Thursday, January 29, 2015

Debashis holds Veselin Topalov!

28th January 2015 was my 25th birthday. Many people asked me, "Why haven't you written something on your blog?" My reason was simple. Being born on a specific day doesn't warrant an article to be written on the blog, you have to do something special!
And something special was exactly what a young 21-year-old grandmaster from India did yesterday!

Veselin Topalov made it to the history books as the first player ever above 2800 to participate in any open tournament. We are talking about the Gibraltar Chess Festival 2015!

In the second round Debashis played against the former world champion

The game was extremely complicated and interesting

And our young hero was able to hold the Bulgarian number one!

Here is the game played by Debashis with analysis by GM Alejandro Ramirez and taken from the ChessBase website.

This draw would have been very special for Debashis because just a few months ago he played another great player and Topalov's arch rival...

....GM Vladimir Kramnik at the Qatar Open in November 2014

Kramnik tries to see what his opponent's name is which means that he came to the game without any preparation. Look at Debashis! I think mentally he had decided that the next time he plays a World class player he would not let him off easy!

This is a brilliant feat for the young Orissa lad who according to me is one of the most hard-working players in the country. Debashis is extremely dedicated towards the game of chess and this can be seen from the fact that he lives in Orissa away from his parents just so that he could focus more on his practice. Apart from his hard working nature, there is one quality of Debashis which I simply admire- his self confidence!

Back in December 2012 when Debashis was 2464 and had just 1 GM norm, he promised in front of a huge crowd in Bhubaneshwar that he would soon become Orissa's first grandmaster

That was my reaction on December 2012 to Debashis's post and it is still the same!

The road to the GM title was not easy but Debashis's attitude was simply perfect!

He achieved the title around a year later in November 2013 and fulfilled his promise of becoming Orissa's first grandmaster.

Receiving an award from Orissa's chief minister Naveen Patnaik

Debashis is a huge celebrity in his state and it wouldn't be an overstatement if I said that he is much more popular among the common masses in his state than some of the cricket players. This was attested by the following anecdote:
" Around a year ago my laptop had crashed. I called an engineer home and he was trying to repair it. When the computer restarted he saw a lot of chess icons on my desktop. He asked, "Aap chess khelto ho?" (do you play chess?). I replied, "haan kya aap bhi khelto ho?" (yes, do you also play the game?) And then he said something which I remember till date, "Chess to mein nahi khelta but TV pe hamesha news mein Debashis Das ko dekhta hoon!" (I do not follow chess but always see Debashis Das in the news!) Not Vishy Anand, or Harikrishna or Sasikiran, the man followed Debashis Das. I immediately realized that he was from Orissa. In December 2013 when I was travelling in the train with the young Orissa GM, I called the computer engineer and gave the phone to Debashis. Maybe those were the best two minutes of the engineer's life! When I next met him he thanked me for making a chat with Debashis possible! This is how popular Debashis is in his state!"

Such unnecessary publicity is the only thing that might come between Debashis and his dream of becoming a world class player. (picture taken from Rakesh KumarJena's blog)

Debashis is currently 2503 but I think with the right approach, attitude and self confidence that he possesses I am sure that he will break into 2600 by the end of this year! 

Debashis and Akshat Khamparia at my place in December 2013.
Debashis has a special bond with me. He is the first GM who has come and stayed at my residence ! :) 

1 comment:

  1. Gm debasis- we all are proud of you.. Keep bringing more laurels for our country.. @sagar- nice article..