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A Family That Plays Chess Together

In Bretten, Germany, the Eggert family members are seeming to be Germany’s next top chess players. The Eggert family from Bretten has what it takes to find an entire dynasty of chess players. Visiting what is probably the only German family where three generations pay homage to organized chess at the same time.

Youngest members in club history

It’s already dark when Vadim Eggert comes home from Manchester, the UK on Friday evening. The civil engineer travels abroad a lot for his employer and only sees his family at the weekend. The two children, Arthur and Emma, ​​are already in bed. Actually, the six-year-old twins should be sitting at the table as an exception. Because a year ago they were the youngest newcomers in the history of the Bretten Chess Club. But now they have to cure a cold. In return, Grandpa Victor, who came from the house next door, tells his story.

Heroes of the City

The now 68-year-old pensioner, a civil engineer like his son Vadim, moved to his old homeland of Germany 28 years ago with his wife, who also works in the construction industry, from western Russian Siberia, where the family had once been deported. Like his son later, Victor Eggert quickly made a career as a site manager for German companies in Russia. In 2016 the family settled in Bretten. While Victor has been enjoying his retirement for two years, his son remains fully charged as a traveling technical controller. “I was looking for something to distract myself,” Vadim interjects. During a weekend stay at home, he “became aware of a report from the Brettener Woche” in which the local chess team celebrated one of their successes.

We could only move figures

He joined the chess club with his father in December 2017. Both have been practicing brainteasers since childhood. “In Siberia, we only had chess and two or three other games, so everyone played chess,” Victor recalls. “We thought we could do chess,” laughs his son. But after the first test games against club members, which they all lost with drums and trumpets, it quickly became clear to them: “We could only move pieces.” Today he is convinced: “You only learn to play chess properly in a club.” A little later they reported also the children. Since then, the four have spent almost every Friday evening in the clubrooms in the Bretten Friends of Nature House. Vadim also maintains the club website and is involved in club development. Due to the friendly atmosphere and the professional support provided by club member Helmut Niedermeier, the chess club has become “almost a second family” for them, as Vadim puts it.

Training with the online teacher

 

The time commitment of the family for their hobby is remarkable. In addition to the approximately three and a half evening hours per week at the club, they travel to association games every three weekends, where they spend another four hours on average. Vadim Eggert also takes part in three tournaments a year with his children. If he had his way, there would be more. But his wife vetoed it. In general, he invests the most. “I’m gone all week, what should I do in the evening: either run or play chess,” he says almost apologetically. He trains with an exclusive online chess lesson for one hour a week and then practices for another three hours with anonymous chess partners online. In the meantime, he has also joined an English chess club and devours chess literature after work. Grandfather Victor takes it easy: Four,

Chess keeps you mentally fit

According to Vadim, the effort is already bearing fruit. He himself finished second at a tournament in Bruchsal last year and recently placed eighth at a tournament in Untergrombach, albeit in a higher performance class. The children have already brought some certificates home with them. Since the Eggert children have been there, the club has grown significantly, especially in terms of youngsters. After all, Grandpa Victor speaks of the experience he has gained and: “The game keeps you mentally fit.”

There is no such thing as happiness

When asked why she is so attracted to chess, Vadim is the first to answer: “First and foremost, the unlimited variety of possibilities.” In his opinion, there are “as many variants as there are stars in the sky”. This results in “constantly new potential for improvement, both tactically, strategically and psychologically”. He is convinced: “There is no luck in chess, there is a skill.” In addition, the board game conveys “a certain calmness” with the help of which one can later master even very difficult decisions objectively, both in private and at work. According to Victor Eggert, in order to play chess successfully, one needs above all patience, logical thinking, and the desire to improve oneself. “But you can also promote these qualities by playing chess,” his son objects. He observed an increase in the ability to concentrate in his offspring. “I don’t know if it’s the chess, but our children have matured a lot in that one year in the chess club,” he says, adding: “By the way, you learn the most by losing.”