Rejuvenating rest day for Indians at Khanty-Mansiysk!

img_2944Rejuvenating rest day for Indians at Khanty-Mansiysk!
By Jayant Gokhale, FIDE Trainer & Lakshmi Priyaa TT, FIDE Instructor

Who says only physical games need a rest day – Chess is a game played by Kings and Queens and they need rest too!!
A “rest day” is one of the most important element of every chess player’s tournament schedule. The rest day is inevitable and it has the power to ‘change’ the momentum of every chess player – be it a club player or a World Champion.As the results of the first half indicate, everyone knows where he/she stands and where he/she needs to reach, the rest day acts areal speed breaker and is certainly useful by giving time for self-introspection and deciding one’s frame of mind for the most important second and concluding half of the tournament.Rest day never disturbs but changes the course of the tournament and so it’s very important to take good care of this special day. There are hundreds of incidences in all tournaments including the highest level of World Championship matches where the results before and after the rest day were in contrasting styles for players!

All the Indian players had planned well for this day and were eagerly awaiting to rest their brains for a while! Of course, a chess player’s brain is never at rest… but it gets diverted from the board, momentarily, that’s all!  Rest day mood for Indians started the very much last night…unwinding with and without the chess board… some listening to music, some chit chatting some players blitzing away to glory! One and a half hrs’ of most awaited and much needed break!

Most of the players preferred to have an extra hour of sleep today, delayed morning walk and slow morningroutines and leisure breakfast. Day further progressed with home like food which we managed to make quickly in our rooms with the limited resources we had.
The most entertaining part of the day was the quick 2 hour tour organized by the organizers for interested players in the evening. Majority of the team got into a mini traveller vehicle and started their tour at 4:00 pm.

First stop was at the Archeopark where we got to see giant bronze sculpture of ancient animals like mammoths, prehistoric bison, wolf pack, cave bear, woolly rhinos and two primitive people.

img_2894The second stop was at the was at the Irtysh river bank followed by a quick stop at the Holly Mary Church.
The most fascinating place for all of us was the Ugra Chess Club. We all were thrilled to see those artistic and beautiful chess sets. Also, a huge – rather very huge chess board on the floor and huge chess pieces to match the board was the biggest attraction.

The club is as customized as a chess player would aspire with all the requirements of a players being taken care of, aesthetic theming, ambience, preparation rooms, Internet rooms for online preparation and practice. Thereare at least 4 playing rooms of different sizes so as to conduct tournaments of various categories. There is a special ‘Internet’ room where players can try their wits playing on-line! Interestingly, even the reception and rest rooms are made with ‘black and white chess board style’ furniture and tiles!!

All of us enjoyed being there and almost all the Indian players couldn’t help playing fierce matches amongst themselves – this is how a Chess player rests on his rest day

Later in the evening every one preferred to be on his / her own and into their own ‘shell’. It was a perfect day – with a healthy and energizing morning walk… then home- made (pls. read ‘room made’ homely food!) favorite lunch… piling up stocks of energy by resting / chatting in the afternoon…!
And now we enter the decisive phase of the tournament – we are the most feared country when it comes to Asian / World Youth championships as we have been winning most of the medals for last couple of years. We are especially stronger in age groups of Under 8, 10 and 12 as our kids have tremendous energy! When it comes to these senior groups, our players need to have that stamina and reserve stock of energy for remaining rounds. The intensity with which now every round will be played is going to be quite high and all our players are prepared for it. The rest day is over and all of our players are poised to deliver their best – better than what they have in 1st half of the tournament.
Whatever has happened so far is done away with and now we have to perform better. As the saying goes, it’s not that a better player wins but the one who plays better wins. After all it’s a new game every day and with a new perspective and energy. The laurels and medals and earlier achievements are not going to be useful but what’s going to be crucial is the focus of every player in those 4 hours of play on every day. The determination to overcome the opposition and the will power to keep up the stamina till the end of the game is vital. The easiest way to channelize our thoughts is to concentrate on only one thought – “I have to play better than my opponent, today, in this game – irrespective of his rating / title and form!”

priyanka-nKnow your team member: More about Priyanka Nutakki
Vjayawada girl Priyanka is a 9th standard student of Delhi Public School, Nidamanuru. ‘Chess was actually an accident… I was fascinated and curious when my friends at my sports club got busy with those black and white coins….’ smiled Priyanka.

At the age of 7 Priyanka’s mom, Mrs Durga Devi enrolled her into badminton classes during her second grade summer holidays at Mustabada Sports Academy, SIddartha Nagar. Within couple of days of her inquisitiveness Priyanka made space for herself in the club’s summer chess classes and subsequently continued her lessons post the camp as well. Making chess part of her life was exciting and in a couple of months came her first accolade. She was the 2008 Krishna district champion at Vijayavada.

Priyanka’s hobby got interesting and she went on to clinch the Under 9 Girls state and National titles in 2011. Success followed…chess was indeed her game! Now her hobby had to get a bit serious too…
Her continuous progress and steadfast focus on the game had brought her to a decision point. At the age of 10 when most kids would have been busy with their books in school, Priyanka decided to sacrifice her schooling for her passion. She has replaced schooling with Chess except for her yearly exams. Now Chess is her love, passion and breath.

Priyanka’s recent wins include:
2016 Champion of Below 2200 tournament by Marshal Chess Club in New York
2015 Under 13 Nationals Champion
2015 National Women Premier Qualifier
2015 Under 13 National G Champion
2014 Under 13 National Bronze Medalist
2014 Asian Youth Chess Championship, Rapid Gold winner& Blitz Bronze Medalist
2013 Under 11 National Champion
2013 Asian Youth Under 11 G Silver Medalist in Standard play and Blitz Champion
2012 Asian Youth Under 10 Championship Gold for Standard, Rapid & Blitz for both Individual and Team
2012 World Under 10 Champion
2011 Under 9 National Champion

When asked about what chess means to her…Priyanka replied with quiet smile… ‘It was my mom’s love for chess that got me in but now Chess is my life….and my future too’..

Apart from chess, Priyanka loves to play badminton and listen to songs.. all numbers …Telugu, Hindi & English