ISI Kolkata – Integration 2015: Sports Chapter

The sports chapter of Integration (The Annual Technological and Cultural Festival of Indian Statistical Institute Kolkata) was scheduled from 24th to 26th of January 2015, which comprised events like cricket, football, table tennis, chess and carom.

Integration is believed to be the biggest sports festival of the city. I was there to play the 30 minutes Rapid Chess Tournament. I was more excited than nervous and had zero expectations as it was my first tournament. The ISI campus is 26 kms away from my home. It took me an hour and half to reach the Dunlop campus.

At the inauguration ceremony, Professor Bimal K. Roy (present director of ISI Kolkata) was felicitated for being awarded the Padma Shri (fourth highest civilian award in India). Then the participants were asked to report to their respective event coordinators. The chess tournament was to be held at the Neils Bohr Hall and about fifty participants had assembled there. Most of them were from famous chess academies and were talking about some openings I had never heard of.

Rules Followed

The tournament format was designed as per the Swiss System with six rounds, that meant every player would get to play six matches irrespective of the result. After six rounds my score was four out of six with four wins and two loses. This was a more than satisfactory result for me as it was my first tournament. A part of my mind did regret for not bagging a prize. I wished I had won or drawn another round.

Indian Statistical Institute Kolkata – Entrance

In all the six matches I started with the King’s pawn and then continued accordingly. Most of the participants were younger, better and had more experience in playing tournaments. After winning the first match, the confidence started to grow. But in no time, my confidence was shattered with two back to back defeats. I started doubting whether I had enough skills to play in a tournament like this. After three rounds, we were given a lunch break of thirty minutes.

The break was a much needed one.

I realized that I was rushing my moves instead of using the allotted time. After the lunch break, I took bit more time to think than before and won all the three matches. In the last match, my opponent had a knight and three pawns and I was a bishop up. He offered me a draw and I declined it. Eventually I won the game. I did not win any prize, but the experience I gained from this tournament was more than any prize.

Last but not the least, I want to thank the organizers at ISI Kolkata, Bengal Chess Association and also for sponsoring the chess tournament in-spite of chess being such a neglected sport nowadays. Sometimes I wonder why they don’t even telecast the Chess World Championships on television.

Akash Chaudhuri
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