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A Letter from 2050

by Avathanshu Bhat - 19/01/2018

The year 2017 came to an end and it was filled with some amazing moments for the Indian chess fans. But what will chess be like in 2050? 33 years from now will chess be the same? Would Pragg have become the World Champion? What would be the prize fund of Delhi Open and what would ChessBase India look like? In this amazingly fun article, our youngest author 12-year-old Avathanshu Bhat has predicted and constructed what the future holds for us. A fun-filled, light-hearted article. Enjoy!

A letter from 2050 by Avathanshu Bhat

Dear 2017,

How are you doing? Using the time machines, I see that you’re fine. A little old, but that's okay! I am The Year 2050, your future self.


I have been observing some of the wishes of the people in your time. Particularly what interests me are the dreams on the game of chess. So many young people working and aspiring for the future of the game. And no, it isn’t just for their benefit, but for the betterment of the world. Seeing this, I decided to write a letter to you, telling you about what the results are of such hard work from your time. 


Firstly, chess has been spread all over the world. Like many of you dreamed, it is now a very popular sport and is played in every nook and cranny of the world. We held a tournament in Antarctica a while back and we got a superb response. It is becoming virtually impossible to find a house without a chess board!

Chess is in Antarctica. Why not in the Arctic as well?

I still remember Little Pragg’s steps to becoming a GM. Well now, there are rumours that Praggnanandhaa is retiring from the game, giving way for the younger generation to try their hand at becoming the World Champion. Whether it is temporary or not is unknown. Anyways, what is there to do when you are the Six-Time World Champion!

Elo 3500 doesn't come so easily! GM Praggnanandhaa as the six-time World Champion! Photo: Chess Illustrated

The people here in Mumbai are so excited to meet Carlsen! He is going to inaugurate the IIFL Wealth Tournament 2050. I think it’s going to be fantastic! I suppose you know of Fritz? Well, the latest Fritz 50: Golden Jubilee Edition has been released and is on point. Apart from the software speed and accuracy being incomparable, it comes with a new addition: It can come out of the screen and give you a punch. If your move is a blunder, then beware of the consequences!

You will be punched if you go wrong! A lesson to remember!

DGT: Next Generation boards have become super smart: There are actual cameras and intelligent sensors in the board to scan for any kind of cheating. No touch and move controversy here, folks!

The big boss is watching you!

Artificial Intelligence has taken over; they are implementing T-800 model robots in place of arbiters. The company making these robots, Skynet, is working very hard.


You won’t believe how much chess has seeped into daily life. There is now 64 square-swimming (chess swimming), chess-athletics, chess cafes, chess long-jump – curious game which involves the contestants having to jump onto the squares they wish to move their pieces to  - and many, many more. Chogging is such a big hit, that it is a compulsory subject in schools!


As expected ChessBase India is now the most popular chess company in the world. But that is not the only sign of interest for its fans: In a couple of days, ChessBase India will have a new CEO. I am sure the successor will take forward the legacy of the founder!

Who's it going to be?

Do you know what the prize fund is for this year’s Delhi International? They have a 100 crore prize fund! So the winner will undoubtedly be a millionaire!


Back in your time, my dear 2017, I think we had U-7 Nationals? Well now, U-3 age category tournaments are in plentiful. Yes, you read that right! We should start an U-1 Nationals very soon. That would be great fun to watch!

U-1 Nationals? The babies will have a tough time deciding whether to deal with the board or the diapers!

There are some things that have still remained the same. R.B. Ramesh is still one of the best coaches the world can have, the Bucholz and Direct Encounter rules are a debatable topic, Tamil Nadu kids are the strongest players in India, and the Sicilian Najdorf is still the toughest opening to crack!


How can I forget you, 2017. You were a very memorable year. Great battles were won, impressive feats accomplished, and victories in people’s hands lost and those with no chance just about clinching the prize! It is to you, 2017.

Praggnanandhaa’s first ever GM norm and inching towards becoming the youngest Grandmaster in the world. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Nihal Sarin also achieved his maiden GM norm and crossed 2500 Elo mark! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Harika Dronavalli winning a bronze in Women’s World Chess Championship in Tehran. | Photo: Harika's archives

Vidit Gujrathi joined the elite 2700 rating club | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Aravindh Chithambarm crossing Elo 2600! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Carlsen reigned as king in the chess world...| Lennart Ootes

...and right when we thought that he would give up, Anand seized the title of World Rapid Champion! | Phot: World Rapid and Blitz 2017

The great comeback of Garry Kasparov to the chess world.

Well, I think you were a mixed bag. Some hits and some misses. But you were a fine year. After all, you have The Year 2018 to cover up for any mistakes. I know saying this gives me bad chances in our Best Year competition, but I really think you were a wonderful year. Give my greetings to The Year 2018 as well, will you?


Your ever-loving friend,

The Year 2050

About the author:

Avathanshu Bhat is a 12-year-old chess player from Mumbai. Apart from being a chess fanatic, he is a voracious reader and his favourite books include Wonder by R.J. Palacio, Lord of the rings by J.R.R. Tolkien and the complete adventures of Feluda by Satyajit Ray. He loves Daniel King and enjoys his Power Play DVDs very much. He maintains his own blog. Like his FaceBook page for more updates!


Read more articles by Avathanshu Bhat:

Life of a young chess player

Joy of losing

G. Akash wins the Grand Hyderabad affair

10-year-old boy's deep calculation (40,000+ hits on Youtube)

12-year-old chessentrepreneur Avathanshu Bhat

Chess species classified

Hemant Sharma becomes International Master

Colours of Black and White

Champion from Chudamani - IM Sidhant Mohapatra

Blindfold simul by Timur Gareyev

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