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A celebration of Chess - The Big Chess Summer Camp 2024

by Himank Ghosh - 17/05/2024

It has been 4 days since the Big Chess Summer Camp kicked off in the Phoenix Marketcity Mall, Kurla, Mumbai. The Camp started off on 13th May, and will come to an end on 19th May 2024. This space has been dedicated to the ChessBase India Chess Club sessions since early 2022, A deathmatch, numerous simuls! But the big chess camps held here (3 so far) have always been very close to our heart and the chess community. Close to 350 people have already joined us to learn chess at their own pace with several other like-minded people - completly free of cost! In this article, we try to cover what has happened in these four days - starting from the guests who came in, the amazing people who are a part of it, and some very cool stories. If you are in Mumbai/nearby the city, hopefully this write-up will persuade you to join the camp and discover the fun for yourself!

Learn Chess by solving sheets in the Big Chess Summer Camp 2024

The official logo of the Big Chess Summer Camp 2024.

The first Big Chess Summer Camp was held in May 2023. The motivation behind organizing this was to hold a training camp where it doesn't just attract a certain rating category, but a lot of chess players starting from absolute beginners to serious tournament players. The idea is to use training sheets which contain 10 positions on a certain theme, and try to solve it. And we've stayed true to that formula - it worked wonders in the three camps so far'! But one may ask - why use sheets then? After all, the majority of chess training camps are structured with having a coach/group of coaches giving lectures on various chess topics. Why do it like this?

A birds-eye view of the Big Chess Summer Camp 2024! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

One of our head coaches, Priyanka Ved helping a student with the sheets! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Well, the main idea behind this was to enforce self-paced learning. Not everyone learns a topic in the same speed - so unless the players are of the same strength or have the same motivations, someone will be left behind or someone may feel that the rate of learning is too slow. This method puts the onus on the player themselves! If you feel like solving as many sheets as possible back to back, then great! But if you want to solve two of them and then play some fun Blitz, then solve another, that's also cool. Whatever problems you face, you can ask volunteers or the head coaches. Accountability is also not an issue with so many people solving around you!

People from all different age groups learning chess...

at their own pace, in their own style! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Taking feedback from the past two camps and discussing among ourselves, we have carefully designed a total of 45 sheets for the chess camp. These sheets are basically divided into three levels - Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Level 1 are sheets 1-15 - they are the sheets we generally recommend to players who are beginners - relatively new to the game. Starting from how the pieces move to understanding the basic tactics - this is the flow here.  Level 2 (sheets 16-30) are meant for the players in the intermediate category - those who know the basics and trying to go beyond. Finally, Sheets 31-45 are level 3, which is meant for even stronger players - even serious tournament players will find this challenging!

The sheets are carefully assembled and color-coded, so that the team and volunteers can easily find the required sheet for a person! | Abhyudaya Ram

IM Sagar Shah solving the queries of a player with the sheet's positions! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

We wanted to keep the process of coming to camp and solving very simple and intuitive. So there is no online registration needed at all - you just come to the Phoenix Marketcity Mall in Mumbai and visit Atrium 5. You come to the registration desk, tell your name, phone number and email ID - and that's it for registration! Now you can just collect a training sheet and start solving. A total of 329 people (unique entries) have joined the Big Chess Summer Camp so far!

The long queue for the camp registration - chess is booming! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

You also get to meet IM Sagar Shah and get to ask him any questions you have! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

The coaches and volunteers are there for you to help you decide which sheet you can start from! After you have finished solving the sheet, you can get it checked by one of the volunteers or the head coaches. In case you are stuck on a problem, they are more than happy to help you with it!

