My Week(s) in Chess: Updates Galore

Jessi Shakarian
3 min readSep 19, 2021


It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these blogs. Work has been extremely busy and it seemed like every deadline has been all at the same time.

I’ve made it through some of them and I have more brain space to think. Aside from work, it’s been really busy, but in a good way. This weekend I did a UX talk for folks in the chess industry for the Work4chess conference, and it was so great! This was the first time I did a chess talk for chess players instead of for designers. I made some great connections and met some lovely people in the industry.

Some Chess Updates

Here’s what I’ve been up to since I last posted:

I registered for my first chess tournament. It’s in the beginning of November. I’m nervous and excited to finally play some chess over the board! Finding chess during the pandemic has been a blessing but I’m so ready to experience what it’s like to play with other people. The whole tournament aspect is all new to me too.

I finished 100 Days of Chess this past Thursday, September 16th. I started on May 11th. It feels really good to be here. I have come a LONG way since the first day. I’m really proud of how far I’ve come and it feels good.

I’m planning to continue with daily accountability by prepping for the tournament.

I finished the first book of Susan Polgar’s Learn Chess The Right Way. It’s the first book in a series of tactics based work. By that, I mean solving puzzles (find checkmates with various pieces, etc). Doing these exercises helped so much!!

By comparison to Bobby Fischer Teaches Chess, which is a similar tactics based book, it’s so much better! The Fischer book isn’t bad, but I got a lot more out of Polgar’s book. Mostly because Polgar’s book is more clearly defined by topic. It’s also a series versus Fischer, where it’s just one book crammed in with everything.

This book is, like many beginner books, geared towards children, but there’s nothing childish in it. I definitely recommend it to beginners of all ages.

On to the second book! In the first book I wrote all over it, using arrows and circling pieces. Now it’s time to take the training wheels off my calculation skills and start doing this all in my head.

I’m currently reading Capablanca’s Chess Fundamentals for a Perpetual Chess Book Recap. We’ll be recording that pretty soon. Can’t wait to share my thoughts about that.

I have a few more things up my sleeve that I can’t wait to share as well, but that’ll be for next time. I’m hoping that in the next week so two, I’ll be posting back on a regular schedule, even if it’s just every other week or so.

Hope you’re all having a good week.



Jessi Shakarian

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