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

Monday, February 26, 2024

Lucknow youngster Harshit stars in Prague Chess 2024, ties for 2nd place

Prague: Lucknow youngster Harshit Amarnani played some great chess at the Prague Chess Rapid 2024 to tie for second place with a fantastic score of 6/7 in an international field of more than a hundred strong players. His score included a win over Ukrainian Fide Master Artem Berin and four other wins plus two draws. His rapid rating goes up by 83 points.
That's not all! Harshit played back-to-back classical tournaments including Prague Chess Open 2024, Marienbad Chess Open, 2024, and Rudar FM IV Scheveningen - Pozarevac Serbia for a total gain of 117 rating points. Harshit also picked up 60 blitz rating points in Marienbad. This makes Harshit jump to the top 600 professional active players of India.
Harshit's coaches believe he has way to go considering the resilience and hard work he has displayed going from a ten-year-old kid with a zero in his first tournament. He is an inspiration for all at the club. In a quick chat, here are more words of wisdom from this star set to shine brighter and brighter in the years to come.

Q: Five back-to-back tournaments with no breathing space! Why did you choose to go though this grind?

Harshit: That's because this is what I like. Despite the challenges, there is no other grind I'd rather go through. One has to work hard in any profession.

Q: You've been playing for a decade. What do you feel about professional chess now compared to what you felt as a kid?
Harshit: As a kid, I did not know much about professional chess. As I've grown up, I've come to know more and more about it, the possible ups and downs as well as an idea of the kind of life it brings. I feel that professional chess makes you experience life in a very different way as compared to most other careers. All the travelling, interaction with new people and exploration of new places teaches you amazing things.

Q: Your advice to juniors in the below-teen category starting out on chess?
Harshit: I do not think I am in any position to give advice to pre-teen kids. All I can say to them is to have fun and enjoy the game whilst working hard at the same time. I can only repeat what Grandmaster RB Ramesh said in an online webinar which is that there are three possible results of a chess game - winning, drawing and learning.

Q: You started out when there was very little awareness about professional chess in Lucknow in 2014. You and your family had to navigate the lows of tournaments pretty much alone. How should parents help their children in chess?
Harshit: Parents play a huge role in my opinion. I feel they need to be extremely supportive at the start to let their child go and play pressure-free. Trusting the child and making them feel understood is also important with regard to the child's performance. In chess, one loses a lot. It's the quality and understanding of games that matters. Winnin starts many, many years later. I'm truly blessed in having a supportive family and coaches.

Q: All these years, how have you balanced chess and studies?
Harshit: Balancing chess and studies has been difficult but you gotta do what you gotta do. Till now also, I don't think I'm even decent at balancing both but I am trying to improve every day and I think that's what matters.

Q: What is your general chess training schedule?
Harshit: Generally, my training schedule comprises a good number of tactical positions mixed with practice games along with endgame and opening study. But, obviously, the specifications keep changing depending on the need of the situation.

Q: In chess, one loses a lot, much more than winning, particularly in the early years. How do you get over the lows and what has kept you motivated even now in college?
Harshit: I think you just learn; learn to handle losses and look at them from a different perspective. Initially it was very tough to cope with losses especially as a kid but that is when the support of your coach and parents comes into play. I do not make much of a conscious effort to get over the lows. I let time do the healing. I try and focus on the areas of improvement and how to better my game in every aspect.

Q: Tournaments require extensive travel and what with expensive training, how do you handle the financials?
Harshit: Until now, all financials of chess tournaments and training have been borne majorly by my family especially my parents who I am very grateful to. I can say that I have tried to chime in a bit via some active and passive sources of income that I have set up lately but it's mostly been my parents who've supported me in every way.

Q: What are your current chess plans for the immediate future?
Harshit: Plan is to give my best in whichever situation I am in. I do plan to play more tournaments but have not yet decided which ones.

Harshit is truly a wonderful chess youngster. We request all wishing to sponsor and support Harshit in his chess quest to email sponsor proposals directly. — Team CCBW

Friday, February 9, 2024

Chessable International Research Awards 2024 Entries: Undergraduates, Graduates

The online chess learning platform Chessable (part of is seeking undergraduate and graduate students, along with their faculty research sponsors, to apply for the Chessable Research Awards 2024 cycle. Each winning faculty research sponsor gets $500. Each undergraduate student winner gets $500, and each winning graduate student gets $1,000. The deadline for applications is May 15, 2024.

The Chessable Research Awards are an initiative to promote chess research and 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.

For more information about the Chessable Research Awards, visit awards

For more information about the Chessable science team and its initiatives, visit and click on the green banner “View Our Active Scientific Research.”

Blog posts by past Chessable Research Awards winners (their names are linked to their blog posts): Aditya Gupta; Jérôme Genzling; Jordan von Hippel; Michael Martins; Jane Zhang; Adam DeHollander; Sarah Kudron.
Best regards,
Chief Science Officer Alexey Root,
Science Project Manager Karel van Delft,


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