Ivan Rasic playing chess

Interview with Ivan Rasic: Croatia’s Rising Chess Star

Ivan Rašić is the youngest chess player from Makarska.

Ivan Rasic’s journey is a testament to the power of passion and self-discipline in chess. His achievements are not just a result of his talent but also his methodical and enthusiastic approach to learning.

As he continues on his path to becoming a Grandmaster, his story undoubtedly inspires many in the chess community. Here is my first interview with one of our own chess players on lichess.org.

Billy: Ivan, you’ve made remarkable progress in chess in just two years. What sparked your interest in chess at 14?

Ivan Rasic: I was drawn to chess during the coronavirus pandemic. With so much time at home, I discovered chess as a fascinating world of endless possibilities, and it quickly became my passion.

Billy: You’ve achieved a 2000 FIDE rating and even higher online ratings. How do you structure your daily chess practice?

Ivan Rasic: I dedicate 4-5 hours daily to chess. My routine isn’t strictly planned; I focus on what I feel is most beneficial each day. This includes about an hour on endgames, 1-2 hours of online play, studying master games, and analyzing my own games. Plus, I solve around 15 challenging puzzles every day.

I find late-night sessions to be the most productive, as the quiet helps me concentrate.

Ivan Rašić

Billy: Reaching the MK title so quickly is a huge accomplishment. How did you manage that without a coach?

Ivan Rasic: I believe in self-learning and motivation. While having a coach can be beneficial, I’ve always enjoyed discovering and overcoming challenges on my own, which I think has fast-tracked my progress and helped me develop a unique approach to the game.

Billy: Your aggressive style of play and admiration for Bobby Fischer are quite interesting. How do these influence your approach to chess?

Ivan Rasic: Fischer’s brilliance and bold style have greatly inspired me. I admire his fearless approach and strive to implement that in my games. Being aggressive on the board is not just about launching attacks; it’s about creating art, and Fischer was a master at that.

Billy: Balancing different aspects of chess training can be challenging. How do you prioritize them?

Ivan Rasic: I don’t stick to a rigid program; instead, I focus on what interests me most at the moment, ensuring I cover all areas over time. I believe variety keeps my training engaging and effective, from deepening my endgame knowledge to sharpening my tactical skills.

Billy: What advice would you give to others aspiring to improve their chess skills?

Ivan Rasic: Consistency is key. Work on your chess daily, even if it’s just a little. Mix up your study routine to keep it interesting, and focus on understanding rather than memorizing. Most importantly, enjoy the process and learn from every game, win or lose.

Billy: Can you share with us one of your most memorable chess victories?

Ivan Rasic: Absolutely, one of my best wins was against Aryan Tari. He’s the highest-rated player I’ve defeated, I believe. Here is how it went down.

Click here to watch the game live on Chess.com

Billy: That was an awesome game! What made this particular win stand out for you?

Ivan Rasic: Well, beating Aryan was a standout moment for me because of his caliber as a player. He’s incredibly skilled and has a strong reputation in the chess community, so going head-to-head with him was both challenging and exhilarating.

The game itself was intense, and securing a victory against such a formidable opponent was immensely satisfying. It was one of those moments that really tested my preparation, strategy, and mental resilience.

Billy: Lastly, what are your future aspirations in chess?

Ivan Rasic: My ultimate goal is to become a Grandmaster by the age of 20. I know it’s a challenging path, but I’m committed to putting in the work and dedication needed to achieve it. Every game, every puzzle, and every study session brings me one step closer to that dream.

Unfortunately, in Croatia, chess is not very profitable and it is difficult to dedicate yourself only to that. Chess superpowers like India and Russia are another matter, there they have grandmasters from the age of 14, it is done systematically and gifted children start playing very early. So I need to train, collect points and build a rating.

Billy: Thank you for your time. I wish you all the best in your chess journey to be a Grandmaster. I hope you will come back for another interview when you turn 20.

Ivan Rasic: Oh yes sure. Thank you too.

Featured Image: Makarskadanas

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