How has your life changed since you won one of the major prizes in the MCO?:
For the record, I finished first in the Under 2000 section in the MCO. People in my Country, India, are shocked and awestruck with my victory in the MCO. My employers are in awe and they feel proud to have me as their Chess Coach – I work in 4 Schools here in Bangalore. Congratulatory messages have been pouring in from all quarters. There is one Organization here wanting to felicitate me for the win. My win has turned out to be an inspiration to hundreds of Indian Chess players here. There are many people now who come to me and ask how to register for MC#2! Many of my friends are already planning their participation in MC#2. Today was the first day at work for my wife after returning to India. She too is being congratulated by several people at her Company – even from people she doesn’t know! Since I have just returned to India and starting work during this week, I am bound to experience meeting several awestruck employers and colleagues of mine. Personally, I am amazed seeing the euphoria it has created in the Indian Chess fraternity! I feel amazed wondering how one man can inspire hundreds of others! Thank you Amy and Maurice for organizing a wonderful event! I now believe that I have been part of a Chess Tournament which has entered the annals of history and I am proud of my achievement!
How do your friends and family feel about you winning?:
Only one of my friends, Karthik Shetty, believed that I will win the Tournament and he predicted it when I withdrew from the 5 day schedule to re-enter into the 4 day schedule. Nobody else believed I will go on to finish first, especially after the kind of start I had – losing the 2nd Round itself! They were in shock when I won the Event. My friends in India said that I had become an overnight celebrity! One of them said he is going definitely to MC#2 next year. My family felt glad about my win and they said they are proud of me. My wife was speechless. She asked me thrice if I had indeed won the Tournament!
Why did you decide to play in MC#1?:
Frankly speaking, I played because of the prize money. No second thoughts on that.
What did you most like about MC#1?:
To be honest with you, when there was such a huge amount of prize money on offer, I was completely focused on my own performance in the Tournament. Am now reflecting on those moments in MC#1. Yes. You will be surprised knowing what I liked most about MC#1. Amy and Maurice, I was astonished seeing the way you and your Team were handling all the Chess Players, most often with a lovely smile on your faces, despite the fact that you would have been under stress due to the huge magnitude of the Event! I say this because I am an Organizer myself and I know what you guys have gone through while Organizing MC#1. You guys set an example to me! Team MC#1’s PR (public relation) skills was what I liked the most!
What would you like to see different next year?:
You already did something innovative by conducting a Tournament with a Million Dollar prize fund– something nobody in the history of Chess has ever done before! The challenge here is to continue being innovative! How different and innovative can you be from all others? This is something which should be on the minds of Team MC. What do most Chess Players aim at? Prizes, of course! So, will an increase in prize money be something different? No! To me, the experience of every Player in MC#2 should be different from the rest of the Tournaments he/she has taken part in! How about having two different Tournaments – Classical and Rapid and providing Players the option of registering for both the Tournaments having two different prize structures?
Will you attend MC#2 again next year?: