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Error in 64 Squares

This was my first loss in Nationals and I could not digest it for the very fact that I knew the best move for that position but my hands touched the incorrect pieces on the board. Read...

By Sanju Sinha

The day was really bright and sunny and the sun was blazing all over Chennai, I was getting restless, for Bangalore weather has spoilt me for past 4 ½ years with its cool and pleasant weather. The venue for the 10th National City Championship event was Nehru stadium in T.Nagar, this was my first visit to Chennai and hardly hours in the city I wanted to go back! The Bangalore Chess team was all happy, gay and cheer full it consisted of four players who got top four positions in Bangalore District championship. The three others were Vinay, Karthik and James while Vinay was a Manager in my previous company (ORACLE) other two were small kids, Karthik is a bright and matured 10 year old boy while James is an 8 year old naughty boy, he is little shy at first sight but once he becomes friendly he is a menace, the same is true for him in the Chess Board for he is not an ordinary boy of his age, he can rip apart through the defence of his opponents forte with ease who are way senior and experienced than him, the only thing this boy lacked was consistency and concentration on the board, I have seen both these boy mercilessly attacking their opponents and forced them to resign. Vinay and I adored them very much.

The first day of the National city championship began on a happy note with all four winning our respective games and hence gaining four points out of possible four, In chess you get a point for a win, ½ for a draw and Zero for a loss, We all four used to prepare our games in the night and I used to help them out with new variation and attacking methods. Second round again was good for all four as we all won our respective games and returned back on a happy note, third round was bit hazy as James lost his calm and this cost him a point, on the other board our matured boy drew his game, me and Vinay managed to win our games, in the fourth round Karthik made a small mistake and lost his game so on the fourth day we only managed three points, As for those who does not know the competitive world of Chess for them I want to add this little bit of information that, as the game progresses and you tend to win each and every game the opponent seems to be better than the previous one, this is just because of the very simple fact that your opponent is also on the same page as you are, and he is beating his opponents on the other side of the tournament hall. I was paired against a very good player of Chennai named Shrikanth in my fifth round and we both had five points out of five rounds, this gentleman was known for his attacking skill, the game went on for 35 moves very calmly, suddenly ideas started pouring in my mind to complicate the issue and I wanted to win the game by force, in the thick of the things; I made a move that was not intended to be, though that move was there in my mind for quite sometimes, the entire chemistry of the game was changed by that Night move of mine. I found myself in a disastrous situation and slowly by position deteriorated, my opponent started to squeeze me like a python and finally I resigned on 46th move.

This was my first loss in Nationals and I could not digest it for the very fact that I knew the best move for that position but my hands touched the incorrect pieces on the board, in Chess if the mind and the body does not correlate this is a dangerous situation, that is what exactly happened to me in a spurt of moment. How many times in life we take decisions thinking that it is the best for that moment and it turns out to be otherwise, from my Guwahati day’s as a young boy, I have never come to terms with defeat easily in any form, and its been almost 12 years of my competitive chess ?! Coming to this national event and losing was a disgusting thought, but just as I was ever, I prepared for a fight back in my sixth round to crush my opponent, so here in my sixth round I was paired with one of the finest player of Andhra Pradesh his name was Abdul Gani. The game started with a violent note, I started throwing pieces on my opponents king from the very first move, I was on my very best on that day, in a very short span of time I was able to blast open my opponents defence and forced him to resign on 26th move, this was an amazing victory for me in nationals as I sacrificed my pieces with accuracy and swiftly one after the other, if on that moment if I would have missed any chances the result would have been different. Attacking requires perfect timing as well as nerve. Knowing the right time to attack is as much an art as science, and even for the very best it’s often guesswork. The window of opportunity is usually very small, as with most dynamic factors, no neon signs appear to say that there is a big opportunity right round the corner. I won the seventh and eight rounds and managed to bag only 7th position in Nationals. News papers and reporters gathered around the top ten contenders of prize clicking pictures for the sport section and taking interviews.

The prizes were distributed my Honourable chief minister Mr. M.Karunadhi as for Vinay Karthik and James they stood 25th, 20th and 22nd

Though I could not break into top three in Nationals, I was given a warm welcome in my office for my achievement in Nationals by our company VP and my immediate manager, this was sweet as I was tired after a long fought battle in Chennai considering the hot weather and the irritating rickshaw.

As for those of you who want to know about my colleagues in national games, James has toped in Karnataka under 10 Chess championship 2008, he is a child prodigy, Karthik recently won the under fourteen Mangalore Chess Championship and is doing good with his academics, Vinay has joined a software company named VMware as a Global manager for Asia.

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  1. Chess champion, its ok If you lost the first one but you got the second one na Because Success on your way and you Deserve it that’s why you won the Championship. Nice success story……All the Best for your Future….

  2. Hi Sanju,

    Thanks for the nice stories.

    I can understand the pressure of such championships and the nice feelings of triumph over highly rated players. Moreover, games like CHESS and CARROM are normally organised in indoor stadiums.

    Actually, I had also participated in two PSPB ( Petroleum Sports Promotion Board )carrom championship in 2002 and 2006. The last one was in the Nehru Indoor Stadium, Chennai in Sep'2006. During those championships, I got the opportunities to play against world top players (mostly from IOC and BPCL).

    I had represented GAIL(India)Ltd in these championships.

    Anyway you narration of the experience is very nice.

    Please do keep writing.

    a BM


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