During my travels through Thailand and playing the Bangkok Chess Club Open, I had the pleasure to interview a number of strong grandmasters, with an emphasis on how one can improve their chess skills. The first one in this interview series is with GM Sebastian Bogner who is my former Olympic team mate. Since he moved to Switzerland a few years ago, he is now playing for the Swiss national team. Despite his young age, he is already an experienced coach, so I was eager to hear his training philosophy. Let’s get into the interview!

Here’s what we cover in the interview:

0:53 A brief history of when Sebastian started out with chess, achieved his titles and what he is doing right now

2:56 Which training methods have helped Sebastian to get to his current strength?

4:12 How should you spend your time on chess if you don’t have much of it?

4:53 How does Sebastian recommend to train tactics? And why?

6:20 What does Sebastian’s current training regimen look like?

7:01 What is Sebastian’s training advice for somebody completely new to the world of chess?

9:16 Sebastian’s training philosophy and how he implements it with his students

11:09 What are Sebastian’s most recommended chess books?

15:18 How does Sebastian prepare for a tournament?

16:47 Sebastian’s practices and rituals during a tournament to be successful

18:41 How does Sebastian deal with losses (very important advice)?

20:23 What is Sebastian’s own personal favourite game?

20:57 What is Sebastian’s favourite game of all time?

21:53 How would Sebastian spend 100 Euro on chess improvement?

22:54 The one thing you should take away from this interview

Resources mentioned in this video:

“Stappen Method” by Brunia & Van Wijgerden (German)

“Grandmaster Preparation: Calculation” by Aagaard

“Perfect Your Chess” by Volokitin & Grabinsky

“Recognizing Your Opponents’ Resources” by Dvoretsky 

“100 Endgames You Must Know” by De la Villa

My opening repertoires on chess24

Bogner vs Jobava

Short vs Timman

Navara vs Wojtaszek

Sebastian Bogner’s Website

I hope you guys enjoyed this interview and learned a lot! Please let me know in the comments what other questions you’d like me to ask in future interviews to help you improve your chess.