The volunteers in action - they are checking the sheets answers! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

After you have finished the sheet, you just take the next one and keep solving. The whole flow is simple - you can come in at anytime you want, solve as much as you like, and leave when you feel like! This schedule is especially very helpful for working professionals who will have trouble dedicating 4 hours of time ( 4 PM-8 PM) every day for a week.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy - here's a fun hand and brain game between the players and the volunteers! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

There are three head coaches in the Chess Camp - Nithin Chandan, Priyanka Ved, and Shashank Mokashi. All of them are experienced chess players and trainers, and they have carefully picked the positions to form the training sheets! It is really commendable that they are interacting with such a huge number of chess players and still manage to give time to almost all of them. They are constantly helping the players and checking their sheets! While they work very hard, it is a very rewarding experience for them as well to see the sheets formed by them being solved so seriously by a huge number of people. 

Nithin taking the student through the critical variations of a position! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Priyanka going through the answers written on the sheet! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Shashank playing a fun blitz game with the volunteers from Indian Chess School! | Photo: Himank Ghosh

We have to mention the volunteers - the kind people who are helping tremendously with the whole operation of the camp. They help in setting up the tables, organizing the chess boards, teaching the students - basically everything you can imagine which is needed to run a chess camp! This is also helpful for the players who decided to volunteer - while helping others with various positions, their chess strength also grows in the process.

Promising young talents from the Indian Chess school joined in as volunteers! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Helping people with the chess problems also lead to your own chess improvement! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Volunteers going through the positions on the sheet - not just for helping others, but improving themselves! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Four days of the Camp through stories and photos

Day one:

It was an amazing first day at the Big Chess Summer Camp 2024 in Phoenix Marketcity Mall, Mumbai! Close to 100 people turned up to learn chess in their own pace and have fun.

The hustle and bustle on day one of the big chess summer camp! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

One of India's most esteemed trainers and authors, Praful Zaveri visited the Chess Camp today! He interacted with a lot of the chess players in the Camp - helping them when they got stuck in positions and offering them some important chess advice. Our very own IM Sagar Shah was also present throughout the duration of 4 PM - 8 PM. He also helped a lot of the players, and all of them were very happy to meet him!

The Q&A session with Praful Zaveri! | Photo: Mihir Vaghela

The day ended with a wonderful Q&A session with Praful Zaveri. He answered many questions about chess improvement and the understanding of the game! The icing on the cake was the little volunteers he brought with him in the camp today - some very talented chess players from his academy Indian Chess School!

A group photo with all the volunteers from Indian Chess School - Praful Zaveri's Chess Academy! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Q&A with one of India's best Chess Trainers and Authors - Praful Zaveri | Video: ChessBase India

Day two:

A huge number of people turned up at the Phoenix Marketcity Mall in Mumbai to solve sheets, play games, and improve their chess. The total footfall was easily above 250 today! We saw many cases when the child would rope in the parent(s) to join them in solving the positions, and few minutes later we would find the parents engrossed in solving a position on their own. Such is the beauty of chess!

This is what intense focus looks like! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

There are many different kinds of people in the chess camp. Some of them prefer to keep solving sheets consecutively, trying to finish as much as possible within the time! Then there are some people who approach it slowly - they solve 1/2 sheets, maybe play a fun Blitz game, chat a little with fellow players, and move on to the next sheet. A fun hand and brain game took place today where several people were suggesting moves in a game between two participants of the camp! During the end, few kids were playing bughouse chess as well.

The "Taare Zameen par" frame! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Day three:

It was a very eventful day three at the Big Chess Summer Camp 2024 yesterday. Both Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal were present at the camp - and a lot of people turned up as usual! We are constantly reprinting the training sheets as some of them get used up by the participants. The whole mood was very serious - everybody wants to put in their best work and find the answers!

One of Mumbai's most talented players, Aniruddha Potawad visited the club today. Aniruddha's FIDE Rating is 2200+ - naturally, everybody wanted to play a game with him! Aniruddha kept playing Blitz games with chess players of many different levels. It was a fun challenge for him, and a great learning experience for many others!

Yesterday was actually the birthday of two of our team members - Abhyudaya Ram and Ravindra Potawad. There was a small celebration at the Chess Camp for their birthday! 

A beautiful group photo to remember this day! | Photo: Sagar Shah

Day four:

Time flies by very fast. 4 days of the Big Chess Summer Camp are over already! By this point, almost all of the participants have gotten into a flow of solving the sheets. While many new people are also coming in and joining everyday, the recurring players are very eager to join in and start from where they left off the day before!

The highlight of the day was certainly the kids joining in from the Chembur Children's home. They were so happy and excited to join in and solve the sheets! These kids have really grown strong by regular playing and learning through the Teach Chess India sessions from Sagar Shah and Priyanka Ved. It was amazing to see them in action!

A very talented kid from the Chembur Children's home in the Chess camp! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

The Team behind the Camp

The Head coordinator of the Big Chess Summer Camp is Abhyudaya Ram, who brought this whole event together. Our very own Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal also visited the camp - people were so happy to meet with them and interact with them! There are several other people from the team who are working tirelessly in the camp - Harsh Kumar, Adarsh Bhadauria, Vidhee Karelia, Mihir Vaghela, Pranali, Ravindraji, Yaseen, Ankush - the list goes on!

Abhyudaya helping a little girl with the ChessPa activity sheets! 

Women power at the camp - Amruta Mokal with Priyanka Ved! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Amruta in action taking an interview of a little kid, as Sagar gives a hearty laugh in the background! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Harsh Kumar has travelled all the way from Delhi to this camp! He's helping us build and improve the ChessRanga tactics trainer, and worked a great deal on preparing the sheets. Here he is helping some of the students in the camp! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Adarsh is the Tech head of ChessBase India, and is working extensively on ChessRanga and other projects! We have set up a little ChessRanga corner in the camp - here's him explaining the workings of this free and interactive chess training platform developed by us to one of the camp participants. | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Harsh and Adarsh both travelled from Delhi to Mumbai for this camp! Here's them organizing the sheets on day one of the camp. | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Vidhee playing a game of chess against one of the Children from the Chembur's Children home! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Mihir helping out a student with one of the positions! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Pranali handling the ChessBase India stall at the Big Chess Summer Camp! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Ravindraji gives a smile while stacking the ChessPa activity books - many more of our books and products are available on the stall! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

Yaseen making sure the books and products are placed correctly in the stall! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Ankush engrossed in work at the stall - he's unpacking our bestseller product, the chess boards! | Photo: Abhyudaya Ram

The author of these lines, Himank Ghosh discussing an article with Sagar Shah. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The people who have registered for the Big Chess Summer Camp so far

