Discoveries and Latest Games with Ashrita Eswaran – News | So Good News


MS-DAS support continued even after Eswaran was in St. Louis. During the tournament, Stanczak hosted a viewing party at CMU’s Pittsburgh campus for MS-DAS students to watch Eswaran’s 7th round match, which he won.

“I already had a plan with my professors. There’s a lot of work to be done with my coaches for the tournament. Like analyzing and trying to find new strategies that I haven’t played before,” Eswaran said. “That’s at least three hours a day, which is hard to do at school.”

This begs the question, is Eswaran a professional chess player? Or a graduate student who plays professional chess?

“I get asked this question and I never know how to answer. Balancing chess and student life was difficult growing up,” Eswaran said. “It’s in the middle. After I graduate, I can decide if I want to play chess or do something with my degree. It’s good to have the opportunity to go both ways.”

Ashrita Eswaran on the chess boardAs he climbs the board and excels in the classroom, Eswaran realizes that his education is affecting his performance and vice versa.

“Sometimes I’m dealing with data and I don’t have domain knowledge. I’m in a new situation and I have to navigate uncharted territory,” he said. “Chess is similar because sometimes, no matter how much you prepare, you have to get yourself out of a situation. There are a lot of parallels between the two. Playing chess helped me academically, and being a data analyst helped me. I’m going to be a good chess player.”

Eswaran grew up in California and started playing chess in an after-school club in the first grade. At the age of 10, his parents encouraged him to take chess more seriously, encouraging him to practice and participate in competitions. She first played at the age of 13 in the US Women’s Chess Championship. He has played chess on five continents and showed his best game when he finished fourth at the 2021 US Championship.

“I’ve played so many games, no two games have been the same,” he said. “Even if I play another 10, 15 years, I’m sure every game will still be different because there are so many possibilities in the game of chess. I think that’s what I’m most interested in.”

Photos in this story courtesy of the St. Louis Chess Club, Lennart Oots and Crystal Fuller.


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