India's first chess features print magazine published quarterly from Lucknow since 2004 by Aspire Welfare Society.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Mind Training Chess App: Psychologist Bjarne Eiholt, WFM Louise Fredericia

Improve your chess by mental training 
Introducing the MindMaster App


For decades it has been common practice in physical sports to use mental training as a means to improve performance. In some mental sports as well, like bridge and poker, mental training has become a common training tool. In chess however, the benefits of mental training are uncommon and underestimated.
Until now, a mental training program for chess players hasn´t been available, but with the recent release of the MindMaster App, it is now! Chess players now have the opportunity to use mental training just like other athletes in physical and mental  sport have done for years with good results. The purpose of the MindMaster App is to provide chess players with strategies to feel more at ease, focused, self-confident and motivated when they play chess. In this introduction, we will give you an insight into mental chess training and why we believe you can improve your chess by mental training using the MindMaster App.

Why mental chess training?
A wise man once said: The most dangerous weapon of a chess player is his mind. To this he could have added: The only weapon of a chessplayer is his mind. It follows that the more you work on the mind the better it will work for you, just as a sword must be sharpened before a battle.  No matter how many chess books you read, or how many hours you spend preparing your opening, such work cannot prevent you from losing your confidence and nerves, or help you to rebound after a defeat and focus and concentrate during your game.
In certain situations, a chess player’s mind can trick him to the point where he misses moves that he would easily have seen in a blitz game. In situations where there are high stakes at risk chess players tend to miss mates, give away pieces, lose track of time or lose focus on the board.
Sometimes you can hear statements like these from chess players before a game:
- I always play badly against a lower rated - or higher rated - player.
- When I lose, I cannot motivate myself to move on for the next game, and then I tend to lose that one too.
- I can already see myself mess it up in the middle game because my opponent is such an annoying player.
- I’m so nervous – how can I focus and concentrate?
- I haven’t slept all night because I lost yesterday.
- I gave away a piece yesterday, so I’m an easy victim today

Now the interesting question with regard to mental training is:
Who is surprised when these scenarios actually come true and the one who stated them losses?
The list is – almost – endless on how chess players’ expectations to the game, preparations and sleep can be disturbed and affected. No matter how long the list above may become, the bottom line is the same: in situations where you perform way below your normal level, it is not because you suddenly have become a bad chess player and lost your chess skills. You perform below average level because of your poor mindset.
Now the answer to the question above shouldn’t be that difficult – should it?

What to gain with mental chess training?
When you start mental chess training, the aim is that your average level of performance will increase. The increase in performance is caused by an improved mental condition and mindset.
Our users tell us in feedback that they sleep better, that their loses affect them less and that they are able to focus better on the next game. Others have sensed a good feeling of mental preparation and fewer nerves, which has lasted throughout the game. Others tell us that they have felt in a strong winning mode, which has made them play with more energy and belief in themselves.
The mental training sessions in the MindMaster App have different themes. It is therefore the user’s choice what to focus on, and thereby what to gain. Focus, concentration, increased confidence prior to an event, the proper mental state for competing – there are many different effects of the mental chess training. The effect will depend on how often, how much and how the training is used. The more you use it, the better it will work.

What does the MindMaster App contain?
The MindMaster App is developed for tournament players, regardless of strength. It contains no opening theory, no advice on the latest novelty in Ruy Lopez, no explanation of chess technicalities, strategy or structure. It can be used by any chess player.

The app contains 15 sessions of spoken text, with optional background music, spread over three categories of themes of mental training:



Optimise your thought processes – 6 sessions
Deal with distracting thoughts – 6 sessions
Achieve mental wellness – 3 sessions

Each session has its own specific aim well recognised by tournament players. Examples are:  move on after a defeat, regulate your use of time, control your nervousness,  play your game when it is best, prepare mentally for your game.
The sessions in the first two categories incorporate three elements, each serving their own purpose:
Physicality: Breathing and deep relaxation of body and mind. The relaxation will get you in the right state of mind.
Visualization: You visualize different scenarios, based on the idea that if you can imagine it, you will be able to do it.
Repetition of a statement: You make a statement, based on the idea that if you can tell it to yourself, you can also make it happen.
The sessions in the third category (achieve mental wellness) are mainly about getting your mind to be calm so that you can stress down or get help to fall asleep.

