Saturday, 17 November 2012

Amateur to IM: Interview With IM Hawkins

To conclude the week's coverage of Amateur to IM, we present a short interview with the author, International Master Jonathan Hawkins.

How long ago did you get the idea to write a book?

I knew maybe two years ago that I had the material to write an interesting book. I didn’t seriously consider actually doing it until last September (2011).

Was the process easier or harder than you expected?

Harder in the sense that I grossly underestimated the length of time it would take me. Also I found myself using all my chess time doing it instead of working on my own chess.

How long did it take?

I’m not sure about hours. From start to finish it was about eight months, of which the last two and half was spent chopping and changing and editing.

Are you planning a sequel (especially if/when you become a GM)?

I would like to, I’ve thought about it a lot, but nothing on paper yet.

Are you happy with the reaction to the book so far?

Yes. My worry was that people wouldn’t understand what I was trying to say but this hasn’t been the case. I am yet to read anything negative.

Were any players inspirational or particularly helpful on your road to becoming an IM?

Yourself in the early years, when we used to talk about chess a lot. My best friend Bret who I’ve done probably thousands of hours of chess with. In more recent times on the tournament trail Keith Arkell has been very supportive. Quite a lot of stuff in the second half of the book is the type of things we would discuss.

What are your chess plans for the next couple of years?

More writing and coaching. Playing tournaments and trying to make my final GM norm. After that I’m not sure, I will have to make a decision at some point how seriously I want to take my chess.

Amateur to IM is available from all of the usual chess suppliers, including:

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