Aashay Mehta, is a young talented chess player from BITS Pilani, Goa, talks to Fisto Sports about his journey so far, his favorite chess book, memorable game he played thus far, and why he finds chess relaxing.
Tell us who got you into chess, right at the beginning?
My dad is an avid player, and it was he who first introduced me to this game.
When did you begin to suspect a lifelong love for the game was in works? What was it that attracted you to chess?
I don’t remember the exact period when my love for the game grew. What attracted me was how such simplistic rules could lead to such a complex game called chess.
How many hours do you devote to chess?
Chess is a game one can play anytime, anywhere. I tend to solve chess puzzles on my phone as well. So, it’s rather difficult to count. Even then I would say about two hours daily.
If you had to choose one chess book as your favorite, which would it be?
My 60 Memorable Games – Bobby Fischer
Who’s your favourite chess player?
What was your most memorable game?
I had gone to play a tournament in Sangli. In the second round, I came up against a 2000+ rated player. Within a few moves, I was threatening a knight fork and a mate. My opponent tried to save the fork, and I checkmated her with a knight.
Do you normally get tired or depressed after a painful defeat?
Wins and defeats can both be very tiring. Defeats hurt, but I try to analyze where I went wrong right after the game with my opponent.
Whom do you see as the toughest player in your college?
Some of the freshers are really good. I suspect I would lose against two or three of them in a classical match.
Do you set yourself goals, like ‘I want this rating by this time’ or ‘I want to get this many point in this tournament’?
Not really. I like to take each game as it comes and try to do my best in it. It is only after the tournament that I retrospect as to what and how could I have done better.
Which chess piece is your favorite?
The king! It is the only indispensable piece on the board.
Do you hold any chess title? If yes, what chess title are you the proudest of and why?
I haven’t played non-collegiate tournaments in over quite a while. So, I don’t “hold” a title as of now. My favourite tournament win would be my absolute first one. It also happened to be the first tournament I’d ever played in.
There I was, a 7-year-old me, playing in the Under 12 category (because that was the youngest category) winning game after game, to my own surprise.
What are you goals and ambitions, chess-related and in general?
Chess related: just try and keep improving my game each day.
In general: I hope to finish my studies and become a good computer scientist.
Which side do you like playing more? Black or white?: White
One country you would love to visit: Italy
Favorite childhood TV show: Pokemon
What’s on your iPod (or cell phone playlist) right now: There Is A Light That Never Goes Out (by The Smiths)