WIM-elect Amruta Mokal celebrated her 30th birthday on 8th of August 2016. Apart from being a strong chess player, and the co-founder of ChessBase India, Amruta has made quite a huge contribution to Indian chess through her photography. It wouldn't be inappropriate to say that she is currently one of the best chess photographers in India. The thing which separates her from the rest is the ability to wait and capture interesting moments. In this article we share with you, what is in our opinion, some of her best work.
Born on 8th August 1986, Amruta Mokal is a former National Under-16 girls Champion. She has played the National Women's Premier for six times and represented the country in many important tournaments. She has five WIM norms to her credit and had reached a career high Elo of 2199 in 2008. In 2014, after tying the knot with IM Sagar Shah, she decided to just accompany him in the Kolkata Open 2014. It was at that tournament that Amruta began to take pictures. In two-and-a-half-years years the hobby has turned into a passion as well as a profession and she has criss-crossed the world to capture some of the best moments with her lens.
This picture was taken by Amruta in the first tournament that she tried using her camera. Each and every person in this picture is a strong and well accomplished grandmaster! Kolkata Open 2014
The ultimate expression of dejection. Nigel Short after losing to Ziaur Rahman at the Kolkata Open 2014
See no evil, Hear no evil and Speak no evil! World Juniors 2014, Pune
Did you also yawn seeing this image! To capture player's yawning is one of Amruta's expertise! World Juniors 2014
Yes, it's true! The boy is destined for great things. World Juniors 2014
Entitled as Life of a chess player, this picture depicts the various moods a chess player goes through during a game from outright dejection to unsurpassable ecstacy! Mumbai Mayor's Cup 2014.
The chess legend Viktor Korchnoi in Dresden in 2014
It's not a co-incidence that Dronavalli Harika is World number five at the moment! Abu Dhabi Open 2015
How often would you see the World Champion and his trusted second walking on the streets! Magnus Carlsen with Peter Heine Nielsen at the London Chess Classic 2015!
For us, Indians, Vishy is the guy who conquered the chess world. Magnus is the guy who conquered Vishy. Two of the greatest chess minds in one picture. London Chess Classic 2015.
When was the last time you saw two chess players laugh so hard?! London Chess Classic 2015
All of them had to pass through Amruta's lens! London Chess Classic 2015
Not revealing his cards! Wesley So at the Qatar Masters Open 2015. (Can you recognize the couple in the background?)
The World Champion on the football grounds of Qatar! Qatar Masters Open 2015
What to do when your husband plays for long hours! Sopiko Guramishvili at the Candidates 2016.
Vishy Anand after his win against Levon Aronian at Candidates 2016. This picture went viral with thousands of shares and likes and tweets. Many said that it looked like a still from a Bollywood movie!
"I pass the baton to you!" Vishy Anand to Sergey Karjakin at the Candidates 2016
While the reporters gathered around the World Championship Challenger after he won the Candidates 2016, Amruta Mokal climbed her way to get a perfect view of this historical moment
Some of Amruta's pictures have gone onto become cover pictures of ChessBase Magazine...
...and some have been used in foreign newspapers like "The National Sport" of UAE
The Pravčická Brána (Pravcicka Gate) is the largest natural sandstone arch in Europe. With a span of 26.5 metres, an inside height of 16 metres the arch it is one of the most striking natural monuments in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains.
A bird's eye view of the city of Prague with the very popular Charles Bridge in the centre.
The view from the Sofitel Hotel of the Abu Dhabi Corniche
Into the forests of Czech Republic
In a little over two years Amruta has covered some major chess events - the World Juniors 2014, the Dubai Open, Abu Dhabi Masters, London Chess Classic, Qatar Masters Open, Aeroflot Open and last but not the least World Chess Candidates 2016.
A picture speaks thousand words! Amruta Mokal has played an important in the popularization of the game in the country! We thank her and hope to see much more of her work in the future.