Chess Author of the Month: Wojciech Moranda

Get to know our Forward Chess author of the month for May 2023, Grandmaster Wojciech Moranda.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your chess career!

I learned the basics of chess at the age of five from my sister and became a GM at the age of 21. Although I treated the game mostly as an entertaining hobby for most of my life (I have been professionally active as an attorney-at-law until my early thirties), just a couple of years ago I decided that it is exactly playing, teaching, and writing about chess that makes me truly happy. So one day I just terminated my employment contract with a big bank nearly overnight and embarked on an adventure that I have never once regretted!

2. What is your favorite chess game that you’ve played?

I have played many memorable games during my already 30-year-long career, but the one that stands out as a trademark for my playing style over the course of recent years is Moranda-Wojtaszek, Bydgoszcz 2021.

Wojciech Moranda (2618) vs Radoslaw Wojtaszek (2694) credit: Polski Związek Szachowy

It is certainly not an everyday type of occurrence for me to beat an opponent as strong as Radek in such a tactical slugfest, but on that day literally every element of the game worked for me like a charm. Whenever I am in a bad mood, revisiting that game always cheers me up!

3. What inspired you to write chess books?

I think it is a question of legacy, that is the desire to positively affect other people during our lifetime. As a player and coach, I have many times complained about the scarcity of high-quality material that could be used to better myself or my more advanced students. And as they say – if you want something to be done right, you need to do it yourself! The success of my first book led to the proposition to write another one, and before I noticed it, I happen to have the manuscript of a third one almost ready too!

4. At Forward Chess, we have two of your books; Supreme Chess Understanding and Universal Chess Training. What does each book teach the reader?

My first book titled ‘Universal Chess Training’ constituted an attempt to enable players to improve at strategic play sometimes even without the need to possess extensive and concrete knowledge in this regard. ‘Supreme Chess Understanding: Statics & Dynamics’, on the other hand, is supposed to fill in a niche that I have discovered in the publishing market.

What I have namely understood lately is that authors are often very fond of flashy examples highlighting dynamic resources being utilized in games, but tend to forget about the existence of the other side of the coin, that is statics. The key to becoming a strong chess player lies however not in a one-sided preference for dynamic solutions, but rather finding that subtle equilibrium between the two mentioned forces and applying it in one’s games depending on the specific needs of the position. 

Universal Chess Training
Supreme Chess Understanding

5. Do you have a favorite chess book or do you have a must-read book list that you would recommend?

Every major publishing house has something great to offer. Quality Chess, for example, has been spoiling us for many years now with excellent puzzle books, with the ‘Grandmaster Preparation’ series being the ones that I come back to very often. New In Chess, on the other hand, has also been a publishing powerhouse for decades now, with ‘Improve Your Chess Calculation’ by RB Ramesh representing one of my favorite ‘training tools of torture’. Finally, I cannot help but mention Thinkers Publishing with whom I have been affiliated during the last three years. Their opening books authored by Dariusz Swiercz are a must-have for every ambitious player who wishes to stay up-to-date with the latest opening trends.

6. In your opinion, what is the best way to study chess?

There is no better way to train chess than to play as many tournament games as much as possible and to have them analyzed afterward. This way a chess player gains invaluable experience, but also learns about their mistakes afterward and becomes stronger by fixing them. Naturally, solving carefully-selected puzzles and analytical work on openings is indispensable for the modern player, but practice beats theory every single time.

7. What is your advice for aspiring chess players, particularly with regard to self-training?

As a person who is essentially self-taught, my best advice for aspiring players would be to nonetheless get some support from a professional coach before initiating even the toughest of individual training. A good coach can namely cut the learning curve quite significantly in many cases. Even just ten hours of training with an expert can make a huge difference in the long haul. The coach is supposed to indicate the player’s strengths and weaknesses, create a customized training program as well as present the player with respective resources aimed at making the whole training process as efficient as possible.

8. What do you think about Forward Chess?

I think Forward Chess is a great platform for all professional players traveling from tournament to tournament who need to have access to the most important sources of information, but do not wish to carry an additional piece of luggage with them just for this purpose. Forward Chess has almost all the necessary books in one place, many of them being available at bargain prices on top of this. The only thing that upsets me about it is that I have not discovered your service sooner!

Chess Author of the Month: Wojciech Moranda

Wojciech Moranda (1988), Grandmaster since 2009, highest FIDE rating 2636, and Poland’s TOP 3 player (August 2022). His most notable recent results include i.a. silver at the Polish Individuals (Bydgoszcz 2021) as well as team bronze at the European Teams (Catez 2021), together with individual silver on Board 4 at the very same event.
Professional chess coach training students all over the world focused on helping talented juniors and adult improvers ascend past their previous limitations. In his work as a trainer, GM Moranda puts special emphasis on deep strategic understanding of the game, improving his students’ thought process, proper calculation techniques as well as flawless opening preparation.

Latest posts by Charlize (see all)

Leave a Reply