Unfortunately this period didn’t last long .Having realized the threat of this advancing pawn, AICF tried to curtail our influence through underhand means. It threatened players with life time bans and used negative publicity. Our organization began to crumble from within due to problems in management and continued pressure from AICF. Eventually, CAI had to be dissolved but we didn’t go down without a fight and only under promises from AICF to significantly change its modus operandi did we rest our case. [talking more about the organization – digressing from the question and losing context]
Would I make the same decision again? Would I risk all that I achieved again? Yes. Though I have certain regrets about not entirely achieving all that I wished to by associating myself to CAI, I take great pride in the fact that I could give back to chess in whatever way possible. While the satisfaction of proving the doubters wrong was immense, it was perhaps the inner sense of fulfillment that I savored the most. At the end of the day, chess was never about the accolades or the recognition, and perhaps it was the love for the game that prompted me to act in such a drastic manner. One of the first lessons that I was taught as a beginner was that ‘Even a pawn can take on a King’ which, fittingly, holds true for my story. I would like to conclude by using a quote from one of my favorite chess players who perfectly sums up this beautiful game and also my journey:
Shifting from being front and center to an observant spectator, I began to see beyond myself, picking up the art of people-watching. As if placing an invisibility cloak on, I would quietly sink into the blue armchair, discreetly watching peoples’ behavior and interactions with one another. I found myself creating whimsical backstories of circumstance for each passerby, intertwining chance encounters and meaningful exchanges. People-watching not only helped me to become more aware of those around me, was also as an opportunity to explore undiscovered parts of myself.