Rapid Interview - Leon Mendonca

by Arne Kaehler
2/11/2023 – Rapid interviews are fun: interviewer and guest face each other in an epic rapid chess battle. The chess guest not only has to face the interviewer's questions, but also concentrate on the chess game at the same time. This leads to surprising answers and sometimes to curious chess positions. Leon Mendonca is now playing for the Schachbundesliga team HSK in Hamburg, just like Nihal Sarin. Leon visited us a couple of times already, and was brave enough to face Arne Kaehler in the Rapid Interview, using the legendary Garde chess clock. | Photo: Twitter Leon Mendonca with Frederic Friedel

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Rapid Interview with Leon Mendonca

In our last Rapid Interview, Savitha Shri played two games against Arne Kaehler. This time, Leon Mendonca is the newest opponent. And since he played in Hamburg for the Schachbundesliga, he visited our ChessBase studio almost every day. 

All our Rapid Interviews were online so far, but this time we used our newest ChessBase studio, which is inspired by the 1972 World Chess Championship. It is still not finished yet, but it is getting there.

Leon is turning 17 in March, so one of the legit questions by Arne was:"Have you actually ever played with a non-digital chess clock before?". The host tried to deduct some minutes sneakily from the Indian Grandmaster's time, but as you might have guessed already, it didn't help.

Leon answer's questions like:

  • How come you lost a couple of rating points recently?
  • Why are you playing in Hamburg now?
  • What are your favourite openings?
  • What three chess books can you recommend to the viewers?
  • What are your hobbies besides playing chess?
  • Who are your favourite chess players?
  • And many more ...

Arne Kaehler vs. Leon Mendonca
  • Follow Leon Mendonca on Social Media - Twitter
  • Check out many more videos of Leon on YouTube

Leon visited the ChessBase Headquarter quite often. Once, he spontaneously joined the ChessBase show "Trent's Tactics", which was loads of fun.


Arne Kaehler, a creative mind who is passionate about board games in general, was born in Hamburg and learned to play chess at a young age. By teaching chess to youth teams and creating chess-related videos on YouTube, Arne was able to expand this passion and has even created an online course for anyone who wants to learn how to play chess. Arne writes for the English and German news sites, but focuses mainly on content for the ChessBase media channels.