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

Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Chessable Research Awards for Varsity Students: Apply before October 1

Chessable, a leading platform in chess improvement and part of the Play Magnus Group, is seeking undergraduate and graduate students to apply for the Chessable Research Awards.

The Chessable Research Awards are an initiative to develop our understanding of how chess can benefit our lives, how we can improve our knowledge of the game, and how we can understand other phenomena, both within and outside of the chess world.

University students from all fields of study, such as cognitive psychology, education, literature, history, computer science, etc., are invited to apply.

Examples of relevant topics include, but are not limited to, how playing chess impacts society or personal development, methods for improving the memorization of chess theory, the gender gap in chess participation, using ideas from chess to solve real-world problems, etc.

Chessable's Chief Science Officer Dr. Alexey Root says, “With the Chessable Research Awards, Chessable hopes to encourage existing chess researchers and to help launch new chess research projects worldwide.”

Winning students and their faculty research sponsors will receive monetary awards and publicity in Chessable blog posts and newsletters. Three cycles of awards per year are planned. Applications for this first cycle are due Saturday, October 1, 2022, for research to be conducted during the spring semester of 2023.

To successfully apply, each student must have a faculty research sponsor, who fills out a separate application.

For more information about the Chessable Research Awards and the link to apply, visit: https://www.chessable.com/blog/chessable-research-awards

Applicant questions and media requests for interview/comment should go to Chessable’s Chief Science Officer or to the Science Project Manager at the addresses below:

Dr. Alexey Root, Chief Science Officer: alexey.root@chessable.com
Karel van Delft, Science Project Manager: karel@chessable.com

For more information about the Chessable science team and its initiatives, visit https://www.chessable.com/science

Bahraich's Qamar Naim wins CCBW +60 Chess for Veterans in Lucknow



Lucknow: Seventy-year-old Qamar Naim, of Bahraich won the CCBW +60 Seniors' Chess Lucknow today with a blazing 6.5/7 performance. In second and third place were sixty-nine-year old Balgovind Awasthi from Kanpur and eighty-one-year old RK Gupta from Jhansi. The oldest player was eighty-two year old Kranti Kumar Gupta who came to play especially from Bareilly. He set the pace in the initial rounds.

"What an inspiring tournament," said Chief Arbiter, Hemant Sharma. "These are the real masters of chess as unlike us they have had no access to computers. Today's kids have an app of double the world champion's strength on their cellphones to learn from."

Winners, players and Team CCBW with chief guest with Chief Guest Mahamilind Lal, Director Finance, State Nutrition Mission, in Lucknow, on Sunday at The Hotel Golden Apple, in Mahanagar.

Chess Club Black & White (CCBW) hosted all senior chess players of the state in the rapid seven-round 10+5 time control event. "Play chess to stay young and fit. At sixty, free from duties, you can now travel and play. The world's oldest Grandmaster was recently 100 years-old Yuri Averbakh of Russia. We want such inspiring seniors in India as well," said UP champion, 2002, Dr Junaid Ahmad, director, CCBW.

Naim's extremely attacking play was matched by top-seed Vimal Bhatia of Lucknow, but the latter missed out several games in time pressure. Lakhimpur's Krishna Murari Verma started very well but stepped back in the second half of the tournament. In the game of Lucknow stalwarts, KK Khare was winning all the way but blundered a full rook and the game to Prabhat Adhaulya.

Final top standings: Qamar Naim 6.5 pts, Balgovind Awasthi 6 pts, RK Gupta, KK Kulhary, KM Verma, KK Khare 5 pts, Prabhat Adhaulya 4.5 pts, Munir Ahmad, MS Siddiqui, Vimal Bhatia, Harish Kumar Srivastava, RS Kashyap, Sharda Prasad Pandey, UB Singh 4 pts, Shamim Ahmad, Kamlesh Kumar Kesharwani, Deep Saxena, RP Gupta, Phoolchand Basore, Anurag Srivastava, Ambuj Agarwal, Moolchand, KK Gupta, Vinayak Rao, S Mahana, Ajit Kumar Srivastava, Rajesh Sharma 3 pts.


