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Archive for the ‘Chess’ Category

All India Chess Federation calls for meeting on February 9 to elect new office bearers – Scroll.in

Posted: January 3, 2020 at 10:47 am


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The conflict-ridden All India Chess Federation has called for a special general body meeting on February 9 in Ahmedabad to elect new office bearers. AICF Secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan has called for the meeting.

According to the notice, retired Supreme Court judge Justice Arijit Pasayat will be the Returning Officer for the elections. The polls will be held to elect the president, six vice presidents, one honorary secretary, six joint secretaries and one treasurer.

1. Elections to the office-bearers for the term 2020-2023 for the following posts. One President, Six Vice-Presidents, One Hon Secretary, Six Joint Secretaries and One Treasurer, 2. To pass appropriate resolutions after the new office bearers are elected, 3. Any other matter with the permission of the Chair, the notice read.

The notice said 13 state associations Bihar, Meghalaya, Gujarat, Delhi, Chandigarh, Uttaranchal, Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka, Nagaland, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Assam had called for the meeting with an agenda to hold the elections. The February 9 general body meeting comes after the three meetings held in December (on 14, 22 and 28) last year.

At the meeting on December 28 in Bhopal, the AICF decided to conduct the special general body meeting on February 9 during which the elections would be held. The faction led by the AICF President PR Venketrama Raja had met in Chennai last month, where it was decided to hold the elections on February 10 in the city.

Chauhan said that the notice was given as per the decision taken at the December 28 general body meeting. Chauhan and the Federation President Venketrama Raja have been at loggerheads over various issues. Chauhan said there was no hurdle in holding the general body meet in Ahmedabad even though the AICF is headquartered in Chennai.

Meanwhile, AICF Treasurer Kishore M Bandekar, who belongs to the Venketrama Raja faction, said general body meets of the federation are held in the city where it is headquartered. He also accused Chauhan of calling for meeting as and when he wanted and said the February 9 meeting called by him was not valid.

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All India Chess Federation calls for meeting on February 9 to elect new office bearers - Scroll.in

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January 3rd, 2020 at 10:47 am

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The sisters of Enrique Iglesias play chess in a bikini and show their perfect figure – themediatimes

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Cristina and Victoria Iglesias already have many fans on social networks

The twins Cristina and Victoria Iglesias, Daughters of the singer Julio Iglesias and Miranda Rijnsburger, made headlines last year when they reached the age of majority and attended the Dance of Debutants, the event attended by members of the high society.

But in their daily life, Enrique Iglesias Half-sisters like to share moments Instagram; Her publications show her great beauty, like the youngest, in which one plays chess by the sea in a bikini and the other in a white swimsuit.

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According to the message Cristina wrote next to the picture, she won the game. The girls have gradually become followers of this social network, showing their love of riding, fashion and wearing their bodies in bikinis, which reflects that beauty comes from the family.

Previous articleKarina Banda threw herself into the pool and exposed her best curves with a black bikini

The variety of video games always amazes him. He loves the hustle and bustle of OutRun as well as the tranquil walks of Dear Esther. Diving into other worlds is an incomparable feeling for him: he understood it when he first played in Shenmue.

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The sisters of Enrique Iglesias play chess in a bikini and show their perfect figure - themediatimes

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January 3rd, 2020 at 10:47 am

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When at the mall, check the Internet – Warwick Beacon

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By JOHN HOWELL

I had a mission and less than six hours to accomplish it.

Obviously, I shouldnt have waited until Christmas Eve to conduct my search for a chess set for my granddaughter Sydney. Chess sets are not exactly rare, and I figured I would find what I was looking for at Barrington Books in Garden City.

Indeed, they had a set, but I wanted something substantial that would endure with time and years from now she might use to play with her grandchildren.

Thus, what I thought would be a simple task transformed into an adventure and an education in shopping.

My initial tactic was to ask others who were likewise engaged in a last-minute escapade to find Christmas gifts. There was no shortage of suggestions, starting with FYE (For Your Entrainment) at Warwick Mall and Target.

The next stop was the mall. The lot was jammed, and after finding a spot in the hinterlands and grabbing a bottle of water for the hike, I arrived at Macys.

Might they have chess sets?

I looked around for an associate but only saw shoppers. I would have tried a checkout counter; however, there was a line there. So, I made FYE my destination.

Shoppers were intently looking over CDs, and there was nothing that remotely looked like a chess set.

With a feeling of defeat settling in, I decided to head for Target. I hadnt taken 10 steps before hearing my name called. There was no mistaking the voice of Debbie Rich, who worked as press secretary for Lincoln Chafee when he was mayor and went on to the Division of Motor Vehicles after he became governor.

Debbie regularly walks the mall with friends before roosting in the food court for coffee and catching up on the latest scuttlebutt. Shes a news junkie and follows Rhode Island doings with zest.

Where are all the people? she said, looking down the expanse of the mall. I hadnt noticed it, but she was right. Surely people were walking from shop to shop, yet it wasnt packed, especially considering these were the final hours before Christmas. With all those cars, people had to be somewhere.

I told Debbie of my quest and suddenly it became her cause and that of her companion, her cousin Betty Ann Berk. They both took out their cell phones and started tapping furiously. They took turns showing me photos of chess sets ranging from less than $15 to more than $280. I found a classic set with a wood board that had a built-in drawer for the pieces.

Debbie and Betty Ann went to work.

I found it, Betty Ann announced excitedly as if shed discovered the Holy Grail. Its at Home Depot.

Home Depot? I never would have thought there.

As Betty Ann searched nearby Home Depots to see if they had one on the shelf, Debbie surfed the Internet for other possible outlets. She scored hits at Bed Bath & Beyond, Kohls and Target. Then Debbie dug into the nitty gritty. Were they similar sets, as the prices were all over the board? Most importantly, did anyone have a set in stock or would there be a wait?

Debbie and Betty Ann teamed up. Debbie made a call to Kohls as she wanted to verify the information she was getting before sending me there. Bed Bath & Beyond was out of the running and, according to their collective research, Target had a set just one although it wasnt exactly the one I had wanted.

When Kohls came up empty handed, Debbie went on the Target site and clicked on the single set they had found within a couple of miles radius of the mall. She wasnt going to let this slip away before I had the chance to walk to Target.

Then the thought occurred to her if she had reserved the set, would I be able to pick it up?

