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Coach Lars:

FIDE Master Lars A. Meyer

FM Lars Meyer

"Coach Lars"

Hi there and welcome to the Coachella Chess Club and my profile.


    I was born in Denmark (Scandinavia) in 1965 and was number 5 out of 6 siblings.
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by all kind of games, but mostly those with a reduced luck factor and Strategic games were always on top of my list!
Chess was never played in my home, and when I, at 12 years of age, saw a book about the rules I asked my father to teach me and play games with me. He refused, telling me I could learn the game from books, and when I had learned it, he would play me.

   Well, I never passed a challenge (in my early years), so I got hold of a book about the rules in chess and within a few days I played my first game against my father. It was a devastating loss!
I went back to study and within a week I challenged my father for a rematch. "Are you sure you can take another beating?" he inquired. “I don't have to; I will beat you!" was my cocky reply.  Well, I won effortlessly and that was the last chess game I ever played with my father!

    Fortunately, my big sister's boyfriend was into chess, so whenever we were together, we played a game, and when I was 15, he took me to the local Chess Club.  At the local Club we enrolled in the club tournament, an ongoing event during autumn until spring (the time to play chess in Denmark because of cold and grey weather 😉)

    In my first match I met my old School principal from elementary, an elderly man in his late 70’s.  I attacked like crazy, and he refuted my play pretty easy and won the game. When I resigned, offering my hand over the table, he told me “You can’t play like that young hot-headed fool”.  My pride was badly hurt but luckily there wasn’t any preschedule for how to play the games in the tourney, just two games against all opponents - one game with black and one with white.

    So, I played all the other games and won more and more.  At the end, I could secure the Club Championship by beating my old Principal. Since I had advanced quite quickly, I was probably already somewhat stronger than him, and I won the game and the Club Championship! I was, however, still hurting from his comments in the first game so when he resigned with the words “I don’t understand what happened?” I replied lacking any class:  “Keine hexerei nur behandigkeit.”

    Later in life I must admit it has come back to haunt me several times!  Always treat your opponents, and the game, with the utmost Respect.  Chess is for Ladies and Gentlemen!

    The following year I started as a freshman in Highschool, and my primary teacher was a very strong local player at Elite level.  He managed to challenge me in a way that my continued interest was kept primarily on those adorable 64 squares.

    I was 16 years old when I played my first rated tournaments, and simultaneously I was appointed to my High Schools Chess Team.  I got a lot stronger in those years and reached the Master level +1900 ELO at the end of my last year in High School.

    By the end of my teenage years, I managed to be appointed top board for my district of youth players.  After High School, I wasn’t really improving until I got a job working nightshift in a care facility. My Sister’s boyfriend gifted me a chess book for my 19th birthday about The Queen’s Gambit, and since there wasn’t much practical work to do during the nights at work, I studied Chess for the first time.

   My sister’s boyfriend was the single most important person for me living a life very much centered around the 64 squares of the Chessboard.   This improved my understanding of chess greatly and when I played my next 3 tournaments over a period of 3 months, I won them all and achieved an Elo of 2100+.

    In 1988, at 23 years of age, I qualified to play in the Candidates section of the Danish Championship - the group just below the Championship.  The winner of which would qualify to play in the top group the following year.  I was very excited and managed to end in a tie for second place.  Unfortunately, that has to date been my best performance in this group.

    While I was in the process of starting a family and had my mind everywhere else but on Chess, I got my first Job offer as a Chess Coach. A little Club in the suburbs had big ambitions, even though they played in only the local series, so they offered me a job to coach the team. I found it both flattering and interesting and accepted the challenge gladly.

    Due to my status as one of the strongest local players, I managed to attract more strong players, and the Team Gistrup Skakforening began its journey to the top of Danish Chess Teams Competition.

    This furthermore opened the door for me to compete internationally which has brought me some great experiences over the years. It’s always interesting to play abroad and meet new Chess friends all over the world. I have played in Denmark, Romania, Scotland, Poland, Germany, Holland, Greece, Spain and the USA.

    But, back to Gistrup and my new career as a team coach!  We almost won our section in the team competition every year ascending in a never-before-seen pace to the top of Danish Chess.  For the first 3-4 years I was securely playing on board 1, but as we ascended, we attracted more and more strong players, and when we won the Danish Championship in 1998, I was placed at the very bottom of the team which for many years was spearheaded by the Danish GM Peter Heine Nielsen. Peter is probably best known for his role as Coach for Anand when he was World Champion, and the last many years he has been the Coach of Magnus Carlsen.

    A funny story in that regard was when PHN came to play for Gistrup.   A little event was created called “Transparent Brains” where Peter played against me in one room without spectators and in another room, there was a Demo Board. When we had made our move in the playing room, we would immediately go to the other room with the demo board. That room was filled with spectators! There we would make our move on the Demo board and explain the reasons and the plans behind our choices. Even though Peter already at that time was considerably stronger than me I managed to play a nice game and even win!   At his peak, PHN had an ELO of 2701, so besides being a great Coach, he was also a very formidable player!

    Another funny story was when I played a little Open in Scotland, I did good and with a bit of luck I was actually playing the very strong Grandmaster Mihail Suba in the last round with the black pieces. I didn’t study much but knew I was a heavy underdog, so I went for the Modern Benoni Defense. He tore me to pieces and secured first place and I ended up with empty hands. After the game he was very impressed that I played the Modern Benoni against him, since he was considered the world's leading expert on that opening!  I couldn’t bring myself to tell him that I had no idea of this!   A few months later I met future World Champion Veselin Topalov in an Open, and I had a pretty good position until I fell to pieces and lost. Topalov didn’t even want to look at the game with me, I guess it was beneath him to do so.  However, Suba who also participated in the tournament, was astounded, “you were very lucky, Veselin, to win that game!”, he said.  Well, I guess analyzing with Suba and Meyer are two different things, because the two of them spent a whole hour analyzing my game together while I stood back and enjoyed the show! 😊 

    I was very active for a few years but with family, kids and a lot of work I started to devote more time to coaching youngsters and playing in team competitions than playing individual tournaments.

    I have not had many fantastic results but have managed to win several tournaments including the Aalborg Championship (the biggest local tournament) 5 times, plus a lot of victories in local tournaments.

    I won the Horsens Lang weekend in 2009, ahead of a few Danish International Masters, but since I was only seeded 10th, it was a great achievement.    I have also participated in several closed GM Tournaments and some closed IM Tournaments in my career.

    Just some of the top players I have met across the board include Peter Heine Nielsen, Mihail Suba and Veselin Topalov. But I have lost to many strong players over the years 😉

     If you want to improve YOUR game, you can contact me at 442-236-8128 OR






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