OTB Chess tournaments begin!

After almost 11 months I got to play and  OTB  (over the board) chess tournament. The board pieces arranged in rows, the sound of the clock after every move, the jitters before round 1. The nervousness before every round, the excitement to watch the parings, ” switch off your mobile phones, no wristwatches allowed ” were some of the good old things.

The things that were new were Masks on during games, sanitization before entering the playing hall, temperature check, only one entry point to the playing hall, No entry for players below 10 years or above 65 years! The boards were arranged at a distance from each other. Thus the tournament was very spacious. Overall there was a mixed feeling at the start of the event. As it was a one day rapid, I kept just one expectation, to enjoy each round as the thought of getting to play a tournament turned into a reality after a huge amount of time.

Some words about the organization of the event –

Mr Prakash Kunte, chairman of Buddhibal Kreeda Trust had worked hard to maintain quality tournaments in Pune. Even this time he proved it by conducting an event with all the precautions and care. He is one of the enthusiastic organizers who has dared to conduct an event and provide a sigh of relief to players that events will happen in near future.

My experience –

Overall the first OTB Chess tournament was a mixed one for me as I scored 5.5/7 with 4 wins and 3 draws. But the experience of playing a tournament over the board was worth travelling from Ahmednagar to Pune! Playing an OTB Chess tournament made the player in me feel alive once again! All the frustration accumulated in the lockdown of not being able to play over the board went out of the window. I felt like I almost forgot the habit of thinking before making a move. This was just due to another habit of premoves which I developed by playing online. So, I took conscious effort to zone out from online chess and get in the zone of over the board chess a day before the event. Also, I was struggling in the very first round.

I did assume a situation like this might arise. So, to face any upset but never expected it to be in the very first round. Also as the event continued, I struggled with patience and stamina. At the end of round 5, I literally felt that I was running out of stamina. Still, 2 rounds to go, but I was totally exhausted. This long gap between two tournaments did make a big impact on stamina. To add to it, the mask made it quite suffocating. Things were not that easy but the excitement to play the tournament helped me finish well.

Following are a few images from the tournament
Inaugration with the hands of IM Vikramaditya Kulkarni and IM Abhishek Kelkar
Temperature check at the entry point.
Playing hall
IM Vikramaditya Kulkarni with Champions Trophy.
Prize winners from the event

 

 

 

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Daniil Dubov follows the Quote of Mikhail Tal!

“You must take your opponent into a deep dark forest where 2+2=5, and the path leading out is only wide enough for one.” – Mikhail Tal [8th World Chess Champion]

 

Yesterday, Daniil Dubov a Russian Super Grandmaster also the Former World Rapid Champion took on Current World Champion Magnus Carlsen. This was a Quarter-Final match in the Airthings Masters Cup online event. Daniil Dubov was a second in Magnus Carlsen’s team in 2018 World Chess Championship. Everyone was looking forward to this match as both players played over 100 training games prior to 2018 world championship. Generally, Dubov reminds one of Mikhail Tal while Carlsen is Rock Solid. So it was obvious they knew each other quite well.

The format of Knockouts is 2 sets of 4 games each. To win a set you have to score 2.5 points. If the sets are drawn 1-1 then there was a tie-breaker. The First Set saw Magnus striking instantly to go 1-0 up in the match. Then after a draw in the 2nd game, Daniil Dubov won the 3rd game to level scores. With the 4th game drawn the first set was a draw.

Then came the 2nd set. Here Dubov showed his normal style of playing wild and complicated positions. This helped him to go 1-0 up and then he drew the 2nd game. Having white pieces in 3rd game Dubov again started to complicate matters but this time it felt like Magnus was under control and started to take over when Dubov’s advantage slipped. Within Instance, Carlsen made a move which shocked the commentary panel and everyone who was watching the game live. Carlsen had missed an idea and ran into a checkmate.  This was the 3rd time in 2 days that the World Champion’s King was hunted. This reminds us of a famous quote by Former World Champion Mikhail Tal –

An interview after beating Magnus –

 

Tweets by Magnus post Quarter Finals –

 

 

The tweets just showed the respect and dignity the players have for each other! A quality worth learning!

The Semi-Finals will be between

  1. Daniil Dubov – Teimour Radjabov
  2. Levon Aronion – Maxim Vachier Lagrave.

 

 

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2 player chess online – websites, play with friends

The chess game is the only game that you can play online with the same professionalism. There are many 2 player chess online websites where 2 players can play with each other. We will see the websites one by one.

 

chess.com 

chess .com is the number 1 chess website currently. Chess.com has millions of users. Chess.com offers multiple features such as puzzle rush, variants, 4 player chess, lessons, videos, coaches. We have compared websites with each other in a separate article. You can read from here. On this website, you can play 2 player chess easily. First, you have to register and then you can challenge to each other. Here is a detailed procedure of how you can play with each other

  1. Register your account with this link – https://www.chess.com/register
  2. After registration goes to play menu and select live chess option.

