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Showing posts from 2016

Film Making Workshop

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It was a great honour to attend a film making workshop with the great director Mr.Shivendra Singh Dungapur. The workshop was organised by INTACH and the Film Heritage Foundation. It was for a span of two days. The workshop was very different from what I thought it might be originally. It was called-Do you speak cinema? It talked about all the different aspects of film and how it can be traced back to its origins. I learnt about how the first ever movie was shot, the kinds of shots that a film maker must take, and I also made my own story board. I learnt about how Indian Cinema was inspired by Chitrakathi paintings. I also learnt about how we perceive our vision and what an image really is all about. During the course of the workshop, I was able to discover many new things and learnt a lot about the art of film making. I was saddened by the way our cinematic history is restored. We have lost most of our films from the past and have not even bothered to restore them. I enjoyed watching…

Pro Chess League

The Pro Chess League is a one of its kind league. It begins on 11th January 2017 and continues for the next two months. It will be a grilling battle between all the competing teams and only the best will emerge victorious.
I am proud to be associated with Delhi Dynamite- a team with players like Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta, Sahaj Grover, Tania Sachdev, Tejas Bakre, and Lalith Babu. I have been appointed the social media manager of the team and I hope to do my best for the team.
Delhi Dynamite is raring to go for the PRO CHESS LEAGUE and I can't wait for it to start!

Teaching Chess to the Blind

Chess has given me so much in life and I wanted to give back to the game in some way. I decided to start teaching the game to blind students at the National Association of the Blind, RK Puram, New Delhi. I managed to give the students my book-'Chess Notes' in a braille version. They would be participating in the 1st National School Chess Championship for the blind with the help of  my fundraising event.
The students at the NAB, despite their physical handicap, have not lost their interests in life's everyday activities. Chess is one sport which can be played without any shortcomings for the handicapped. The students took full opportunity of this fact and practice almost every day.
They are being trained through skype and online video conferencing sessions. I noticed their dedication and was inspired by their mission to master the game. I learnt a lot by teaching them and it was an experience to remember.
I hope that I would be able to do my best to teach these motivated c…

Martial Arts

Martial Arts are one of the most popular forms of action and stunts used in films. But this form of sport is not just for the screen. It is for those who wish to see a positive change in their lives.
The term is used in general for a number of art forms such as Taekwondo, Karate, Mixed Martial Arts, Muay Thai and much more.
Learning Martial Arts are not as easy as it is shown on screen but with dedication and hard work, one can master the art forms. Practicing Taekwondo for the last year and a half, I have learnt a lot . It gave me a different approach towards my life and it made me more focused and disciplined. It instilled in me a sense of direction in life and gave me peace of mind. It helped me improve in many of my activities including chess. It helped me improve my concentration which helped me in my game as well. It made me physically stronger and made me develop a daily routine for fitness. It has also helped me improve my confidence and general attitude towards life. I have …

'Queen of Katwe' Special Screening for Salaam Balak Trust

On Monday 3rd October 2016 a special screening of the film-'Queen of Katwe' directed by Mira Nair and produced by Disney Movies was held. I was fortunate to have attended a special screening of this film organised by the Salaam Balak Trust. A trust which looks to lift the underprivileged and give them a better life.
The film was extremely motivational and inspiring. Being a chess player myself, I was extremely excited to watch this film. I was thrilled that such a movie on chess had actually been made. Telling the story of Phiona Mutesi, a young girl who overcome all odds and achieved the WCM Title in chess, the film really touched my heart.
I was left spellbound by watching such a heart warming story. It was not easy for the young girl to achieve what she has done. It just goes to show that anything can be achieved if one has the desire to do well in life. One must work hard and not lose hope or give up in crucial times. One must learn from one's mistakes and never repea…

The Commonwealth Chess Championship 2016

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The Commonwealth Chess Championship 2016 was held at the Citrus Hotel in Waskaduwa,Sri Lanka from the 30th of July to the 7th of August. The tournament attracted players from different Commonwealth Countries including Malaysia, South Africa, Maldives, Bangladesh, Australia, Sri Lanka, India and England.
I participated in the open category and won the bronze medal in the U-18 Girls category. It was a wonderful experience as I played with a grandmaster in the first round and made new friends from different countries. I got a sense of what it feels like to play for my country and how it felt to wear the team kit and interact with other members from the team. I also got crucial advice on my game from the winners of the event GM Abhijeet Gupta and IM Tania Sachdev.
Overall the tournament was a thrilling week of chess and gave me confidence to improve my game further. Looking forward to playing next time as well.

