About me

As the ‘About me’ Section suggests it’s a short biography about myself.

I was born in Düsseldorf/Germany on 7th June 1978 and live there until I was 15. I grew up in Düsseldorf Garath which is not the nicest part of Düsseldorf. Calling it a Ghetto would be too much but it wasn’t Kensington either.
When I was 6 I learned to play chess from my cousin and casually play some games with friends and family. Chess wasn’t cool enough and growing up in a rough neighbourhood doesn’t help, so I played other sports like football, volleyball and basketball. I played football quite seriously and my first club was SFD’75 which had a great youth team. We basically played in the same league as all the Bundesliga youth teams and it was great to against some future stars. Not that we knew that at that time.
When I was 15 I had some serious problems at home resulting me living with a foster family in Plettenberg about 120km away from Düsseldorf. The problems started actually when I was 9 but it was manageable. Both my brother (both younger than me) were already living there so it was the obvious choice. My younger sister (she is 12 years younger than me) was 4 years old when I saw her last. Don’t worry I don’t lose sleep about that.
Away from the rough neighbourhood I started playing more and more chess and by coincident the local chess club hosted the school championships. I finished 3rd in that tournament I can still feel my heart pumping when I won my first game against one of the youth players of that club.
The next day the chess club offered some taster sessions and I went along. Like I said in my introduction to this blog I was the oldest and didn’t have a clue what to expect.
During my 3 years of A-levels I progressed through the youth ranks and won the Youth Championships twice in 1995 and 1996 (unbeaten that year).
During my national service, which lasted 13 month, I started to learn some proper openings. I switched from 1.e4 to 1.d4 just to avoid learning a lot of Sicilian openings variations!!! J What a lazy git!!!!
After my national service I studied Social work and Psychology in Siegen/Germany. During the 1st year I met my future wife. We met a dinner and I wouldn’t say it was love at first sight but there was chemistry right from the start.
After 4 years in different countries we had to decide where we want to live if we are taking this relationship seriously. We flipped a coin and I lost ….again!!!
First thing I had to organise was a chess club and I send out some emails to local chess clubs in the Taunton area. I have to say that Taunton chess club was actually the only club who answered. Second thing I had to organise was work to improve my English. After working in a hotel for about 18 month I took a job in the local hospital and then decided that Social work isn't for me anymore. So I applied to go back to University to do my Staff Nurse training which I will finish in September 2012.
Since moving to England I have played/still play for Tauton, Tiverton Somerset County team and the 4NCL Bristol team. Nothing really spectacular has happen so far in my ‘chess career’.
I married Laura in September 2008( I actually popped the question in 2006; 6 years after we met in Germany) in Hestercombe Gardens just outside Taunton. We both work for the NHS and it’s an interesting environment and organisation to work for. We plan not to have kids but never say never!!! I think Laura is actually afraid they will be chess nuts like I am!! *lol*

Plans for the future:
1.    Finishing University
2.    Get my Elo to >2000
3.    Apply for jobs in British Columbia, NZ/Australia and Dubai
4.    Ok, ok maybe win the lottery