Monday, April 1, 2013


Who doesn’t like gifts? I still like gifts, even though I am above 25. As a kid, I was so eager to receive gifts and surprises. On my 8th birthday my maternal uncle had gifted me a chess board. It was my first time seeing and owning a chess board. Until few years back, I had it with me, but lost during shifting. My father taught me all the nuances of the game. I didn’t feel it as a real difficulty in grasping the basic moves. It was easy. I and my dad played three games in total, and I had won a game. I don’t know whether my dad lost in order to avoid the torture to play me, or did I really play well. The victory had astounded me.  As I grew up, I played many games but I still remember the game which boosted my spirits for chess. When I was 15 yrs old, there was a neighbour who was quiet elder to me and was good at chess. I once played with him for almost an hour. My queen was trapped; he had made the perfect gambit. I felt sad for losing my queen to his pawn, but I didn’t give up and continued to play and won the game with my two knights and a rook. I realized that day the power of knight, rook and sensed the powers beyond the minister. That was really a very happy moment for me and it had raised my confidence. He had no hard feelings losing to a junior and we continued to play daily. It was then; I took training in the form of practice from him. I learnt different strategies. Chess worked as a puzzle to refresh my brain. In my early days of intense practice my losses had a very bad effect on me. I used to think of the same move over and over again. The chess board and the pieces would flash in my mind after the game, and the game had taken me to obsession. The suffering turned out as a profitable learning experience. I also tried playing blind. I could remember a maximum of 12 moves, 6 from each player. It was easy to remember my standard 6 moves. So effectively I had to remember the 6 moves of the opponent. My school days were becoming stringent and I diverted myself to some outdoor sports and mischief with my friends. Slowly I stopped playing chess.

After 2 years, I joined for my higher secondary schooling. Praveen, my hostel mate, with whom, I played many games. His attitude of ‘never give up’ was similar to mine which made the game between us tough. We always won the same number of games. But still I feel, he was a better player. Playing with him exposed my thinking to different possibilities and ideas. Recently I talked to him, he was surprised that I still remember our chess games and we both agreed to play again when we meet in future. In my graduation, I played with few of my friends, and myself being an average minded, won few games against them. I don’t want to give the count of my lost games. I learnt a lot of strategies from them. But I had also friends, who used to mug up the moves and strategies. They had a move for almost every move you start with. I somehow don’t like the idea of mugging up. Chess is a game of spontaneity of brain. They might be using their ideas, but when they play opponents like me, they have the upper hand. I hope the players would have practiced so much that the moves would have been imprinted in their brain.  May be that’s how chess is played at higher level, I don’t know. So in order to avoid such players, I joined There were many international players, I would say, people of all standards. It was a very good learning experience playing with them and simultaneously discussing about moves. I made good chess friends. There was a time, when I was glued to the PC playing chess whole day and discussing about it.  I still play in that site; I solve some daily chess puzzles. Though I am not an excellent player, but I can play good, and give a tough fight.  This game of possibilities has made me think of many possibilities in my real life situations. Chess refreshes me, and makes me ticking. I would have the same enthusiasm in chess which I had when I won my first. I simply love this game.