India's first chess features print magazine published quarterly from Lucknow since 2004 by Aspire Welfare Society.
Showing posts with label lucknow chess. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lucknow chess. Show all posts

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

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

CCBW felicitates Lucknow Chess Icons

The Chess Club Black & White (CCBW) felicitated chess icons of Lucknow on January 7, 2024. If not for the personal contribution of these people, Lucknow's chess would have been a desert for the last twenty years and city's children would not have got the opportunities they did. We celebrate these chess icons who have kept our beautiful game alive in the city. 


The chess icons of Lucknow who have kept alive the game in the city for the last twenty years with chief guest Agnishikha Verma at a special felicitation ceremony on the sidelines of the CCBW Open Chess Tournament.

International player, trainer & organiser: Devendra Bajpai: One of Lucknow's finest senior chess players with deep opening knowledge and a talented musician. He has both an amazing voice and god-gifted ability to play any instrument. He was long associated with Lucknow's traditional annual international open tournament for over fifteen years, the Piloo Modi Chess up to 2012. Bajpai and Hemant Sharma, along with players in Delhi, were the key players to successfully contest a case banning players and restriction upon organising of tournaments thereby benefiting the entire chess community of India.

State champion & trainer Dr Junaid Ahmad: Sports officer at the Lucknow Municipal Corporation, managing editor of India's only chess features magazine printed from 2004 to 2012 is now honorary director of children's club Chess Club Black & White. He has trained several youngsters and organises special tournaments for senior citizens and women. He has been associated with the research work for International Arbiter Naveen Karthikeyan's book "18x64: Chess Class with Bhagavad Gita shlokas*. 

International Arbiter Hemant Sharma: Not just a trainer but Lucknow's first and only International Arbiter. He has brought many chess tournaments to the state capital and has been associated with the Piloo Modi Open Chess Tournament.

Player, trainer Saeed Ahmad: retired from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has brought a professionalism to Lucknow chess with both his playing and training methods. He has set high standards for himself and his online and offline students at his Lucknow Chess Centre. 

Pawan Batham: has been coaching youngsters and playing for several years along with his employment with the Sales Tax Department. He has been playing partner for several kids playing at national level. 

Player, trainer Arif Ali: is one of the strongest senior players in the State Capital and has worked with several rated children in the city. 

Tournament organiser Devendra Nanda: has long organised open tournaments with his own funding to end the drought of tournaments in Lucknow. 

Jalaluddin: Lucknow's finest and National Awardee bone carver keeping alive the hundreds-of-years-old art of bone carving and making some of the finest high-end traditional theme sets in exquisite designs. 

Ravi Shankar: Youth coach with the Delhi Public School in Lucknow leads one of the strongest school teams in the state of Uttar Pradesh. 

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Vartika, Deepanjali, Daksha win 2nd edition of CCBW Chess Princess 2024

Lucknow: Vartika R Verma scored a perfect 7/7 to win the 2nd CCBW Chess Princess 2004 title at a city hotel here today in the female-players-only tournament. Deepanjali Mehrotra lost a Rook-Bishop endgame to Vartika but won all other games to stand second with six points. Daksha Singh scored a creditable 4 points to stand third on tiebreak ahead of Pooja Kashyap and Anupama Khare.

Also released on the occasion was Fide International Arbiter Naveen Karthikeyan's second chess novella "2. Zih-e-Lucknow#". The book is a unique research work — part history, part fiction — that encapsulates Lucknow's chess legacy from the 19th century on. As the young author says, "It's a book for lovers of chess, lovers of Lucknow and lovers."

Special guests on the occasion were Uzma Siddiqui-Kidwai and Rocio Perez. Ms Kidwai is principal, Karamat Girls, and has twice received the UP Government District Teacher Award in 2021 and 2023. Educationist Ms Perez, Mexico City, is a Spanish professor promoting Indo-Mexican cultural ties.

Chess Club Black & White honorary director, UP State champion, 2002, Dr Junaid Ahmad said, "As a club we want to create awareness that chess is a life skill sport and children should not be pushed into its professional aspect unless they are truly ready. Also, this all-women tournament was our smallest of efforts to help create a safe and secure environment for more girls to play a close-proximity and emotionally tough sport like chess."

Top results

1st Vartika R Verma 7 points, 2nd. Deepanjali Mehrotra 6 pts, 3-5th Daksha Singh, Pooja Kashyap, Anupama Khare, 4, Pooja Mehrotra, 2.

U10 1st Saanica Sinha, 3.5, 2nd Advika Tiwari, 2 pts (also youngest participant), Aditri S. Baiswar, 1 pt.

U13 1st Aditi Singh 4 pts, Shivangi Sharma 3.5 pt.

U15 1st Anushka Sen 3 pts.

