From the CEO

"What is the use of playing chess to the society?" or "What is the contribution that a chess player makes to the society?" or "Isn't a doctor making more of an impact on the society than a chess player" - these are some of the statements I have heard being made several times since I began playing chess roughly 25 years ago. At different points of my career, I have had different reactions to this statement. When I was young I used to agree to the fact that moving wooden (or plastic!) pieces on a mat of 64 squares doesn't really contribute much to the society as such. And hence, even though I loved chess I never really felt I was making any positive contribution to people's lives around me.

Somewhere in my 20s I started to feel that chess has a lot of positives to offer to those who pursue it and this includes concentration, decision making, analytical thinking, being responsible for your decisions and so on. All of these help in creating a better society. This does seem logical doesn't it? But as I visited more and more tournaments as a journalist, I began questioning these points. Yes, a player can have immense concentration during the game, but it can really stem out of the fear of losing a game and hence when the game is over the person cannot really focus on anything in particular. Or someone could be an excellent decision maker on the chess board, but turns out to be repeatedly making not so great decisions off it.

There have been many interesting studies made about correlation between chess strength and decision making/IQ - readers can check them out!

And so here we arrive now in 2024, 4th of May, sitting in my room at the age of 34 years! And my understanding of those statements we began this newsletter with has changed. I have started to feel it is the conduct of the person which is the most important more than anything else. And how you conduct yourself has a lot to do with how you think. So for example: When I visit the home of a 17-year-old Gukesh and show his lifestyle which is akin to a monk - filled with simplicity, and then this same boy goes on and wins the Candidates, this inspires the community. It broadens our horizons of what is possible and what is not. When a 5-time World Champion like Vishy Anand conducts himself with humility it makes people take notice of the important quality of humility that they should sharpen within themselves.

And even when it comes to professions which are highly respected by society like those of doctors and teachers, there are doctors who try to cheat their patients. There are doctors who make you do more tests than those that are required because they see you can afford it. All of this leaves an indelible impression on the people around you. Or for that matter a teacher who has the power to nurture the minds of tomorrow, actually indulges in teaching the youth things which are far from ideal.

Photo: Michal Walusza

The more you look at things in this way, the more it becomes clear that it is not really important what you are doing. but how you are doing it. Yes, some things are given more importance by society right now than some other things. Some professions are more important than others. But this always keeps evolving. For eg. teachers were more important before Internet came into our lives and now many of the answers can be found on the internet. That doesn't mean that a teacher is any less important but the role of a teacher has now changed. And hence, I feel how we think as an individual has great significance. It is our thoughts that will form our conduct and it is our conduct that will impact the lives of others. And for that matter, your profession whether you are a chess player, a doctor, a teacher or an entrepreneur is not that important. Your conduct is what matters the most! :) - Sagar Shah

Nodirbek Abdusattorov wins 29th Tepe Sigeman & Co 2024 in Playoffs, Arjun Erigaisi second

Arjun Erigaisi struggled a lot against Nils Grandelius (SWE). Trying to push even though there was no clear way to achieve that positionally, landed him in deep trouble. However, Arjun somehow managed to salvage a half point. Peter Svidler forced perpetual check against Vincent Keymer (GER). Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB) seized his opportunity against Marc` Andria Maurizzi's (FRA) blunder. All three ended up with the same score 4.5/7. Both Arjun and Abdusattorov defeated Svidler and drew against each other in the tie-break games. Then the World no.5 and 8 had to play two 3' + 2" Blitz games. The first game was drawn, Arjun lost the second. Thus, Abdusattorov won 29th TePe Sigeman & Co. Tournament 2024. Arjun finished second in terms of tie-breaks. However, prize money is shared between the players with the same points. Photos: Mikael Svensson/

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When you begin your journey of building an opening repertoire, how nice would it be to get a glimpse of what each opening looks like through the eyes of a super GM. It would help building your opening repertoire and understanding the vast world of chess openings. It is exactly with this thought that "A Supergrandmaster's Guide to Openings with Anish Giri” was made.

This is 2-volume course - here's a brief overview of both the volumes:

A Supergrandmaster's Guide to Openings Vol.1: 1.e4: This video course includes GM Anish Giri's deep insights and IM Sagar Shah's pertinent questions to the super GM. In Vol.1 all the openings after 1.e4 are covered. This includes the Ruy Lopez, Italian, Petroff, Scotch, French, Sicilian, Caro Kann, Pirc, Modern and much more. Along with explaining the nuances, each video also has a story, narrated by Anish, on the favourite game he played in that opening and his memories related to it.

A Supergrandmaster's Guide to Openings Vol.2: 1.d4, 1.c4 and Sidelines: This video course includes GM Anish Giri's deep insights and IM Sagar Shah's pertinent questions to the super GM. While Vol.1 dealt with 1.e4, Vol.2 has all the openings after 1.d4 as well as 1.c4 and sidelines are covered. This includes the Queen's Gambit Accepted, Queen's Gambit Declined, Slav, Nimzo Complex, London System, English Opening, 1.b3, Bird's opening and more. Along with explaining the nuances, each video also has a story, narrated by Anish, on the favourite game he played in that opening and his memories related to it. 

Today, we have a big 10% discount on Grandmaster Anish Giri's video course "A Super Grandmaster's Guide to Openings Vol.1 & 2"! Just use the coupon code "ANISH10" to avail the discount. The offer expires on 12th May 2024 - hurry up and get it NOW!


Sardinia Festival 2024 R8: Alan Pichot catches up with Yair Parkhov

Sardinia World Chess Festival 2024 is heading for a very close finish. GM Yair Parkhov (ISR) drew against GM Kirill Shevchenko (ROU). It allowed GM Alan Pichot (ESP) to catch up as he defeated GM Vitaly Sivuk (SWE). Both Parkhov and Pichot are now the coleaders 6.5/8. Parkhov for the second consecutive game missed a good chance. They have already faced each other in the sixth round. It ended in a draw. In Group B, WFM Alexandra Botez (CAN) won against Carlo Molinari (ITA) in Open B. She maintains a full point lead going into the final round 7.5/8. In the final round, she will be up against the top seed Dejan Dimitrov (BUL). Round 9 starts tomorrow at 9 a.m. local time, 12:30 p.m. IST. All photos are by Shahid Ahmed unless stated otherwise.


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Chess Titans Carlsen, Nakamura, Anand and Amin set for Epic Showdown in Casablanca, Morocco

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ChessBase India Training Academy invites you to 1st Khelo Chess India Rating Open 2024

ChessBase India Training Academy invites all chess players around the world in the inaugural edition of Khelo Chesss Rating Open 2024. It is scheduled to take place from 4th to 9th June 2024. This tournament has a very low entry fee of ₹600. The idea is to encourage players to take part in a Classical rating tournament and gain an Elo rating. The total prize fund is ₹64000. The first prize is ₹10000 + trophy each. Special ChessBase India prizes will be announced before the start of the tournament. Entry is FREE for GMs, IMs, WGMs and WIMs. Last date of registration is 3rd June 2024. So hurry up and register now. Photos: Tournament circular

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Developing an opening repertoire with Anish Giri

To play openings like a grandmaster - that's probably what most ambitious amateurs want. The first and not so easy step is to choose openings for your own repertoire. Would you like to do this with a world-class grandmaster? Of course you would! In the new two-part video course "A Supergrandmaster's Guide to Openings with Anish Giri", Anish Giri introduces (almost) all openings in an instructive way, categorises their relevance and tells fascinating stories from the world of elite chess. The Fritztrainer is available now on our shop. Buy now if you haven't yet to strengthen your opening repertoire. Photo: ChessBase

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