Impacting lives through the lessons learnt from chess!
In the early 2000s, Ishan Nadkarni was one of the most talented chess players in Mumbai. He reached a peak Elo of 2145, which was quite impressive for a young boy back then. Later he quit chess, joined IIT, and became a successful engineer. Now he has started his own Entrepreneurial enterprise called ImpactRun. In this article, Ishan tells us how chess taught him lessons that were totally invaluable and how he is trying to bring a positive change in the society.
What chess taught me?
1. FocusThe first is focus. In a world where people's attention spans have dropped down to seconds, my childhood habit of looking at and analyzing a position for hours has taught me to focus on the most important things. To stay intense and find patterns and strategies which would otherwise get overlooked.
2. Time pressureThe second is time-pressure. I don't remember a single intense game where I haven't had to make the the final 8-10 moves (out of 40) in the last five minutes of my time. (Back then the time control was 1 hour 30 minutes for 40 moves, 15 minutes sudden death).I used to love the adrenaline rush in those five minutes, trying to hold on to the position and not make mistakes.
In a start up, you are constantly under time pressure. And it is only when you reach successful milestones that you can breathe for a few moments at peace, only to start once more for the next game.
3. SacrificeThe third and the most important one is sacrifice. As a chess player I loved sharp games full of tactics. Castle opposite sides and going all out for an attack. And almost all these games called for exciting piece sacrifices at crucial moments.In life, sacrifices are a must. You have to give up on 99% of things, many of which you love doing in order to attain the ultimate goal of mastering in that remaining 1%. All those piece sacrifices made in childhood have made real life sacrifices less unpleasant for me today.
I am grateful to this beautiful game which has defined most of my childhood. And someday I hope to make a comeback. Until then, I am busy creating a community of change-makers with a kindness app in their pockets.
The ImpactRun App
The concept of impact run is simple. You download the app and go out for a run or a walk. It measures the distance that you have traveled. Usually one rupee is contributed to the cause that you have selected for every 100 metres that you run or walk. This money has been sponsored by a corporate who would like to use its financial resources to fight poverty or illiteracy or cancer etc. In effect, you become a part of a noble cause and your fitness levels improve.
Step 1: Select the cause
Step 2: Get set and run
Step 3: Spreading the message
Step 4: Enjoy the feeling of having done good!