When he was 19, Isaac Wiebe of Winnipeg decided to embark on a radical experiment to boost his chess rating.
An average Class C player, he studied as many as 200 tactical chess combinations and puzzles every day to sharpen his game. The results were dramatic. In a span of 19 months, he gained 700 official rating points and vaulted into master status with the Chess Federation of Canada.
“I put huge effort and time into improving my tactical vision,” Wiebe says. Combined with his aggressive playing style, his study plan turned him into one of Manitoba’s strongest players.
The highlight of Wiebe’s chess career came a few years ago when he won a contest to compete against world champion Magnus Carlsen in a simultaneous exhibition. Though he lost, he said it was a unique learning experience.
Now 27, Wiebe is in his last year of a Master’s of Engineering program at Carleton University in Ottawa where he studies robotics and machine vision. As for others emulating his path to chess success, he says it’s doable.
“You have to be rather disciplined to do it. If you believe in yourself, you have to commit the time and see it through all the way.”
Gustav Baron v Isaac Wiebe, Winnipeg, 2015
Black is up material but cramped. What could he try?
11. … Rxg5 and after 12. hxg5 Bg4 13. Qd2 Nh5 14. g6 Nf4 15. gxf7+ Kxf7 16. g3 Nd4 Black won.