  3. Then you will find a custom challenge option. Click on that option.

  4. Click on select and put your friend’s username 
  5. Set time control, color, and send the challenge. 
  6. When your friend will accept the challenge then the game will start automatically.

 

Lichess

Lichess.org is completely free of cost software created by Thibault Duplessis of France. Lichess become very popular when coronavirus spread all over the world. Lichess is completely free and everyone can play. It is very easy to use the software. On lichess, you can play, create tournaments, solve puzzles, use various tools, etc. Here is the procedure to play on a lichess with your friend. 

  1. Create an account with this link – https://lichess.org/signup
  2. After sign in click on play with a friend

  3. Set your preferred time control, color
  4. When the opponent will accept this challenge, the Game will start automatically

Playchess

Playchess is free software created by ChessBase. Chessbase is a leading company in producing high-quality chess material. PlayChess was very famous before 2015. On play chess, you can play multiple variants as well as watch top-level games. Often they organize top-level webinars for their premium members. You can play 2 player chess online on that software. Download software from here- https://play.chessbase.com/en

Read this article also – https://chessarticle.com/3-interesting-chess-fortress-part-2/

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General Chess Tips

In Chess, we end the game with 3 results i.e. 1-0, 0-1 or 1/2-1/2. Although it looks simple there are a lot of factors affecting the same result. Today I share the Chess Tips some of which I learned normally while some in a hard way.

     A.  General Chess Tips Before the match preparation –

  1. Good sleep prior to the round

Once you get good sleep you are in a position to Focus well and maintain your composure for the match. At times we see players either prepare too much or play practice games or don’t believe in proper resting. The reason all top players insist on taking good rest is to be in a good frame of mind for the match

  1. Proper food intake.

Generally, we see kids tend to neglect food when they are upset or indulged in any activity. That is not a good sign. To play the game with full energy one must have a proper food intake before the match. Proper food intake 2 hours prior to the round is suggested by many top players and coaches. As one are not guaranteed the duration, for eg. We might have to play a 4/4.5 hours long game. Then after the 3rd hour of the match one start to feel hungry. So one must have proper meals before, during and after matches.

  1. Decent amount of opening preparation

There are two types of approaches in chess. Some players prefer to go directly to the match and decide what to play while others tend to prepare against their opponent or revise their own openings. The ideal way is to prepare openings 2 weeks prior to a tournament and just revise it before the match. This revision helps to stay confident during the game.

  1. Solving tactics before the round

Solving tactics prior to round is an ideal way to get warmed up for the match. One can be in a good shape and stay alert by solving tactics regularly. Another benefit of solving tactics is it boosts confidence and you stay upbeat for the match

  1. Sufficient amount of meditation before the round

Meditation has a variety of definitions for everyone, some people like to focus on breathing while some like to follow pranayama and some like to just do something which gets them to focus well. So whatever you feel the best you should do it for yourself. At the end it is important to gain focus for the match.

  1. A good frame of mind before the round.

All the above points were focused on reaching a good frame of mind. So what is exactly the reason of good frame of mind? When you are feeling pleasant mentally, it automatically helps you to perform well. Your thoughts are controlled well, you are able to focus better and don’t get distracted easily. For this you should avoid any sorts of conflicts or debates prior to a round.

  1. A small amount of motivation to play the round which increases confidence

Motivation differs from person to person. Someone can be motivated to win the tournament while someone might aim to increase rating, to get motivation for the round is to have the driving force, the desire to win.

  1. Revision of basic endgames before the tournament.

Endgames are the most explored territory in Chess. There are a lot of positions with the fixed outcome with precise play from both sides for eg the Lucena or Philidor’s position and many more. One must revise these endgames constantly. Most of the times we are playing endgames in time trouble. So it is necessary to know what we are aiming for. Also if you make mistake in opening you can survive in middlegame, if you make mistake in middlegame you can swindle in the endgame. But it’s a do or die situation in the endgame, one move here and there and it’s over.

B) General Chess Tips During the match –

There are a lot of things one must keep in mind when playing a game. I am sharing some of the tips which I have found useful in my tournament experience.

  1. Staying alert from move1.

There are a lot of instances where the games ended quickly as one player was not alert. Sharing the famous one where Former 5 times World Champion Vishwanathan Anand lost in just 6 moves.  Also, there are openings traps which you might face so they are not that deep and you encounter them at an early stage of the game.