If you are interested in the idea of improving your chess by mental training you can visit our homepage: http://mindmasterapp.com/ Here you can try a free sample of a session Prepare mentally for your game. On the homepage you can also find details and further information.

The MindMaster App has its own FB-page: Mental Chess training. Here you can post questions or commentaries.
The MindMaster App is available on App Store and Google Play and costs 7 Euro.
The authors of the app are Bjarne Eiholt, who is a chess player and psychologist, and WFM Louise Fredericia, who is a chess player and mental trainer.

-- By Bjarne Eiholt and WFM Louise Fredericia

Friday, July 12, 2019

Chess train runs Oct 11-15: Prague - Carlsbad - Cesky Krumlov - Brno - Trencin - Prague

Medieval pearls by Chess Train 2019: Chess train, a unique project of Prague Chess Society and Czech Railways, will take place again! The Chess Train 2019 will run from October 11th to 15th on the route Prague - Carlsbad - Cesky Krumlov - Brno - Trencin - Prague. On the train, a 11round tournament in rapid chess will be played.



As it is clear from the itinerary, this year the real medieval pearls are waiting for the participants of the event - beautiful cities of the Czech Republic and Slovakia with picturesque historical centers. And two of the cities have the extraordinary chess tradition also. Rembember famous tournaments Carslasbad 1907, 1911, 1923 and 1929 or Prague Olympics 1931. In the capital of the Czech Republic was born the 1st World Chess Champion Wilhelm Steinitz and in the present days there live several top-class grandmasters of different chess federations – David Navara (Czech Republic), Pentala Harikrishna (India), Sergey Movsesian (Armenia), Pontus Carlsson (Sweden) or Maxim Rodshtein (Israel).





If you want to attend this extraordinary event of the Chess Train 2019 and meet chess-tourists from around the world, do not hesitate to book a place on prazska.sachova@gmail.com. The number of seats on the train is limited. The ticket to the Chess Train and the tournament fee cost 199 Euro, the ticket for a non-playing partners costs 149 Euro. Accommodation can be booked by the organizers in the selected hotels in 3 categories (3*, 4* and 5*hotels), or you can arrange for it yourself.

Details of the Chess Train 2019 can be found here.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019

CCBW u20 Chess: Prithvvi 1st on tiebreak; Himmika best Girl

Lucknow,  seedJune Top23:  and reigning state u13 champion Prithvvi Singh (1669) won the CCBW (Chess Club Black and White) Junior Rapid Chess Championship 2019 on tie-break at a city hotel on Sunday. 



(From left) Tanishq Gupta, Prithvvi Singh, Harshit Amarnani, Himmika Amarnani, Myra Agarwal. (More photos on Facebook)


This was Lucknow's strongest-ever u20 chess championship as it also included current state U15 and U17 champion Tanishq Gupta (1660) as second seed and third strongest rated Lucknow junior Harshit Amarnani (1522) as third seed.

Complete media coverage collated on Facebook.

The three-way tie of six points each occured after a very interesting series of results: Harshit beat Tanishq in round 4,  Prithvvi beat Harshit in round 5 and Tanishq beat Prithvvi in round 6!
Prithvvi grabbed an early centre pawn in a 1.d4 game then followed it up with excellent technique for his win over Harshit.



In the top clash, Tanishq vs Prithvvi, Tanishq played Colle system of Queen pawn opening. In the middle game, Tanishq grabbed a pawn and steered the game into a minor piece ending with pawn majority scoring the crucial win.

