I started following Chess IM Sagar Shah about 2-3 years ago and since then read many things about him and listened to many of his videos on Youtube.
He is a very good coach, and has good clarity of thought and sense of humor. Though he is not a refined speaker, he manages to articulate well.
I recently came across his talk titled “What stopped me from becoming a GM”. I would recommend watching this talk for anyone who is briefly aware of Chess. I feel it’s an excellent discussion on “Pursuit of Excellence” and applies to many other walks of life. Also, I liked his candidness to accept his shortcomings and openly talk about them, It’s not easy.
Focus, and basic liking for anything are absolutely important for success. In addition one also needs a good coach, mentor, a bit of luck and lots of perseverance. He beautifully conveys these points through story-telling and anecdotes and makes the talk engaging.
Since I follow chess closely, I know many good players who struggle with the next level of achievements and slowly go downhill, because they do very little critical thinking beyond the world of Chess. Sarag, on the other hand, seems to be a thinker in broader spectrum and analyzes things very well.
Also, his thought on what it means to pursue GM title “now” (i.e. it’s already late. What great he would achieve if he gets GM title?) is excellent! It’s about personal satisfaction and setting some goals for self and enjoying the process, the journey. I exactly share that feeling and that’s what drives me for pursuing a lot of activities.