I told her I doubted chess sets are in such demand that someone would scoop it up before I had the chance to walk the length of the mall. She canceled her order and I hightailed it for Target, but not before agreeing with Debbie and Betty Ann that they should form the They Can Find It shopping company.

Yes, I secured the only set available at Target.

On Christmas Day, Sydney was intrigued by my story. She opened the gift and smiled. Then she warned me she would be honing her chess game, so I better watch out.

I couldnt have asked for more.

Thanks, Debbie and Betty Ann, for making my Christmas.

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When at the mall, check the Internet - Warwick Beacon

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January 3rd, 2020 at 10:47 am

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Big names off the board as 2020 chess title cycle takes shape – Washington Times

Posted: December 24, 2019 at 2:45 pm


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It was an early Christmas present for the plummily-named Russian GM Ian Nepomniachtchi (henceforth Nepo) and a lump of coal for some of the biggest names in the game.

Defeating Chinese GM Wei Yi in the finals of the just-concluded Jerusalem FIDE Grand Prix knockout event Sunday, the 29-year-old Nepo secured one of the last two slots in the eight-player 2020 candidates tournament in March for the right to challenge world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway

The tournaments host country, Russia, gets to fill the final slot and all indications are that Russian GM Kirill Alekseenko, rated 37th in the world, will get the coveted final golden ticket.

Carlsens 2018 challenger, GM Fabiano Caruana, gets an automatic bid, but two other American stars GMs Wesley So and Hikaru Nakamura are on the outside looking in, as are such stalwarts as former world champ Vishy Anand of India, Armenian star Levon Aronian and Russias own longtime champion Peter Svidler.

Perhaps the most painful omission for chess fans will be the absence of French super-GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, the worlds No. 4 player by rating, who also missed out on the last candidates cycle. MVL has some sterling results this year, but just missed out in the qualifying events and fell short on FIDEs complex point system.

With Nepo and fellow Russian Alexander Grischuk already in the field, theres a movement afoot to lobby the Russian Chess Federation to reconsider Alekseenkos automatic entry and give the Frenchman the slot. We shall see.

Nepomniachtchis worthiness as a candidate isnt in question. A former Russian and European individual champion, hes ranked ninth in the world and eliminated both Vachier-Lagrave and So in Jerusalem before defeating Wei.

Nepo all but punched his ticket to Yekaterinburg with a grueling, 96-move win over Wei in the first game of the finals. It was a devastating result for the Chinese player, who simply handed the initiative to Black by declining a queen trade on Move 12, and then, in deep time trouble, inexplicably rejected a dead-certain threefold repetition with 29. Qg4+ Kh8 30. Qh5 Kg8 31. Nb5??! (see diagram).

Black doesnt hesitate, sacrificing the exchange to reach an ending only he can realistically win: 31Rxb5! 32. Qxb5 Qxb2 33. Rb1 (and not 33. Qxd7?? Ra2! with unstoppable mate) Qc2 34. Rfc1 Qd2 35. Qxb4 Qxe3+ 36. Kh1 Ra2 the Black knight shuts down all Whites threats, while Weis king is in constant danger and the Black d-pawn is ready to roll.

A lengthy bit of shadow-boxing ends when the black pawn finally advances: 84. Qb2 d4 85. Rd2 Qd5+ 86. Kg1 d3 87. Qe5? (Qa3!?, angling for a queen-and pawn ending, appears to be Whites last best hope) Qe4! 88. Qxe4 fxe4, and the White rook is no match for the Black knight and connected passed pawns. In the final position, Black now has three connected passers and cant be held back much longer; Wei resigned.

Heres a warm holiday greeting to chess lovers everywhere and to all this columns faithful readers. Hope to see many of you at the 46th annual Eastern Open Chess Congress, the regions traditional four-day, year-end blowout, being held this year at the Westin Hotel in Tysons Corner starting Dec. 27.

Spectating is free and there will be chess books, equipment and other swag for sale. Check out the schedule at EasternOpenChess.com.

May you have victories aplenty in 2020!

Wei-Nepomniachtchi, FIDE Grand Prix, Jerusalem, December 2019

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 e6 6. g3 Qb6 7. Ndb5 Ne5 8. Bg2 a6 9. Qa4 Rb8 10. Na3 Bc5 11. O-O O-O 12. Rb1 Qb4 13. Qd1 d6 14. Na4 b5 15. Nxc5 Qxc5 16. cxb5 axb5 17. Bg5 Ba6 18. Nc2 b4 19. Nd4 Bb7 20. Rc1 Qa5 21. Bxb7 Rxb7 22. Bxf6 gxf6 23. Qb3 Ra8 24. f4 Qa7 25. e3 Nd7 26. Qd1 Qxa2 27. Qg4+ Kh8 28. Qh5 Kg8 29. Qg4+ Kh8 30. Qh5 Kg8 31. Nb5 Rxb5 32. Qxb5 Qxb2 33. Rb1 Qc2 34. Rfc1 Qd2 35. Qxb4 Qxe3+ 36. Kh1 Ra2 37. Rc8+ Kg7 38. Rb2 Qf3+ 39. Kg1 Qd1+ 40. Kg2 Ra1 41. Qb5 f5 42. Qe2 Qd5+ 43. Kh3 Nf6 44. Rbb8 Ra2 45. Rc2 Rxc2 46. Qxc2 f3 47. Rb3 Qf1+ 48. Qg2 Qe1 49. Qb2 Kg6 50. Kg2 d5 51. Rb8 Qe4+ 52. Kh3 Qf3 53. Rb3 Qf1+ 54. Qg2 Qe1 55. Qc2 Qf1+ 56. Qg2 Qc4 57. Rb8 h6 58. Kh4 Qd3 59. Rb2 Ng4 60. Qe2 Qd4 61. Kh3 Qg1 62. Qg2 Qd4 63. Qe2 Qc5 64. Qc2 Qg1 65. Qg2 Qe3 66. Qe2 Qd4 67. Qc2 Ne3 68. Qb3 Nd1 69. Re2 Nf2+ 70. Kg2 Ng4 71. Qb8 Nf6 72. Qb2 Qc5 73. Rc2 Qe3 74. Re2 Qa7 75. Qa2 Qc5 76. Qc2 Qd6 77. Qb2 Ne4 78. Qd4 Qa6 79. Rc2 Nf6 80. Rd2 Qa5 81. Re2 Qa3 82. Qb2 Qa7 83. Qa2 Qd7 84. Qb2 d4 85. Rd2 Qd5+ 86. Kg1 d3 87. Qe5 Qe4 88. Qxe4 fxe4 89. Kf2 Nd5 90. Ke1 Kf5 91. Rd1 e5 92. Kd2 exf4 93. gxf4 Nxf4 94. Ra1 Ke5 95. Ra6 h5 96. Ra8 f5 White resigns.

