February 16, 2013

A Page from my Diary

As Chess players, we all have enjoyed victories as well as suffered losses. But have you gone through a phase so bad that you lost all your hopes? Rucha Pujari shares with us her experiences of how she dealt with such things and learnt to become better in the process. Must read.

A Page from my Diary
By Rucha Pujari

15th February 2013: Just back from Moscow. It feels great to be home after such a long time. It’s only February and I have already played three tournaments since New Year. For us, chess players, travelling to different places is sort of an everyday routine. True Chess players do have a nomadic life! Anyways, so I was looking back at my recent performances and I can say that I was going through a really bad phase; losing something like a hundred rating points is only a statistical indication.

It’s like I was walking on a smooth road, humming a tune and enjoying the breeze. And the next moment out of nowhere I fell into a pit. Because while I was walking, I did not consider that there would be a pit on such a smooth road. Down & down I fell with a crash. And unlike Alice, I didn’t end up in wonderland. Far from it.

So as I was playing tournaments and more tournaments, and my form became bad and then worse. I had just no idea what was happening. It was not about losing a game. But it was about losing hope.

I can see the beautiful World above me – sun shining, birds singing. But I only blinked at the blue sky up above, totally unsure how I’d found myself in this situation.

There are two types of people in every Sportsperson’s life:
1. Those whose attitude depends upon your performance.
They praise when you win. They make you feel like you are on top of the world.
But again they don’t hesitate to criticize or blame you when you lose.

2. And then there are those whose attitude does not depend upon your performance.
Like your parents, who only want to see you happy. Or your brother, for whom whatever happens whether you win or lose, you will always be his little sister, no matter what. And some of your friends.

Then, when I calmed down a little, I realized that I have to help myself. If I will not try I will never get out. So I got up to see what I can do.

In Chess, as in life, you have to struggle.
In Chess, as in life, you have to ambitious.

And then I realized that it’s not about falling down a hundred times, but it’s about getting up every time you fall. Life is a journey. And we all have a destination to reach. But that doesn’t mean that we should not learn on the way. There will be ups & downs, highs & lows. It is all about maintaining the momentum.

Progress consists not in replacing an incorrect theory with a correct one, but in replacing an incorrect theory with one which is also incorrect but more exact.
Even though Chess is an intellectual game, the most successful players are those who not only depend on their brains but their hearts as well. You have to enjoy the game.

You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have. So with all the courage I didn’t know I had until then, I started climbing up. Slowly but surely I was making progress.

I asked God to give me the strength to stand tall, daring to take risks, faith to keep going and motivation to take new challenges. But I am improving. I have still not reached my maximum. So, there is scope and I believe I can do it. Yes, I laughed and I cried. I lost and I learned. But that is very much essential for growth. I am growing as a Sportsperson. Now I can handle defeats as well as victories.
Miracles do happen, but never expect them to happen.

So I was climbing up by grabbing onto roots and creepers. Now I can see the blue sky. I was just there.

So initially I had mentioned that I just came back from Moscow. So let me tell you how I played there. Moscow Open is a really strong tournament. I was very much determined to play my best there. So, I was playing for my final WIM norm, which was objectively possible considering that I only wanted half point in my last game. So, with full confidence I went to the game. I had the black pieces and I started the clock. Ten minutes – Fifteen minutes – Twenty minutes – Thirty minutes. No, my opponent did not come and I was given a point by default. I was very much disappointed because games which are not played, are not counted for the norm. I would not have felt bad if I would have played & lost, but I was upset because I did not get any opportunity to play and prove.

And with much effort I came out. I wasn’t hurt but shocked. I went on my way. The sun is still shining and the birds are still chirping. But I learned a new lesson. I cannot be so sure that I will not fall again. I may, I may not. But now I know what I should do in such a situation.

I want to thank all the people who have made a difference in my life, knowingly and unknowingly. I have so many tournaments to play ahead in my life!! I just have to keep enjoying Chess as I always do. I always want to do the right things. It is all about believing in yourself and never losing hope. And I want to know how far I can go. Wish me luck!!



  1. Reminds me of the quote.. “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm” -Winston Churchill.

    Good Luck for future tournaments.. :)

  2. Awesomeness!! especially the ones in red font are epic....

  3. Very mature thinking for such a young girl.You are in the right direction, so be proud of yourself,believe in your capabilities,be thankful to those helped you learn the tough things in your life,march ahead with head held high no matter what. Best wishes for a happy and hard learning life ahead.

  4. Amazing Rucha! :) Thanks a lot for this!
    Never read such a thing, anything, for a long long time!

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  6. Chess, cricket, life, it is all the same. Glory lies not in never falling but in rising every time you fall.
    Well written. All the best with your career!

  7. V good one Rucha...looking forward to more such reads...all the very best for whatever U Want to Achieve.

  8. rucha... all i can say is u have penned down how u feel ..... u r no doubt a great player & after reading this i am sure u can be a good columnist ....
    look ahead u have a bright uture