Paras Gudka

Chess player, organiser, trainer, arbiter, writer & photographer.

Author: Paras Gudka

Why Kenya’s National Chess League Needs to Evolve

After years of watching others participate in the Kenya National Chess League (also known as Kenya Chess Premier League or more confusingly Kenya National Chess Premier League), my opportunity to play in it finally came last year as the captain of Anchor Chess Club. (It’s a whole other story that in 2016 when my club had begun preparing for that year’s edition in earnest, the tournament didn’t even happen due to wrangles within the federation.)

I’m saddened to inform you, though, that my experience of the tournament was anything but premier. Now before any of you call me an armchair critic or something along those lines, know that I have organised and officiated in several tournaments myself and so I am well aware of the challenges that come with this territory. Challenges should be seen and used as opportunities to improve standards, not as excuses to justify why the quality was and might continue to remain the same (or improve only marginally) in the future.

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New in 2018: Instagramming With a Purpose

Are millenials really as entitled and narcissistic as they’re made out to be in the media these days? Going by many of their Instagram accounts, it would be hard to disagree. I can’t be judgemental of them though when I, too, have succumbed to the pretentious need to show people how great my life is when it actually isn’t. Till as recently as the second week of January 2018, I was posting absolutely self-indulgent rubbish on my own account and having a tug of war with my conscience about why I kept doing it even though it felt meaningless.

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The Year That Was: 2017 in Review

As I write this, I’ve been in surprisingly nippy Ahmedabad for a little over 9 hours, excited and anxious about attending the final round of the 2017 World Youth Chess Olympiad tomorrow morning. I would have spectated the penultimate round but I needed to catch up on sleep after a tiring 8.5 hour long train journey in a mainly seated position.

The prospect of observing a Kenya A vs Kenya B match didn’t make it any more appealing either. Tomorrow’s matches should be a lot more exciting though.

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How to Upload PGNs to Chess-Results Using ChessBase 13

If you are an organiser of a FIDE rated tournament and want your event to be worthy of scrutiny from chess commentators, making some or all of the games played available online is absolutely critical, more so if you aren’t offering live broadcast through DGT boards. Thankfully, the world’s most sophisticated pairings program, Swiss Manager, makes it possible to upload games manually from players’ scoresheets to Chess-Results via database compilation programs like ChessBase 13.

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It’s Over, No Prize For Me!

This past Saturday (5th August), I came very close to winning a prize after 18 years. I needed to draw my final game of the 2nd ANCC Closed Championship to finish in third place. Instead, I got schooled by a 15 year-old on when not to pursue a win that isn’t there in hope of silver when even bronze isn’t assured (talk about a bird in the hand being worth two in the bush).

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The Game That Will Cost Me The 2nd ANCC Championship

A little over a month ago, on 1st July 2017, I played the game that will cost me the 2nd ANCC Closed Championship. It was a pleasant Saturday afternoon at the YWCA Hostels where my club meets. I was originally supposed to play against Pranjal Parikh but when it became apparent that the Deshpande siblings weren’t going to make it for their scheduled games, the fixtures had to be modified to accommodate whoever would be turning up. Pranjal would now play her sister Nikita and I would take on Brian Kariuki Waweru with the Black pieces.

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Queen of Katwe to Release on 30th September

If good luck shines on me as has been happening in abundance this year, I should have the good fortune of watching Queen of Katwe (see poster below) in Uganda, where the story is from, around the time of its release.

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