David R. Sands can be reached at 202/636-3178 or by email [emailprotected].

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Big names off the board as 2020 chess title cycle takes shape - Washington Times

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December 24th, 2019 at 2:45 pm

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Chess Can Turn You Into a Better Law Student and Lawyer – The National Interest Online

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Legal battles require the same skills seen at the highest levels of chess.

Paul Morphy was a 19th-century New Orleans chess prodigy who was the de facto world chess champion during much of his short life. He rarely lost when he played throughout Europe and the United States. He was also a lawyer who graduated from what is now Tulane Law School. As a student, he was said to have memorized the Louisiana Civil Code in English and French.

His father was a prominent Louisiana judge.

There are other talented chess-playing lawyers, though none, in my view, as brilliant at chess as Morphy. Three 20th century champions all agree that Morphy was among the greatest chess players of any era.

The general view is that he would have the chess grandmaster title, the highest title in the world of chess, if he were alive today.

As a law professor and high-level amateur player, I believe that playing chess is great training to be a successful law student and lawyer. Here are five reasons why.

1. Intellectually rigorous

Much like law school, chess is intellectually rigorous. Playing chess at the highest level is so hard that Microsoft founder Bill Gates lost after only nine moves in an exhibition blitz game with the current world champion, Norwegian Grandmaster Magnus Carlsen. One might have expected Gates to last longer given his genius.

A chess player must concentrate for as many as five or six hours in serious tournaments, and a single lapse can cause a loss. Learning to concentrate is also invaluable for law school.

Aspiring law students often take undergraduate classes that are part of a pre-law program. Government or criminal justice majors are typical since they involve some focus on the legal system. These are important intellectual fields.

Yet, informal studies suggest that students who major in especially difficult areas, such as philosophy or mathematics, perform better on the LSAT the exam required for entrance into law school. Just as math and logic serve lawyers well in the courtroom as they fashion their arguments, so, too, is it with chess players on the chessboard as they make their moves.

2. Requires identifying issues

Students who perform well on law school exams and the bar exam must succeed at issue spotting. That is to say, unlike undergraduate exams, which may require the student to summarize what they have learned, law school exams require students to figure out what legal issues are buried within the facts of a given case. Then the student should apply the right legal principles to the facts. The student often must draw analogies and see patterns. Lawyers must also spot issues and draw analogies when their clients present problems.

Similarly, good chess players survey the chess board, with a clock ticking, and must find a strong move among many possible candidate moves. They will look for patterns, such as typical methods of attacking a king. Sometimes, the move will be a tactical strike, such as the bold sacrifice of a queen leading to checkmate. Those players who cannot see many possibilities will not win many games. Both the chess player and lawyer must discover the key aspects of a situation.

3. Strategies essential

Strong performance in law and chess involves strategizing effectively. Chess may therefore be laws most common metaphor.

Success requires the ability to plan, envision how ones opponent will respond, and then figure out how to reply. As a former litigator, I not only had to think about what to do, but I also had to assess whether my adversary would have an effective contrary plan. I also had to know the weaknesses in my case. Similarly, a strong chess player will know the problems in their position.

4. Principles and rules apply

Both law and chess have rules, general principles, and exceptions or loopholes. The law is often codified as a statute. Likewise, chess has rules, though they often lack the ambiguity of statutes. Beginning chess players then learn accepted principles. For instance, they are taught that during the opening part of the game, they should get certain pieces into play, use those pieces and pawns to control the center of the board, place their prized king in a safe position by making a special move known as castling, and keep moves by their valuable queen in reserve. Yet strong chess players may violate these principles, for surprise or other purposes.

Prosecutors also have common approaches. In criminal cases with multiple defendants, prosecutors are trained to go after the small fish first, and then use those successes to land the big fish. This is like capturing the pawns before checkmating the king in chess. The press even uses these chess terms in describing criminal cases.

5. Takes competitive zeal

Success in both law and chess requires competitive instincts. Indeed, chess has a rating system for players and law school has class rank for students. Chess requires a will to win strong enough to maintain concentration.

Chess players often experience ups and downs during single games, as well as tournaments. They must cope with adversity, including losing. Similarly, a single law school exam can be the only basis for the students class grade, so everything is at stake at once, though the student has likely worked all semester. Lawsuits can also take years and require persistence. My cases and trials were always roller coasters with good and bad days.

Another similarity is that the chess player and lawyer must be well prepared. In chess, one can often find an opponents games online and see their playing style. In law, one can learn about the judge who will be hearing a case and alter ones approach accordingly.

Admittedly chess is just a game so most people play it for fun, whereas practicing law is a profession. Few chess players will reach the heights of Paul Morphy. Nevertheless, as one who has played chess at high levels and litigated federal and state court cases, I believe that chess develops important intellectual, emotional and competitive skills that are very useful in the legal field.

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Mark Kende, Professor of Law, Drake University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Image: Reuters

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Chess Can Turn You Into a Better Law Student and Lawyer - The National Interest Online

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December 24th, 2019 at 2:45 pm

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Chess on an Indian house boat – Chessbase News

Posted: December 23, 2019 at 10:43 am


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A unique event has been planned in South India fromJanuary26thtoFebruary2nd, 2020:Achess tournament on a floating house boat in the famous Vembanad Lake of Kerala! Dubbed as 'Gods own country', the state of Kerala in south India is a beautiful stretch of land in the southwestern tip of the peninsula. With long stretches of beaches, lush green coconut groves and paddy fields, hills, valleys and enchanting backwaters, easily the most sought after tourist destination in India. As they say in India, it is the only state in the country with all the types of tourists destinations that one can think up beaches, rivers, waterfalls, lakes, hill stations, palaces, historic monuments, architectural marvels, art collections, famous temples, adventure sports, music and dance festivals and medical tourism.

