Mind is much more powerful than you think

Mind is much more powerful than you think

Your mind is much more powerful than you thinkYour mind is much more powerful than you think – It works the way it wants till you wake up.

Mind is the magical wand that fulfills all your desires. You will be amazed at the potential of your mind. Its ability to absorb, analyze and use any such information at the appropriate times, is what makes it effective in completing a complex task.

So is it that simple to just train the mind and achieve success? Maybe it is the secret… ?

Nothing could be further than the truth. Or rather the complete truth.

Mind is much more powerful than you think

The fact is that our brain is intrinsically lazy and mechanically wants to shut out hard work. So anytime you want to do any thing that involves the brain you tend to yawn and feel sleepy.

It is the mind’s way of telling you – ” Hey dude! I think we can take a small nap instead of doing this boring stuff.” And you feel that you are tired and ought to sleep instead of doing that work at that time.

However try this small experiment and see what happens. Start doing something that is not demanding for your mind (to work) – like watching a good movie or listening to music. You will see that you are back to the normal alertness that you are accustomed to daily.

So the trick is to make the mind believe that your work is interesting instead of tedious/boring. And that can be only brought about by approaching all such work in a passionate way.

Here are some tips that will stop that ‘yawn’:

1. See through the noise.

This means that whenever your mind wants to sleep think if you are really sleepy or is the mind playing any trick. Even though the topic is interesting for you (that is why you are reading this article in the first place), you are unable to stay focused  and this implies you don’t find the study interesting. Instead go for a more interactive way to deal with the topic like listening to a video about that topic or in the case of Chess, trying doing some online play for a few minutes.

2. Feeling drowsy after having food? 

Your mind is much more powerful than you think

Eat dry fruits daily for better energy levels the whole day.

If you are experiencing such a problem, try to rest for 15 minutes soon after lunch/dinner. That will not just help you rejuvenate your mind, but will also prevent any time loss. Try to optimize your food in such a way that it does not lead to drowsiness such as:

  • Avoid excessive fat and carbohydrate content and choose something that will keep you active for the duration that you want to study.
  • Do not overeat under any circumstances. Large meals can cause severe drowsiness, as your body takes blood energy from your brain and other functions to engage in digesting your food in the stomach. It’s a delicate balance. Eat less, not enough energy to keep your brain effective; eat more, get all sluggishness, digesting that food.
  • More of salads and fruit slices to provide micro-nutrients. Especially the dry fruits that are healthy like walnut, almonds, figs etc.
  • Sprouts are good too but in the breakfast time.

3. Choose that subject that interests you more.

That will also help you save some time so that you can study the less interesting subjects when you are really active and can manage long hours without getting sleepy. A boring subject will only make you yawn more. And in that case you need to see if the mind is really feeling sleepy or if it is playing any tricks on you.

4. Exercise can also affect how you feel.

If you can exercise regularly, then this can help you maintain energy levels naturally, but again, watch your eating as you may have a large meal because exercising makes you feel hungry, but you are using up more energy to digest it, and this may lead to a sleepy lazy feeling. The trick is in making small bursts of food eating and satisfying your hunger pangs in moderation.

5. Sleep well.

Quality sleep is more important. If you do get enough sleep, but you don’t get good quality sleep then this will also make you sleepy during the day. The reasons for lack of quality sleep are

  • A small amount of light in the room.
  • You are watching TV or computer just before going to bed.
  • You are eating too close to bedtime.
  • You are thinking about too many things so your brain is keeping you semi-conscious thinking about many things.
  • You are overweight / have a genetic predisposition to snoring.

Mind is much more powerful than you thinkResearch has found that sleep and wakefulness are not two different states. They have a gradual overlap, and if you are feeling sleepy in the daytime, then your brain is wanting to go into ‘self repair’ mode job that it undertakes at night. It is hinting you to give it the time to do so, and if it isn’t allowed to repair it may fail through one of a number of  chronic conditions that are piling up.