Here are a few pictures from the event-







Helping society's underprivileged

When God sends us into this universe, everyone is equal. He makes nobody rich or poor. It's we the people who actually do that. We have created this barrier in our country where there exists a vast difference between the privileged and those who aren't so fortunate.
So it is our responsibility to step up and take some action. It can be done in any which way that we like. We might just want to contribute some of our unused things or we might want to contribute in a bigger way by educating or funding entire villages. However small your effort might be it is still going to affect the lives of billions of Indians in a much more positive way.
I have learnt this through my volunteering activities over the years. I started by doing small things just in my neighbourhood but once I started doing it I realised the importance of my work. I started to realise the worth of our being and how even small things can make a huge difference in the lives of the underprivileged.
Project Checkmate…

Project Checkmate covered by Chessbase India

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Project Checkmate! The ten-year-old boy sat at the chessboard lost in thought, pondering his next move. He noticed his opponent's eyes oscillating between the chess board and his own face. This young boy was already thinking about the future and was sensing the environment around his position, and was even observing his adversary — all the skills one needs to possess, not only on the chess board but in life as well. Curiously, he didn't even know the rules of chess a month back.
Chess, time and again, has proved to be an ideal educational tool for children to develop skills that are useful in real life in more than one ways. The recent impetus that the concept of 'Chess in Schools' has gained is ensuring that chess spreads at the grassroots level. Indeed, it is a valuable education tool for school children. But what about underprivileged kids?
To fill this gap, I approached the NGO International Society of Human Welfare and Rehabilitation, short for ISHWAR, in Delhi a…

1st ISHWAR NGO Chess Tournament 2016

It was the first time that this kind of an event was held at the NGO. I was extremely excited and looked forward to organising a tournament for the very first time. I was amazed to see how excited the kids were to play with the clocks and participate in the tournament. I also got an opportunity to start the 'learning chess on a computer' for the students. It was a proud moment when the kids got to use a chess game CD on the computer for the very first time. They were eager to play on the computer and are now looking forward to practising regularly on it. The tournament and the project is now associated with 'Chess for Children with G.M. Tania Sachdev' and it gives me immense happiness that my project is being taken up by other chess players and promoters as well.
The tournament was a single round robin event and was played with the latest FIDE rules and the latest chess clocks. Each player played with the others in the tournament once. There were a total of 5 matches …

Discussion of the tournament

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I held another training session at the NGO. Since the children had just returned from a tournament two days back I wanted to discuss with them all that they had learnt from it and their experiences. I also taught them about basic openings and their names. I showed them one of Mikhail Tal's masterpiece games and asked them their ideas about the game. I talked about strategy and planning and how to win a game. In this class new students joined as they were inspired by the ones who had played the tournament. I am now teaching five more children as well. It is amazing  to see how these kids can concentrate and focus so hard. It gives me some direction in my life as well. Even though I'm their teacher, I am still learning a lot from them. Just by teaching them I am also gaining some practice on my basics and I am learning how to teach and lead a team of young students.I am also proud about the donations that I have managed to collect for the NGO. Loads of books have paved the way …

Project Checkmate

Our volunteering activities have now got an exclusive name. It's called Project Checkmate.
Please visit our Facebook Page-https://www.facebook.com/projectcheckmate64/?fref=ts
You can also visit our website- www.projectcheckmate.weebly.com

