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Chess Workshop by Fenil Shah

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Fenil Shah, currently pursuing Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering (4th year) from Institute of Technology, Nirma University, has been an international chess player from the age of 8. From the age of 4, he started exploring this brilliant game, and is still enjoying the journey after 16 years of sheer hard work, practice and passion. At the tender age of 8, he won three titles at the British Championship along with a few other Indians who won there. “And that is probably why Indians were hence banned from all British Championships to come…” chuckles Fenil.

He is the holder a significant feat, also covered in the Limca Book of Records, of playing chess with 128 people simultaneously for 8 hours without a break. He was honored with the prestigious Eklavya Award by the State Government, when he was 15.He has represented India in the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Championships for several years. He was also ranked third in the world for under 14 chess tournaments.

This workshop on Chess was organized to mark the event of International Chess Day, celebrated on 20th July every year. The workshop was planned and coordinated by Parin Choksi of MBA-FT (SY), with the motive to play and promote chess at the student-level.

The workshop started off with a friendly match between Fenil and one of the participants, wherein he showed some smart moves one can use while playing. He then demonstrated what they call the “ Magic Chess” which was an entirely new concept for the students at IMNU, since most of them were beginners in the game. 

Fenil also talked about the various types of opening and defense schemes. On being asked, he says the Sicilian Defense is his favorite with black and likes to start with E4 when he is white. The Scandinavian and Note boom defense are also on his list, while he also chooses to take the Dynamic Opening sometimes.

Fenil shared how Chess has helped him build self-confidence, immense concentration and patience over these years. He also spoke about how it teaches you to deal with “time pressure” and gives you a natural instinct of decision making while you play through these years.

The workshop was attended and appreciated by the students who had that dormant interest for chess in their hearts, but could never tap that block.

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