My Week In Chess: Seeing Progress, Podcasting About My Journey.

Jessi Shakarian
2 min readAug 15, 2021


This week was…actually really good, chess-wise.

Starting to see some gains!

All my work I’ve been putting in, I’m starting to have something to show from it.

I played 2 games every day this week and out of 14 games, I won 5 games and had 3 draws!! Technically, over half of my games were not losses!!

This is a first for me! I’m gonna take that win.

I knew it was going to take time, and it feels really good to finally be here. Crossing the threshold of winning (not hanging my pieces as much, not blundering as much) feels like the highest barrier of entry into chess as a new person.

I also added this book by Susan Polgar into my daily study. It’s been going well, sticking with 20 puzzles a day, every day.

I was on a podcast

Last week, I got to be on Dr. Scull’s adult improver chess podcast — my episode went live on Thursday! You can check that out here. I talk about my journey from zero chess at the beginning of the year to all the ways that chess permeates through my life now. This is the first time I’ve been on a chess podcast, and was a bit nervous because I’m still just a beginner at chess. But we had a great conversation, and Kevin is great.


That’s been my week in chess. Pretty short and sweet but I’ve been working on some stuff behind the scenes that I’m excited to tell you about soon.

Tournament-wise, it’s still not locked down which weekend it will be. Hopefully registration will be opening soon.



Jessi Shakarian

Jessi is a UX Designer at DIA Design Guild. She lives in Los Angeles and can be found on twitter @jessishakarian.