether. We almost lost my son a week after he was born and had to revive him once at home and the doctors and nurses once at the hospital. After you see nurses and doctors given CPR to your 10 day old, things like being afraid to lose a game seem ridiculous. He’s very healthy now so I feel extremely lucky. Things that used to seem worth worrying about don’t anymore. Earlier in the summer I was playing unafraid but my form was off and the games seemed too reckless. Once my form was on though as in the NE Masters, it made it easier to have a breakout result because I wasn’t concerned with ‘blowing it’. I still might take some draws but it is more for practical reasons now than due to fear of losing.

2. I understand you have been studying recently with IM Dave Vigorito. How are those sessions going? What do you look at? Aside from Dave, what kinds of things do you do when you study chess?

We have mainly been studying openings. We play many of the same openings and he is a very good person to analyze with because he comes up with many original ideas and knows how to explain things. Besides this, I have done very little studying since my daughter was born 2 years ago.

3. How’s your general relationship to chess going? Any plans for upcoming tournaments?

I’m not sure if I will play any major events for at least another 6 months. We just opened our first chess center in NJ and it is taking up most of my time.
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4. Goals for the next year or so?
Just to get that form back from the NE Masters. I don’t expect to really make a run at making GM until the chess center can run without my needing to be there most of the time.

5. How obsessed are you with chess? In an average week, how much do you study, play and think about chess? If you could choose to be more or less obsessed, would you choose either and to what extent?

I am very obsessed with chess. I do not get to study much now with two young children and a business, so during the school year I am lucky if I study 2-3 hours on an average per week. Until the NE Masters, I would have chosen to be less obsessed with chess because I was not having any great results and knew that I would not get much time to study to try to improve them for a while. That was too painful to realize but since that event I feel like I would like to be more obsessed.

6. How’s your chess teaching business?

It’s going really well, thanks. We currently teach in about 40 schools and now have a building to run more classes and special events. It doesn’t take the 100 hour week that it took to get off the ground now, but between teaching and the business aspect of it, it does require about 70 hours of my time and my wife Dawn puts in about the same.

7. Do you actually enjoy teaching, and if so which parts?

I love teaching chess. I love to work with the kids and spread enthusiasm for chess. It’s fun for me to even teach total beginners but it’s a real pleasure to help someone with talent win nationals and improve to a level where he can compete on a world stage. I have a few students like that now. I wish I were as good at playing as I were at teaching but I think I’m fortunate in that there is more money in teaching than playing!

8. How’s your book doing and do you have plans to write another one?

The book has been very well received. We are finalizing a contract to distribute the book in all Barnes and Noble stores. I do have plans to write another one for students who are stronger, but it’s just a matter of getting the time to do that.

9. Describe your preparations for USCL games, including, but not limited to: opening preparation, pre-game superstitions, and interactions with teammates.

I try to find a little bit of time to do opening preparation. I think next year it will be easier since our team will know what to expect and how to better prepared.

10. How do you rate NJ’s chances against Baltimore this week? Are there any lineups you hope to see?

There is no specific lineup that I’d really want to see. NJ is such a solid team and never scores less than 1.5 so I’d expect the final result to be either 2-2 or 2.5-1.5 NJ.

11. If you qualify for the play-offs, how do you rate NJ’s chances? In your mind, which teams are the favorites?

I would expect that NJ could make it at least to the conference finals. There are many good players who have teams that don’t finish at the top and have minus scores. With so many strong players in the league, a lot of it comes down to who is sharper on a particular night, especially since games often come down to blitz matches.

12. Which was your favorite USCL game so far? (yours or someone else’s?)
I haven’t played very well this year so far. I’ve seen some of the games but need to take a closer look before I can suggest a favorite.

13. Which NJ Knockout would you nominate for an MVP award and why?

It would have to be Joel Benjamin,. He’s consistently scored well on board 1, though Mackenzie Molner has been very good on board 3 having only been able to play a few times. We have a lot of strong underrated younger players that are doing well.

14. Any thoughts on Kasparov’s recent appearances on Colbert or Maher?

This is going to be great for chess. All of this exposure that Kasparov is bringing by running for President of Russia can only help the game. I have been mentioning this in my classes and newsletters and kids are really excited about it.

9 comments:

Howard Goldowsky said...

Liz,

Your interviews are great. This is the kind of specific Q&A I love. I now feel like I can relate to these players more, and that they're more than just an ELO number. Keep up the good work. --Howard

Sam Force said...