For the first time ever, an international chess tournament that blends chess and tourism has been planned in this traveller's paradise, to be held at four different venues: two days in a floating houseboat in the Vembanad, the longest lake of the country, and a day each by the Marari Beach, a 5-Star hotel and a riverside resort.

It is a unique experience to live in the 'Houseboats' of Kerala you have a huge boat for yourselves, with all the amenities of a home floating in the Vembanad lake with bedrooms, dining space, kitchen and restrooms. The boat is managed by a crew who cook your food and cruise the boat along breathtaking scenery all through the day. The air-conditioned floater for the event 'Chess Houseboat 2020' is identical to the 'Spice Routes luxury houseboats' which hosted theKing of the Netherlands when he visited Keralaa couple of months ago.

The tournament itself will be a 10-round unrated Swiss with a time control of 20 minutes plus five seconds per game, spread over six days two rounds per day in the mornings in five days with a complete rest day after six rounds, apart from the day of arrival and departure. It is conducted by 'Oriental Chess Moves Trust', an independent chess body of organisers and chess lovers. They are headed by NR Anil Kumar, a former member of the Indian Chess Olympic team and an International Master in Correspondence Chess, along with Joe Parappilly and P Manojkumar, former international players. The authenticity stamp for the event comes in the form of the associate organisers, the Department of Kerala Tourism, an official government arm.

The tournament carries a total prize fund of 5000, with 2500 in cash and 2500 'in kind' as follows:

The accommodations for each day have been planned at different places, the first three nights being planned at the 'Lake Palace Resort', Alleppey.

The Lake Palace Resort, on the banks of the Vembanad Lake

A further two nights stay will be at the luxuriousCrown Plaza Kochi, a 5-star facility.

The Crown Plaza Kochi, one of the finest hotels of the beautiful city of Cochin

The final two nights of stay have been planned at theHyatt Regency, Trichur, another 5-star facility.

The breathtaking ball room of Hyatt Regency at Trichur, the cultural capital of Kerala

The games too will feature different ambiances, offering a variety of playing conditions. The first two days' rounds have been planned in floating houseboats.

Could this be your tournament hall?

The third day, the games have been planned at the famousMarari Beach resort, at a beautiful location of a long sandy strip of beach surrounded by palm groves.

Thatched-roof houses in style of the local fisher-folk abodes, are unique attractions of Marari

While the fifth day's games have been planned at the Crowne Plaza Kochi hotel, the last two rounds will be in another unique location, Rasa Gurukul Heritage Village, a beautiful riverside retreat among the coconut and spice groves.

A bird's eye view of Rasa

Strewn across the itinerary are some of the unique experiences of Kerala which the organisers are offering for the players. A few of the best tourist attractions of the state are included among the list of visiting locations, typically in every afternoon and the rest day.

Athirapilly Waterfalls, an unforgettable experience

Fort Kochi, a nostalgic ambience of a bygone era

The historic Chinese fishing nets of Fort Kochi

Kerala also being a land with a rich heritage, the organisers have promised some of the ancient arts of the state to be staged during the event.

Kathakali performance

'Kathakali', an ancient art form of Kerala, with elaborately colourful makeup, masks and costumes, which blends dance, music and acting, with dramatization of stories from the Indian epics such as Ramayana and Mahabharata.

Mohiniyattam, a delicate and feminine dance form

Kalaripayattu, an ancient battlefield martial art of the land, with unique weapons and combative techniques

The organisers aim to market the tournament with a complete package of entry fees, accommodation for sevennights, food (not includingalcohol) and light refreshments between games, tickets for travel, sightseeing, activities & cultural shows, airport transfers and a friendly tournament. The packages have been pegged at:

Since space on the boats is limited, the total entries are capped at100 applicants.

The itinerary with more details of the tournament and the registration process can be found atchesshouseboat.org. The organisers can be contacted at info@chesshouseboat.org, passedpawn@gmail.com and at +919446230888 (Mobile).

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Chess on an Indian house boat - Chessbase News

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December 23rd, 2019 at 10:43 am

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Chess and Luck – Chessbase News

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Perhaps only rivaled by the question if chess is a sport, athletics or just a game (Vik-Hansen, 2013) the role of luck in chess seems to captivate and intrigue players, non-players, professionals and amateurs alike.

The mere possibility of luck seems to contradict and undermine our perception of chess as a rational activity where skills and proficiency alone, in contrast to say dice or card games where luck is assumed to even out in the long run, are supposed to decide the outcome. In other words, chess is perceived as an activity where the players control the chain of events to such an extent that by training and effort we improve and thus control the result or outcome.

However, the notion of no luck in chess is, perhaps surprisingly, inextricably linked to a notion of free will, an idea of control, which yet further is linked to a concept of consciousness and a conscious I. Therefore, our first task is to clarify what sort of agency, or control, would exclude luck from playing a part in chess.

Human agency might be summarised as (1) action, (2) thinking and (3) perception, and we start off with action.

Regarding agency, much debated is the mind/body duality where the problem is to account for how mental states, or properties, like seeing colours, experiencing pain, tasting or smelling something, can cause physical limbs (arms and legs) to movea duality that might be summed up in two hitherto unreconciled principles:

The causal closure of the physical domain, which states that every physical effect or event has a physical cause. In a physical system, like a human body, only physical causes can move the meat (Kim, 1993, p. 280; Vicente, 2006, p. 150)

The causal relevance of the mental domain, where the question is how mental properties or states can move the meat.

A problem with the term conscious when describing actions [consciously + verb], is ambiguity, as the term may refer to common/shared knowledge, censorship, introspection, personal identity (the I as the totality of all our mental states and the answer to what or who owns these mental states) (Gundersen, 2004, pp. 8-11) or free will as an ability to act freely and unconstrained.

Examples from chess discourse, chess literature and the chess press might lure us to think that consciousness pervades all mental life but far from it because we cannot be conscious of what we are not conscious of (Jaynes, 2000, p. 23). Jaynes (2000, p. 23; Nrretranders, 1999, p. 174) compares our impression of the ubiquitousness of consciousness with a flashlight searching for something in a dark room that is not lighted and has to conclude, since there is light in whatever direction it turns, there is light everywhere.

Despite huge time gaps when the flashlight is not on, to the flashlight itself it seems it has been on all the time, and similarly, we are conscious far less of the time than we think because we are not conscious of the gapsthe timewe are not conscious of (Jaynes, 2000, p. 24).

