Date: 20. February 2020
Time to read: 3 min
Chess is not called the royal game for nothing. The best chess players are great strategists and thinkers, and these two qualities have an irreplaceable role in human culture. The earliest origins of chess are still a mystery, but the history of chess can be traced far back in human history.
Chess is a very popular game
Chess is a very popular game and is played all over the world. The great advantage of this game is that it can be played by everyone. All that matters is the love of the game. You set up the pieces and you are swept away to the world of chess, where you completely forget about space and time. Focusing hard in trying to predict how the game will unfold and striving to make the best move improves your concentration, logical thinking and memory. Chess undoubtedly strengthens our thought processes regardless of our age. Two players used to be required to play a game of chess, but this is no longer true nowadays.
Computers and smartphones enable us to play chess almost anytime we want, either on our own or against another player.
- Children in Slovenia have the opportunity to learn chess in elementary school. Photo: Hans Neleman-GettyImages/GulliverFilm&Foto
- Chess undoubtedly strengthens our thought processes regardless of our age. Photo: Digital Vision-GettyImages/GulliverFilm&Foto
- Chess is a very popular game and is played all over the world. Photo: Sean De Burca-GettyImages/GulliverFilm&Foto
Slovenian children often get to know chess quite early
Slovenian children often get to know chess quite early on in their lives. Kids who are curious by nature only need someone to introduce them to the game. If not taught how to play by parents, children in Slovenia have the opportunity to learn chess in elementary school. The vast majority of Slovenian elementary schools offer learning and playing chess as an extracurricular activity. Children can thus learn perseverance, ingenuity, logical thinking and can train their memory. Those who play chess in school also participate in chess competitions where they compete against their peers. It is by all means true that we have very good chess players in Slovenia who can compete with the best in the world.
In May this year, Slovenia will host the best European chess players. The 21st European Individual Chess Championship will take place from 17 May to 30 May at Terme Olimia in Podčetrtek.
- Of all the pieces, Laura Unuk likes the queen the most because she is the strongest, the bravest and can move anywhere. Photo: UKOM archives
- In September 2014, Laura Unuk became World Junior Chess Champion for the first time and was awarded the prestigious Bloudek Plaque for a significant competitive achievement in the sport. Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA
- Some people play chess for living, but I play chess to live, is Laura's motto, and she sees the beauty of the game primarily in always creating new positions. Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA
- Laura Unuk is currently a student at the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology. Photo: Slovenian Chess Federation archives
- For a few years now, young Laura Unuk, a two-time junior chess champion and a woman grandmaster, has been attracting a lot of attention. Photo: Slovenian Chess Federation archives
- Laura Unuk won many medals in individual and team competitions at European Championships in standard, fast-paced and super-fast paced tournaments. Slovenian Chess Federation archives
- When playing with black pieces, Laura Unuk usually opens the game using the French Defence. When playing with white pieces, however, her tactic is the Queen's Gambit, i.e. opening a game by moving the pawn in front of the queen, whereby you temporarily sacrifice a pawn. Photo: Tuchkovo-GettyImages/GulliverFilm&Foto
For a few years now, young Laura Unuk, a two-time junior chess champion and a woman grandmaster, has been attracting a lot of attention. Laura started playing chess as a child. She was introduced to the world of chess by her grandfather. Her father, who is also her biggest fan, enrolled her in a chess club. She had an excellent coach there, Robert Kodrič, and later also his brother Martin Kodrič. The two chess coaches did a great job. Laura started winning at the age of nine, when she won second place among girls under 10 at the National Chess Championship.
In 2013, she won first place at the Slovenian National Championship. In September 2014, she became World Junior Chess Champion for the first time and was awarded the prestigious Bloudek Plaque for a significant competitive achievement in the sport. In 2017, she repeated her earlier success. She won many medals in individual and team competitions at European Championships in standard, fast-paced and super-fast paced tournaments.
In April 2018, Laura Unuk won the Woman Grandmaster title.
Chess will remain her companion for the rest of her life, assuming either the main or a side role in her life. However, according to Laura, chess is not just about winning but is more than that, as it has taught her how to make the right moves. These, in turn, are a part of her life now and will remain so in the future as well.