Off the Board Tales #12 – Keti Tsatsalashvili
'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. Keti Tsatsalashvili is a WGM from Georgia. Her love to experiment with new things helped her begin a group streaming channel on Twitch called ‘letschesslive.’
How a Woman Grandmaster became a successful Twitch streamer
I was 17 when I became a Woman Grand Master, and my only ambition was to keep pushing to become a World Champion, as crazy as that sounded. My grandmother had always wanted a female chess player in our family, and I happened to be the first. Everyone loved sports in our house, and I took my role as a chess player well. I won World Youth Chess Championships, countless other tournaments, and have been through thousands of hours of practice. For me, things just kept getting better, what could I possibly worry about?
And yet, out of interest in commentary, I began to explore the online world of chess and I found joy in spreading my voice and thoughts. I watched a lot of streams too, and ideas began forming in my head. I knew that the best way to have an audience of my own and have the freedom to speak my mind would be to stream. COVID bought a lot of free time at the cost of over-the-board chess tournaments, and I spoke to my friends who were also thinking about streaming. So, we decided that we would all stream together on a group channel called ‘letschesslive.’ In a way, this was much more flexible for me; our channel could be live almost all the time by us taking turns.
I think about my 17-year-old self with the ambitions of chess and attending University, and wonder how different my life would've been. However, the second I’m live playing chess with supportive viewers, I immerse myself in the moment. There were lots of hurdles I had to overcome, and the new environment took some getting used to, but I liked the challenge of managing it myself. I also love multitasking, and I was worried I’d be bored of streaming. Now, I know that it is far from the case, and I’m still learning new things about it every day while feeling confident. Moreover, I feel my streams are unique and have an identity, which is what I’ve always wanted.
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.