013 Mental Strength, Positivity, & Banning the Haters with FM James Canty III

Apr 12, 2022

There’s a small percentage of people who can inspire us to be better at chess.

One of those rare folks is FM James Canty III.

Few would bet money that a guy in his late 20s could go from National Master to Grandmaster.

It’s almost never done.


Because, like us club players, he grapples with adult responsibilities that make improvement difficult: a full-time job, limited energy, and time.

But James is a powerhouse of positivity, discipline, and tireless work ethic.

If anyone can make the leap from NM to GM as an adult, it’s James.

He’s already soared to the FM title and is now closing in on the IM title.

James will grab that coveted GM title eventually.

And, along the way, he’s out there inspiring us, teaching us how to improve our own game and stay mentally strong:

In this interview, James shares: 

  • The single biggest “non-chess” activity you should do to improve your chess.
  • His top recommendations for sustaining a positive mindset along your difficult chess journey. 
  • The demystifying truth about people who doubt your goals.
  • The surprising reason James got to be rated 2200 USCF with very little endgame study.

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