Learner Series #14 – Felipe Mourato

Learner series interview #14 features Felipe Mourato. He’s a very active member of the ChessGoals Community and has been featured in some of our YouTube videos. Felipe’s Caro-Kann wins in 18 moves was one of my favorite videos. He had recently won a copy of the ChessGoals Caro-Kann Course and it was fun to share his victory. Felipe recently beat me in a very nice simultaneous exhibition game, and I’m looking forward to seeing his continued progress! Here we go with Felipe’s answers:

GENERAL OVERVIEW

How old are you and how long have you been playing chess?

I am 33 years old and learned how to play chess at 10 with my father’s book and chess set. My intention was to participate in the regional schools’ tournament and it was a pleasant experience. However, I never played chess seriously.

Last November, I got COVID-19 and during the isolation, I started to think about what I really want to do. And one of the things was to be a good chess player.

After this, I started to study chess, but in a “random” pattern. Therefore, I needed something that guides my study plans and I found ChessGoals. Twelve weeks later, here we are.     

How many hours per week do you spend on chess?

6 to 10 hours.

Chess website usernames?

Mouratovsky at chess.com and Mourato at Lichess.

What’s your current skill level or rating?

Well, I am 1400 at Blitz and 1545 at Rapid in chess.com.

PLAYING OVERVIEW — describe where you play, time controls, how often, etc

OTB

I played only minor events more than ten years ago.

Online

I usually play at chess.com, but also play at Lichess casually. My favorite time controls are 5+5 in Blitz and 10 or 15+10 in rapid. Usually, I play at least one game daily.

STUDYING OVERVIEW — talk about what sites you use, how often you spend, tips

Game Analysis:

I use chess.com analysis immediately after each game. I use Fritz 17 too and making a database of my chess games on it.

Tactics

Usually, I made at least 5 tactics exercises daily at chess.com. Shortly, I will start the book “Woodpecker method”. I intend to begin this method based on my games using the Fritz 17 database after that.

Openings

Usually, I play Reti as white and Caro-Kann and Dutch as Black. Not so happy with the Dutch, actually. However, I did not study openings in a profound way, an issue that I want to correct.

Endgames

I am studying endgames with the Silman book.

Strategy

I never studied strategy seriously. My plan is to read the book “How To Reassess Your Chess”.

OTHER USEFUL TIDBITS

I am using the Aimchess app to try to improve faster and I like it. I was lucky enough to win a Caro-Kann course from ChessGoals and like studying by videos/courses now.

But the most helpful thing was to analyze my own games and start to know my “chess self” better. Actually, trying to improve some aspects of my chess studies based on it.