So take heed and follow these steps and see your chess pursuits showing positive growth. The changes will be reinforcing and keep persevering till you maintain this process automatically. Truly the Mind is much more powerful than you think

*** Empire Chess is offering a huge discount on digital and hard copies! Make sure you get the deals while they last.

8th Modern School Nanganallur Chess Tournament 2015

8th Modern School Nanganallur Chess Tournament 2015

8th Modern School Nanganallur Chess Tournament 2015

8th Modern School Nanganallur Chess Tournament 2015 (for school students only) is organized By  MODERN SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL  Nanganallur, Chennai 600061

Under the Aegis of AICF,TNSCA, KDCA & MCA (AICF Event code: 115226/TN/2015 – TNSCA Approval No. R07/2015-16)

Modern School Road, A.G.’s Office Colony,
Nanganallur, Chennai 600 061

Modern School

Modern Senior Secondary School is a new generation CBSE SCHOOL situated at Nanganallur in Chennai.


8th Modern School Nanganallur Chess Tournament 2015

Sri Lakshminrisimha temple, Nanganallur

Nanganallur is known for its myriad of temples dedicated to the Hindu Gods and Goddesses and the place appears to have a religious aura during festive occasions. It is also home to Modern Senior Secondary School that has showed a phenomenal support to chess playing students and Chess tournaments.

Apart from a robust scholastic endeavor, Modern School gives great importance to Co-curricular and extra curricular activities and encouraging chess among its students; and this has paid rich dividends.

8th Modern School Nanganallur Chess Tournament 2015

K.Sasikiran, Grand Master – Alumni of Modern School, Nanganallur

The School is very proud of its alumni, K.Sasikiran, Grand Master and Arjuna Awardee in Chess who is ranked among the top 5 in Indian Chess list of Grandmasters. Following in his footsteps, the School has a host of eminent chess players.

Players like RK Ranjith, Anjana Sowjanya, Arun Hariharan, Saravana Krishnan, Santhosh Bala, Pon Krithikka,  Mohanapriya, Radha Krishnan, Narasimhapriyan, V.Shvetha, T. Vishwanath, Akash PC Iyer, K. Anshuman and many others have been inspired by this school’s motivation and its teachers interest in Chess.

They have brought many laurels for the school and made it a force to reckon with among CBSE schools Zonal and National Chess championships.

There are many upcoming juniors who are slowly inching their way up.

Every year, starting from the year 2008, Modern School has been conducting the Fide rated Chess tournament and this is the first ever International Rating Chess Championship at the School level.

8th Modern School Nanganallur Chess Tournament 2015

Modern School Venue for the International Chess Tournament at Nanganallur.

This year, from 1st August to 5th August 2015 they are conducting conducted the annual 8th Modern School Nanganallur Chess Tournament 2015 for school children and there was a huge response to the event as it is one of its kind as far as chess tournaments go.

For the 5 days duration there was a carnival like atmosphere and children from various schools converged at the main building to participate in the tournament.

Meet the people behind the 8th Modern School Nanganallur Chess Tournament 2015 :

Many children from India and abroad take part in this event, that is now a permanent fixture for 8 years now. Kudos to the School and especially to Mr. Ravichandran, Mr. Santhanam and the P.T incharge Mr. Ramadoss who have built this program from its inception.

Modern School Principal Mrs. MohanaSpecial mention must be made of the Principal Dr.(Smt.) Mrs. Mohana – M.Com., M.Phil., B.Ed., Ph.D, who takes personal interest in hearing the chess players’ results and motivates them even amongst her very busy schedule, and that too with a perennial smile.

Like wise the Vice-Principal Mrs. L. Padmavathy (M.Com., PGDCM, C.I.C, D.W.T, B.Ed) who is adored by all, and the Office staff who have worked hard in maintaining a professional routine.

Recognition in Chess:

The Central Board of Secondary Education, New Delhi allotted the Southern Zonal Chess Tournaments to the School, in 2004 and 2006 under its Competitive Sports Program. The final all India Chess Championship was conducted in the School in 2007.

