Posts Tagged ‘chess student’

Chess Chat: Q&A with Devanshi Rathi, UC Berkeley Student and Nonprofit Founder

April 16, 2019

Devanshi Rathi is a current undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a passionate chess player and enjoys playing and watching different sports. Her mission in life is to create a positive difference in the world around her. She is trying to do that through her foundation, the Devanshi Rathi Foundation, a registered non-profit company. In her free time, she likes to write about sports and loves to take interviews of different players because it leaves her inspired.

How old were you when you first learned how to play chess? Who taught you?

I was eight years old (in 2008) when I first learnt how to play chess. I learnt from my school coach and via self-practice in the beginning.

How has chess effected your decision making process off the board?

Chess has definitely helped my decision making process off the board. I try to strategize and plan my ‘moves’ well in advance before actually ‘playing’ them. Obviously, I don’t always go according to my original plan, but that happens most of the times in chess as well.

How did your earlier career choices lead you to where you are now?

I am not sure about this. I tried to turn into a professional chess player, or at least was working towards it for about a year and a half, but I had other interests and passions in life that always made me distracted. To become a professional, one needs sole focus on the game, and I just couldn’t do that. Moreover, my multiple interests led me to pursue a major in college that is independently designed, and I’m currently working on how I can get an effective research proposal in order to declare the same.

How would you define your chess style?

I think it would be aggressive and attacking. I don’t like to defend that much, maybe I’m not that good at it!

Does your chess style transfer over into your business decisions as well?

Yes, but I feel that I tend to be more combinatory in my business decisions. Too much aggression in the business field can cost one a lot.

What has been your worst chess mistake which has given you the biggest lesson?

My worst chess mistake would be to not participate in a number of tournaments in my earlier years. I practiced myself instead of playing in different events. It has made me realise that one must make the most of one’s current time and not think too much in advance. It is the same in chess- one shouldn’t go so deep in their calculations that we lose sight of the current position.

Do you think chess has helped you to become more resilient in life?

Yes, of course! Participating in competitions definitely helps one to get more resilient and that reciprocates into one’s personal life as well, according to my experience.

What do you hope to achieve professionally during the next couple of years?

I am currently exploring my options. I’m taking a diverse set of classes for my interdisciplinary major and can only see what happens as it happens. Not planning too much at the moment. This could be a contradiction to what I said earlier about me planning well in advance. However, this is a situation where I feel that the more ‘time’ you take, the better move you would ‘play’.

What is the biggest challenge to achieving that goal?

As I don’t know the goal yet, the biggest challenge would be to find my path.

How would you relate these goals and challenges to the chessboard?

In chess, one needs to find the real path to victory and that can take the whole game. Similarly, I’m taking my time to decide.

Could you please leave us with a favorite piece of chess wisdom to conclude this interview?

Chess is an ocean where an ant can swim and an elephant can drown.

Thanks a lot for giving me this opportunity to do this interview!

To find out more about the Devanshi Rathi Foundation and Project Checkmate, please visit: https://projectcheckmate.weebly.com/

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When the Student Becomes the Teacher

May 20, 2015

Third-grader Anuj Balakrishnan did something that had never been done in the 14-year history of the Collins Chess Club. The nine year old defeated Coach Chris Torres soundly after the coach blundered away his queen in a rare moment of carelessness. After gaining the queen advantage, Anuj continued to use all of his pieces and kept forcing trades until he was able to checkmate his instructor. Coach Chris was so impressed with Anuj’s accomplishment that he awarded Anuj 100 chess club points, a nice trophy, a copy of Grandmaster Susan Polgar book “Chess Tactics for Champions” and turned the game into a learning moment for the class. As Coach Chris shared the news of his loss with the class, he reminded them that, “you are never too good to neglect the basics. In this case, that means always analyzing all checks, captures and threats.”

 

A proud Anuj Balakrishnan after defeating Coach Chris.

 

*Get your own free copy of “Chess Tactics for Champions” by signing your child up for two weeks of the Fremont Summer Chess Camp by May 25th.

March’s Chess Combination of the Month

March 17, 2014

“Chess is 99% tactics” – Richard Teichmann

 

Richard Teichmann

Richard Teichmann

Richard Teichmann (24 December 1868 – 15 June 1925) was an excellent chess teacher and a powerful chess player from Germany. This month tactical shot is dedicated to him.

 

White to move and win!

White to move and win!

 

Below is the entire game. The answer to the puzzle is in bold font.

[Event “Training Game”]
[Date “2014.03.16”]
[White “Torres, Chris”]
[Black “Student”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “C54”]
[Opening “Giuoco Piano”]
[Variation “Möller (Therkatz) Attack”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. cxd4 Bb4+ 7. Nc3
Nxe4 8. O-O Bxc3 9. d5 Bf6 10. Re1 Ne7 11. Rxe4 O-O 12. Bg5 Ng6 13. Bxf6
Qxf6 14. Qc2 d6 15. Rae1 Bf5 16. Nd4 Bxe4 17. Qxe4 Rfe8 18. Qxe8+ Rxe8 19.
Rxe8+ Nf8 20. Ne6 fxe6 21. dxe6 h6 22. e7+ Kh7 23. exf8=Q Qg5 24. Bd3+ g6
25. Qh8# {Black checkmated} 1-0

 

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nd4

June 12, 2010

Below is the infamous Blackburne Shilling Gambit.  The name of this variation in the Italian Game is utter nonsense do to the fact that Blackburne never played this line and it is not a gambit because white cannot take the pawn on e5 without losing material. Despite the terrible nomenclature, every student of chess should know this game.

 
[Site “Cologne”]
[Date “1912”]
[White “Muhlock”]
[Black “Kostics”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “C50”]
[Opening “Italian Game”]
[Variation “Blackburne Shilling Gambit]
[PlyCount “14”]

1. e4 {Notes by Chris Torres} e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nd4 {This is the
Blackburne Shilling Gambit.} 4. Nxe5? {This mistake is what black is
hoping for. Better would be 4.0-0, 4.Nxd4, 4.c3 or even 4.d3. A rare line
is 4.0-0 b5 5.Bxf7+! White has an easy advantage with 4.c3 Nxc3 5. Qxc3 or
4.c3 Nc6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4. If white plays 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.c3 d5 6.exd5 Qe7+ 7.Kf1 he is also winning. It seems an injustice was done to Blackburne by naming 3…Nd4 after him.} Qg5 5. Nxf7?? {White needed to play 5.Bxf7+}
Qxg2 6. Rf1 Qxe4+ 7. Be2? {White chooses the quickest poison.} Nf3# 0-1


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