As with the blind spot (Jaynes, 2000, p. 25; Nrretranders, 1999, p. 180), in the field of vision we do not noticethe optically insensitive region on the retina void of visual cellsboth because the spot is located on different places in the right eye and the left eye and our brain and visual experience fill in the gaps, consciousness fills in the time gaps in the stream of consciousness and gives the illusion of continuity (Jaynes, 2000, p. 25)

Since free will hardly can be thought independently of consciousness and a conscious I, it begs the question if a non-physical consciousness could cause physical limbs to move, and if so, why not ask paralysed patients in wheelchairs to use their free will and make a conscious decision and just get up? Do we blame the paralysed for being weak-willed?

However, assumed consciousness cannot initiate actions or physical movements, neurophysiologist Benjamin Libet (1985), in the wake of his experiments in the early 80s, suggested consciousness, even if not the initiator, still could lay down a veto, depending on how disciplined it is.

How often have we not caught ourselves saying I was about to say/dobut caught myself, where our mind has initiated an impulse for us to say or do something but we stop, or veto the impulse from running to action. Because we cannot be conscious of what we are not conscious of and free will hardly can be thought independently of consciousness and a concept of a conscious I, neither can we know how much of the time free will is not at work; we only know when it is at work; during the veto.

A rare and striking illustration of the veto gave the blitz game Magnus Carlsen vs Levon Aronian in the eighth round of the 6th Norway Blitz 2018.

Aronian as Black onmove 52 was about to recapture Carlsens pawn on g4 but within a fraction of a second, with pawn in hand and hovering half way over Carlsens pawn, he catches himself and the brain initiates another impulse whereupon he with a slower movement passes by Carlsens pawn and Carlsen resigns.

Aronian was about to play the auto-pilot move, recapture since Carlsen first captured a pawn

Carlsens brain, on the other hand, initiated a blunder impulse, i.e. an impulse that if converted to action (move in our context) leads to a mistake, where Carlsen was not in time to become conscious of what he was about to; he was not in time to catch himself.

Actions are one thing, but what about thinking? Can we think what we want/will?

In the early twentieth century, Marbe (2012/1901) and Watt (1906) demonstrated that thinking and judging, the supposed hallmarks of consciousness, arenot conscious at all (Jaynes, 2000, p. 38). We do our thinking before we know what we are to think about. We do not know what we are thinking until were thinking it and only its preparation, materials, and end result are consciously perceived (Jaynes, 2000, p. 39).

Could we (consciously) select the best preparations and best materials for the actual thought processes, we would control the thought processes as well as the end result. In chess, thinking manifests itself in cognitive activity as diverse as assessment, analyzing and calculating. We are, of course aware of or conscious of the fact that we are assessing a position, analysing or calculating certain moves or variations but the processes are all subconscious, since, with access to all the (perfect) information right in front of us, we would not misjudge a position, analyse or calculate poor moves or bad variations on purpose.

Since the 1950s it has been known that only a fraction (1-40 bits) of the 11,121,000 bits of the information flooding through our sense organs makes up a conscious experience (Zimmerman, 1986), and neurophysiologist Hans H. Kornhuber (1988) states:

Thus, there is a great deal of information reduction in the nervous system. Most information flow in the brain is, by the way, unconscious. The soul is not richer than the body; on the contrary, most of the processing in our central nervous system is not perceived. The unconscious (which was discovered and elucidated long before Freud) is the most ordinary process in the nervous system. We just look at the results, but we are able to direct the focus of attention.

The brain, and not we consciously, controls the influx of information, selects and organises the relevant information units into a coherent conscious experience and if we could direct our focus at will, how to explain errors, mistakes, blunders, mishaps or slip-ups? The phrase having our attention or interest caught implies that something outside our consciousness does the catching. If we could direct our focus at will, why not focus on what we should focus on? Homework, chores, poverty, trapped knights and rooks en prise? (Parenthetically speaking, how come we let our knights get trapped or we leave our rooks en prise if we at will could direct the focus of our attention?)

Delineating human agency into action (the veto), thinking and perception, when our veto depends on how disciplined our consciousness is, our actions may be said to have three possible sources: (1) Intracerebral (brain/mind alone), (2) external (impressions/information solely from outside) or (3) interplay between internal and external factors where we, because we cannot get behind our consciousness, as it were, are in no position to distinguish, isolate or separate different types of causes from one another. We are not conscious of the preceding causes leading up to the moment of action we are conscious of.

However, our delineation of human agency suggests that the brain by subconscious physical processes plays chess when triggering moves, whereas we (consciously) play chess by the veto, i.e. when aborting or stopping our brains suggestions.

Winning the lottery as an example of luck might be considered paradigmatic, caused by a coinciding of several causes/circumstances/events, intracerebral as well as external:

(Chance in lottery does not consist in the drawing but in the picking of the numbers, as the drawn numbers do not occur by chance, i.e. are uncaused, but result from causes beyond our control.)

We may now summarise our findings so far:

(1) Actions subconsciously initiated, (2) the information units pouring through our senses, (3) the minds processing of the information, (4) the selection and organization of information into a conscious experience and (5) external causes/circumstances resulting in our winning the lottery, suggest a tentative and general definition of luck and unluck:

Luck: unpredictable. favourable outcome(s) where we neither control the causes at work or how they work together (certain outcomes presuppose certain events) and an ability not to abort impulses leading to unpredictable, favourable outcomes (picking the right lottery numbers and not handing in the ticket) and to abort ill-conceived impulses leading to unfavourable outcomes (blunders in chess).

Unluck: (unpredictable) unfavourable outcome(s) where we neither control the causes at work nor how they work together and are unable to abort the chain of causes (often in the shape of ill-conceived impulses (blunders in chess).

Case in point: We avoided the avalanche because we missed the ferry when our friend called to tell us he had won the lottery on the same day his wife said she would divorce him after his old parrot for the umpteenth time bit her in her wooden leg.

However, chess appears essentially different from playing the lottery but if in control, how to explain:

If mistakes are not made on purpose but still happen, are we suggesting our limbs move without us knowing?

If the better player (on paper) always is in full control, always wins and luck plays no role:

Victory against weaker players (on paper) would be a forgone conclusion, a matter of course, so why play at all (Beyond getting the formalities out of the way)? Unless the players are equally rated, will the games be called off?