With this background, the School endeavors to conduct Modern Senior Secondary School International Rating Chess Tournament every year. We at Golden Chess Centre, wish them a very huge success in the coming years!

Day to day Chess-results and pairings will be pasted here from chess-results.com

Please note: The results are/will be updated as soon as the pairing is ready.

Round Schedule
31.07.2015 – Arrival
01.08.15 (Saturday) – Inauguration 09.30 A.M
01.08.15 (Saturday) Round 1 – 11.00 A.M Round 2 – 4.00P.M
02.08.15 (Sunday) Round 3 – 09.00 A.M Round 4– 02.30 P.M
03.08.15 (Monday) Round 5 – 09.00 A.M Round 6 – 02.30 P.M
04.08.15 (Tuesday) Round 7 – 09.00 A.M Round 8– 02.30 P.M
05.08.15 (Wednesday) Round 9 – 09.00 A.M
05.08.15 (Wednesday) Prize Distribution – 3.00 P.M

Board Pairings Rd.1, Rd.2, Rd.3/9 , Rd.4/9 , Rd 5/9, Rd 6/9, Rd 7/9, Rd 8/9, Rd 9

As a gesture of appreciation, Golden Chess Centre Nanganallur, will analyze any games played by the children (free of any charges) and also give tips on how to improve their game.

Interested players may get in touch with us using the contact form or visit the Golden Chess Centre in person.



Chess Openings – how to study – for beginners

Chess Openings – how to study – for beginners

Chess Openings - how to study - for beginnersQuestion: Hi Coach @GoldenChess! I’m a newbie in the chess scene and am from Madipakkam (near Nanganallur) in Chennai. I have a problem and that is – Chess Openings – how to study – for beginners especially. The doubt is: should I study all the major openings and if so which ones do I have to study as priority?

To be more specific, my concern is – I am very familiar about the Sicilian but after 1. e4 if my opponents do not play any Sicilian line but takes me into an unknown territory that I can’t manage, what must I do ?

Do I have to study all the openings in this case ?

Last week somebody advised me that I have to study the openings that fit my playing style. What is your take on this?

Thanks for all you tips! – Aadhithya (age 15)


Hi Aadhithya – First of all, I guess that your question is basically about building your White repertoire. In the long run, if you are serious about improving your chess, the answer is – yes! Hard work does pay. For example – you may start with 1.d4 and play the Colle system – or the Sicilian Grand Prix with 1.e4 as white. But there is every possibility that you will soon feel bored with that opening.

Also, after a few games, your opponents will start coming up with new tricks and ideas. To deal with that, you have to work harder… and smarter.

But – and that is a big ‘but’ – more than that, knowing key tactical ideas and motifs, and basic endgame positions helps a lot.

Being new to the chess scene doesn’t demand a lot of opening theory knowledge so spend less time on openings but don’t avoid it completely.

While studying Chess openings, pick up a nice annotated games collection that covers opening principles along the way, such as Chernev’s Logical Chess: Move by Move or a lighter reading like Understanding the Chess Openings

Chess Openings – how to study – for beginners (or how not to study!)

Chess Openings - how to study - for beginnersWhat openings you choose is up to you, and depends on your goals in chess and your personal tastes. So if you are already rated 1800 or thereabouts, you can pick theoretical lines to build your repertoire and polish it everyday.

However if you are lower rated – you said you are a newbie so I assume you are a post-beginner – then you need to only understand and remember the major lines in a selective set of openings and more importantly, improve your middlegame understanding.

Try completing the combination books selected from this link from Amazon.

Note however that you will not have a ‘style‘ of play until you have a quite decent understanding of the game by which I mean 2200 elo rating.

Until then you don’t have a style – what you have is a collection of responses and weaknesses.

