Fiona Steil-Antoni: How to unleash your potential?
Luxembourger and International Master Fiona Steil-Antoni has joined 360Crossmedia’s programme “Unleash your potential” as a content leader. This one-day or three-hour seminar helps all kinds of companies to make their employees more efficient and fulfilled, even if they don’t know how to play chess.
Can you tell us briefly about your background?
I started playing chess in 1998 at the age of nine, and two years later I joined the national team. I’ve represented Luxembourg at ten European and World championships and eight Olympiads. My best result was a gold medal on the second chessboard at the Turin Olympiad in 2006. In 2014, I put my career as a player on hold to focus on the journalistic side of chess. Since then, I’ve worked on some of the best tournaments on the circuit around the world, including the Qatar Masters and the London Chess Classic. In November 2016, I was part of the team which commentated on the match for the world title between Carlsen and Karjakin. Millions of viewers from all over the world watched us online. In terms of education, I took a literature-focused baccalaureate at the Lycée de Garçons in Esch sur Alzette before graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Events Management at London Metropolitan University.
« This programme helps companies to master risk-taking and to understand the keys to high-level performance »
What has chess taught you?
Chess has been a key part of my life since childhood. Chess has given me so much, on an educational, emotional and social level. Studies have shown the benefits of playing chess from a young age: chess improves various skills including reading, memorisation and creativity. Chess has also given me a fighting spirit, taught me concentration, patience, endurance (a game can last up to seven hours), discipline and the value of work too. Having travelled to thirty countries, chess has also helped me to grow up and to become more mature. I’ve met thousands of people from all different backgrounds, with different beliefs and different skin colours, young and old, rich and poor. Chess has helped both to broaden my horizons and to develop a desire to win.
How can companies put your services to use to optimise their performance?
There are plenty of similarities between chess and the world of business. Some are obvious and others are more subtle. In life, as in chess, it’s essential to make the right decisions and choices. Every step can prove to be decisive; any error can prove to be fatal. That’s why it’s essential to have a plan of action from the very beginning. In chess, it’s not unusual for preparations and competitor analysis to take longer than the game of chess itself.
Other valuable skills include the importance of anticipation, sacrifice, time, patience, creativity, innovation, concentration and discipline. But the skills which most interest companies are those which chess players use most often: strategy and risk management.