We would never end up in worse positions against weaker players (on paper) in the first place.

There is no need for happiness, rejoice or celebration when winning games, tournaments and matches, since the result, again, would be a forgone conclusion and a matter of course. (Imagine a deadpanned reaction like, Hold your applause. Of course I won, Im better.)

However, applause, celebrations, congratulations, high-fives, rejoice, smiles, and feeling of relief after winning or drawing lost games against equally strong (on paper) or weaker players (on paper) and games against lower rated opponents still being played, are all visceral testimony to a realisation that there might be gaps and glitches in perception and neural networks; the result or outcome is not a given or foregone conclusion, as ratings per se only measure past achievements. The only possible praise or compliment appears to be a measured: Good for you, when we cannot take credit for our achievements or anything but appreciate we got to experience the pleasure of success.

If chess moves and lottery numbers as well result from a coinciding of intracerebral and external causes/circumstances beyond our control, how does playing chess differ from playing the lottery?

The boundaries of human agency and control summarised as (1) action, (2) thinking and (3) perception, and our veto depending on how strong or disciplined our consciousness is, distinguish luck in chess from lottery luck as:

Unpredictable, favourable outcome(s) of causes and circumstances beyond our control, internal as well as external, but not in the lottery sense of the word as the brain/mind as a physical system is more stable/consistent than the drawing of lottery numbers, yielding different numbers every week.

Ability not to abort impulses leading to unpredictable, favourable outcomes and to abort ill-conceived impulses leading to unfavourable outcomes (blunders). (If we did control the veto-moment, we would never let ill-conceived impulses run to action.)

Happens over the board (OTB-luck) when gaps and glitches in our control, i.e. time gaps we are not conscious of, provide our opponents with chances and possibilities we later come to call luck, since, if conscious (no gaps), we would in not on purpose present our opponents with such chances and possibilities the first place. (These gaps, paradoxically, do not lend themselves to dating (since we are not conscious of them) but are manifested or expressed by our moves.)

If we were in control of both internal and external causes and circumstances underlying our moves, the better player (on paper) would always win against weaker players (on paper) as a matter of course but, as we know, the better player does not always win and our definition may explain why: Better players have full control most of the time, no control some of the time but never full control all the time.

When better/stronger players (again on paper) do not have control, there are gaps or glitches in their perception (they see the board but dont perceive it (Vik-Hansen, 2016)) or in the causal nexuses or causal chains in their physical neural network system (a.k.a. the brain/mind in the shape of processing the information) and in these gaps and glitches precisely lies weaker players (on paper) chance for improvement by defeating or drawing the better/stronger player.

We might say that one causal network (the weaker player) exploits the gaps and glitches in another causal network but where neither player consciously or volitionally controls the causal neural network, neither their own nor their opponents.

(In the contention that the better player always wins, there is a logical trap: If a weaker player (on paper) in a single game defeats the stronger player (on paper), the weaker player indeed turned out better. In other words, if the better player (on paper) does not always win against weaker players (on paper) they are by definition not better. How many games are better players (on paper) required to win against weaker players (on paper) to be recognised as generally better?)

Luck defined as gaps and glitches in perception as well as causal neural networks and unpredictable, favourable outcome(s) of causes and circumstances beyond our control, internal as well as external suggests, that luck in chess is not limited to play over-the-board but applies to (away-from-the-board) analysis or situations as well, illustrated by the following snippets from Kasparov and Anand:

Kasparov (2003, p. 208) on Laskers 59th move against Rubinstein (St. Petersburg, 1914): The last critical position in this amazing game. Here, with the help of a computer, I was fortunate enough to discover something.

Anand (2012, p. 187) commenting on Blacks 18th move in the 9th match game against Kasparov in their PCA World Championship match in 1995: I was surprised that he was prepared to go down this line [following a Scheveningen Sicilian from Cuijipers-De Boer, Dutch Championship, 1988] so blithely.It was lucky I didnt know about this game, or I might have abandoned the whole line!

Our definition suggests why luck and objectivity (IM Grnn as quoted in Fosse, 2017, Det beste og verste med sjakk [The best and worst with chess], para. 3) are not mutually exclusive: Objectivity merely signifies that moves and variations in principle, impartially and universally can be tested independently of individual subjectivity bias caused by perception, imagination, emotions, preferences or convictions, not that we control the unfolding of the events.

Along the same lines falls Valakers rejection of luck (Valaker, 2010) because chess is supposed to be a battle between brains/minds. However, dismissing luck ignores the human factor former world champion Lasker (1868-1941) encourages us to take into account when stating chess being a battle between brains/minds, as the battle does not imply our controlling the processes in the brain/mind.

In light of our analysis and definition of luck in chess, the axiom often ascribed to Capablanca (Winter, 2016), The good player is always lucky, may be said to be playing for three results(1) nonsense, (2) tongue in cheek and (3) deep insightand may serve to illustrate Italian programmer Alberto Brandolinis (2013) Bullshit Asymmetry Principle (or Brandolinis law), stating that the amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it, (he principle can be sharpened by differentiating between different types of nonsense or bullshit: some types taking longer to refute than others) captured also by the old proverb, a lie is halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on.

If a good player is always lucky, were not talking luck and although the contention there is no luck in chess are only six small words, it takes quite an amount of analysis and elaboration to prove it problematic, if not flat out groundless.

Grnn (as quoted in Hiby, 2016) praises Carlens queen sacrifice 50.h6+ against Karjakin (New York, 2016), as something that happens to people who deserve it, as a reward for good play, and according to Hillarp-Perssonannotating Carlsen-Nepomniachtchi (London Chess Classic, 2017), luck usually comes to those who deserve it, which opens for worthy and unworthy recipients of luck. However, since the chain of causes leading up to the luck moment is beyond our control, luck is something we do not deserve but merely something that happens us (Good for you).

Accepting and coming to terms with the fact that luck indeed is an inherent component of chess and that we do not possess the control traditionally ascribed to conscious agency, may, as the presence of luck grants us adequate space to distance ourselves from our misery and cushion the blow, help us lower the bar of expectations and help us deal better with defeats and better cope with tension.

Concluding our analysis, we bid the reader farewell with the winged words of late Dutch grandmaster Donner (2006, p. 86):

Chess is and will always be a game of chance. How now, sir? I hear you cry. Isnt it precisely the best and noblest aspect of the game of chess that the chances are equal and that the players control everything themselves? Yes, gentlemen, quite, but who can control himself?