Chess Openings - how to study - for beginnersSo in summary

  • Study only the important openings that you will play and encounter and choose the 4 or 5 common variations of that opening, to begin with by reading books by the great Grandmaster of the past (I have listed some suggestions below).
  • Play them regularly with friends or at online chess playing sites such as Chesscube.com, Chess.com,  ICC or Playchess (ChessBase).
  • Try playing with chess software like Lucas Chess (read a good review here)
  • Don’t hesitate to change openings if you feel you are not enjoying it.
  • Don’t waste your time on off-beat openings that are not important, you are not a master yet and
  • I suggest to really master tactics by doing them daily on a real chess board rather than openings for your age and level because you will lose mainly by tactics and not because of the minimal advantage that was gained by that uncommon variation.

Book Suggestions: I suggest you to get a few books that are a collection of GM games annotated by the Grandmaster himself and go through them with your coach or another player who is stronger than you.

An example list:

My Chess Career – Jose Raul Capablanca (for Intermediates)
Alexander Alekhine’s Best Games – Alexander Alekhine (For Intermediates – constant revision)
One Hundred Selected Games – Mikhail Botvinnik (For advanced intermediates)
Smyslov’s 125 Selected Games – Vassily Smyslov (For Intermediates)
The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal (For advanced intermediates)
My 60 Memorable Games – Bobby Fischer (For advanced intermediates)
Bent Larsen´s Best Games – Bent Larsen (For Intermediates and constant revision)
I Play Against Pieces – Svetozar Gligoric (For advanced intermediates)


I have avoided providing the latest Grandmaster’s book list as the above list of older books gives a good understanding of an opening’s evolution. These books will discuss about the opening plans and ideas and that will be a good foothold to begin with. I hope I have answered your question on Chess Openings – how to study – for beginners

Once a grasp of these ideas are absorbed in place, we can then continue our learning with the later day Grandmaster’s books such as those by Shirov, Anand, Gelfand, Karpov and Kasparov.

In addition to this list, there are older annotated tournaments with analysed games in book format that are classics such as:

Alekhine’s New York 1924,

Bronstein – Zurich 1953 Najdorf’s Zurich 1953 The Hague-Moscow 1948: Match / Tournament for the World Chess Championship

These above 4 suggestions are only for helpful additional reading and are not absolutely necessary if you are not very inclined for self study.

Why is self study important?

If you like videos you may try Roman Dzindihashvili’s collection in this regard. He is one author who works wonders for ‘beginners’ understanding.

Additionally, I would request you to share some of your OTB (On the Board) games  or online games to make this discussion more meaningful.


Do drop in at Golden Chess Centre at Nanganallur (Chennai) and we will see how to guide you in your self study.For others who have found my suggestions useful why not visit my Facebook page and follow it by liking it so that you can be notified for more such articles like this?

Note: The links in this page are affiliate links which means I earn a small commission from any purchases. Prices are exactly the same for you if your purchase is through an affiliate link or a non-affiliate link. ​You will not pay more by clicking through to the link. 

One brick at a time

One brick at a time. And a Mansion is built. We all know that going slow and steady is what it takes to reach a milestone. But what are the milestones in chess and more importantly, how to keep building and achieving them?

Some important milestones in chess: 

  1. Grandmaster Title
  2. International Master
  3. Fide Master Title
  4. Candidate master and
  5. Decent Fide Rating.

While striving to reach these milestones is desirable per se, understanding the way to approach these goals is essential to make the journey smooth and enjoyable.

How do we reach (and cross) a milestone? What are the ingredients that make up for a successful accomplishment? How can we maintain the momentum that we had, when we first started?

What I really believe in, is the idea that a real journey is no different from a psychological one.  

Where there is fun, merriment and company and the journey becomes less tedious and less time consuming.

1. So the first step is to make sure that you are passionate about this. Deeply passionate.
By that I mean that your whole day must be focused on this single passion. You can relax and must to but at the end of the day if you did not dwell in your pursuit of chess goals then it is not an earnest endeavor.

2. Form a group that shares your passion.
Join a club or make one if there is none!That way the energy levels will be sustained. Back in those days when I was an amateur I used to invite a lot of chess friends and they helped me when my energy was low, due to stress from other aspects. That was actually a boon for me as if I had not had these friends to push me up I would have quit and stagnated, resigning to my fate.

