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Title: Serving With The Right Moves – Chess to Charity
Author: Ms Shilpa Y O Rao
Posted on: 09/08/2017
Serving With The Right Moves – Chess to Charity
Meet Prateek Pinisetti, an inspiring valley teenager who is using his passion for chess to transform not only his life but positively impact his school and the global community.

Prateek started playing chess at a very early age and then put in tremendous focus over the years to take his rating to an ‘expert’ level (according to FIDE, the World Chess Federation) and also win eight state and three national titles along the way. In eighth grade, he started a local charity ‘ChessHelps’ to use his talent to teach chess in elementary and middle school clubs and encourage students to raise funds to give back to the community.

Prateek’s devotion and dedication has earned him the shining honor of National Chess Master. He is also one of the five winners of 2017 Scholar-Chess Player Awards.

Recently, Aashish & Akhilesh Appakonam, students of Leadership GYM, sat down with Prateek as he was getting ready for his final year of high school and also the next ChessHelps fundraiser on September 9th. He expects around 150 people to attend this year’s event and looks forward to playing chess with others who share the same passion and drive for the game.

AA: Congratulations on your significant accomplishments in chess at such a young age! What led you on this path?
PP: When I was in third grade I joined a chess club at my local school. I had a really great chess coach who inspired me to bring out my best and continue playing.

AA: What’s your motivation for starting ChessHelps?
PP: I’ve been playing chess for a long time and I wanted to give back to the community and especially to my school. That’s when I started ChessHelps to raise funds to donate to my school and to KIVA, a microlending nonprofit organization that helps alleviate property by lending small, easily repayable amounts to people across the globe.

AA: What factors helped you to be successful in this pursuit?
PP: My parents played a big factor in helping me set up ChessHelps and fully supported my decision to help out the school and community. Also all the chess players who came to our event and donated money played a huge part in helping us raise funds and making ChessHelps a successful organization.

AA: How can others contribute to this cause?
PP: Showing up at the event and the ChessHelp tournaments is a good start. Also, donating to the ChessHelps Foundation would be excellent. Lastly, you could support KIVA and BASIS ATF on their own. 

AA: What’s your advice to our youth for making an impact in the world?
PP: A lot of it is to believe in yourself. Most of the time people have great ideas and they are scared to enact them because they don’t know if they will succeed or not. The best thing to do is to just go for it, instead of worrying about failure. Focus on your academics first, and as you find spare time, you can focus on helping the community.

For all queries, readers may contact Prateek at [email protected]. The website for ChessHelps is www.chesshelps.org.

The views expressed in this article are provided for information only. All care has been taken for the accuracy of the information provided, but the author does not make any warranty of any kind. In no event shall the author be liable to any individual for any decision made or taken in reliance on such information. If therapy or medical advice is required, appropriate practitioner should be consulted

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