Chess Hero Lukasz Nowak

by Sagar Shah
2/5/2021 – We guarantee you have never seen anything like this in you life! Or even thought it possible. This young lad, who is struck with spinal muscular atrophy in its severest form, has found his talent in chess, where he shows Tal-like brilliance. Sagar Shah interviewed him live, and discussed his games with this incredibly brave person. Be prepared to be deeply inspired – like the viewers who watched the interview live.

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24-year-old Lukasz Nowak from Poland was just a few months old when he was diagnosed with a spinal muscular atrophy in its severest form. When he was seven, his grandfather taught him to play chess. Lukasz really liked the game, and after five years he decided to play his first tournament – the Najdorf Chess Festival in Warsaw. The boy kept working on the game and his level improved. In 2011 he won a bronze medal in the Warsaw Youth Olympiad and a few months later he became the IPCA World Youth Champion. He has a current FIDE rating of 2265 and is a complete inspiration. 

You can find lots of Lukasz' games, and his rating development here.

You can wish Lukasz well and tell him what you think, in the feedback section below.


Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India website, the biggest chess news outlet in the country.
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Green22 Green22 2/6/2021 05:46
Awesome! love the story.
max deghose max deghose 2/5/2021 09:27
Way to go dear friend !
belmad belmad 2/5/2021 05:03
Lukasz, you are a hero and a great champion. Your strength is an example for everyone
fgkdjlkag fgkdjlkag 2/5/2021 04:43
Remarkable. His English is excellent too. I have no doubt he would be a GM if not for SMA. Just like someone who learns chess at age 10 has an advantage over someone who learns at age 20, his SMA makes it much more difficult, making his rating extraordinary.
sokaspkarpov sokaspkarpov 2/5/2021 04:07
Hoo, seen more then once. Same type sickness. His mother made the moves and notated. Another one has an friend also with a handicap but less and never leaves him alone. Notation, moves, toilet! meals, drink...
Fantastic people!
Keshava Keshava 2/5/2021 01:32
I always thought that there was a very important brain-body connection in that vigorous physical exercise aids in cognitive performance. The genius physics professor Stephen Hawking made me wonder how crucial great physical fitness is to cognitive performance. Now this makes me wonder even more about this.
Angel Oviedo Angel Oviedo 2/5/2021 01:25
Lukasz Nowak: From the bottom of my heart.
You are an inspiration for all people around the world. The human race need true heroes. They show us what can we do with effort and hard work. I am really impressed and all my best wishes for you. Go ahead.
Kind regards,
Angel Oviedo
hell boy hell boy 2/5/2021 01:13
A true champion
Frederic Frederic 2/5/2021 09:58
Lukasz, you are really a great hero! The way you are playing tournament chess in spite of severe SMA teaches us how one can handle adversity – with sheer bravery. Greeting from an admirer.
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