Sunday, September 20, 2015

A day with Bobby Fischer!

Today (19th September) ChessBase India invited all the players of Mumbai to celebrate the day remembering the greatest chess player that ever lived - Bobby Fischer

The plan was the following:
1. Meet at R-city mall Ghatkopar at 9 a.m. for the movie Pawn Sacrifice. The movie begins at 9.15 a.m and the ticket cost is just Rs. 70.

Pawn Sacrifice is a movie based on the life of Bobby Fischer

2. After the movie ends at around 11.30 a.m all of us will go to my place where we will sit in front of the 42 inch television in the living room and see the ChessBase DVD - Master Class on Bobby Fischer.

3. The DVD has four sections by GM Rogozenco on openings, GM Mihail Marin on Strategy, IM Oliver Reeh on tactics and GM Karsten Mueller on Endgames. It lasts four five hours and we will see the entire DVD.

4. In between we will have a small break where you can go downstairs and grab a quick bite!

The above plan was decided just one day prior i.e on 18th September and we created a facebook event in order to organize the entire thing.

Amruta (my wife) and I left for the R-city mall at 8.30 a.m in the morning.

At such an early hour the roads leading to the mall were empty....

....and so was the mall

But ChessBase is everywhere!

The little kids came right on time shunning their sleep to see the great Bobby!

And my father (on the right) being a CA took out time from his hectic September end schedule to watch the movie. Mrs Parul (my aunt) came all the way from South Mumbai to not only watch the movie but to enjoy the company of ten year olds like Piya Saxena (middle).

Soon we were a huge gang of chess enthusiasts ranging from 10-65 years!
From left to right - Jainam Gala, Sanjeev Mishra, Divyanshu Sheth, Devarsh Shah, Malay Thakkar, Hetvi Pethad, Dhairya Ghelani, Dhairya's father, Rahul Ved, Hetvi's mother, Parulben, Piya Saxena and her grandmother. Two organizers sitting below - Amruta Mokal and Sagar Shah 

We had almost two rows to ourselves in the theatre!

The movie was very interesting. Well worth watching for any chess fan. You can find a few inaccuracies in the movie, but in general Toby Maguire has a done a wonderful job of playing the role of Bobby Fischer.
Some of the parents were worried whether to let their children see how paranoid Fischer became due to chess. I think the little ones should see what they have to avoid in future and in any case what you will go back with is Fischer's dedication and determination towards the game of chess and his single minded aim of becoming the World Champion. Let me not spill out the beans any further; just know that I heartily recommend this movie to you.

Mumbaikars with the movie poster

If you can't play like him then pose like him!

Next on the agenda was the ChessBase DVD - Master Class Vol.1 on Bobby Fischer. There were three GMs Rogozenco, Marin and Mueller and one IM Reeh who taught you all about Fischer's style of play.

The DVD has a running time of more than five hours.

After the movie got over around 11.30 a.m everyone had their lunch and came to my place. We all huddled around in the living room and at 1 p.m. started the DVD.

The DVD was broadcasted on the 42 inch television. Everyone was completely engrossed in learning about Fischer's style of play

Complete focus

You are not a true chess player till you have played Ruy Lopez in your life!

Everyone learnt about Fischer's treatment of the Ruy Lopez, his affection for the light squared bishop, always playing the Bc4 move in the Sicilian, sac-sac-mate on the h-file in the dragon, Fischer's favourite Najdorf, King's Indian and Benoni.
It's a wonderful DVD which teaches you a lot about this great chess player's career and style of play.

We also solved 14 tactical positions from Fischer's games. There was the Game of the Century against Donald Byrne, and also the Rf6!! blockade against Benko and not to forget Reshevsky's king drag with Bxf7 followed by Ne6! But there was one combination which I loved the most and I present it to you over here:

Variation from Fischer-Gligoric 1966

White to play and win.
Write down your answers in the comments section below.

Many of us worked on this DVD till 6 p.m. in the evening. Even though we couldn't finish it entirely, everyone went back home with a feeling of having learnt about not only Fischer but also the game of chess. It was truly a memorable day and one which I will cherish for days to come.
25 chess players from different places of Mumbai came together to enjoy the game of chess - that's the power of Bobby Fischer! 

We will be able to relive this wonderful day even after many years thanks to the pictures taken by Amruta Mokal

Here is what some of the participants of the event had to say:

Shubham Kumtekar
Honestly, it was fun! A lot of people from Mumbai's chess community coming together to watch the movie and then, indulging in a training session of sorts - what more could you ask from a day! Indeed, a day well spent remembering the great Bobby smile emoticon
Thanks a lot Sagar and Amruta for organizing this excellent event!

Sanjeev Mishra
I agree with Shubham. U don't get a training session with an IM everyday. Movie was good but the dvd was even better.. Learnt a lot.

Jainam Gala
The movie was great and so are Fischer's brilliancies. A day full of chess to honour him. #19thSeptsmile emoticon

Ketan Patil
The movie is awesome. I used to think that 5-6 hours of chess everyday is more than enough. But after seeing Fischer's dedication, 5-6 hours seemed nothing.It really inspires us to work more harder on chess. I think you Sagar Shah were correct in saying that if someone wants to be like Fischer, he needs to be a chess fanatic like Fischer. The dvd class after the movie helped us to understand Fischer in more depth. It was like a cherry on cake. Thanks a lot man. Keep it up.

Tejas Jayade
I honestly loved the event.. Thank you Sagar sir for taking this initiative.
Many tips, many ideas, a movie, a dvd session and one game.! All in all, a perfect #chessyday.

ChessBase India website is coming soon.
Till then get all the updates from it's facebook page.