Delhi State Rapid Tournament 2016

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The second day of the tournament was also an eventful one. The children played two more games and scored fairly well for their first tournament. I was proud of each of them after the tournament got over. One child even scored 3.5 points out of a possible 7 rounds which was a great start to things. I am now looking forward for their next tournament. Overall it was an amazing experience. The children enjoyed the two days spent at the tournament and it will be a moment to remember for them for life. I also spent time interacting and playing with the kids between the matches and we had a lot of fun together. I told them about the best players in the chess world and even asked them to write about their experiences. They also managed to make new friends and enjoyed themselves thoroughly. Their day was made even more exciting after each one of them was treated to an ice cream each in the peaking heat of the summer months in Delhi.
My experience was wonderful. I felt confident of handling an…

Delhi State Rapid Tournament with the NGO children

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I took the students from the NGO for the Delhi State Rapid Tournament 2016. I picked them up from the NGO and gave them their new chess kits which were prepared by me. The chess kit consisted of a notebook, a pen, simple tips and tricks authored by me and a chess board with pieces. Each child got this kit which was sponsored from the pocket money that I had collected for a good purpose. The children also took with them the bags and bottles that I had given them earlier. They were extremely excited to play in their first tournament and that too a state one. The entire car ride till the venue was an eventful one. I gave the children some tips for the tournament and how they should play to their best capacity. It was a moment of pride for me when I saw the students play in the tournament. Each one of them was anxious before their first games as it was the first time that they were playing with a clock and against stiff opposition. However they managed to play their best and it gave me i…

Another Exciting Day at the NGO

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It was yet another exciting day at the NGO where I teach the children how to play better chess. I did something interesting today as I held a short quiz on the topics that I had covered in the earlier classes to test their knowledge. It was a fun way to start the class, I thought. Then I went on to some more serious stuff. I gave all the children sheets of chess puzzles which they had to solve in the class. Each child got a sheet each and they solved simple positions on checkmating the opponent's king in one, two and three moves.
After they solved eight positions in a record breaking time of just half an hour, we took to learning new concepts. It's amazing to see how each one of them can concentrate so hard on the game during the class and solve these positions easily. I am happy that these children are progressing in each class.
I taught them some golden rules to win chess games. I taught them the things to keep in mind while playing the opening, middle game and the endgame.

A simultaneous exhibition

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It was yet another session with the enthusiastic learners at the NGO. This time I tried out something different and which I had never myself experienced before. I tried to play a simultaneous with the children. I played on six boards all with black pieces and managed to win all. However that was not what made me happy that day. For the first time I realized how important is to motivate and make these children play the game and learn more in every session. I could understand where they stood and it gave me a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses. I can now devise a clearer and better plan as to how I should continue teaching new things about the game to them.
After the simultaneous which lasted for an hour, I explained to them their mistakes and where most of them were going wrong. I gave them a list of rules and guidelines that they could follow to have a good position in the opening stages of the game. I also taught them about tactics like 'discovered attack', '…

An eventful session

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I went for another session to the NGO and taught the students a bit more on the game. This is part of a workshop of 30 hours which involves teaching the basic principles of chess. In this second session I taught the students how to play in a tournament and the typical requirements of a tournament. I taught them about how to use a clock, the kinds of draws in chess, special moves like 'en passant' and 'castling', how to write a game, rules like 'touch and move rule', adjusting a piece, illegal moves and also gave them basic positions on how to checkmate the opponents king. The last fifteen minutes of the class involved a quick game played by the students against each other and I also showed them pictures of Grandmasters like Vishy Anand and Magnus Carlsen. The students were very enthusiastic and motivated and I enjoyed teaching them thoroughly. I now look forward to seeing at least one of them becoming a stronger player  and win tournaments. I was eager to give…

