From the CEO
A few days ago Divya Deshmukh wrote a heartfelt post on her Instagram where she spoke about how after playing some good games she at Tata Steel Challengers 2024 people focused not on her play but on other things like her hair, her accent and points which were not relevant. She felt she was being judged and also felt that the same would not happen to men. She ended her post with words, "I think women should start getting equal respect."
For me personally it feels that social media as a space is not a safe terrain. Not just for women, but also for men, not just for youngsters but also for adults. For someone as young as Divya to feel that she is being judged speaks a lot about the environment that is created online.
Being someone who has used social media extensively for promoting chess, I have had my fair share of bouts with being judged and negative comments. In the end you kind of develop a thick skin towards it and also an attitude that you don't really care what people say.
However, deep within we all care for what people say. That's the very nature of what we are as human beings. However, on social media, somehow the humanness is at a very different level. In real life have you ever seen someone come right in front of you in person and started saying negative things? I personally have never seen that. However, in the online space under the garb of "constructive criticism" or "freedom of speech" a lot of irrelevant things are spoken. It also speaks volumes of the consciousness of the internet social space.
Photo: Verywell / Lara Antal
Parents are worried to have their kids on social media, coaches recommend their students to stay away from it - but at the end of the day it has become such an integral part of our live. As a part of being a public sports figure you have to be present on social media. Your tournament invitations and sponsorship is dependent on it.
The natural consequence of this is that the public figures remain in that space not for any meaningful connects and are in a way disconnected from their fans.
What is the solution to this? As with many of the issues out there - the solution always begins from within. The solution is to raise human consciousness. The rule is pretty simple for me - Before you make a comment ask yourself, if the person on whose post I am commenting, would I be able to say the same thing to that person on their face? If not, then maybe what you are saying is not constructive criticism or your free speech, but just a way for you to be seen or heard. A way for you to spread toxicity and negativity.
Photo: Marian Hukom
Social media is nothing but a representation of what we have reached to as a civilization. And as a person who believes in the fact that human beings can create a beautiful environment and meaningful connections wherever they are, I think it is important for each one of us to think carefully for our actions. Sometimes one comment can help someone heal, make them feel safe, secure and connected and sometimes one comment can shatter someone's confidence. Let us all be conscious of what we write and emote online. - Sagar Shah.
BREAKING CHESS NEWS
Wei Yi wins 86th Tata Steel Masters 2024 on tie-breaks with a 2820 performance, Gukesh second
D Gukesh defeated Parham Maghsoodloo (IRI) in Round 13 to advance to the Playoffs. Anish Giri (NED), Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB) and Wei Yi (CHN) were the remaining three players to also score 8.5/13. Gukesh faced Giri in the Semifinals and Abdusattorov was up against Wei. Despite losing the first Blitz game, Gukesh bounced back by winning the must-win second game. Then he went on to win the sudden death to advance to the finals. Wei drew the first Blitz game against Abdusattorov and won the next. Against Gukesh also, he had same result. Wei Yi became champion of 86th Tata Steel Masters 2024. Gukesh, Giri and Abdusattorov shared second place. Vidit and Praggnanandhaa shared fifth place with Alireza Firouzja (FRA) 7.5/13 each. Photo: Jurriaan Hoefsmit/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2024
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LATEST NEWS OF THE WEEK
Five Indians in World Top 20 - FIDE Rating list February 2024
FIDE publishes its rating list at the beginning of each month. February 2024 FIDE Rating list witnesses the highest number of Indians in the World Top 20. D Gukesh's fantastic performance at 86th Tata Steel Masters earned him 17.7 Elo rating points. He moved nine places from World no.25 to 16th. There are now five Indians in World Top 20. R Praggnanandhaa moved up one place to World no.13. Vidit Gujrathi maintained his place at no.14. Among the Women, GM Harika Dronavalli moved to World no.11. IM Divya Deshmukh moved to World no.38. There are now four Indians in the World top 40 among women. Photo: Lennart Ootes/Tata Steel Chess Tournament 2024
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1st SOA GM 2024 R1-5: Teenagers Goutham Krishna H and Vignesh Advaith Vemula are the coleaders
Teenagers FM Goutham Krishna H and Vignesh Advaith Vemula have emerged coleaders 4.5/5 at the halfway mark of 1st SOA GM 2024. They will inevitably face each other in the sixth round. Eight players including the top seed, GM Diptayan Ghosh are in pursuit at 4/5 each. Goutham defeated GM Adham Fawzy (EGY) to stay in the lead. Vignesh got the better of Subhayan Kundu to be the coleader. The total prize fund of the tournament is ₹350000, ₹2000000 for Category A. The top three prizes are ₹300000, ₹200000 and ₹150000 along with a trophy each. Today is the last double round of the event. Round 6 starts at 10 a.m. IST. Photos: IA R Anantharam
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Karthik Rajaa and Lokesh N are the winners of 13th and 14th Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit 2024
FM Karthik Rajaa scored an unbeaten 7/9 to win 13th Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit Chess Tournament 2024. He finished a half point ahead of the competition, performed at 2427 to earn his second IM-norm. He also increased his Elo rating by 33.8 points. GM Manik Mikulas (SVK) scored 6.5/9 to secure second place. IM Muhammad Khusenkhojaev (TJK) was placed third 6/9. Lokesh N scored 7/9 to win the 14th edition. He secured his maiden IM-norm and also finished a half point ahead of the field. GM Evgeniy Podolchenko secured second place 6.5/9. CM Akshay Borgaonkar and IM Harikrishna A Ra scored 6/9. They were placed third and fourth according to tie-breaks. Photos: IA V Vijayaraghavan
Karthik scores his 2nd IM Norm
Leon Mendonca on his biggest career win - Tata Steel Challengers 2024
Youngster Leon Luke Mendonca scored the best performance of his career - winning Tata Steel Challengers 2024 with a score of 9.5/13, performing at a massive 2742 and gaining 23 Elo points. With his Leon also gets an entry into the Tata Steel Masters 2025 to play against the best in the world. IM Sagar Shah caught up with the youngster just as he was about to begin his games at the Bundesliga in Germany.
Watch the full interview