Chess, Cheers & Beers

10years ago I was under a feeling that the game was the last game in a tournament I would ever be playing. With changed priorities & activities over years I almost stopped playing at any time.
A chance encounter about a month back where I was informed about the NIIT Corporate Chess Tournament revived my interest in the game which I had played for years and years. With luck I was able to get selected to the team from the selections held within the company.
26 corporate teams. 4 players per team. 45mins per player which means 1.5hrs per game.
17th morning when the event started and the game started things were not going my way. I was making mistakes which I would not have made before. 3 straight losses and things looked gloomy. My team was gaining points though I was losing and it was not a good indication. Finally I started winning and then it was a good feeling. End of the day I won the last game for the day and lost remaining three.
18th morning started off with a draw and followed by two wins. But the team members got my virus of earlier day. End of day, I had won two and drew one games. What should have been a third place finish alas did not happen and we finished 6th out of 26 other corporate teams.

160 participants. 30mins per player.
19th the winning streak continued for first 3 games and then started the string of losses. I was losing all the games. The hangover of the first loss on this day continued. I could see clearly what my opponent was going to move and had answer for that still I blundered. It took some time to get over this loss. But by then things had changed. Played 7 games, won 3, lost 4 on this day.
20th, last day of the tournament. Even winning all the games would not make it possible to play against Vishwanathan Anand. He was scheduled to play top 20 individuals simultaneously. I did win all the games on this day and was a clean slate of having won all the 3 games played. It did give a sense of satisfaction. I finished at 42nd place.

Even though its been so many years since I last played chess, I could still recollect most of it. Though my ability to think many moves ahead has weakened to a large extent. This is something that I should work on before future tournaments.

It was well organised event. Lot of sponsors. Good food. Volunteers from Indian Business Academy. All in all this was a wonderful experience and one where I was able to relieve the old memories.

For photos, click here.

3 thoughts on “Chess, Cheers & Beers

  1. Hi Sathish,

    5 months back when my wife Arundhati & myself dreamed of organising a chess championship in the memory of my mother Late. Leela Biswas, we solemnly pledged to follow her footsteps and try to popularise the game at grass root levels. To do so, we needed the help of corporates like you & of course Vishy. Hence, it was an absolute necessity to create the right ambiance in all respects. God, has been kind enough to guide us through this journey of 5 months and provide us with such a wonderful gift in the form of ‘Vishy’. We request you to join us in thanking the ‘almighty’ for providing us with such a ‘rewarding experience’. Now we feel confident that we will be able to achieve our goal.

    We hope that most of the players have enjoyed every moment of the championship and taken back a lot of good things from it. We hope that all of them have become ‘richer’ in experience. Even, if we are able to absorb only 5 % of Vishy’s qualities which we were fortunate enough to notice from such close quarters, we will become a much better human being than what we are today.

    God Bless and we look forward to meet you in the 2nd. edition of the championship next year. Wishing you, your family and colleagues, A very successful 2010 in advance, we remain, yours sincerely….Arundhati & Aloke

    • Hi Aloke,

      Firstly, I should thank you for providing a platform for meeting so many other nice people & players. And getting me back to playing chess.
      I would love to support you in whatever way possible in realizing your wish & interest.
      It was great feeling to meet Vishy who is the most humble sport person I have met after Rahul Dravid.
      Am of course eager to participate in the next edition of the tournament. And would like to do live blogging/twitter on the event. It would be a nice idea to invite the un-conventional media also. The reach today of this media is almost more than conventional media atleast in developed areas.
      Thanks for the wishes.
      Wish you also a very successful 2010 and years to come.

  2. I would like to thank you Aloke/Arudhanti for organizing such a dreamy event. We all have really been looking for such kind of event and what we saw was much much more than our expectations. It was really grand and mega success event.
    I could manage to participate only in individual category. My day started with 2 straigth win followed by a flip flop which left me 4 points in my hand. Next day I needed 3 out of 3 to make possible entry into top 20. Here, the distance of years I maintained from chess paid. Not only I lost 2 crucial games from decisive advantages, also it lost me completely in the crowd.
    After this event and listening to Anand my passion for chess has revived. And I would look forward to participate enthusiastically in any such event in future. And yes, with some preparation.

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