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Saturday, July 30, 2022

Harshit 1st in u1800 at Belgrade Chess Open, gains 218 fide rating points

Lucknow, July 30: Heartiest Congratulations to CCBW kid Harshit Amarnani, Lucknow, for winning first prize in the u1800 category (Euro 100) and gaining a fantastic 218 fide rating points in Belgrade, Serbia today! He just concluded the Belgrade Open - Vozhdovac Trophy 2022 with a score of 6/9. Harshit definitely has his parents, Prashant and Suvidha, to thank. Sacrificing their own time and work to help him pursue his chess dreams. His sister, Himmika, a tennis player, always the naughty support. Himmika too is a chess player in her own right! 

He has trained with UP Champion Dr Junaid Ahmad, district champion Arif Ali at Chess Club Black & White, Lucknow (CCBW) and WIM Mrunalini Kunte at the Kunte Chess Academy, Pune.

His score includes a draw with Fide Master Nikolic Boban, Women's International Master Rucha Pujari, and International Master Andrijevic Milan. It also includes a win over Fide Master Maric Dragan.

Harshit's rating goes to 1788 in the new FIDE rating list making him the top-rated junior in Uttar Pradesh. He is already in the top-1000 rated juniors in Asia.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Tech Mahindra Hosts Unique Chess Flash Mob in 40 Cities Across the World

New Delhi, July 21, 2022: Tech Mahindra, a leading provider of digital transformation, consulting, and business re-engineering services and solutions, today hosted a first-of-its-kind Chess Flash Mob on the occasion of International Chess Day. The Flash Mob was conducted simultaneously across 40 Tech Mahindra campuses including Dallas, USA, Netherlands, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Bangalore, among others, and in several of Tech Mahindra’s partners and customer campuses worldwide. Tech Mahindra’s employees also got the opportunity to play Chess and won exclusive merchandise signed by Viswanathan Anand.



Viswanathan Anand, five-time world chess champion, said, “As someone who has been playing Chess since the age of six, I have seen the popularity of Chess grow manifold in India and across the world. It has been fascinating to observe the changes through these decades. On the occasion of International Chess Day, it is heartwarming to see stakeholders from different walks of life come together for the first-of-its-kind Chess Flash Mob. I believe this unique initiative will further fuel the popularity of the game in India.”

Arkady Dvorkovich, FIDE President, said, “It is heartening to witness the Indian Chess ecosystem transform through digitalization. The Chess Flash Mob is an interesting initiative to further revive the sport and engage with fans. We thank Tech Mahindra for their continuous efforts in supporting this legacy sport and ensuring the highest sporting, organization, and digital standards are maintained while the event unfolds.”

Tech Mahindra is the first corporate organization that has come on board for the FIDE Chess Olympiad. As part of the partnership, Tech Mahindra will provide digital technology solutions such as Fan Nxt.Now to re-define the experience for Chess fans across the globe.

Dr. Sanjay Kapoor, President, All India Chess Federation, said, “On the occasion of International Chess Day, Tech Mahindra’s initiative will give sports enthusiasts the pleasure of celebrating this bequest to the fullest. The Chess Flash Mob will be a sight to behold as we will witness rational thinking, strategy, fun, and frolic, all unfold against the backdrop of chess.”

The Flash Mob witnessed active employee participation as they came in large numbers to participate in the game.

Jagdish Mitra, Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Growth, Tech Mahindra, said, “At Tech Mahindra, we are committed to keeping the legacy of Chess alive by providing a next-generation, immersive digital fan experience by leveraging Fan Nxt.Now. We believe that the rising popularity of chess in India makes this an excellent time to host an event like Chess Flash Mob to engage chess enthusiasts and celebrate this legacy sport in unison. A first-of-its-kind initiative, the Chess Flash Mob would further fuel the popularity of Chess by bringing together chess fans across the country.”

This initiative is part of Tech Mahindra’s commitment to further catalyze the popularity of Chess in India and is a follow-up post the FIDE Olympiad Torch relay that was hosted by the organization at several of its campuses.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Rs 35,000 Prize Money Chess Tournament hosted by CCBW in Lucknow on July 17

The Rs 35,000 prize money open chess tournament will be hosted by Chess Club Black & White in Lucknow on Sunday July 17, 2022 at Hotel The Golden Apple in Mahanagar. Several top players of the region have already registered for the tournament. The first prize is Rs 5,000, second is Rs 4,000, third is Rs 3,000, fourth is Rs 2,000 and fifth is Rs 1,000. There are a total of 30 cash prizes and several other age-group prizes. Request a detailed brochure via whatsapp to +918015116443.







