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Off the Board Tales #3 - Ashwin Subramanian

by Avathanshu Bhat - 29/04/2021

Off the Board Tales is a series by ChessBase India, where the premise revolves around people who are passionate about chess despite it not being their career. An emotional and short story is what you're up for, so read on for tales of joy, tales of aspirations, tales of sorrows, and tales of success. Ashwin Subramanian is a Chess and Technology Evangelist, Software Engineering Manager at Intel, brilliant photographer, and regular donor to the ChessBase India Foundation. Photos: Ashwin Subramanian

A Tech Savvy Chess Enthusiast - Ashwin Subramanian

Being introduced to the two things you love right from the beginning at the same time often lead to an intertwining of passions!

I was fascinated with computers ever since my school days. My father maintained a computer institute in 1989, though it eventually closed. He did install one of them in our home, however, and I was immediately taken by it. The very first game I played on that computer guessed it, Chess! I had begun playing it not long before that, so I welcomed this new experience on a digital medium. Furthermore, the Kasparov - Karpov match that took place in 1990 intrigued me, and I was interested enough to study the game to greater extent.

Playing the game competitively has always been an aspiration of Ashwin.

I didn't take my chess much further, until in 2007 when online chess surged and teaching my daughter Anjana also rejuvenated my adoration for the game. I played tournaments and witnessed some of the greatest games of the decade, and received tips during my preparation from some of the most experienced players out there. I work with Intel and so, I’m sure you can imagine my happiness at finding multiple ways to experiment with both chess and machines together! In 2019, ChessBase’s Frederic Friedel requested a high-end PC for an upcoming 2020 chess camp with some of the best juniors of Indian Chess. That motivated me to do a deep dive into the best configurations and computer setup for chess engines. Sagar Shah also approached me for the ideal hardware for his chess and streaming needs, followed by more streamers and players looking for the smoothest experience.

Analyzing your games with a chess legend like Judit Polgar is an experience like no other! 

I also worked on a unique project for the Global Chess Festival 2019 – a song called ‘Sabse Sundar Hai Yeh Khel’; inspired by Judit Polgar and written by Niklesh Jain. It depicts the history of chess and how it arose in India and became world famous. The music is sung by my wife Aruna, and my daughter Anjana also performed Bharat Natyam live. I used my video editing skills to craft a video with the various graphics to go along with it. My love for chess and tech knows no bounds, and I wish that more people are aware of the positive effects of chess on the mind.

Ashwin with his daughter Anjana and his wife Aruna, alongside Vladimir Kramnik, former chess world champion.


About the Author:

Avathanshu Bhat is a 16 year old from Mumbai. He is the Editor-in-Chief for ChessBase India Juniors and Manager for ChessBase India's Elite Pass. He recently began a new series called 'Off the Board Tales' on ChessBase India's social media pages. He is a voracious reader, a Nolan film enthusiast, and is passionate about everything tech and games.

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