Serial No.Name
1Nikhil Tank
2Kartik Bhadange
3Kathit Nikhil Shelar
4Bhuvi Gandhi
5Dhairyaa Gandhi
6Devm Shah
7Ketan Bhave
8Ankur Gupta
9Vaishnavi Narvekar
10Akansha Upadhyay
11Aniruddha Upadhyay
12Khushi Shinde
13Sujeet Kumar Gupta
14Vikramaditya Singh
15Preyrit Maurya
16Tuishar Deshpande
17Ashutosh Nair
18Harshil Joshi
19Patel Ankita
20Radha Krishnan
21Prathamesh Khot
22Anusha Tharayil
23Jitendra Gupta
24Adrit Tharayil
25Vivaan Shroff
26Radha Shroff
27Vishal Chaudhari
28Purvi Shroff
29Maaz Gundagi
30Rajtarangini Kushwaha
31Rayyan Khan
32Ahmed Shah
33Sanket Sharma
34Rachit Raut
35Sahil Pawar
36Vaishnavi Bhuvad
37Umaiyini Sreenivas
38Atharva Gaikwad
39Prisha Mittal
40Pravar Mittal
41Vanita Gala
42Aarya Patil
43Hiranmayee Kulkarni
44Pranjal Sonavane
45Aniket Dawaskar
46Shivaansh Kothari
47Faiz Nadaf
48Haaniya Alam
49Saaniya Alam
50Ansh Jain
51Rahul Khare
52Denver Pinto
53Rashid Shaikh
54Abhay Rana
55Kumar Gururaja Bhat
56Jennisia Mendes
57Vishwanath Angne
58Varad Bubna
59Milind Mahajan
60Vijay Rohra
61Dhruv Sardana
62Prem Babar
63Maansi Babar
64Amitayush Patil
65Vignesh Anil Kumar
66Parvez Alam
67Satish Parab
68Arvind Jena
69Priyanka Morajkar
70Yash Vijay Tambe
71Sanjay Borkar
72Vivan Kamble
73Rupali Dumada
74Sheikh Arafat
75Shubham Satish Gavas
76Madhavi Gonbare
77Daksh Vaity
78Mitali Naik
79Utkarsh Pitambare
80Prathamesh Naik
81Disha Shah
82Riddhi Tambe
83Shashank Prasad
84Prathamesh Yadav
85Gargi Lobhi
86Ankit Rajput
87Atharva Raut
88Aashish Sinha
89Shivam Chauhan
90Bhavik Nandan Mhatre
91Deeya Parmar
92Aarish Gandhi
93Ashni Chheda
94Kashi Ali
95Aadvik Sunil
96Sree Parvathy
97Prateek Vishwakarma
98Shivanshu Sharma
99Nimit Jain
100Jimit Shah
101Krishaang Singhai
102Jainam Shah
103Vivaan Sanghvi
104Neelkanth Kagaphar
105Samaira Somahi
106Sarah Somahi
107Vallabh Avdhut Chavan
108Anugrah Srivastava
109Ayushdeep Mishra
110Saransh Dwivedi
111Divisha Parmar
112Hritvii Nandan Mhatre
113Shoaib Sheikh
114Rehan Khan
115Medhansh Vora
116Simon Daniel
117Aditya Gupta
118Arnav Veldandi
119Vansh Thakkar
120Akash Kalane
121Gaurav Makhija
122Aditi K
123Vrushti Shah
124Chaitya Dhaval Vora
125Shrirang Nene
126Devin Darole
127Revant Ganesh
128Prajnesh Rajigari
129Jamal Akhtar Iraqui
130Priyansh Kadam
131Mohamamad Salimuddin
132Ayushmaan Pal
133Mihir Gupta
134Chirag Rajpurohit
135Anish Adav
136Prateek Gurav
137Jyoti Umapati Tripathi
139Somanse Yadav
140Harsh Patil
141Harsh Parmar
142Rishikesh Ashwin Iyer
143R Sundaram
144Daksh Ravat
145Neev Amit Ravat
146Saddhamma Meshram
147Dhairya Raorame
148Shravya Raorane
149Pallavi Yadav
150Divyash Vig
151Deepatkar Patil
152Shivam Patil
153Abhilash Yadav
154Rahul Kabdwal
155Nityant Agarwal
156Sachin Waghmare
157Ojas Raj
158Akash Yadav
159Aaryan Ingal
160Vansh Mohalle
161Harsh Pandit
162Tejas Sonavane
163Nilesh Dalal
164Viaan Kamdar
165Ayush Gaonkar
166Pranay Mathu
167Subrat Jain
168Anushman Patil
169Rushikesh Kohre
170Rithik Kareliya
171Shoruya Shekhar Walunj
172Sajeeri Shekhar Walunj
173Archana Singh
174Dheeraj Kori
175Shubh Darji
176Rashi Sawant
177Sandeep Sawant
178Ashish Bachate
179Kunal Makhija
180Raashi Tandon
