Hello and welcome to my website.
My name is Paras Gudka and I am a chess player, trainer (DI), arbiter (IA), writer and photographer based in Mumbai, India though I’m originally from Nairobi, Kenya where I began my career as a chess professional.
[The handsome bearded fellow you see in the header image above was me playing in the 57th NCC Championship in August 2015. It was my first FIDE rated standard tournament and I was desperately seeking an initial rating of about 1650. Well, I didn’t get a rating from that event and when I did eventually get it a whole year later it was a weak 1511!]
Since 2010, I’ve dabbled in every chess-related thing there has been to try out. This includes: competitive play, event organisation, club administration, photography, writing, product sales, arbitration, training and even compèring (view my work experience). I’ve worked hard, taken pride in my work and established myself as one of Kenya’s best organisers and arbiters and now it’s time to move on to what I really want to achieve in chess—the title of International Master.
How will I get there? I have a plan. A plan that I’ve put into action since June 2017 and continue to refine with every passing month. Like a crafty chess player, I will reveal this plan in bits and pieces through entries in my journal so anyone curious about it will do well to have my website’s URL memorised and on their browser’s speed dial. 😉
Want to know more about me?
Here are some quick facts:
I’m 34 and single.
I was born and raised in Kenya and have also lived in India (14 years) and England (3 months). As a result of my nomadic ways, I can speak several languages (English, Gujarati, Swahili, Hindi) and understand many more (Marathi, Kutchi, French).
I started playing chess competitively as a teenager in 1995 and have represented 3 schools in Kenya and India. The last time I won a prize in a chess tournament was in 1999 at Billimoria High School, Panchgani, India during an inter house sporting event.
In mid-2010 I returned to Kenya, joined Nairobi Chess Club (NCC) and resumed playing competitively, representing the club in various leagues. In 2011, I left NCC and founded Westlands Chess Club (now defunct).
In July 2012, I was featured in Kenya’s main business newspaper, Business Daily, with a full page article in the paper’s weekend supplement.
In December 2013, I wrote my first chess column in The Star.
In June 2014, I attended a FIDE Arbiters Seminar in New Delhi and received the FIDE Arbiter title.
In November of the same year, I attended a FIDE Trainers Seminar in Cairo and received the DI (Developmental Instructor) title.
In December 2015, I organised the chess tournament at the Ismaili Games Kenya 2015 sporting extravaganza after a break of 2 years from event organisation.
In early 2016, I founded Motochess Ventures and Anchor Chess Club.
In February 2016, I arbitrated in my first FIDE rated tournament and by March 2017 I had earned the required IA norms from 5 international tournaments for my application for the International Arbiter title to be successful.
In April 2017, I was appointed Ratings Officer of Chess Kenya.
On 20th August 2017, I achieved the title of ACM (Arena Candidate Master) after completing 50 games and maintaining an online rapid rating of over 1100.
In December 2017, I became a contributor to Firstpost, one of India’s most read news websites, with a piece about the controversial 2018 World Chess Championship logo.
[Last updated on 13-Jan-2018 at 1.40 am IST]