Senior Citizen 1st S. Mahana 4 pts, Indrani Basu 3 pts.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Protect your Queen Campaign Tournment: Respecting Girls in Chess, Society

Pawan, Ayush star jn CCBW "Protect your Queen" Awareness Campaign Chess Tournament; Aiman Best WomanL

Lucknow: Senior Lucknow player Pawan Batham, and 14-year-old Ayush Saxena from Shahjahanpur, tied for the first place at the "Protect your Queen" chess tournament at Hotel De Global Park, Nirala Nagar, today. Both scored 5.5/6 points and all credit to Ayush for drawing with top seed Pawan. The winner's trophy went to Pawan on tiebreak score. Aiman Akhtar was Best Woman with 4.5 points followed by Pooja Kashyap and Vineeta Agarwal.

Chess Club Black & White (CCBW) organised the tournament as part of a campaign launched by 13-year-old Prisha Garg of Kunskapsskolan School. Prisha says, "Chess is a sport where boys and girls can compete at the same level but, sometimes, boys tease and harass when they lose to a girl." 

Garima Gupta, Educationist and Young Indian Scientist, awarded by late President Abdul Kalam, with prize winners at a chess tournament to promote respect for girls, at Hotel De Global Park, Nirala Nagar.

She added, "Not just in chess, in society as a whole, my campaign is not about punishing errant boys but about creating awareness in society. Chess is a great way to say girls are capable as well." India Women's Chess No. 2, Dronavalli too has reported being harassed at the international level. 

Special prizes at the event included: Best Chess Dad 1st and 2nd Kuldeep Kumar and Kanishka Deva Rastogi. Best Chess Mom was Shweta Bharti. Best chess-theme-royalty dress prize went to Arun Singh who wore a dazzling turban to the tournament. 

Chief guest Garima Gupta, educationist and Young Indian Scientist, awarded by late president Abdul Kalam, gave away the prizes.

*Final Standings*

1st-2nd Pawan Batham, Ayush Saxena 5 pts (on tiebreak) 3rd Arun Singh 5, 4th Sameer Mukherjee 4.5 pts, 5th-8th Krishna Tejas T, Nikhar Saxena, Harshit Arora, Abhishek Srivastava 4 pts 9th Sudhir Verma 3.5 pts 10th-12th Aniket Mohan, Parth Bhalla, Vinay. 

*Best Veteran* 1st Ajit Kumar Srivastava 4 pts, 2nd UB Singh 3.5 pts 

*U15* 1st Arnav Tripathi 4 pts, 2nd Prisha Garg 2 pts

*13* 1st Atharv Thapliyal 4 pts, 2nd Arjun Garg 3.5 pts

*U9* 1st Aja Thapliyal 2.5 pts, 2nd Yuvaan Grover 2 pts.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Lucknow's Arif Ali wins CCBW Chess Open, Jusfica top Woman Player

Lucknow: Arif Ali won the 2nd CCBW Open Chess here today with a consistent performance in a field of more than 100 top chess players from Varanasi, Kanpur, Gorakhpur, Allahabad and Lucknow.

Vikash Nishad was second with a draw against Ali in an Alekhine-game converting into a French pawn structure. Eleven-year-old Sanyam Srivastava was the kid hero holding rated second seed Pawan Batham to a draw and making it to the main prize list.

Jusfica Lilium Lobo from Lucknow was Best Woman and Dinesh Sinha from Kanpur won the Veteran +60 Section. Among the juniors, u-13 section, Prisha Garg from Lucknow was Best Girl and Arnav Tripathi was Best Boy. Aaryav Yogesh was top scorer in the u-10 category. 

Chess Club Black & White hosted the tournament with free lunch and international-standard playing conditions at a city hotel. Mrs Agni Shikha Verma, Chairperson of the Agni Shikha Karn Educational Charitable Trust and Principal of AWADH ITI, gave away the prizes. 

*Top Prize Winners*

Open 1st-15th: Arif Ali, Vikash Nishad 6.5, Gufran 6, Pawan Batham 5.5, Anchal Rastogi, Sayeed Ahmad, Shashi Prakash, Vishal Bharti, Rajendra Kumar, Mayank Pandey, Vimal Bhatia,  KK Kulhary, Ayush Saxena, Akash Srivastava, Udit Gupta 5.

Women 1st-3rd: Jusfica Lilium Lobo, Aiman Akhtar, Shweta Bharti

Veterans +60 1st-3rd Dinesh Sinha, KK Khare, RK Gupta 5

Under-9 1st-2nd Aaryav Yogesh, Mahir Agarwal 

Rating Categories 1st-2nd

Unrated - 1099: Shubh Srivastava, Suneel Kumar

1100-1299: Abhishek Kumar Mishra, Sanyam Srivastava 

1300-1499: Vinayak Singh Yadav, Shani Kumar Soni

1500-1699: Ravishanker, Sunny Mathew

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.

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.



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