Best of CLO 2011 #4: Tale of a Winter Rating Spike by Jennifer Shahade
January 27, 2012
MattEurope.jpgThe #4 article in best of CLO 2011 is Tale of a Winter Rating Spike by CLO editor Jennifer Shahade with Matthew Herman. The interview began with Matt's fantastic performances in late 2010, which earned him two IM norms. The piece also focused on his precocious educational track, which led him to graduate college at 15 years old.

Matthew Herman now works in finance and is a member of the New York Knights, the reigning US Chess League Champions. He was also featured in the New York Times in a piece by Dylan McClain, "Meteoric Rise for One Who Turned Away."

JenPlaglead300.jpgJennifer Shahade is the editor of Chess Life Online, a former US Women's Champion and an author. Her 2010 interview with Jeff Sarwer topped the 2010 Best of CLO competition. Find Jennifer's books at USCF Sales: Chess Bitch: Women in the Ultimate Intellectual Sport, Play Like a Girl! and Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess. The proceeds of PLAG all go to 9 Queens, a non-profit Shahade co-founded with Jean Hoffman.

Jennifer lives in Philadelphia and teaches 9 Queens chess academies in conjunction with After School Activities Partnerships. She is also active in the booming Saint Louis chess scene, both as a commentator at the US Chess Championships and a board member of the World Chess Hall of Fame.

One of Shahade's most recent projects to promote chess is the X Chess Championships, which you can follow on youtube, facebook, twitter. The second episode of the X Chess Championships is set to debut on Jennifer's CLO blog next week. Watch a preview here.

Jennifer also manages the USChess twitter and facebook accounts. You can find out more about Jennifer on her personal website, and @jenshahade on twitter.

The Judges Sound Off
Read more about the judges here.
This is a very clever and in depth interview. The selection of questions and the way they’re asked allow the reader to discover both the chess player and the person behind it.  One of the fascinating things about chess is the great variety of people who populate this world, compared to other sports or activities. This is why I particularly appreciate articles that make me discover stories and characters in chess, like this one. Matt Herman is an extremely interesting person and I admire him (and his family) very much for having been able to combine the various aspects of his life with such a great balance. Since this guy smells like genius, this is even more difficult –Janis Nisii 

Jennifer consistently asks poignant questions and interviews dynamic individuals. I always feel that I am inspired by her articles—Galen Pyle

I'm not familiar with Matt Herman but I loved his attitude. I especially loved when he said, "constantly losing to my father was an unacceptable outcome." Ha! I absolutely love a fierce competitor. –Erik  Murrah

 This is a good interview. The subject, the interviewer, and the interviewee came together well. --Rachel Lieberman

I think it’s important to have interviews as a different means of gleaning information, as opposed to an I-article.  The perspective another person has often led to new ideas.  I thought there was a nice balance between personal information and chess advice—Jessica Era Prescott

Best of CLO 2011 Countdown
#4- Tale of a Winter Rating Spike by Jennifer Shahade
#5-Shankland on Making the Most of Luck by GM Sam Shankland (Judging article)
#6- Hilton on Chess Cosmopolitanism by Jonathan Hilton (Judging article)
#7- Dreams and Local Heroes by Chad Schneider (Judging article)
#8- An Amateur Invades the World Amateur Team by the US Chess Scoop (Judging article)
#9- Keep the Draw--Fix the Flaw by Tom Braunlich (Judging article)
#10- Nakamura in Brazil: From Fighting Anand to Miss USA by GM Ian Rogers  (Judging article)