Among his philosophical interests, Rune Vik-Hansen nurtures a passion for the question of free will and has over the last decade suggested how it might be relevant to playing chess. Drawing upon philosophy and recent findings on brain and consciousness, Vik-Hansen offers an original and fresh approach to classical chess problems and has in great depth explored different aspects of chess playing, from analyzing blunders to questioning the concept of pattern recognition.

| Photo: Anniken Vestby, Troms

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Top FritzTrainers of the year – Chessbase News

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In 2019, we redesignedChessBase Magazine adding a new more accessible layout, and revamped theMega Database 2020 layout as well. Then there's the new Fritz 17 with multiple engines including Fat Fritz, arguably the strongest chess playing entity on the planet as we head into the new year.

We've implemented several improvements to the FritzTrainer line of instructional videos, notably adding Mac compatibility to our flagship releases. An independent iPad version is also available. Now we've asked prolific reviewer Davide Nastasio, who's probably spent more time with the FritzTrainers than just about anyone, for his top picks of the year. Here are ten video series not to be missed!

For coaches and chess teachers the series of FritzTrainers by Pert on typical mistakes is fundamental in Nastasio's opinion.

Within the video series there are several chapters, and each chapter comprises a theme for games played between players rated between 1000-1600. Several games are explained and then there are many interactive examples for the viewer to have a go at themselves.

In every game of chess, there comes a moment when one is confronted with the question: what should I do now? Often, the solution involves more than finding just one single move, and you are rather challenged to work out a complete plan instead. In order to make an effective plan, one needs to delve deeper into the position just determining which pieces are good and bad normally is not enough to find your way.

Five key elements of positional play are discussed which help you formulate the right plan:

After going through the 12 examples from the theoretical section, its time for you to get actively involved! The author has collected no less than 50 instructive examples with multiple questions to test your positional understanding. On top of that, another 50+ examples have been added in a separate database, while there is also a new feature in the Fritz app to play out various positions.

The current World No.2, being a 1.e4 player his entire life, has shared his deep knowledge about the Ruy Lopez in a 3-DVD series, acclaimed by amateurs and professionals alike. In 2018, Fabiano Caruana achieved one of the most prestigious honours in the history of the game: he qualified for a match for the World Chess Championship. He lost, but left many surprised as to how he out-prepared and out-played Magnus in the classical portion of the match.Read the review.

Navigating the Ruy Lopez Vol.1-3

The Ruy Lopez is one of the oldest openings which continues to enjoy high popularity from club level to the absolute world top. In this video series, American super GM Fabiano Caruana, talking to IM Oliver Reeh, presents a complete repertoire for White.

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The London System with 2.Bf4 Reloaded

Over the last couple of years nearly all the worlds elite grandmasters have been employing the London System, and on this DVD Simon Williams shows what we can learn from their practice. The Ginger GM takes a look at all the latest developments whilst t

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Why bother learning hundreds of complex variations when you can play a simple yet deadly opening the London System with 2.Bf4. Over the last couple of years nearly all the worlds elite grandmasters have been employing the London System, and on this DVD Simon Williams shows what we can learn from their practice. The Ginger GM takes a look at all the latest developments whilst teaching you all the basics that you need to know in order to play this opening with success.

Following his first bestseller on the London System, Williams new work not only updates previous analyses but is also packed with new and original ideas which can be used even at the highest level - a must for players who want results, yet do not have much time on their hands. If youre not a practitioner of the London System yet, in fact the only question remains: Why Not?

The London System is becoming increasingly popular, both at grandmaster and club level. The theory of the opening is developing quickly, with new things being tested all the time. This, in return, gives rises to fresh tactical ideas which should belong to the basic arsenal of any London devotee after all, tactics remains the be-all and end-all of the game. On this DVD, Simon Williams shows all the complications in the London System one has to know as White, giving you the tactical tools for a successful practice the player who knows the typical motifs has an advantage over the board. Using the interactive FritzTrainer format which invites the viewer to answer questions by entering the moves on the screen, the Ginger GM, intensively and systematically, makes your familiar with a multitude of typical tactical finesses in positions of the London System. Of course, those who dont yet have this opening in their repertoire can also profit after all, a sharp combinatorial vision is always useful in chess.

Of course Black has something to say about the opening as well. In this FritzTrainer, GM Yannick Pelletier offers Black a repertoire against the London System that you can employ no matter which opening (Systems with d5, systems with g6, Queens Indian, Queens Gambit, Benoni, Benko, Dutch) you usually play against 1.d4 followed by 2.c4. Thematic games explain and illustrate the theory and ideas of the repertoire Pelletier proposes. At the end of the DVD you are invited to test your knowledge. The author pauses at key moments and asks you to find and to play the best move, after which he gives feedback. A database with carefully selected and annotated games helps you to understand and play the opening better and to counter the London System with success.

Is Bird's opening an audacious attempt by chess mavericks? Or a slightly offbeat way for White to get an advantage in today's hyper-engine-analyzed opening landscape? Can the Bird's be a way to disorient our opponents using a lesser-known opening? The Bird's is an opening for players who are free spirits. IM Lawrence Trent in his latest work addresses this need, covering all of Black's answers, and proudly finding new moves in old lines. If you are a club or a tournament player, searching for a surprise weapon, the Bird's can give a boost to your wins! Read the review.

Always wanted to play like a World Champion? Search no further! With Magnus Carlsen using the Sveshnikov variation as his weapon of choice in the World Championship match against Fabiano Caruana, this DVD could not be better timed. The Dutch grandmaster Erwin LAmi (former second of Veselin Topalov and currently seconding Anish Giri), guides you through this dynamic opening variation. The DVD offers a complete overview of this fascinating opening that has inspired generations of chess players!

See also:Fast and Furious: The Sveshnikov surge

Nastasio noticed a flaw in many chess biographies of world champions. They all have an index for the opponents, they have an index for the openings, but there is no index for the interesting endgames. Often we find a 400 or 500 page biography with tons of games, yet no idea how to find typical middlegame themes or endgames to learn from. In the latest FritzTrainer from GM Karsten Mueller, however, you'll find the world champions' best endgames, each deconstructed using Mueller's great endgame insight and teaching experience.Read the review.