181Pournima Manjarekar
182Krutika Kadere
183Reshma Manjarekar
184Ajay Sharma
185Shivam Dwivedi
186Neelima Kherde
187Panda Jayesh
188Bhagya Manania
189Sushant Katke
190Parth Mehta
191Ganesh Kudtarkar
192Swaleha Shaikh
193Nasir Shaikh
195Shubham Sahu
196Md. Faizan
201Niva Kunvaria
202Aditya Vyavahare
203Atharva Bhushan Vyavahare
204Ashita Jain
205Aarav Jain
206Arhaa Chaware
207Rushabh Doshi
208Sahil Ghonmode
209Nishad Shaikh
210Aisha Azharaddin
211Abhay Kumar Mishra
212Chaitali Pandey
213Vandan Sheth
214Rohan Kyal
215Pankaj Kumar
216Yash Bhaigade
217Nirmit Gala
218Naitik Shekhawat
219Deepti Vora
220Riz Lala
221Ved Gadge
222Ayush Mithare
223Shalini Hublikar
224Prince Sharma
225Sujal Singh
226Yashas Shetty
227Harsh Anmol Hulwan
228Sujal Lambor
229Mahesh Shimpi
230Vivaan Vedbhure
231Ujwala Vedbhure
232Vedansh Shaikh
233Sajeb Shaikh
234Fizza Taylor
235Sahil Gaikwad
236Ruslan Shaikh
237Atharv Patil
238Shakti Mehta
239Drett Fernandez
240Vedant Vailgankar
241Zahra Khan
242Mohammad Ali Khan
243Dipika Angara
244Sameer Minskriya
245Atharv Bedarkar
246Bhakti Manjrekar
247Vishnu Manjrekar
248Puneet Gupta
249Vighnesh Gupta
250Saket Priyam
251Umair Siddiqui
252Kannan Sundaram
253Amar Wankhade
254Shannan Sondau
255Jyoti Prajapati
256Priya Prajapati
257Sheru Pathan
258Asad Pathan
259Ansari Zahir
260Jinal Munot
261Sunny Biswas
262Shivam Yadav
263Abhinav Soni
264Heeva Sheth
265Adrit Menon
266Jainish Pomal
267Prapti Chaudhari
268Soham Haryan
269Sona Haryan
270Dhruv Patel
271Siddhesh Salunke
272Nikit Patel
273Vivek Patel
274Aniket Vishvakarma
275Prasad Deshmukh
276Kalyan Shakamuri
277Santoshini Patra
278Om Mahesh Anam
279Pranay Barua
280Mordhan Purohit
281Laksh Rajput
282Mohd Amer
283Jeet Gandhi
284Mahesh Vaviya
285Jashvi Shah
286Jash Shah
287Nishk Shah
288Laksh Rathi
289Veer Chakraborty
290Yogen Dube
291Raj Najan
292Pranav Wahindekar
293Tushar Thakker
294Atharva Keni
295Ajay Singh
296Nirmal Xavier
297Arham Fagth
298Paras Nirmal
299Mitish Sakhwal
300Subhash Pawar
301Samir Anand
302Adarsh Santosh
303Nitin Mahapatra
304Aditya Gaddam
305Vihaan Vaidya
306Yash Ganbas
307Babu Bhaskar
308Raj Sheikh
309Priaan Gala
310Reyansh Shah
311Shubham Mane
312Gurvit Daga
313Ayan Agarwal
314Isha Padmashali
315Aarush Sawant
316Sandeep Shanbhag
317Sapna Kamble
318Samarth Parasrampuria
319Sunny Karwani
320Gurkirat Singh
321Ryal Minj
322Shubham Kajoli
323Ramakrishna sen
324Shrijan Pal
325Priyanka Jain
326Daksh Jain
328Ritesh Kumar Singh
329Shourya Mokal

There are only three days left at the Chess Camp - please join us at the Phoenix Marketcity Mall to make it even more bigger and better! Remember - in the last two days (Saturday and Sunday), the camp will run from 2 PM-8 PM IST. 6 hours of unadulterated learning and fun is coming your way!


Related news:
The Big Chess Winter Camp is here from 20th-26th November!

@ 17/11/2023 by Himank Ghosh (en)
700 people learn Chess at the Big Summer Camp 2023

@ 26/05/2023 by Sagar Shah (en)
The Big Chess Summer Camp celebrates the beauty of chess

@ 19/05/2023 by Sagar Shah (en)

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