niclas_kleinNiclas’ chess adventure started at the age of 4 when his dad taught him the rules and an old wooden chess computer became his regular opponent. Soon, he joined a chess club in Hamburg and participated in his first youth tournaments. His personal breakthrough came in 2005 when he won the German U14 championship. Supported by his long-term coach Wolfgang Pajeken, Niclas achieved the International Master title in 2008, and then, in 2010, he became the youngest German champion of all time. Due to this success, he was invited into the German national team and represented his home country in several competitions, including two chess Olympiads.

After graduating from high school in 2010, Niclas spent two years in the army as a sport soldier representing Germany in chess tournaments. During this time, he pursued the Grandmaster title and finally received it in early 2012. Later that year, he moved to the East Coast of the U.S. to pursue a B.A. in Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and became captain of the university’s chess team.

In 2016, Niclas graduated from UMBC and returned to Germany. Currently, he studies in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Master’s program at the Free University of Berlin. In his spare time, Niclas enjoys learning about health and nutrition. He also loves to travel and likes to participate in chess tournaments abroad to visit new countries and get to know different cultures.

In this blog, Niclas will contribute with game analyses – one of his favorites chess aspects because there is so much to learn from them – and practical tips on how to improve one’s play. Given his background in psychology, Niclas will explore how psychological themes can affect one’s chess.