He offered his hand over the board, and I took it. After 3 hours of trying to break my defences, he finally gave in, and the game ended in a draw.It felt unreal for a moment. I have won my first rated tournament ever! I couldn’t stop smiling. The ecstasy of victory and the 30k prize is all mine..
Venue : the backyard of P.K Das Hospital, Ottapalam.
Date : 13-15 Feb, 2016
It had been 5 years since I started my relationship with chess, and Caissa has been gracious until now, this moment being the most wonderful..
The tournament was being held at this place that’s just a 10 minute ride from my home. Around 400 players from different parts of India had come together – united by chess, and divided by the desire to grab the much-coveted prizes.
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720w" alt="fb_img_1474103520521" />Before play began..3rd day..
Fast forward to the 3rd day of the tournament. I was sitting on a good 5.5/6 score, having played some good chess for the last 2 days.
7th round was about to begin. I was playing the tournament leader until then, a 13-year old kid from Kerala. This was the moment that would decide our paths!
A mistake on the 15th move! When his hand moved towards my pawn on a6, my heart was hammering. He made the move, and to his horror, watched my bishop on d6 going to h2 with check, clearing the path for my queen on f6. I won an exchange, and he self-destructed soon enough.
The next game was one-sided, my confidence from the previous game and the desire to keep winning proving too strong for my opponent. And that win brought me to 7.5/8, with 3 players on 7 close behind.
The last round! The decider! A win or a draw would seal the championship for me. A loss,however, would plummet me down to 3rd prize. There was a difference of 20k between the 1st and the 3rd prizes! Nerves! Money! Pressure!
My opponent was Mr.Kishore – a 30-year old guy from Palakkad.He’s a tough nut to crack. If he wins, he wins the tournament. If he loses, he loses much. If he draws, its 3rd prize for him.
Play started.He went for it, with the cushion of the white pieces. Game progressed to waters familiar to him. A pawn on f4, a knight on e5 and a kingside attack – his usual setup. I held on dearly, with every bit of resilience I possessed. The only thought was the game, and the desire to hang on.
3 hours! After exhausting all the possibilities to fight on, he finally offered a draw. (Mind you, I had already made 3 draw offers in the game.) And that was it! My first ever Championship!
Success is always sweet. And,like revenge, it is sweeter when it is late and unexpected. I had a strong desire to roar out to the world at that moment (which I did to the bathroom mirror that night, much to my brother’s horror).
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720w" alt="fb_img_1474103616185" />Finally in the news
The journey with Chess continued, with defeats, disappointments and victories continuing to litter the path.