Tuesday, May 17, 2022

IM Nubair, WIM Rucha Stream Vote Team Chess with SquareOff Pro and Fans

Two young stars of Indian chess - International Master (IM) Nubair Shah Sheikh and Women's International Master (WIM) Rucha Pujari - came together to host a novel chess event combining online with over-the-board (OTB) chess as hundreds of their fans tuned in to play as teams!

The two popular Indian chess stars upgraded their home studio acoustic systems and linked their computers to what is the world's first rollable eboard.

Though the two chess masters were connected online from different cities, they were actually making the moves on a board instead of on the screen!
 

"Chess witnessed an online boom during the lockdown and after the initial fizz, we all missed the real otb experience," said WIM Rucha Pujari. IM Nubair Shah added, "Staring at screens in deep thought for hours can really strain your eyes. We decided to get around that." Both IM Nubair and WIM Rucha are top streamers among professional chess players of India on YouTube and Twitch. While IM Rucha brings a modern tech style to her shows, IM Nubair is the one adding all the crazy hilarious comments.

"All our followers joined in from around the world and Indian fans were still awake even as the game continued till 3 am. We called it vote chess. Nubair's team played White versus my followers as Black. According to the majority move suggested by my team, I made the move on the board. No staring at the screen. Similarly, IM Nubair played with his team. The moves got transmitted automatically."

Midway, WIM Rucha Pujari even switched off the lights in her home studio to show the eboard glowing beautifully in the dark even as both the players exchanged in fun banter. Some chess fans tuned in to both the streams and starting voting for moves for both the sides, laughed IM Nubair. He said, "I had to step in to ask that at least don't play traitor. This was our first trial show. We are going to do several with prizes and gifts for our fans in the near future."

Rucha's team set up an exciting trap for White's Queen, but if Rucha's team dared captur the Queen, they would get checkmated. The audience was smart enough to spot everything, said Rucha. The exciting game hung dangerously for both sides for over 20 moves with neither set of fans willing to give up. Finally, the players stepped in to declare a draw around 3.30 am.

IM Nubair Shah Sheikh is awaiting his final norm to be the next Grandmaster from India while WIM Rucha is working on her next title jump. They are both active on social media bringing lots of international players to their shows for Indian chess fans. They also host shows while explaining their thinking patterns during live online tournaments.

Monday, January 17, 2022

"Take Advice, but Play YOUR Own Move in Life!"

Indian chess found a literary and philosophical voice recently. Black & White catches up with Chennai-born engineer chess player-coach, and author, Naveen Karthikeyan. Zainab Raza Undulusi convinced the shy young man to step out of his shell for a bit.

Title: 18x64 - Chess Class, Life Lessons with Bhagavad Gita shlokas

Availability: Amazon, Flipkart, Publisher website, author website, select brick 'n mortar bookstores (discount link at end of article)

"Sit anywhere and have whatever if you wish to," smiles the lanky author pointing to a tray of tea and coffee sachets as you enter his study.

Part amused, part charmed you take off your mask and sit down.

"Freedom. I believe in Freedom," says Naveen Karthikeyan sounding apologetic, "I didn't mean to be rude according to Indian traditions of welcoming a guest."

Q: Indeed. Isn't there a whole chess and life lesson link to the idea of "Freedom" in your book?

Karthikeyan explains, "Everyone likes to control someone else's game of life. We are constantly told what move to play particularly when making the most important choices in life. Not that people want to harm you when advising. It can be well-meaning friends or family members but they may have no clue who you really are as an individual. It can be society looking at generalising everyone or prejudices etc. Just that freedom of individual choice is restricted or missing. It's your life, your game. No one else has the right to play it. Take advice and take decisions your way. Young Indians truly need to do that. Like in chess. It's worth the struggle to be you - the original you - and take responsibility for being you."

Q: So how do you know your decision is right?

"I don't know. Please don't project me as a guru. I'm not one. I don't have any answers," he's quick to reply.

There's a silence between us. I decide on the tea.

