December 23, 2012

Life at Lindenwood!

Hey Guys, It's change of location and change of life for my words!!! Yeah, yours truly is writing from St.Charles, Missouri this post. I am pursuing my undergraduate degree in marketing combined with chess in LindenwoodUniversity. Priyadharshan writes about his experiences.

Life at Lindenwood!
By Priyadharshan Kannappan

Saying more about Lindenwood, it is a 185 year old institution located near the Missouri river and since 1990 this is the fastest growing university in the Midwest of the USA. The international student body consists of 942 students from 92 countries, with 21% of the students in the Lindenwood Athletic  Programs being International Students.

Lindenwood Lions logo
Lindenwood University is like a magnet in attracting athletes to the school, as the Lindenwood Lions has a total of 49 sports team, making it one of the largest college athletic departments in the United States in the terms of sports offered.

Chess Team of Lindenwood was formed on Fall 2012 semester, with the initial batch of players consisting of notable names like myself :) , IM Levan Bregadze from Georgia, WGM Anna Sharevich from Belarus(team captain), WGM Carla Heredia Serrano from Ecuador. Our Coach is the legendary GM Yasser Seirawan and he being assisted by Matt Barrett. We have also had lot of visiting coaches in the past 4 months including GM Varuzhan Akobian and GM Alejandro Ramirez.

Sharing a lighter and funny moment with our Coach Yasser Seirawan, From left:Zach Stuart, Nolan Hendrickson, Yasser Seirawan, Levan Bregadze, Priyadharshan Kannappan and Micah Loosee

After coming here, there has been lot of positives to my chess, including a 18 point fide rating gain and also having produced some great performances  including, Champion of the St.Louis District Championship thusby qualifying for the 2013 Club Championship, Champion in 2 on 2 Team Championship, Joint 2nd in Thanksgiving Open, Join 2nd in the 3rd CCSCSL GM Invitational Tournament. The best performance of me came in the US Chess League, where I was the board 2 for the local team St.LouisArch Bishops, before delving deeper into the performance.  I would like to say that we were predicted in the pre-season  preview by IM David Pruess in that we were not even strong enough to finish the last place in the league, we were completely written off. Those words were the source of inspiration for me before the season. We have nothing to lose, I said to myself and the end result was I scored 8.5/10 in the regular season with a rating performance over 2700+ and also capturing three USCL awards including the Most Valuable Player of the 2012 season(there was also a record set by me, capturing the award by most point difference from the No.2 player in the whole league) also capturing the Board 2, Team 1 All Star player and also being awarded the Rookie of the Year in the 2012 USCL for the best debut of the season. The another record that I created in this season was, I was the first player to capture 3 Individual awards in a single season.

Playing against GM Robert Hess of Yale University during the 10 board online friendly match.

Though it was a very painful finish for me in the season, as I lost my first game of the season in the quarterfinal playoff, where just a .5/2 was needed to qualify for the semis we couldn't do it, though I was having a clearly better position against IM Lev Altounian. Though it was disappointing, am really happy that I and the St.Louis team had so many positives in this year.

So far the Lindenwood chess team has an unbeaten record, as we defeated the Washington University of St.Louis by a 6-4 margin and also defeating the Ivy League School, Yale University 5.5-4.5, which was a major upset as we were outrated more or less on every single board.

Lindenwood Chess Team after defeating Yale

The next tournament, that I am playing representing Lindenwood is the Pan-Am National Collegiate Championship, where if my guess is right would be given the initial seeding of 7th as a team and it would be a herculean task to finish in the top 4 and qualify for the "Final Four of Collegiate Chess", The tournament is going to be held at Princeton University, New Jersey from Dec 27-30 and Lindenwood is sending two teams to the event, with the "A" team consisting of myself,Levan Bregadze, Anna Sharevich and Nolan Hendrickson and the "B" team consisting of Micah Losee, Zach Stuart, George Krasnopolskiy and Justin Grimes.

That's the Lindenwood's top 3 board players, from left:Priyadharshan,Levan Bregadze and Anna Sharevich
Now, it's time to focus on studies, the other part of my life! The first semester is done and things have gone great so far! I have a 4.0 GPA out of 4.0 in the first semester and a interesting tidbit is that the chess team has the highest GPA of all athletics teams in the campus! That's something to savor.  Lindenwood mainly specializes on business courses and we have lot of interesting courses in the business field like Sports Management in the UG level!

So far, I have never regretted the decision I made to switch base to the States and I hope that I would never regret this life changing decision! Praying to the Almighty and wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a crackling 2013.

I would like to finish my article with a good win of mine against GM Pascal Charbonneau in the SPICE CUP

Signing off is
Yours Truly

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