3. Teach someone.
Yes… it may be strange to hear but teaching someone will give you a sense of what you have understood fully and what you have only a superficial understanding of. You will be morally responsible and that will bring sincerity to your efforts. I gained a lot by teaching some younger players a few things about chess training software and in return I was daily increasing my knowledge by conscious reinforcements and boosting my energy levels.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Sometimes a stronger player will take the pains to teach you something ONLY if you bother to ask. Just try it. I have met quite a few good souls who later on turned out to be good friends in my chess journey!You can try it out in your club or during a tournament.

5. Don’t be afraid of criticism.
sometimes players who are far younger than you will chide you for your game quality. take it in your stride. After all that kid is giving you a free lesson! These nifty tips will be in your memory for a long time.

6. Spend some time doing self-study.
That is the most important tip I cannot stress enough. Too many students of mine need to be weaned off the spoon feeding that they undergo as beginners. When they reach a certain level they must be forced to study on their own for sometime daily. This will give them a sense of achievement that will drive them to higher pursuits. A coach can only act as a battery charger. The ‘capacity of the battery’ is what you will be increasing by self study. Its your prerogative.

7. Meditate daily. It is the hidden compass in your life that will constantly guide you on your path.

8. Take a break, once a week.

9. Exercise regularly. While everyone knows that exercise is a good idea, the scientific evidence about its benefits in the old age is there for all to see.Remember that Chess has to retirement age. So if you love chess you will be playing it for a long time to come.

How important is physical fitness for Chess?

Dear Coach.

I wonder if we must take into account the state of our health when we are about to play a chess game. Will it affect our performance and result and if so what are the precautions we need to take to maintain a balance?

Yours sincerely – Abhishek.

Dear Abhishek.

How important is physical fitness for Chess?

There is one important information that is missing in your question so I will attempt to answer in a comprehensive way. The missing information is regarding online/casual play, or in a serious Chess tournament.

Chess is addictive. We continue playing when given a chance regardless of how we are feeling. This is a sure recipe for a loss.In such cases I may not be able to advise you as you will be guided by your mind’s thrill-seeking aspect. Any advice will not be heeded unless you decide when and where to pull the plug.

So are my tips on achieving peak performance in Chess that depends on health.

1. My first advice is to play at a time when we are clear-headed.

We function better at different times of the day and it varies for person to person.For eg., I play better at night, while you may play at your best in the afternoon. We need to figure out our optimal performance times and play only when we are focused. So as far as mental health is concerned – yes. It is important to play only at high efficiency levels.

In case of a serious OTB (over the board) chess tournament game, the stakes are much higher. You need all reserves of energy and must also be psychologically focused and clear.

2. Another thing that is very important to remember is to play when free from distractions. 

That is because the human mind must not be disturbed while doing something that needs our complete processing power. as it could throw our concentration into imbalance. It also makes us to feel irritated and lose focus.

3. Do not stress yourself and train this outlook over a period of time.

Having kept this in mind the third most important advice I can give is to treat all training games such as online games or academic training sessions, as match games and all match/tournament games as training games. That way the pressure is taken off and the transition to a peaceful meditative state of mind is smooth. This state of mind is essential to harness the full potential of our minds.

3. The most important factor that helps is physical fitness.

Even though Chess is a mental game the physical condition of the player helps a lot in generating energy to keep calculating at sustained depths in a chess game. Talking of physical fitness I must say that it is very important to have good stamina and lung capacity to handle all the tension that arises during a serious chess games pressure. Try cultivating the habit of morning walks as it will provide the much needed oxygen for the brain to function clearly. One way to increase lung capacity is to blow rubber balloons that kids play with or do aerobic exercises for 10 minutes. In case these are not possible try climbing up and down a flight of stairs for 5- 10 minutes. Or even cycling.

physical fitness for Chess

To sum up:

  • Play only when your mind is clear and capable of clarity.
  • Play when there is no distraction (including that of kibitzers).
  • Take all training games as serious games and all tournament games as training games.
  • Make sure you build up physical stamina and lung capacity.
Secrets of Positional Chess Training – 1

Secrets of Positional Chess Training – 1

Secrets of Positional Chess Training – 1


secrets of positional chess training

In this series of posts I will be discussing about the secrets of positional chess training and why you must care for it as much as tactics and endgames. For those of you who have not read my article – An excellent positional sacrifice, I strongly recommend you to read it before proceeding further. 