Lizzie! Your interviews indeed are great and your success in chess writing and chess teaching is commendable! It's too bad you act like a bigot and a bully around other chessplayers in private! Note Greg Shahade's comment about you on your 9-23-07 Mark LaRocca blog!

Elizabeth Vicary said...

I think it's possible Greg was joking.

Edward Simko said...

I think it's possible also that Greg was not joking too! Sam Force has a point and Greg Shahade knows you pretty well. Alot of chess personalities are fatally flawed. Alexander Alekhine did alot for chess but he pandered to the Nazis! That's seriously f*cked up! And I've heard from other chessplayers (and I won't say who) that Lizzie Vicary is an intolerant Fascist feminist bitch with a bug up her ass about certain people. That could come from having no father in the house, a hole in her leg, being anatomically inadequate up front, having ahead that's too huge for her body, and no meat on her bones!! One thing I will admit though, at least you spoke out in your own defense for a change instead of letting guys fight your battles for you. That's a sign of independence for a change! Most guys certainly have to fight their own battles-that's for sure! Most women want men's type of independence but that doesn't mean actuallly fighting their own battles. So it's about time you came out of the woodwork and spoke your mind. You want men to not be condescending to you and other women (as you said in your article "Vicary on cheating in chess") but you are condescending to others! Guys say this particularly in the Philadelphia area. Sometimes other areas too. If I were a child I would be scared to death of you!

Abner Falkonitzky said...

Right Edward! She has no compassion for people. She attacked Mark La Rocca and acted like he was a nonexistent player and everything he said about her game was drivel like Joshua told her in an earlier blog statement! If I ever visit Philly I'm going to stay far away from her like she was a disease! I think that even though she teaches kids she's the type who might f*ck with somebody who is small and defenseless because she doesn't give a f*ck!!! Despite the fact that she's successful with her career and becoming quite a chess celebrity she's incredibly snobby, conceited, vicious, brutal, and angry because of the missing father figure, because of her anatomical inadequacy (as everybody knows and snickers about!!!!), maybe because of that hole in her leg that Greg Shahade was talking about, and because her looks and her achievements have all gone to her head!! I met Anna Burns who was Miss Hooters International 2005 and she was seven years younger than Vicary and doens't have Vicary's masters degree and was way nicer, way more personable, way more friendly, way more pleasant, way less angry with menkind!! She was also willing to be really nice to everybody and not only to certain people!!!

Abner Falkonitzky said...

Right Edward! She has no compassion for people. She attacked Mark La Rocca and acted like he was a nonexistent player and everything he said about her game was drivel like Joshua told her in an earlier blog statement! If I ever visit Philly I'm going to stay far away from her like she was a disease! I think that even though she teaches kids she's the type who might f*ck with somebody who is small and defenseless because she doesn't give a f*ck!!! Despite the fact that she's successful with her career and becoming quite a chess celebrity she's incredibly snobby, conceited, vicious, brutal, and angry because of the missing father figure, because of her anatomical inadequacy (as everybody knows and snickers about!!!!), maybe because of that hole in her leg that Greg Shahade was talking about, and because her looks and her achievements have all gone to her head!! I met Anna Burns who was Miss Hooters International 2005 and she was seven years younger than Vicary and doens't have Vicary's masters degree and was way nicer, way more personable, way more friendly, way more pleasant, way less angry with menkind!! She was also willing to be really nice to everybody and not only to certain people!!!

Anonymous said...

I love it so much!!!!

Anonymous said...

Abner did you have to post it twice?


What a maroon!

John Pastore said...

Hey Abner! I heard that down in Philly a few months ago in one of their big tournaments they have there Lizzie Vicary abused and f*cked with some socially retarded chessplayer. He was socially retarded and was on disability or something and f*cked with him!! She wouldn't let him adjust a piece during a game or something when it was his move!! If a bitch acted like that with me during a game I'd go right to the tournament director! She took advantage of him because he was socially retarded and unable to defend himself! Is there any truth to that rumor I wonder? It's like Renard Anderson said earlier she's looking for revenge on men I think maybe because of the missing father I think! It's like Greg Shahade and others have said-she's a goddamn bully and a white power fascist! First him and Mark La Rocca. She abuses people and she's around kids too in her job. If she abuses those guys what'll she do to kids? Hey Abner and Edward are you out there? Maybe somebody should report her to that outfit she works for up there in NYC!!