Vice President of Seneca Chess Club takes on Russian grandmaster at exhibition

More than 30 movements.

That’s how many times it took Sagar Srivastava, vice-president of the Seneca Chess Club, to lose the biggest chess game of his life to Russian grandmaster Garry Kasparov.

“I still can’t believe it,” said Mr. Srivastava, one of 11 attendees who played Mr. Kasparov in a simultaneous chess exhibition as part of the Collision Technology Conference at Toronto this week. “It was an amazing experience. I was the first to play him and he beat everyone at the end. But I gave my best and was one of the last standing.

Mr. Srivastava graduated from the Graduate Certificate Program in Financial Planning this spring. He returns in the fall for the Graduate Certificate Program in Financial Services Compliance Administration.

The Indian international student has been playing chess since he received his first board as a child. He joined the Seneca Chess Club last year to relax and follow his hobby.

“I feel like I’m good at chess,” he said. “But facing a former world champion, you never know what will happen. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I wanted to experience how a grandmaster plays.

To prepare for his match against the grandmaster, Mr. Srivastava learned about Mr. Kasparov and watched his matches online.

“I was sure he would destroy everyone in five shots, but I thought I had to give him a good game anyway,” he said. “I took all of his bishops, knights and pawns, and he took all of mine. I was nervous but calm, trying to think of his next moves. I enjoyed the experience a lot.”

The Collision Conference continues today with two Seneca initiatives showcased on stage at York Region’s #YRTech pavilion. President David Agnew discusses partnering with Kingbridge Center to support environmental innovation and entrepreneurship in York Region. Marianne Marando, Vice President, Academic and Students, and Chris Dudley, Director, Entrepreneurship, present the Career HERizons program, which will help prepare women for new careers.

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