From the CEO

Every Saturday we have been sending newsletters to you! Sometimes because of delays from my end or our team, it reaches you on Sunday. But last 2 weeks we were unable to send a newsletter! :) That's because the guy who makes the newsletter each week (Himank Ghosh) was busy travelling. Now that he is back home, I think we can safely resume our newsletter tradition. To say that the last couple of weeks was busy is an understatement. It was absolutely packed. Not just for me but for several members of our team. This is how things panned out.

A group photo with many of our Team members in Mumbai! | Photo: Sagar Shah

On 13th of May we began with the Big Chess summer camp in Mumbai. It was a hugely successful endeavour as a lot of people learnt chess in these camps! Having done three camps until now I can successfully say that the Big Chess Camp is a wonderful model to spread chess to the masses in a fun way. The camp was supposed to go on until 19th of May (for a week). 

Just another day at the Big Chess Summer Camp - completely packed and full of eager participants! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

However on 16th of May I had to leave for Morocco for the Casablanca Chess Variant where Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand, Hikaru Nakamura and Bassem Amin were taking part. It was the first time I set foot in African soil. This event was for 2 days but with travel and a few side activities I came back on 21st of May. 

Magnus Carlsen took home the title at Casablanca Chess 2024! | Photo: Sagar Shah

On 23rd of May I left Mumbai to Bangalore for the WACA celebrations. It was a huge event organized by the WestBridge Anand Chess Academy (WACA) where more than 600 people attended it LIVE to watch Anand, Gukesh, Praggnanandhaa and Vaishali LIVE. I was the host of the show and it was truly beautiful how the city of Bangalore received the event.

It was a star-studded evening at Bangalore! | Photo: Yamini Arora/Bangalore Chess Club

On 24th I came back home. It was for the first time that I missed my flight. Yes, I have been travelling for well over 2 decades now and this was the first time I missed a flight! How did it happen? It was not even exciting! My friend Shikhar and his wife were coming to drop me to the airport and we were discussing various things in the car and by the way I reached the airport, the staff informed me it was too late.

The time was around 1.30 a.m. and so I booked another flight at 3.30 a.m. and I was so exhausted that in the bus ride from my gate to the flight, I slept off. The driver didn't notice me and started driving back to the gate. I woke up and saw the entire bus was empty. The next scene was the bus driver taking me through unconventional routes on the runway just to make sure I don't miss my flight. As I landed in Mumbai I went to the Phoenix marketcity after a few hours of sleep and saw a dream project unfold - the Big Chess Inter school tournament. 250 Mumbai school kids participated, which culminated in a simultaneous exhibition by Vidit Gujrathi on the 26th of May. 

Over 250 participants took part in the Big Chess Interschool tournament! | Photo: Tanmesh Mokal

From 27th of May, the Norway Chess commentary began! As I race down this write up, I know that I have very little time left to get ready for my round 5 stream of Norway chess. Life has become extremely packed with one thing after another. But I cannot be happier. This has always been a dream! Chess is growing so rapidly that there is no chance of it slowing down for the next few years. I am lucky that I have a team of extremely dedicated individuals who also work around the clock and who are able to fill in shoes of each other making sure that no one collapses! :) 

The YouTube livestream for Round 5 of Norway Chess kicks off at 8:30 PM! Join the livestream here.

As for me, earlier I had the approach of maintaining a list of pending tasks and feeling good when I could tick them all off. It's been quite some time now that I have been able to tick off everything! This has just led me to have a change in my mindset and to give my best to every moment that comes up. Because if I would feel good only when all my tasks are ticked off, my life would be quite miserable! :) -Sagar Shah


12th Norway Chess R4: Nakamura schools Praggnanandhaa, emerges new sole leader

Hikaru Nakamura defeated R Praggnanandhaa to leap to the top of the 12th Norway Chess 2024 leaderboard. Praggnanandhaa's ambitious knight sacrifice to increase the vulnerability of his opponent's king did not work out. Nakamura had no trouble converting his advantage into a win. The teenager kept fighting but to no avail. Magnus Carlsen avenged his last year's loss on the exact day against Fabiano Caruana. The latter blundered into a mate in five in a queen endgame which ideally should have ended in a draw. Alireza Firouzja defeated the reigning world champion, Ding Liren for the second time in this year. Today is a rest day. Round 5 starts tomorrow 1st June from 5 p.m. CET, 8:30 p.m. IST. Photos: Norway Chess/Stev Bonhage

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The good news about endgames is:

- there are relatively few endings you should know by heart

- once you know these endings, that's it. Your knowledge never goes out of date!

