October 7, 2012

Life outside the 64 squares!

Hello readers.
I have ("successfully?") recently joined the list of players in Tamil Nadu and elsewhere, of Chess players moving to IT industry after college. Arun Karthik expresses his views about his life besides Chess. 

Life outside the 64 squares!
By Arun Karthik

Oh yeah!
AC rooms, Canteen food, travelling, formal attire, sitting with computers, analysis, calculation... Everything looks similar to a gruelling chess tournament of norm standards, but it's not the SAME - but much similar! A month back when the training period started, I was pondering over the possibility of moving in near to my office, but then realized travelling was the only trail left, that I had always loved doing! Not that I don't like the others, I like travelling more; I feel ALIVE doing that - considering the amount of laziness I carry along with me!

The first memorable incident occurred very quickly - I had to solve a problem and I did it correctly. The faculty told me to push harder and optimize the code. I thought to myself "We always look for the easiest possible win in a pawn up situation. Right? Why then go 'Combination for Combination's sake???". I honestly don't know. This is something that is hard to change; but yeah, you have to do analysis 'during' the game - unlike our tournaments when we can win anyway and analyze later!

The second striking coincidence occurred after some time. You can try how much ever prophylaxis you want - but there will always be something for the opponent. Very rarely you win a game without giving any counterplay at all. I am talking about the 'bugs' in programs! There are always many of them AND they do annoy you!

This might sound really familiar to all - there's more home preparation than what actually happens 'during' the 'work' hours. In the place of action, there IS a little learning but much of the experience you get pertain to what all you do after work. Probably this is where most people miss out on. I am not making any guesses here! :) We all seek entertainment at work. So true here too! :D

You don't lose a game out of zero tolerance! :) You can come a bit late, no problem! Also, the flag doesn't fall. You WORK overtime to complete a task - something that spoils most of the fun! Projects are not time bound, they are day bound, or, so we can call them! Why not? :) I don't like the word 'deadline' - what are they after all? Possibly people slept in between! I don't know, I might change my verdict after two years! :)

If you don't know the opening - google. If you don't know the idea - google. If you don't know what to code - google. Eating - well, you have to do this one on your own, among a few other things!

Everything I have written and told look cool and great, for a start. As is always the case, I started to feel really rusty in the month of September, around the middle of the month. I knew the reason why - 5 months in Chennai in a row. FIVE MONTHS is a big time you see - without any action or rather, action stories (Yeah, Ashwin, you know what I mean!). It's really frustrating at times! NO "Start your games!" You cannot lose to any unseeded player here; nor can you upset the top seed. No press release; no live telecast. No arbiters - only bosses. Rules. Framework!

Chess is an individual sport. Occasionally team championships happen. IT is more of a team game. Project teams! There will always be people to help; you are not alone. So, no brilliancy prize or board prize! Once you enter into chess world, everything looks Black and White. There's no escape. This is some addiction I love. IT companies look huge and terrific, yes, inside however, it's small. Not much to complain though, I am having fun! "Happiness"
One month into the game, I had this lazy conversation with a colleague.
Colleague: Where do you stay?
ak: I said my house was far off.
Colleague: Oh, so far! You travel a lot man!
ak: _____ "Travelling differs!"

A week ago, I spoke to AJ
He said "You also travel. I can travel wherever I want to! You playing Chennai???"
ak: _____ :)
Until that,
Take care!

Disclaimer: The views expressed are of the individual.