Meeting the Legend for the First Time

Akshat Chandra and Garry Kasparov 1

The Great Garry Kasparov with Akshat Chandra

On a recent January weekend, I attended the Kasparov Chess Foundation camp taught by Garry Kasparov himself !  As most of you would know, Garry was the 13th WCC, and previously held the record of the highest rating ever achieved (2851).  It was a tremendous privilege, and honor to actually see, and meet Garry in person!  When he walked into the training room, and I laid eyes on him for the first time, I felt an adrenaline rush through my body.  Garry radiated such a powerful aura!  I grinned in total awe, wondering if my eyes were betraying me.  Was I really seeing one of the greatest, if not the greatest, chess player of all time?  Well it was finally time to get down to business, and he began cracking down on all of our games.

It was incredible to see how sharp and astute he continues to remain in his calculation and understanding, despite being an inactive player.  I was so excited when it was my turn to present my games to him.  After asking about my background history, Garry was ready to roll, and so was I 🙂 .  I absorbed each of Garry’s comments with the utmost reverence.  I felt this was chess knowledge and wisdom right in front of me.  I was not gonna let this opportunity just pass me by.  When I finished my presentation, I was so pumped up.  It was incredibly motivating listening to his ideas and thoughts on my game.

Akshat reviewing games with Garry Kasparov

Akshat Chandra reviewing his games with Garry Kasparov

On Sunday, we had a “Study Quiz,” moderated by Garry himself.  For those of you who don’t know what Studies are, they’re long forced sequences and usually impractical, which end in an elegant and beautiful manner.  They require the Solver to use what I call an “Counter-Intuitive Thought Process,” which basically means that the Solver has to think about non-intuitive moves 🙂 .  I had never done this before, and apparently It helps in developing precision.  It took me a ridiculously long time solving these, as I wasn’t used to this method of thinking, and was only able to solve one such study out of four.  I’ve posted the solved one below.

It’s White to move.

If you think you’ve solved it, just write a comment and I’ll validate your response 🙂 .

After the Studies, Garry was kind enough to sign my boards, and “My Great Predecessors” books (guess who the author was 😉 ) as well!  Overall, it was a thrilling and satisfying weekend.  Meeting the legend has fueled me with more hunger to get better, and to follow in the footsteps of Mr. Kasparov himself.

Akshat Chandra and Garry Kasparov 3


12 thoughts on “Meeting the Legend for the First Time

    1. admin Post author

      Hey Saphal, I put Black’s king on the wrong square, it should be on f8. I’ve fixed that now. Of course if the king was on g8, your answer would be correct 🙂 Enjoy !

  1. The Bee

    Well only move that doesn’t die is Qc8.
    But after …Kg8 isn’t the game a draw?

    2. gxh7 Kh8
    3. Qxa8 Qe6
    4. Kg5 Qe5
    5. Kg4 Kxh7
    6. Bxa4 f6 I don’t see how white wins.

    Maybe 3. Qb8 could be played, but surely this is just clear repitition after Qc6 Kxf7 Qd5
    But you didn’t state if the problem was white to win I guess

    1. admin Post author

      Qc8 is correct,and so is Kg8. A Hint: White can put Black in zugzwang, and force mate with his Bishop. Have fun ! 🙂

  2. Akshat Post author

    KABELJAU Wrote:
    “Nice blog, discovered it on chessbase this morning!
    I think the solution is…..A very nice study! Greetings from Germany and good luck for your quest 😉 ”

    Kabeljau, you nailed it! Well done 🙂

    (To the rest of you, I didn’t approve his entire comment because I don’t want to spoil it for you guys who haven’t had the chance to solve it yet, G’luck)

  3. Steve A.

    Hey Akshat. Soo much information on this page! I took several pics with you last night as my buddy was having technical difficulties. Another tidbit (the long study) that is going to help me get to National Master!

    Good day,

    1. Akshat Post author

      Hi Steve, haha yea, it was hilarious how the camera flash didn’t work when you’re friend was taking the picture :D. Good luck in achieving National Master!


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