Teaching Chess to the underprivileged

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I took up the initiative to teach chess to the underprivileged at an NGO in New Delhi. It was an endeavour to spread my knowledge on the game that I have been playing for the past nine years. I wanted to teach the children and make chess more enjoyable for them. It was an amazing experience as I interacted and taught ten children between the ages of 10-15. The children were enthusiastic for the entire duration of the session for two hours. I taught them basic tactics in the middle game like 'the pin' and 'the double attack' by giving them puzzles to solve. I also taught them about the three stages of the game namely the Opening, the middle game and the endgame. I also taught them how to win a 'King and two pawns v/s King' endgame. Tournament rules were also a must to teach as I want to make them play in tournaments. I told them some of the most important tournament rules.
The last part of the session involved playing some practice games and the students challe…

IPL Season 9

The IPL started with a bang on 9th April 2016 with the Mumbai Indians taking on the newest team in this edition of the IPL, the Rising Pune Supergiants. The match turned into the favour of the new team and they won convincingly.
The IPL  started in 2008 and over the years has become the most watched league in the world of cricket. A cash rich league, it gives the domestic players a chance to showcase their talents and make it to the top league. The IPL also attracts the media and the entertainment industry. The likes of superstars like Shah Rukh Khan, Preity Zinta and Juhi Chawla own teams while the big industrialists like Mukesh Ambani and Sanjiv Goenka also have their share in the ownership of the teams.
The IPL is hugely popular and is getting bigger and better each year. The stadiums are packed with fans and it is the best time of the season to visit India.
The IPL has fireworks, drama, action and of course smashing sixes out of the park. It's a package deal of entertainment,…

Important Learnings in Life

As we say that 'You Only Live Once', we should respect our lives and enjoy each moment that we are there in this world. This life is a gift to us by God and we all are his children. We should respect each and every individual in this world and treat everybody equally. We should learn to be truthful and humble despite all our achievements. I have learnt a lot by just following these simple teachings and I have noticed that almost every person who ever reaches a high position in his or her life has followed these rules. Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and many others have just showed us that success only comes when we are civil and hard working. The teachings of Gandhiji are guided by non-violence and 'ahimsa' and finding the truth.
I believe in this ideology and I think that if one wants to find the true meaning of his being, he has to look within himself and find out what he is truly capable of doing. I believe that we all have come i…

Incredible India

India is a country which is as diverse as its landscape and has a tradition which is bestowed with different cultures and religions. In India a guest is treated like God and everyone is welcomed with warmth and love. Our country has mountains, plains, plateaus, deserts, hills, valleys and mangroves. We have some of the best scenic locations for tourists to enjoy including the Himalayas and the banks of the River Ganga. With the different religions come different festivals and India is marked with an immense number of festivals and celebrations. Diwali, Holi, Eid and many more are celebrated with joy by each Indian. India's heritage also lies in the number of monuments that it has. The Taj Mahal in Agra is one of the seven wonders of the world. India is also marked by a number of UNESCO World Heritage Monuments and sites in different cities all over the country. India's divided into seven union territories and 29 states,the latest being the state of Telengana in Andhra Pradesh…

The FIDE Online Arena

The FIDE Online Arena is a platform created by the FIDE for playing online chess and achieving ratings and titles. What had earlier been impossible to achieve for most players, achieving titles are now just a computer away. The Arena makes it easy for players to play and compete against one another. Here players also get a chance to play simultaneous games with top players and  compete in daily tournaments. If you ever wanted to play in a World Championship, the arena has given you an opportunity by creating the World Online Junior, Amateur and Women Blitz Championships. The winners are entitled to many benefits. There are tournaments such as the Paul Keres Memorial Blitz Championships, the Slim Grand Prix, the Rapid Marathon and how can one forget the All India Blitz Championships. All this is just the beginning. The Arena also has facilities where players can watch video tutorials and analyze their games. They can keep a track of all their results and statistics of their matches. Hav…