The bad news is that, all the same, the endgame technique of most players is deficient. Modern time-controls make matters worse: there is simply not enough time to delve deep into the position. Jesus de la Vila debunks the myth that endgame theory is complex and he teaches you to steer the game into a position you are familiar with!

This book contains only those endgames that:

- show up most frequently

- are easy to learn

- contain ideas that are useful in more difficult positions.

Today, we have a big 10% discount on Jesus de la Vila's fantastic book "100 endgames you must know"! Just use the coupon code "ENDGAME10" to avail the discount. The offer expires on 8th June 2024 - hurry up and get it NOW!


Norway Chess Women 2024 R4: Vaishali prevails Pia Cramling, increases her sole lead

R Vaishali continues her great form at Norway Chess Women 2024. She scored her second Classical win of the event. In Round 4, she defeated the legend, Pia Cramling (SWE) after the latter blundered in an equal rook endgame. Anna Muzychuk (UKR) ended her win drought in Classical chess. She seized her opportunity when Koneru Humpy blundered in a balanced rook endgame. The rematch from Women's World Championship 2023 Match between Tingjie Lei (CHN) and Wenjun Ju (CHN) ended in a draw in the Classical. However, Wenjun won the Armageddon after her opponent could not manage to score a must-win game with the white pieces. Today is a rest day. Round 5 starts tomorrow 1st June from 5 p.m. CET, 8:30 p.m. IST. Photos: Norway Chess/Stev Bonhage


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24th Dubai Open R7: Sina and Ivic join Muradli in a three-way lead

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Anustoop Biswas wins 3rd Kashmir Rating Open 2024

Anustoop Biswas, IM Neeraj Kumar Mishra and FM Md. Sharif Hossain (BAN) scored 7.5/9 each at 3rd Kashmir Rating Open 2024. Anustoop won the tournament due to better tie-break score. Neeraj and Sharif secured second and third place respectively. Anustoop's sole loss of the event was against the eventual runner-up and one of the top trainers of the country, Neeraj in the final round. The total prize fund of the tournament was ₹231000. The top three prizes were ₹50000, ₹25000 and ₹15000 along with a trophy each respectively. The six-day nine-round tournament was organized by The Kashmir Chess Club, Srinagar at Indoor Sports Complex, Polo Ground in Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir from 4th to 9th May 2024. This is Anustoop's fourth tournament triumph of the year and also his first rating open triumph of his career. Photo: Shahid Ahmed

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Pranav Ganesh Prabhu and Nivedita V C are 36th Tamil Nadu State Under-13 Champions 2024

Pranav Ganesh Prabhu scored an unbeaten 8/9 to win 36th Tamil Nadu State Under-13 Open Rating 2024. He finished a half point ahead of the rest. Four players - Tanish Ragavan S, Aarav A, Adharsh K and Pranav Sai Ram R S scored 7.5/9 each. They secured second to fifth place according to tie-breaks. In the Girls event, Nivedita V C scored a perfect 9/9 to become the champion. She finished a full point ahead of the competition. Shanmathi Sree S scored sole 8/9 to secure second place. Kaarthika Gadde and R Chardudharshini scored 7.5/9 each to be placed third and fourth respectively. The total prize fund of the tournament was ₹50000, ₹25000 in Open and ₹25000 in Women. The top three prizes were ₹5000, ₹4000 and ₹3500 along with a trophy each respectively. This is Pranav's first State triumph, for Nivedita, it is her second consecutive State Under-13 Girls first place finish. Photos: FA Vinoth M

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