IM Marc Arnold, Photo Courtesy Saint Louis Chess Club


Beatriz Marinello:  It has been an amazing summer for you! Congratulations on winning the US Junior Invitational for the second time and earning a Grandmaster norm at the World Open in Philadelphia. You are only 19 years old.  What are your short term plans?

Marc Arnold: I hope to keep getting better, and gain elo points, and enjoy myself while doing it.

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!

MA: Thanks for the kind words!