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ChessBase India training camp: A powerful start

by Niklesh Jain - 15/04/2023

It is said that to enjoy chess, one must strive to improve in it. In the modern world, there are various ways of chess improvement - learning from video courses, reading top-class chess literature, playing tournaments regularly. But one thing which is absolutely necessary in order to do serious improvement in chess is undergo proper training from a good coach. Chessbase India took a very important step in this direction, when we started the Chessbase India Academy in Bhopal. To kick off the academy, we held a training camp with 11 players! Read on to know all about this unique event.

The Official banner of the ChessBase India Training Camp from 14th-19th March, held at the ChessBase India Academy Bhopal.

India is the one of the fastest growing countries in the world of chess, currently ranked no.2 in the World standings. Every year thousands of new players are joining this game, as well as increasing the number of people who want to make this game their future! But with this. the importance of proper chess training is also increasing every day. This is one area which is not well-accessible to a large number of chess players. ChessBase India wanted to contribute in this field for a long time! At the time, 1.17 million people follow the chess content we put out in our YouTube channel alone, not to mention the large number of people who follow our vibrant newspage for updates everyday. Well, as a next step, we launched the ChessBase India Training Academy in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh last month, and also organized the first physical chess training camp. A total of 11 chess players from different states of India participated in this camp from 14th to 19th March! How was the experience? Read more below:

There was no age limit in the camp, and players came from Kolkata, Pune, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Agra, Uttarakhand, Jabalpur and Bhopal to take part in this event! The biggest challenge for 12-time Colombia National Champion WIM Angela Franco and FI Niklesh Jain was to help them all improve their game.

For the camp, we had selected some special topic for each day. In this way, the students had in-depth work on a new topic everyday. The final day was a special attraction for the players, as the Khelo Chess India Rapid tournament was organized!

The students were working 8+ hours everyday on various chess topics - so it was important to have a great start to the day!

Meditation, breath control and a great start to the day!

We started the camp each day with a special session, and that was meditation time. Each day the camp started with this special 30 minute class, which covered the techniques of breath control for a chess player and how to handle your emotions during a game of chess.

Day 1 - Calculation:

Precise calculation is the most important skill in the life of any chess player. The best players in the world are the best because of this special ability! So on the first day of the camp, we spent more than 8 hours on this topic. During this course, picking a move, comparing different candidate moves and specific examples and techniques for selecting a move were studied.

White to play, what would you do? Try to see as deep as you can.

Day 2 - The art of analysis

This topic was very important to us, since it was necessary that we were able to teach each player how to analyze their own game in detail. It was a great day, we studied some of the beautifully analyzed games. After this, every participant of the camp was able to analyze their own games according to the methods shown - this was a moment of great success!

We studied the analysis of a very famous game by well-known Grandmaster and Trainer Jesse Kraai. To know more about this wonderful game and analysis, read this article by IM Sagar Shah.

Day 3 - Pawn Structure

It is said that in the game of chess, if you understand the nature of pawns and their structure well, then your playing strength increases by a lot. That's why we looked at pawn structures in the 3rd day of the camp.

After 2 days of hard work, Day 3 was very informative for everyone. In the various different pawn structures, we talked about the position and coordination of different pieces. We also discussed isolated, hanging, double, backward and passed pawns - knowing all about them, and discussing when they are good or bad.

Black to play, what do you do?

Day 4 - Positional Chess

9 out of 10 chess players start playing chess without proper chess training, and as a result they do not have proper knowledge about positional chess throughout their life. Due to doubts on this sector, they are not able to make the right decisions on the board. Since it was a topic that was very important to us to get it right from the get-go, it was necessary that every player attending the camp understood the correct definition of positional chess. On this day, we had an ind-depth study on the subject of different type of weaknesses, understanding and preventing the incoming dangers, and improving our pieces.

What is the worst piece for White in this position, and how would you improve it? See the game below for the complete answer.

This game by IM Sagar Shah will change your style of play!

Day 5 - Attacking Chess

This is probably that part of the game which everyone wants to master! In their hearts, every chess player has a desire to defeat his/her opponent in an aggressive manner. But the attack is not always successful, and on multiple occasions even Grandmasters are unable to figure out when to attack. That is why precise study on attacking chess is required!

Angela's enthusiasm for attacking chess was amazing! To understand this, you must watch this game of hers:

On our last day, we focused on the topic of how and when an attack is successful, and what things we should keep in mind for this. We also looked at some great examples of strong attack and staunch defense!

Playing with the White pieces, Grandmaster Vasyl Ivanchuk finished this game with a beautiful combination! Can you spot the move and work out the full variation?

This amazing battle between two legendary Grandmasters Boris Gelfand and Vasyl Ivanchuk will definitely excite you!

This picture of the camp will give you an idea about the environment before and after the training!

Activities held during the camp

Our aim at ChessBase India Camp was clear. The training for each day had to be completed within 8 hours, and the students should feel excited and energetic throughout each day. To bolster this feeling, we planned a few different activities:

Like one day, the current No.1 player of Bhopal, Aishwin Daniel gave a simultaneous exhibition to all the participants.

Every evening, the participants of the camp will play against one another based on the learnings of the day.

Depending on the level of the players, some challenging problems were posed at them from time to time!

On the 5th and final day of the camp, a test was conducted on what the participants learned throughout the camp. All the participants had to answer 15 questions in a time span of 2 hours.

1!We also talked about the various uses of ChessBase in chess improvement!

A Q&A session with Gukesh!

On the last day of the camp, IM Sagar Shah surprised us as he brought with him the #2 chess player of India, D Gukesh!

Not only did Gukesh congratulate everyone, but he also answered each and every question of everyone! For many players, it became the most memorable moment of their life.
The thoughts of chess parents on the ChessBase India training camp | Video: ChessBase India

Day 6 - Khelo Chess India Rapid Chess tournament

On the 6th day of the camp, everyone got an opportunity to play a one day rapid chess tournament! It was an opportunity for them to put their learnings into practice. Although we all know it takes time, but learning chess 5 days in a row is bound to have a positive effect on their games.

This was the second Khelo Chess India Rapid Tournament, in which a total of 80 players from Bhopal and surrounding areas participated. Out of these, around 30 were FIDE rated players!

Among the participants of the camp, Nakshatra, Medhanta and Anay secured medals in the U-8 age group.

Samhita Pungavanam won the best female player award.

Another participant of the camp, Siya Kaushik (1115), increased her rating by almost 200+ points to 1300 through two consecutive events - the Delhi GM Open and the Indore GM Open.
Check out the atmosphere just before the start of the training camp | Video: ChessBase India

Our own experience

It was a great experience for me and Angela as a trainer in the camp. We both used our 15 years of experience as a trainer, and we thank the whole ChessBase India team headed by Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal. We really feel that this initiative of ChessBase India will make a great contribution to Indian Chess!

When will be the next training camp?

The second ChessBase India training camp will be held from 13th-18th June 2023. Stay tuned for more details!

This article is translated from Hindi by Himank Ghosh.


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