Toby visits Google HQ

One of our players, Toby, visited Google HQ as a part of the kick off to the 10th London Chess Classics.  Here’s his report on his big day out :

It was a long journey worthwhile.  After a year since the last Masterclass, my memory of the beautiful venue, facilities and the coaching itself was lacking.  Hence, when I entered Google DeepMind HQ in London, I was amazed by what I saw.  Post-It Note art, the latest technology and some of the nicest food I had ever eaten. It was all a pleasure for me to experience. The Chess part had high standards to fulfill… Which it did!

We were first assigned with different coaches, all of them extremely good and appreciated players, such as: GM Daniel King, GM Luke McShane, GM Peter Wells. There was plenty of experience and knowledge at the breathtaking event to learn from. I was assigned to GM Julian Hodgson’s (multiple British Champion) group. The first of many great things we did at the Masterclass was participate in a Simultaneous. We both had 40 minutes on the clock and I had a long, vigorous battle, an ‘epic game’ as he put it. My game was the longest game in the whole class, lasting 1 hour 30 minutes. Unfortunately my efforts eventually came to an end after I missed a tactic during time pressure which resulted in a loss.  Although my result was not a victory, it was still probably my highlight of the day since I learnt many new ways to improve my chess.

Tenacious Toby
Toby giving GM Hodgson something to think about.

 Next, we analysed each other’s games in our groups, gradually working through the complicated and indulging variations that had awaited in each game. This part was probably the most instructive part of the whole day, since I had learnt new ways to study and plenty of new thought processes. 

IM Malcolm Pein introduces the event.

The final thing that we had done in the Masterclass was have two lectures with everyone in the event. We covered many different and interesting topics such as endgames and middlegame strategy. As well as the great chess training and coaching provided, there was more to come. 

St Louis Chess Press Team on the hunt for interviews
A cool way to organise Post-It notes.

During the breaks of each training session, we were able to visit the other chess event that was happening on that day, the Pro Biz Cup. This tournament is made up by teams of 2, one being a professional and one being an amateur chess player but great businessman and women. Here I was able to take photos with some of the world’s most respected people, both for their chess ability and their successfulness in business; as well as get autographs from the world’s elite players, as well as watching the event itself. To add more to the party, I was able to keep my personalised pass and a Google DeepMind goody bag

Demis Hassabis CEO of DeepMind
Autograph hunting - Fabiano Caruana
A friendly GM - Daniel King

After a long day, I had mixed emotions. Happiness, confusion (from all the complexities of chess), hunger, tiredness. However, it was a brilliant, once in a lifetime experience. I learnt so many things on this trip that I will never forget, I am still overwhelmed that I was chosen for this amazing event.  Many thanks to CSC for giving me this great opportunity.

  • Report by Toby Kan


This Post Has One Comment

  1. Hi Toby,

    Great report 👍

    have you noticed the way Caruana lools at you ?

    “Who is this smart looking kid ? Not another
    one I gotta worry about in a couple of years.
    I hope he isn’t any good at blitz! “

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