By Matthew Smith | 02 August 2018 00:00:00As a child, Daniel Dziabrook grew up dreaming of playing chess.
Now a chess prodigy and retired chess grandmaster, the 39-year-old from Perth, is a global icon, a figure who is as influential as a tennis player.
But Daniel Dzibrook’s path to becoming a world champion has been a long one.
As a kid, Daniel dreamed of playing this game.
Now a chess professional, he is one of the world’s most influential chess playersThe former tennis player has been in the chess game since he was just 11 years old.
In 2010, Dzibi was the youngest grandmaster to win a major title and the first Australian to win the Asian title, at the age of 16.
But he is no stranger to the game.
His father, Ian, was a successful businessman who sold his businesses to start the Dziobrooks’ business.
His grandfather, Ian Dziabykski, was the country’s longest serving chief executive of the World Chess Federation.
The family moved to Australia from Ireland in 1972 and became the first generation to be born in Australia.
In the 1980s, Daniel and his siblings grew up on the west coast of Western Australia.
As an adult, he played a significant part in the development of the Perth Chess Club.
His dad was a former chief executive at the WCF and his brother, Daniel, became a WCF board member.
The Dziibrooks moved to Perth when Daniel was in high school.
At a young age, Daniel was drawn into the world of chess.
“When I was a little kid, my father would give me a chess board and say, ‘you should try this one’,” Daniel told ABC Radio Perth.
“I thought that was great, and that was the first thing I got.”
A chess master with a passionFor a long time, chess was a game for adults.
But when Daniel’s father died in 2000, his parents decided that the only way for him to continue being involved in the game was to play it himself.
“My dad didn’t think it was a great thing to let a grown man have it,” Daniel said.
“So we decided to put a chess program together.”
Daniel Dziabikski is now the CEO of the Australian Chess Federation and has been involved in running the Chess Club since 2005.
“It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made,” he said.
Dziabos’ passion for the game has been evident since he first started playing it in the early 2000s.
“The more I played, the more I enjoyed the game,” he told ABC radio Perth.
But there was a time when his passion for chess didn’t seem to carry over to the other aspects of his life.
“In terms of my personal life, I didn’t like playing chess,” he admitted.
“For a while, I played it a lot, but then I went and did some self-employment.”
And then I’ve been in chess for 40 years.
“His passion for playing the game is what attracted him to the world class world championships held in the 1980’s.”
If I can have a chance at winning, I’d like to play at the world championships,” he says.”
There are a lot of young players who want to be world champions, but it’s a tough sport.
“The Dziblos were one of just three Australians to win their respective championships, as well as winning the Asian championship in 1996.
A lifetime passionThe Dzeris’ passion has continued even after the retirement of Ian Dzabyksi.
In 2004, Daniel took on the role of honorary president of the WA Chess Federation for a two-year term, which he was to continue for another two years.”
He’s a really good friend of mine, so it was great to get the opportunity to serve,” said Daniel.”
After that, he was the honorary president, and it’s been really good.
“Despite being the honorary executive, Daniel remains committed to the sport of chess and hopes that his involvement in the sport will be remembered long after he is gone.”
Chess has been around for hundreds of years and it has never been in decline, so I’m very excited to see the sport get back on track,” he explained.”
Hopefully we can bring back the championship, but I don’t know that we’ll be able to get there.
“He is looking forward to playing for the next 20 years.
Topics:chess,world-politics,australia,perth-6000,west-perth,canberra-2600Contact Simon O’BrienMore stories from Australia