My name is Aman and I was born in Canada. I received a chess board from my father when I was 5, and I immediately became very interested in the game. Soon after, I moved to Toronto with my family and played my first chess tournament at age 6. There was a well known chess teacher for kids at the time named Mike McArthur, and he was the first chess coach that I worked with. He taught me the basics and had me do routine homework. It was with him that I developed the discipline to study chess as well as play it for fun.
I lived in Toronto until I was 9, when I moved again to Prince Edward Island, a maritime province in Eastern Canada. The island was very small, and i dominated the chess scene, even at a very young age. I was fortunate to come across a man named Fred McKim, who served as my teacher and mentor for a short period of time. During my time here, I represented P.E.I. at the Canadian Nationals and won the MVP award at this event consecutive years (2002-2003). I also got in contact with Jeff Coakley for coaching via the internet. I was very young, and definitely one of the only kids getting chess lessons on the internet at the time. Jeff was the coach I had for the longest period of time, and I even continued my lessons in person when I moved to Toronto in grade 8. Jeff was a very big influence, coaching me from 1200 to 2000 over the years. My time in P.E.I. was unfortunately short-lived, which is a shame because the island is very picturesque and a great tourist spot in the summertime.
Next, I moved to Newfoundland, an island on far east coast of Canada. I attended a private school from grades 5-7, and played recreationally at the chess club at my school. I continued to attend the Canadian Nationals, this time representing Newfoundland. The chess scene in Newfoundland was not elite, but my rating of 1300 was nothing out of the ordinary. There was one player, and he soon became my rival, named Andrew Smith. He was rated 2100 when I moved to Newfoundland, and I could give everyone a strong game except him. I spent 2 years consistently losing to this player, and after much improvement and learning from my mistakes, I managed to defeat him. When I left Newfoundland to move again, I had a CFC rating of 1900. A lot was learned during my time here!
If you haven’t guessed the pattern… this is the part where I move again. This time I moved back to Toronto, in a suburb called Scarborough 30 minutes from downtown. I attended a middle school for grade 8, and did not play much chess during this time. However, I did meet one of my most influential chess coaches, Jeff Coakley, to continue our lessons in person! He has authored a few children’s tactics books and had a hand in the National Chess Championships for grades K-12 every year. I still remember how useful those lessons were – Jeff taught me some openings that I still use to this day! I was fortunate enough to spend all of my high school years in one place, and attended Woburn Collegiate Institute for 4 more years after this. I excelled in school, and was a member of the club soccer team every year. At this time, my rating was hovering between 2000 and 2100. By complete chance, a rival (2300 rated) from my previous years of chess playing in the Toronto area attended the same high school as me. We led the chess team to a first place result of all the schools in the province of Ontario.
I finished my high school years with a CFC rating of 2315 and by this time, I had earned my FM title. When I graduated from Woburn, I had applied to three main Universities, all with the aspiration to enroll in their respective business schools. Most notably, I was accepted into my top two choices, of Queen’s Commerce and Western’s Richard Ivey School of Business. I elected to study at The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario. When I moved off to school in the fall of 2010, my family moved soon after to Ottawa, Ontario – Canada’s capital. Once I completed my first year of university, I returned over the summer to my new home, in Ottawa.
Presently, I am 20 years old and I have completed my 2nd year at The University of Western Ontario, studying economics and language, and my family and I still live in Ottawa. My current CFC rating is 2583. I am now employed at the Parliament of Canada during the summer months, and still actively compete and teach chess throughout the year. I have traveled a lot in my lifetime; aside from moving across Canada, I have also been to many beautiful international destinations. In the future I hope to continue to travel the world, become a Grandmaster of chess, and pursue a career in business/marketing.