1. Play according to the position I.e. don’t focus on rating.

Whenever we play a game, we often have the habit to check our opponent’s rating or take decisions according to rating. We have the superiority complex against lower-rated opponents and inferiority complex against higher rated opponents. So instead of focusing on rating, we should play according to the position and have faith in yourself

2. Body language. 

This is a vital point. Body language is very important one has to give the habit of portraying a poker face and being confident. A lot of top players have confessed that when Former World Champion Garry Kasparov used to play, he used to bring huge energy to the chessboard. And this energy used to affect his opponents. Kasparov’s body language was best seen when he made a strong comeback against Anand in game 9 of PCA World championship.

3. Thinking about the game and not about the result.

During a match, it is obvious for one to get thoughts on the result of the game. These thoughts don’t help you win the match, what helps you is thinking about the position rather than the result.

4. Fighting till the very end, when you have sufficient pieces to continue the game.

Never give up is the quality of a champion. When the position is tough and you feel it’s difficult to win and easy to resign. Everyone can resign that situation but only those who fight till the end are able to create miracles!

5. Time management and dealing with time pressure.

Time management is a crucial factor. It is important to keep a track of time and play at a regular speed. Once you are in time pressure the result often goes against you. Time management also means how and when you reach the round and how well you manage time during tournaments

 

C)General Chess Tips Post-match:

 

1. Accepting the fact that, once the score sheet is signed, you cannot change the result.

Once the match ends. All you can do is smile and greet your opponent. Whatever might be the outcome of the game. Your opponent will become a good friend! Also, it is easy to react after a painful loss but it takes a lot to be calm! It all depends on which end you want to be.

2.Analyzing the game with your opponent to know his insights of the game and critical points as well.

As soon as the game ends, all the thoughts are fresh and you can easily recall the variations and your exact evaluations etc. Also, your opponent might have opinions which differ. So you should analyze the game and save the thoughts in your notes

3. Detaching emotionally from the game and rethinking about it with a 3rd person’s point of view.

During the game, one take decisions which are emotional and it affects the outcome of the game. So as soon as the game ends. The scoresheet is signed one must detach the feelings, accept the fact that you cant change the outcome of the game. You must get ready for the next one.

4. Keeping in mind not to let the impact of the current game influence the next one.

Just like in cricket where one wicket brings another. In chess one loss might lead to several losses. So one must quickly get composed for the next game

5. Saving energy for the next round.

After playing a long fighting game it is necessary to store energy for the coming match. Accepting the fact that your body is tired and needs some rest all decisions depend on how you treat the scenario.

6. Following the routine set before the tournament.

When you decide to play a tournament, you should start your planning with tournament schedule I.e. if the tournament you play is a double round event, then you must be preparing to play 8 hours of chess in the tournament. So you should practice 10 hours daily for minimum one month so as to build the stamina to play a good 8 hours chess. If you play a single round per day event, you can check to play schedule and practice accordingly, I.e. if the tournament is a morning round event, then you can play training games perfectly at the same time of the tournament and do general practice thereafter.

7. Analyzing games with a lot of players to get different views about the same position.

The analysis is a crucial part and if you analyze your game yourself or with just your opponent then the angles you get are limited. Whereas if you discuss those games or positions with a lot of players, then you will get a variety of ideas and also get to know different approaches to that position.

 

So these were the General Chess Tips which I have acquired in my life. Do share any other chess tips in the ents section which I have missed.

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Sri Lankan National Chess Championship 2020

 

The first question nowadays is, is this an online event or an OTB event? It is an OTB event! You read it correctly! It was an Over The Board (OTB) event! Sri Lankan National Chess Championship 2020. The event was the topmost considered event of the country as this event is also considered for who will represent the Country. Also under the COVID circumstances, this is a big relief that OTB events are starting to happen in various countries. The venue was Taj Samudra! The games were live-broadcasted, all players were given jerseys. The playing conditions were amazing, this just proved that the standard of event was upgraded!

 

The line-up of Men’s section

The format of the event was a round-robin of 14 players who played it out for the title. The event was divided into two halves the first 7 rounds were played from 11-14september. While the remaining 6 were played from 19-21 September. Except for the first round. All other rounds were double rounds.

In the men’s section, the fight was between CM Liyanage Ranindu Dilshan(the eventual Champion ) and FM Minul Sanjula Doluweera(Runner-Up). The leaders faced off in Round 10 when Liyanage beat Minul with the white pieces. Later Liyanage maintained the lead to win the championship.

Final standings

Women’s section – Starting line up

 

Final standings

 

Fernando G W Nethmi L won the women’s section.

It was amazing to see youngsters winning the event being throughout in lead! Both CM Liyanage and Nethmi maintained the lead with crucial wins on-demand to claim the championship! Both players won their maiden national championships in the senior’s category.

 

Some tactics from Sri Lankan National Chess Championship

White to play
Black to play

 

Link of broadcasted games in Men’s section is here.

Link of broadcasted games in Women’s section is here.

Special thanks to FM Minul Doluweera and his coach Pawan Dodeja for sharing information about the event!

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