In Tanishq vs Harshit, Tanishq playing white opened with the Zukertort variation of the Colle system.
The game was somewhat complicated in the middlegame and then harshit went for a pawn sacrifice,vwhich if accepted by Tanishq would have allow Harshit to gain material with a piece  superiorposition.Tanishq eventually accepted the sacrifice and lost.

The seven-round, 15 0 time control tournament witnessed an even closer finish in the girls' section.

Top-seed Himmika Amarnani (1181) could win best girl prize only on tiebreak. Also a state-level tennis player, Himmika used her attacking 1.e4 games for successive wins.

The four-way tie for first saw unrated Myra Agarwal perform way above her strength to claim second. Simran Sadhwani continued her steady play to score ahead of second seed Jusfica Lilium Lobo (1032) for third place. Simran, is also a state-level player, who has improved considerably over the last year winning district championships in girls. All four scored 4 points each.

Six-year-old Pranav Rastogi surprised everyone by coming first in the u7 category on tiebreak ahead of state level player Aryan Sadhwani and district U7 champion Devaagyh Dixit who stood third. Aryan showed amazing calm to climb back from his losses to nearly snatch first place. Aryan will be representing UP in the Nationals in his section.

The tournament had players come in from Banda and Kanpur as well.
Former state champion, senior international player, Dr Junaid Ahmad was tournament director and senior international player Pawan Batham was the chief arbiter. Participants said they always find chess tournaments organised by those who are players themselves as far better in facilities and fairness of conduct of play as compared to other tournaments.

Chief guest renowned orthopaedic and diet expert Dr Gopal Goel (also felicitated by state government for welfare work in aiding and rehabilitatiom of physically challenged) spoke about nutrition specifically to suit chess players  For improving brain power, he suggested daily intake of at four walnuts twice a day, handful of almonds once (soaked overnight) and curd twice a day along with regular exercise and yogasans like dandawat pranaam for brain power.
He warneda indiscriminate eating of bread, packaged chips and even milk. He mentioned the importance of taking vitamins as required without assuming that "vitamins" are only for senior people.

*Results*
Open Section 1-6th: Prithvi Singh, Tanishq Gupta, Harshit Amarnani (all 6 points), Anupam Dutta, Meetansh Dixit, Atharva Rastogi (all 5 points).
Girls section 1-6th: Himmika Amarnani, Myra Agarwal, Simran Sadhwani, Jusfica Lilium Lobo (all 4 points), Vartika R. Verma 3, Saanvi Mehrotra 2.
U7 1-3: Pranav Rastogi, Aryan Sadhwani 2, Devaagyh Dixit 1.5
U10 1-3: Akshin Srivastava, Vyom Ahuja, 3 points, Arsh Hussain Naqvi 1.5
U13 1-3: Sarthak Singh Basera 3.5, Shaan Garg, Enaith Singh Habibullah 3 points
U15 1-3: Nikhar Saxena 4.5, Adarsh Pal, Aman Goel 4 points
U20 1-3: Anubhav Singh 4.5, Shaishav Srivastava, Tanmay Mishra 4 points
Consolation: Aditi Mohan, Akshat Abhinav, Priyam Khandelwal, Vasav Rastogi, Aniket Mohan, Utkarsh Dixit, ADSV Prasad. 

Thursday, June 6, 2019

French Toast: How India No. 2 Harikrishna fries 1... e6

India's number two chess player, the in-form Super GM Pentala Harikrishna, is offering a unique chance to have training time with him.


The 2730-rated grandmaster has launched a competition to win a place in one of two group lessons focusing on one of his opening systems.

Harikrishna, aged 33, recently released his first chess instruction course, an anti-French repertoire titled French Toast: How Harikrishna fries 1... e6, through the online training platform Chessable.com.

The course has a points leaderboard to show who has studied the most, and Harikrishna will host a lesson with the top 5 each week.

Harikrishna, from Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, has been in sparkling form this year and narrowly missed out on top spot at the elite Shenzhen Masters earlier this month

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