EMILYS DARYELIS GONZALEZ MARTINEZ by Juan Perez, translated by Hermann Rösch

Emilys Gonzalez

I was born on February 10, 1994 in Penonome, Cocle province.

I am currently in college studying Biology. I’m not one that has a hobby routine, but when I can, I like to paint, to visit places with lots of vegetation, learn about animals, go to beaches and rivers, play with my cats, play chess, watch series on Netflix and enter the internet.

When did you learn to play chess and who taught you? Your first competitions. Best OTB results.

When I was little, maybe eight years old, my older brother taught me about the pieces and some chess, but apparently I didn’t care because I don’t remember anything about knowing something about chess. Maybe things like the “Queen moves anywhere” and the “Knight in L” taking in account that I did not know how that movement was in L. hahaha

Then I grew up and never connected at some point in my life with chess until the age of 21, that it shows up again in my life. Let’s say that the beginning of chess in my life was because of uncomfortable situations, since at that time I was starting to date my boyfriend, Nataniel Pinzon, I saw that he spent a lot of time on his cell phone playing, I do not deny that it seemed uncomfortable because sometimes during a date, he was on his cell phone playing and I felt uncomfortable.

Until the time came when I decided to ask about certain moves he was playing, since I didn’t understand anything and well, in my curiosity I decided to know what this famous game was about. I remember that he answered my doubts, but I kept on with more doubts until he told me: “Download Chess.com and play so you can see what the game is like” … Then I downloaded the application and started testing.

I remember perfectly that I told him that they had made a “strange” move and that maybe they were cheating on me. I told him that the king and the rook were at different positions and how come did they move both pieces at the same time? and more when “you could not jump over a piece with another since that was not a knight” … it really bothered me that they did that because I did not understand, until he got me out of doubt and in the middle of laughter he tells me: “That is called castling ”… and well, with situations like that, was that everything started for me with this great sport.

My first official competition was in a 2015 Amateur Tournament. Those they organize every year. I had about three months since I started playing, I played without knowing how to make a checkmate and with the basic movement of the pieces. Nataniel signed me up to start learning about the tournament environment. I remember feeling very impressed because I never thought they would play chess tournaments in my country. I played and had no victories for obvious reasons. I remember that, in a game, my opponent had Queen and Knight (maybe other pieces like pawns) and I had a Rook, Bishop or even an extra Knight, and with all this advantage my opponent checkmates me. In my mind that could not happen, it is assumed that I was winning, many people came to ask why I had not made such move or that other one, but I just wanted to go out and cry.

Now it seems funny to me, but it was my first cry, I even thought that I didn’t want to play anymore because I was useless for this.

I have not had good results over the board, I have managed to win national tournament games, but not whole tournaments as such. I was able to participate with the Panamanian Selection in the 2017 Central American Games, but I found out that I still needed to learn a lot more.

How and at what time did you relate to distance chess?

I got accuainted with ICCF at the beginning of March 2016, since Nataniel was invited, he told me about the opportunity and once again I gave myself the chance to understand chess from another point. I do not deny that it went through my mind that it could be a bit boring since I imagined there were not be the same emotions as in OTB games or so, but I was wrong, there is always something, either because you are also running out of time, or because the opponent played something that you did not consider; emotion because I have some advantage or concern because of the advantage I have lost or I am about to lose. Feelings very similar to OTB chess.

How did you feel about qualifying for the World Championships and how will you prepare to face it?

I was very happy to know that I managed to qualify. And even more, considering that it is my first representation at a world championship related to correspondence chess. Another situation that caused me a lot of joy, was to qualify at first place and above other favorite players with much higher ranking, even with ICCF Titles https://www.iccf.com/event?id=70716.

My preparation for the world championship will be the same as I did for qualifying in the finals. Analyzing game patterns from my opponents and playing in the most awkward way for them according to their individual styles.

Highlight performances at other events.

I have had little participation in ICCF, some matches that I have been able to win, but I was in the Panama National Correspondence Final https://www.iccf.com/event?id=63953, finishing fifth. It was also very exciting, because it was the first time that I played this Final.

What was (or is) your method of study? Books that guided you. Chess players I admire the most and why?

My method of study is to analyze model games of strong players above 2500 Elo who play the openings or defenses in which I have an interest. I only use chess games databases and the general concepts of chess that I learn in YouTube channels.

I admire Nataniel Pinzón who taught me. Especially for his dedication and patience. He won’t be the Grand Master that we all want to know, but just because being there, from the moment everything began and continues to cheer me up despite the results I get.

I have learned that chess affects or intervenes a lot with our psychology, and having someone to help you, to question you, to guide you and to always encourage you, because that person understands how each feeling is, it is the best thing that can be in this great sport.

Define your style of play and at what stage do you feel most confident? Favorite openings and defenses.

My style of play is conservative. I don’t risk unless I consider it is a must. I feel more comfortable after leaving the opening, right in the middle game, where my creativity helps me develop the plan I have in mind. I admit there’s still a lot that I have to learn, but it’s the part I like the most.

I haven’t focused on openings and defenses yet, because I wanted to expand my middlegame. I have played Queen’s Pawn and King’s Pawn openings, in both I have had good and not so good results, but I am not yet inclined to either preference, the same for defenses. The ones that used most is 1.e4 e5 and the King’s Indian Defense.

Opinion about the use of computers. Do you consider them beneficial to the game? Recommended programs.

I consider the use of computers highly recommended, not only for correspondence chess but also for over the board (OTB) chess. In my opinion it should be used with responsibility. It is a tool that gives you great advantages because of the databases, better yet if you have internet access. YouTube provides a great opportunity for channels where you can find what identifies you the most, if using books, by this way it is easier to acquire them, and translating a few is no longer a problem with the different applications available to translate them, and above all, the online connection to play on different platforms, I recommend Chasebase as it is the one I use for my games.

Why are there so few women chess players? What incentives would help increase their number?

I admit that there are few women in chess because many do not give themselves the opportunity to get to know it as it was my case, they decide to close doors, but I think it would be avoided if they see that there are opportunities for them, I mean that there are few tournaments where they can participate. They organize tournaments, but when they see that attendance is low, they decide to discontinue these events, but it is a mistake, the opportunity should always remain, gradually they will fill up, keep in mind that compared to men in chess we are a minority, and that everything will take time. Another important point is that we don’t get the respect we deserve. We get a lot of criticism. Some men, they want us to be at their level and they start questioning. Men are more competitive than women in many aspects, but this is about respect. It’s like I start questioning a group of men who don’t know how to do makeup . They don’t do it because they lack practice, guidance, tolerance and because society imposes absurd roles on men and women. Most people believe that makeup is only for women and homosexuals with female tendencies, but they are wrong, a man can do just as well. It is the same thing that happens in chess, they act upon ideas that have been implanted in their subconscious.

That is, more tournaments from very early ages to know about chess, so girls don’t close themselves up to the opportunity at later ages, and above all much more respect. Men and women cannot be equal, but we all deserve the same values.

What are your next goals and long-term goals later?

Apart from graduating, starting a business and strengthening a YouTube channel that I started http://bit.ly/2lZNKo4, my goal in OTB chess is to improve and ICCF is a great tool that helps me, especially when I don’t have the opportunity to attend OTB tournaments.


  1. nataniel.pinzon left a comment on November 11, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Congratulations Emily and much success in the next world championship !!

  2. marcos2970 left a comment on December 26, 2019 at 9:34 am

    Felicitaciones Emily por la excelente entrevista. Espero sigas cosechando triunfos tanto en ICCF como en OTB
    Saludos cordiales…
    Marcos Piña.

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