'Lend me your ears'
Friends Goans Countrymen
Lend me your eyes
If you can take your attention off the elections and the pigs for just a moment, here are the results of this year's (senior) state chess championships. I'd like you to note the ages of the players that I put alongside:
1. Anurag Mhamal - 12 years 1 month
2. Shubham Pinge- 15 years
3. Niraj Saripalli- 12 years
4. Standryk Colaco- 34 years
5. Bhakti Kulkarni- 15 years
6. Avinash Malvankar- 35years
7. Pranav Zantye- 11 years
8. Umang Kaisare- 13 years
9. Kelvin De Lima- 17 years
10. Suhas Asnodkar- 46years
The new champion, Anurag Mhamal equals the record set by Bhakti Kulkarni when she first won the state championship at the age of 12. No other sport, so resembles a children's tournament or has this kind of final result where youth so outclasses experience . Not in Goa, at least. And these youngsters not only have fresher, faster brains they have a fierce desire to win, and a few of them sometimes will resort to all sorts of gamesmanship to get their way. ( Not Anu or the others in the top 10 however; they don't need to)
On a personal note I thought I'd play in the championships this year. I knew of course that I'd little chance of winning, but I hoped I could get in a few good games. I started reasonably well with 2.5/ 3, then lost to one of the strong contenders, 23 year old Wilson Cruz.
In the next round I met Goa under - 9 champ, Harikrishnan. I had some important work that morning and decided to play fast, either win or lose quickly, and go for my appointment. I started with the King's Gambit, a risky opening. My young opponent sensing my impatience, took half an hour to play his second move, and then another half an hour for the third .By this time I was boiling with impatience, but there was nothing I could do, as we were playing with clocks ( for those who don't know, each player gets 2 hours to finish the game) and he was thinking in his own time.He took 1and a half hour to make 8 moves, while I was blitzing out my replies. In his last half hour he began to play faster, and I was still playing at lightning chess speed, hoping to make the appointment. Then I blundered, and lost. I missed the appointment.
In the evening round I met 8 year old Riya Sawant. There has been a rule change recently, whereby one has to first play one's move and then note it down, but used as I was to the old practice I couldn't help but write first and then play. She drew my attention to it, but old habits die hard.So she called the arbiter and complained . The arbiter said I wasn't doing anything intentionally, and asked her to continue, but by then i was so distracted, that I blundered again and lost.
Rather than suffer more torture from these young terrors, I withdrew from the tournament