Karthikeyan continues, "This monk once told me that the decision has to feel right for you in your heart region. You try to sense honestly the energy there. 

"That's why we read, discuss, travel etc to cultivate ourselves, to have the knowledge to take good decisions for ourselves. It's not about me versus someone or society. It's about me versus the old me." 

Some fans picking up the book at a meet-the-author event
at Dubai Expo recently.


Q: You've already been apologetic twice about your thoughts here

"Maybe, I want to protect your freedom of not getting influenced by me," he smiles.

Such life lessons combined with super-strong chess studies make Karthikeyan's book a delight to read.

Karthikeyan says, "The 18 chapters of the Bhagavad Gita and 64 squares of the chessboard hold spiritual secrets. Isn't it amazing that we talk of two battlefields and the message is construction, not destruction."

"I have also tried to explore the concept of meditation in my book. It's state of flow. The world's best sportsmen, musicians, creative artists all go into a zone that is defined by a timelessness. Somehow, we can access creativity or, what I would call, a higher consciousness. We, as Chess players, feel the state of flow or meditation during our games." 

Karthikeyan adds, "I want the book to be a beginning of philosophical analysis among chess players and a beginning of Chess for non-players."

18x64 is written in simple English structured in carefully thought-out 22 chapters. Each chapter consists of a shloka (in Sanskrit), followed by a literal translation, scene setting from the Kurukshetra battlefield, a life philosophy interpretation and a thought for chess players. There are a total of 108 chess studies in the book which are sure to raise your playing strength.

Q: How did the book happen?

"Dr Junaid Ahmad (former chess champion of Uttar Pradesh) is a senior Indian chess player and chess club administrator. I was visiting him for my chess sets business at his club. I had no clue that a short trip would extend to so many days. The virus happened. There were no return flights. I was forced to spend time in his extensive library. My father had changed worlds a few months back. I was already emotionally at my weakest. The library kept me afloat. I was reading the Bhagavad Gita and I was studying Chess. By some grace, it all came together."

"The beauty of Chess is that you don't have to be a professional player to benefit from what it gives you. I'm no expert. I just want to share what I gained during my own healing process and while studying Chess," he says.

Q: An engineer by profession, Naveen Karthikeyan is also a chess coach and Fide arbiter. How's that?

"I started out by playing actually. I had to switch to teaching to earn during my father's illness," he says. "I hope I can return to playing, but my greater satisfaction now will be even if one person benefits the slightest from the content of my book - in life and in chess." 


*Hot seat Rapid Round*

Favourite world champion: Bobby Fischer

Favourite chess player: Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson (also my hero. I want to think, play, and write like him.)

Favourite openings: 1.e4, Caro Kann, King's Indian

Favourite city: Really can't say one please so that's Chennai, Lucknow, Berlin, Barcelona and Amsterdam. 

Favourite food: Dosa evermore 

I am happy when: the kids in my class fall in love with chess 

Future plans: all adventures entrusted to destiny 

Girlfriend/Partner: too personal to tell 

Life is: a game

Chess is: Life

India is: the best

Meditation is: Power

Workout: Yoga and Qi Gong

Chennai has so many GMs because: It's in the air

Other interests: learning languages, reading everything, gardening and cooking

Favourite book: Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

Pets: Cat lover

Life philosophy: Freedom. Individual liberty and free societies.

The book can be purchased on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle versions.
If you purchase the paperback book on author website, use code BANDW for a Rs 100 discount.



Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Aid Visually Challenged Star

Mohammed Saliah is a national-level chess player with International Fide rating of 1463, but born blind. He has won several chess championships at the state and national levels. Saliah has the ability to play with multiple people simultaneously by memorising up to 10 boards. 



He is currently pursuing his LLB and his dream is to start a chess academy where he could support people to refine their skills in chess and giving training on techniques to improve memory and thinking power. 

Six members of his family are blind including his grandfather, father, Saliah himself, his two sisters and his daughter. Your donation will light up their life.

Most people who watch his game, congratulate him, sympathise and some rarely offer donations but no one has really come forward to help him create a stable income by starting his own venture in the field of chess. 
Saliah is 100 % visually challenged. However, most of his accolades were achieved not as a participant in that category!

For donation details contact: Mr Unnikrishnan Nair @ +919745009573

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