Marcus Matthews

How has your life changed since you won one of the major prizes in the MCO?: 
I am being heralded as a hero back at my local chess club at home! Everyone has been praising my performance and success. The prize fund has been a financial blessing and has helped me to take care of some things and have a bit of fun in the process.
How do your friends and family feel about you winning?: 
My family and friends are super excited about how well I did in MC#1! They supported and encouraged me throughout the tournament from near and afar. To do as well as I did is extra gratifying knowing that the love and support of family and friends helped to push me through the extreme mental exhaustion.
Why did you decide to play in MC#1?: 
I have always been super confident in my abilities as a chess player. After doing well in the US open in Orlando a couple months prior to MC#1, I felt that the timing was right. MC#1 gave me the opportunity to compete amongst others with similar strength levels and showcase my talent at the highest level.
What did you most like about MC#1?: 
Most exciting was the opportunity to meet and interact with other talented chess players from all over the world and make new chess friends. Winning 3rd place in my section was equally gratifying knowing that I accomplished something that I knew I was capable of. Hardwork and dedication pays off...literally!
What would you like to see different next year?: 
Definitely more social activities for the attendees. I made some new chess friends and would have liked to interact with them more in a relaxed social setting.
Will you attend MC#2 again next year?: 
I would love to attend MC#2 if possible. I would be playing in the higher division in MC#2 so much more preparation will be needed!