Meeting two Grandmasters in a week

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It was a dream come true week for me when I got the opportunity to meet two grandmasters. I got to interact with GM Abhijeet Gupta and GM David Alberto. My chess group 'the chess for children with Tania Sachdev and Vishal Sareen group' got this special opportunity in the new year of 2016.
Firstly I met Abhijeet Gupta when I had organised a special playing session with all the players of our group before a prestigious tournament. Abhijeet had come for an impromptu visit which we were not aware about. It was a huge surprise when he walked into our playing arena and I was extremely excited to meet a former National Champion and Olympiad medal winner. After we had finished our games all the children got an opportunity to play a 'special' game with him. This game was special as Abhijeet played blindfolded with each one of us. Though the score was in his favour as he won all his games it was one of the best experiences of our lives. I would like to thank Vishal Sir and Abhi…

Learning the Sports Way

Sport is something which teaches everybody how to  grow and become better human beings. It teaches values which are otherwise hard to learn on our own.It gives a feeling of satisfaction when we win and also teaches us to accept our mistakes when we lose. By playing a sport, one learns not only the nuances of sport but also a lot about psychology in life . All sports players need to have a good understanding about the human brain and by playing sports we learn it on the way. We learn how to think in critical situations, how to play under pressure and how to motivate ourselves in the most difficult positions. Sports players find it easy to navigate through the daunting situations in their lives as they experience that kind of pressure every time they go out to play on the field. Sport also teaches the player how to go for glory and win battles against stiff opposition. Playing sports not only makes one fitter and stronger, it also develops our personality. We are able to travel to diff…

Reading is fun!

To read a book is like making a new friend. Every book that I read taught me something new and interesting. I like reading books of different genres ranging from sports to classics and even new fiction. Reading is something that makes us go into a world which is different and it helps us understand different characters and plots. I also enjoy reading magazines and newspapers which give us the latest happenings in the world.
Reading not only develops our mind, it also helps us in improving our language and vocabulary. We are able to go deep into a story and find its true meaning. Now there are different forms of reading and we can even read stories on the kindle or the ipad. With the improvements in technology, reading books has become even more interesting and enjoyable. I just can't go to bed without reading something or the other. Autobiographies have been an all time favourite. I really enjoyed reading the autobiographies of different sports players and being a sportswoman mys…

An eventful month

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The new year began with a lot of surprises for me. I was first awarded the Arena Fide Master Title by FIDE. I also won the Best Girl Player Runner Up in the Parsavnath B Category International Fide Rating Chess tournament. The victory was followed up by another good performance in a tournament organised by my school where I finished in third place. Lastly I went to Mumbai to participate in the Mumbai International Open Chess Tournament which was a one of a kind tournament experience. It was one of the best tournaments that I have ever participated in. With the best playing conditions it gave the players an opportunity to experience a world class event.
These victories didn't only bring joy but they also gave me satisfaction for the amount of work that I had put into it. I learnt that victories don't come easy. It's extremely difficult to climb the summit in anything that you do and to reach that level one needs to take each step slowly and steadily. We need to move in the…

Guest Editor for Devachess

Dear devachess followers we are now giving you a chance to write for us. If you ever had a dream of writing about chess this could be a dream come true. All you have to do is pen down your thoughts in at least 250 words on anything related to chess and if you are lucky you will get published. The top three articles will get published along with the writer’s names. The details are- An article of about 250 words in a Microsoft word format. There is no limit to the no. of articles per person. You can send in as many as you like. You also have to include your name,age,profession and a short write up about yourself. Send in your entries by the 15th of February 2016 on the email address devachesshpage@hotmail.com The winner’s names will also be displayed on the Facebook page. So what are you waiting for, grab a pen and a paper and start penning down your thoughts. All the best!!

A new year brings new beginnings

2016 has just begun. It is a year full of events and surprises. Being a leap year it already sounds exciting.
With each new year comes hopes, dreams, desires and ambitions. One should aim for much higher things in life and believe that everything is possible. With the new year each one of us should set our goals and try to accomplish them. We should start on a positive note and look for greater openings.
The new year promises to do better for you if you promise to become a better person. So be ready for the upcoming challenges and brace yourself for some exciting new adventures along the way. May this new year be full of exciting days and happiness.
Cheers to 2016,
Devanshi