Impressions from my past seminars

Today, I’d like to share with you impressions and some photos from my first two seminars that took place in Vellore and Chennai.
GM Igor Smirnov seminar
My Lecture “The Right Thinking in Chess”

I’m very impressed by the large quantity of passionate chess players in India. The seminars attracted hundreds of attendees, which is quite a unique case for a chess learning event.

I’m really happy that I could help lots of chess fans. On top of that, it’s a very positive thing for chess development in general. TV, the press, and internet websites were covering this event. With lots of buzz of this kind, chess will get new followers and greater attention.
GM Igor Smirnov seminar
The simul took over five hours but everyone was happy

We accepted 70 players for the simul in Vellore, which is a really HUGE number. I gave some seminars in the past and there were no more than 20 opponents. However, this time so many players were eager to play that I had to enlarge it.

The simul took almost 6 hours and that was a tough ask for me. However, I feel it’s a privilege for me, especially after a sudden conversation that happened close to the end of event.

The mother of one player came to me and said that they had traveled from a distant state in India to attend my seminar. They needed to catch the bus and were in a hurry. This woman said that it wasn’t so easy for them to make their back way back home.

I went to the table where I was playing my simul game against her son and offered a draw. Then, all of a sudden, I realized that the player was disabled (he had no legs).

I think this is a great lesson for all those people who wrote that it would be difficult for them to attend the seminar because they live in another Indian city. If you really want something – you can always find a way to do it. Otherwise, you’ll come up with a lot of excuses…
GM Igor Smirnov seminar
This guy defeated Magnus Carlsen – I escaped with a draw :)

At the end of the event, I was awarding presents to those players who got a positive result in the simul. In the 110 games I have played thus far in both seminars, I have lost one and had 23 draws.

This just shows that the level of chess players in India (even amateur players) is very decent.
GM Igor Smirnov seminar
The RCA team has done outstanding work in organizing my seminars!

A lot of people have put massive effort into making these seminars possible. These were huge events, for which a lot of organizational work was required.

I’d like to thank the whole RCA team for their outstanding work! These guys are just the best!

Apart from that, I’m also very thankful to the various chess federations in India, including the All-India Chess Federation, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, and Vellore and Chennai District Chess Associations.

In future articles, I’ll be sharing more info. about past seminars.
P.S. My next seminar (and last seminar of my trip to India) will be conducted in Thrissur, on Saturday, 31 October 2015. Stay tuned, I’ll publish more details in the following days. :)