by Charles Wenger

An aspiring grandmaster, who has put a spin on the game of strategy and wisdom, talks about his career, inspirations, childhood toys that led him to chess. He is a guru in not just playing chess, but also in inspiring people and teaching them the game.


It all started when his father saw Niclas putting up his toy cars in neat symmetrical order. After noticing that, his dad could not help not teaching him the orderly game of chess. As Niclas has told us, he no longer possesses the old cars that led him to chess, but the knowledge and love for the game he has never lost.


On March 4, 2017, he announced on his YouTube channel that he is initiating an ambitious quest to enter the list of top 100 chess players in one year. In the video, he reveals, “So one year from now, I want to have entered the FIDE rating list of the top 100 players”. Unfortunately, Mr. Huschenbeth’s goal was found floundering by his deadline. Yet, the rationale of his ambitions was not only to cross the elite line.


In an interview, he exclaimed that there were two original ideas behind his campaign: to push himself further and to inspire other chess players. He, indeed, pushed himself way far from the starting point. By the time of his announcement, his ELO was 2581, but now he is the 175th chess player in the world, with a significant increase to 2624.


Encouraging and helping competitive chess players form a large part of his character. Moreover, even though Mr. Huschenbeth vigorously boasted that he loves competing, he also noted that he loves seeing other chess players improving at the game. That is why he created his chess school in Germany, called Chessence, and uploaded more than 500 chess training videos for advanced level chess players both in German and English.


Mr. Huschenbeth fulfilled International Master’s Norm at 16, and the natural continuation after this honorary achievement is to get a Grandmaster title. It required a great deal of work, but at last, in 2012, FIDE granted him the title.


As someone, who managed to clinch this rare position, Mr. Huschenbeth’s advice to all the players who are struggling to find motivation goes like this, “The motivation is winning. I want to win, and I know that to win, I need to practice. Find an enjoyable balance between a practice that is not enjoyable (endgames, theory, tough positions, and tactics) and practice that is enjoyable (for most people openings). If you keep your goal in mind, then it helps you to keep practicing. Keep asking you why you want to practice and answer, “Oh, it is because I want this,” and it is going to get more comfortable to sit in front of the board and practice.”


Chess is a game of thoughtful choices both on and off the board. There is a colossal mission of adopting a righteous path of improving at the game. Mr. Huschenbeth discovered his Golden Ratio, and his experience can help any competitive chess player do that too.


The emergence of YouTube on our left side has already filled our right side with a series of YouTube channels dedicated to chess. Using communication tools is the twenty-first-century path of improving at the game.


As an addition to our previous article about the best chess YouTube channels, we would highly recommend investigating the immense library of Mr. Huschenbeth’s YouTube channel.


As mentioned previously, he has more than 1000 videos that cover a wide range of chess topics and will enhance you during your mission of improving at chess.

Editor of Level Up Chess and long time chess fanatic. May or may not own more chess sets than one person ever needs (at least that’s what the wife says), but can’t see himself slowing down anytime soon.

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