In Master Class Vol.11: Vladimir Kramnik,Dr. Karsten Mller, Mihail Marin, Oliver Reeh and Yannick Pelletiershowyou how to learn from the example of one of the best players in the history of chess, how to successfully organise your games strategically, how to keep your opponent permanently under pressure and how to bring your games to a successful conclusion with accurate technical endgame play. Through Vladimir Kramniks games it is possible, moreover, to follow the history and development of numerous popular openings and thus obtain a better understanding of the ideas behind them.

Master Class Vol.11: Vladimir Kramnik

This DVD allows you to learn from the example of one of the best players in the history of chess and from the explanations of the authors (Pelletier, Marin, Mller and Reeh) how to successfully organise your games strategically, consequently how to keep y

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For a player who wants to learn a wide range of different middlegame positions, the English should definitely be high on the list. Flexibility in move orders can mean the difference between quiet or aggressive play.Marin, who previously authored one of the biggest literary works on the English opening and has now brought his experience to the video format in a new, updated repertoire. Glimpse his deep knowledge, acquired through years of practice, in order to gain confidence in this new opening weapon suitable in every type of setting, from long time control tournaments to online blitz.Read the review.

Looking for a holiday gift for your chess-fan friend or relative? We've got you covered! You'll find all these and much more in the ChessBase Shop!

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December 23rd, 2019 at 10:43 am

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Raunak holds India’s top rated GM Sasikiran in Spain – Times of India

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LUDHIANA: In what could be a satisfying result against India's top rated Grandmaster and fifth seeded Sasikiran Krishnan, city's only GM Raunak Sadhwani got success in holding his experienced opponent in the sixth Sunway Sitges International Chess Festival at Barcelona, Spain, on Saturday.

Defending brilliantly well with his black pieces the 13-year-old played out a marathon 63-move contest to hold country's top ranked Indian GM participating in the tournament. With this draw, both Raunak and 2656 Elo Sasikiran Krishnan maintained their joint fourth position.

While Raunak gave one of his best performances so far, Divya Deshmukh ended her two-game winning drought with a facile victory over Candidate Master Shahil Dey. Sankalp Gupta, however, found higher ranked Spanish GM Larino Nieto David tough to handle in the eighth round.

For 2507 Elo Raunak the day brought satisfactory result. On the 10th board, Raunak opted for the Ruy Lopez opening which had an Anti-Marshall Variation against the King Pawn start done by Sasikiran. Both the Indian masters fought for over 4.5 hours before they finally split the points with Raunak down by a piece in a double-rook end game.

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Raunak holds India's top rated GM Sasikiran in Spain - Times of India

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December 23rd, 2019 at 10:43 am

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Meet Alana Meenakshi, the 8 year old chess player making Vizag proud – Yo Vizag

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Chess, they say, is the gymnasium of the mind. And so, when one sees, a young eight-year-old trapezing through it, so effortlessly, it becomes a fascinating feat to behold. Alana Meenakshi Kolagatla is such a champion. A cute and lean-looking girl, its when you challenge her to a game of chess, that the mean-thinking machine in her comes leaping out. Focussed and composed, she quickly beats you at a game, with moves youve least expected.

At the age of five and a half, when most kids were trying to use crayons and colour inside the line, this young girl was already making highly strategic moves. It all started when I brought home the game of chess, and laid out the board in front of her. I simply told her the names of each of the pieces, and showed her a few basic moves, shares Dr. Aparna, Alanas mother. Without giving it a second thought, the box was brought out the next day, and Alana recalled not only all the pieces but their positions as well. Dr. Aparna being a junior level chess player herself, was quick to identify her talent, and slowly started to encourage her child. It would be casual games at home in the beginning, but I soon felt that I wasnt doing this right. She had interest and needed time and attention. A coach could really help her understand and explore the game better. Alana soon became part of a summer camp at YMCA, and despite being the youngest, her coach Chiranjeevi saw the spark in her, when she began beating opponents at matches.

It was from this juncture that Alana started getting into serious training. She participated in competitions, at district and state levels, acing in all of them. By the end of 2018, Alana had played in different formats and even won medals for the country. This included winning four medals at the 14th Asian Schools Chess Championship, in Sri Lanka, which comprised of a gold, a silver and two bronzes in the Under 7 girls category. She went on to bag the gold in Classic format and also the Women Candidate Master (WCM) Title. Alana next participated in the 32nd Under-7 girls nationals Championships in Karnataka and was tied for gold. She went on to win at the Under 8 girls category in the Asian Youth Chess Championship, in Sri Lanka in 2019 and won two gold medals for India in the rapid format in both individual and team. Riding the wave of victories, she next represented India at the World Cadet Chess Championship 2019 in China and finished in the top 15. This was closely followed by the Western Asian Junior and Youth Chess Championship at New Delhi where Alana dominated all the Chess formats in the Under-8 girls category, as she finished with two gold in Rapid and Blitz and one bronze in Classic format. Having finished 47 brilliant matches, in a short span of 37 days, she has moved from one victory to another, as she was defeating children her age, and many opponents who were older than her too. It was encouraging to see her improve at every game, analysing mistakes and learning from them., says her mother Dr. Aparna.

Having started to play very early on, life has been far from typical for this chess player. However, it hasnt affected her much. When shes home, shes chilled out, plays with her friends, paints, and draws. When shes travelling, she adapts to new places quickly, shares her father Madhu Kolagatla. It did take a while to adjust to food options in different countries, and for a while, my wife would carry a cooker to provide the type of food that Alana was used to. But soon, that wasnt required as well, as Alana started adapting to new environments and foods. When asked what the extended family and relatives had to say, Dr. Aparna dismisses by saying, There was some criticism initially, but slowly support started growing when they saw her winning, she adds.

After her gold at the Asian Youth and Western Asian Chess Championship, Alana now eyes the dream of becoming the youngest Grandmaster. Currently undergoing training, at Chennais Chess Gurukul, this chess player is honing her skills. Shes building patience, technique, and skill, to tackle the games that come her way in the future. Having been an official Indian representative for this years Under-8 girls Chess World Youth Cadet, Asian Youth, Common Wealth, Western Asian Youth and Under-9 girls Chess Championship for World Schools, Asian Schools, and Indian Nationals, she has shouldered plenty at her young age. And as she readies for upcoming competitions, this young star is set to shine further.

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