One important lesson that I learnt being present at the National Premier is the importance of Self confidence. Each and every player exudes confidence when he sits at the board or makes a move. You might think they are confident because they qualified for National Premier but I would say its the other way round. These players back themselves to beat the best and even when caught out of preparation they believe that they can outplay their opponents. This is the reason why this tournament is so interesting. Each and every player believes that he can beat his opponent whoever he maybe!!
VISHNU vs LALITH 0.5-0.5
SHYAM NIKIL vs THEJKUMAR 0.5-0.5
The longest match of round 4 lasted for 5 hours. It was a Caro Kann defense by Thejkumar who seemed to be under quite some pressure in the opening. However Shyam Nikhil was not able to capitalise on his advantage and slowly drifted into a worse endgame. Now the question was whether Thej would be able to convert his advantage into a win. It was not really possible and the players made a draw.
When I entered the hall around 4.30 hrs into the game, I saw both the players sitting exactly with the same calm and poise as the above picture. Even under severe time pressure both played coolly and hardly showed any nervousness or excitement. It was really a site to behold. Entire hall was empty except for the two and the two gladiators didnt really care what was going on in the outside world!
STANY vs SASIKIRAN 0-1
AKSHAT vs ASHWIN 0-1
NEGI vs ADHIBAN 0-1
DEBASHIS vs RATHNAKARAN 1-0
AKASH vs DEEPAN 0.5-0.5
It was a completely crazy game and one that had the spectators on the edge of their seats. Deepan played the open variation of the Spanish and Akash seemed well prepared to face it. Akash got a messy position which he loves quite a lot, where as Deepan is more of a positional player. When Akash pushed his queenside pawn to a4, it seemed as if he wanted to create some queenside weakness. When infact it was just a prelude to a beautiful sacrifice. As the black queen was distracted to a8, Akash sacrificed his bishop on f7, a point that was guarded 3 times by black. Yet whichever way Deepan would recapture, he would be in trouble. Akash was cruising along the path to victory when out of no where Deepan started to create back rank threats. Akash must have remembered the famous proverb, "better safe than sorry". He could have just played his pawn to g3 and made room for his king but he was too busy creating his own threats. Deepan created enough play to cause serious problems to his opponent. And just when it seemed that the initiative was with black, the players agreed for a draw! The game was far from perfect but nonetheless it was a highly entertaining struggle.
The organisers have created some very nice clocks which show the amount of time left before the round will begin. here you can see that the round will start when the entire clock would be coloured green. So around 7 minutes left for the game to begin!
Many people meditate before the round, some people like to talk, some like to walk. B. Adhiban likes to listen to music. He listens to music almost till 1-2 mins are left for the round to begin! So we are beginning to understand the things that work for this talent: Music, a cap to avoid distraction, Dairy milk for instant energy and Gatorade to keep himself energized. Wow thats a lot to remember before the game!! :)
Debashis Das comes to breakfast table with a very funny and unconventional look.....
But on the chess board he has that look of a Super Grandmaster!!
THE BACK UP TEAM
Usually chess players travel to tournaments alone. However when it comes to important tournaments often they bring someone with them. It could be their parents or their wife or some coach or second. In this tournament 4 players have come along with their mothers and Thejkumar has his wife accompanying him.
As these people are closest to these champions, it made sense to ask them as to what exactly made their child/ husband such a special chess player?!!
The following were the answers:
PADMA M.R (Mother of Lalith Babu)
"When Lalith was 7 years old we introduced him to chess. While many of the children of his age started having their first social interactions at this age, Lalith started to immerse in the game of chess. Since then there is no looking back. Lalith, when he wakes up, the first thing on his mind is chess, when he goes to sleep, he is with chess, when he eats he is with chess! Chess is his life and he truly loves the game of chess! This is what is so special about him!"
Meena Jayaram ( Ashwin's mother)
I asked Ashwin's mother the question and said I will come back to you in some time for the answer. After 20 mins when I went to her and asked if she was ready. She replied: "I didnt need the time to think." Her answer was ready when I asked the question itself!
Its Ashwin's Passion and Dedication which make him really a very strong player.
Leela Baskaran ( Adhiban's mother)
"The thing which seperates my child from the rest is his confidence. He is always ready for a challenege. Whenever he plays a tournament, he always wants to play with the top seed and beat him. He relishes the opportunity of beating a higher rated player! And secondly its his dedication. Since the past 2 years Adhiban has been working on his physical fitness. His determination to succeed is so high that he never misses even one day at GYM."
That just about says it all right. Adhiban is confident, dedicated and determined! Amazing qualities!!
Manjula Ganesan (Mother of G,Akash)
" My son's biggest quality is his fearlessness. He is never afraid of any opponent. This quality helped him win the National Premier Championship in 2012, a feat which makes me so proud to be his mother! Now he is already an IM and I hope that he will soon become a GM.
Jayashree M K (Wife of Thejkumar)
"I cannot even imagine what the life of my husband would be without Chess. Chess has given him an identity and Chess made him something. In return for that he gives his 100% dedication to the game of chess. And he loves to play chess more than ratings and titles. He will also tell me, Shall I play this tournament or this tournament. He loves the struggle involved in a game of chess and thats why he can always play so well.
The thing which i find common amongst all these players is that each one loves the game of chess. Thats the key. They are passionate and dedicated to the game and finally they are fearless and confident.
If we all try to imbibe these qualities in us, I dont see why we wouldn't be playing in the next National Premier!! :)
Here are today's pairings:
|1||3||2487||IM||Ashwin Jayaram||IM||Debashis Das||2507||14|
|2||4||2666||GM||Sasikiran Krishnan||IM||Akshat Khamparia||2409||2|
|3||5||2462||GM||Deepan Chakkravarthy J.||IM||Stany G.A.||2397||1|
|4||6||2569||GM||Adhiban B.||IM||G. Akash||2343||13|
|5||7||2569||GM||Lalith Babu M.R.||GM||Negi Parimarjan||2671||12|
|6||8||2452||IM||Thejkumar M. S.||GM||Vishnu Prasanna. V||2523||11|
|7||9||2411||IM||Rathnakaran K.||IM||Shyam Nikil P.||2420||10|
Definitely and beyond doubt the most interesting match will be the in form Lalith Babu taking on the out of sorts Parimarjan Negi. Can Negi make a comeback by taking out the leader. He definitely possesses all the qualities to do that?!! It will be a great battle!
The games of the tournament can be downloaded from here:
You can also become a member at this facebook page and vote for the best game of the day contest.
Loads of action coming up, So stay tuned to this wonderful tournament!