How to increase positional chess knowledge?

if you are below 1600 FIDE rating, I would suggest focusing solely on tactics, tactics and tactics, and everything I’m about to say is not applicable until you’ve improved more.

So, if you’re over 1600, and mostly satisfied with your tactics, but too often you end up having no clue what to play next. Then what?

Now you need to know about about the imbalances in chess – how they affect your game, and how to take advantage of them by manipulating the factors.

This means learning about endgames, as having the favorable positional advantages will usually help converting into a favorable endgame.

This is a lengthy topic, far too large to explain in one article; fortunately, there are good books and resources out there. The best books for learning the basics of both of endgames and the middlegame are by Jeremy Silman.

Harvesting the positional weaknesses present in the opponent’s position requires deep strategic understanding.

What is Strategic Chess Understanding?

This strategic understanding comprises of two elements:

  1. Awareness of positional factors such as effective piece placements, quality of pawn structure and safety of the King
  2. Generation of ideas or plans to make use of these factors.

Foundation of positional chess training

Here, the first step is to build a base of understanding. That is where the part of a coach comes in and also a good criteria how a good coach can be identified. The base of understanding has to be built from the basics of endgames.

Start with

Pawn Structures

King and pawn endings,

Rook endings

Minor piece endings

Queen endings

and then the meat of the middle game, which comprises of

Chess dynamics.

Secrets of positional chess training – Combination of hard and smart work

When we talk of Chess dynamics, thematic attacks and configurations are what an aspiring player needs to be given.

I am referring to an aspiring player who has mastered the basic tactical motifs like pin, skewer, fork etc.

At this stage he is like a aspiring chef who has just learnt the magic of making a tasty recipe; his true test would come when he is able to juggle with the resources present in the refrigerator, that too with a sudden unexpected onset of guests to his home.

Here confidence also plays a vital role in bridging the gap between rote-knowledge and skill-knowledge. The trick here is to convert rote-knowledge into skill based on repetition and familiarity, by constant practical applications.

Merely knowing how to bake a cake doesn’t make one a good baker. Doing it properly when time demands makes one an expert; similarly in chess winning consistently and properly, makes one a GM.

In later articles I will be expanding on many techniques to accentuate this bridging of knowledge. So I request you to follow me on regular basis.

Pillars of positional chess training

The next step is to build familiarity by constant revision and repetition of information. This is the most hallowed part of chess training regimen.

It is here where many people stumble, fall or stop altogether. Some players skip this entire process due to wrong assumptions and false guidance. I cannot stress enough the importance of this revision process and there are many ways it can be done.

For example, take the case of tabiya’s, when we first learn a new plan of attacking the castled king or mating the the uncastled king we tend to look at a few model games. The trick is not only about remembering this plan but also being able to execute when favorable configurations arise on the board.

And doing so also requires a confidence which needs to be built slowly over time.

Ready for the test drive?

The final stage is executing a move taking into consideration the above discussed factors under test conditions such as time pressure situations or high-stake scenario. This is the true test of chess understanding.

Obviously, the initial routines are difficult and test our dedication. And this is what separates the masters from the amateurs.

⇒ Keeping yourself motivated – Separating the wood from the trees!

Part 2 of this article will discuss in detail the various aspects of Positional Chess and related glossary.

The Author Kish Kumar is a coach at Golden Chess Centre and is passionate about teaching Chess to beginners, intermediate level and advanced players.



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