Seed Succeed

Sai Prahlad K: A Chess Journey and Beyond

I am Sai Prahlad K, an International Chess Coach, Educator, Author, and Entrepreneur. My life’s work spans across two NGOs and an AI company, with a deep commitment to animal welfare, education, and helping those in need. My story is not just about chess but about the influence one can have across different spheres of life.

My live class recordings

Triangulation Part 1 – Endgame Technique
PS: Not for Beginners


For Beginners, this live class recording was taken in the year 2020.


Contact me: +91 7358473002 | su*****@se*********.com

sai prahlad k
Coach Sai Prahlad K

Embarking on the Chessboard

My chess adventure began at the age of 13, later than many of my peers, marking the start of an extraordinary journey. My first encounter with competitive chess was at a weekend tournament organized by the Chrompet Chess Academy in Chennai. Finishing in 3th place, I found my calling. This initial success led me to the Mastermind Chess Academy, where I met my first coach, Mohan Kumar Sir, and my serious training in chess began.

Within a year of disciplined training and sheer determination, I achieved a FIDE Rating of 1856. This was a significant achievement considering the standard starting ratings of 1600 or 1400 at the time. However, my journey was not without its challenges. My first major setback came during the Under 13 Nationals in Haryana, which, unexpectedly becoming a rated event, affected my overall rating due to a less than stellar performance.

Despite this, my chess career had moments of brilliance and learning. In my first FIDE-rated tournament in Dindigul, I remained unbeaten, employing a cautious strategy to draw against rated players and secure a respectable score out of 11 rounds. This experience taught me the importance of strategic planning and the value of each game in a tournament setting.

Notable Encounters and Lessons Learned

One of the most memorable events in my early chess career was playing against Mr.Manuel Aaron, India’s first Arjuna Awardee and First International Master, during the Tamil Nadu State Team Championship. Drawing a game against such a legendary figure was both humbling and enlightening. Aaron’s insights into endgame strategies, shared the day before our match, were instrumental in achieving that draw. His contributions to Indian chess are monumental, laying the foundation for the country to become a chess powerhouse.

After my time with Mohan Kumar Sir, I trained under C Natarajan at the Mastermind Chess Academy. Together with my peers, we formed a team, creating the NASA System to collate and analyze chess strategies from various grandmasters, enhancing our gameplay and coaching methodologies.

My game against Manuel Aaron sir: this was played in 2006, within a year of learning chess.

Strategic Missteps and Course Corrections

My journey was not without its strategic missteps. After achieving my rating, like many players, I experienced a drop, which prompted intense self-reflection and dedicated practice. However, I made the critical error of participating in low-rated tournaments, which gradually eroded my rating despite consistent top finishes. This period taught me the harsh realities of the rating system and the competitive landscape of Indian chess.

The broader issue in Indian chess at the time was the proliferation of low-rated tournaments, which stunted the rating progression of many talented players. This scenario led to a skewed chess ecosystem, where raising one’s rating domestically was exceedingly difficult.

Guidance and Future Path

Reflecting on these experiences, I now advise my students to achieve a solid foundation before competing abroad to enhance their ratings and gain international experience. My coaching philosophy has been shaped by these lessons, emphasizing strategic growth, international exposure, and the importance of selecting the right tournaments.

Notable Tournament Achievements

My chess career is punctuated with significant milestones that reflect my growth and passion for the game. I was the runner-up in the School of Chess District Tournament on April 29, 2006, and the champion of the TN State Level Inter School Chess Tournament on November 26, 2006. My participation in the Asian Junior 2010 secured me a 40th place.

Noteworthy is my victory in the District Under 19 Boys Selection on July 2, 2006, and my runner-up position in the International FIDE Rating Chess Tournament Below 2100 as the Best Under 20. My strategic play led to a bronze finish in the 11th Adyar Times AICF All India open International rating tournament, where I defeated IM Balasubramaniam in the final round, a game that remains etched in my memory for its intense strategic depth.

Further, I secured the runner-up position in the Under 19 Kanchi District Selection on July 11, 2010. My consistent performance continued with a 7th place in the United India Insurance CDCA FIDE Rated Tournament in October 2012 and an 8th place with 8.5 points out of 11 rounds in the National Amateur Chess Championship 2013. My team and I secured the 10th place in the 17th TN State Team Championship, showcasing our collective effort and strategic prowess.

Memorable Games and Coaching Insights

Among the games that stand out in my career, defeating Arun, a 2200 FIDE rated player, with a piece down in a classical tournament, drawing against the legendary Manuel Aaron, and securing victories against International Masters and Grandmasters, notably IM Bala and IM Sharan Rao, are milestones that highlight my competitive spirit and strategic understanding.

These experiences were not just about victories but also about the lessons learned from each game, shaping my approach to chess and life.

In December 2023, I faced International Master Sharan Rao, with a rating of 2422, in Udupi, Karnataka. This match, held in the 6th and final round of the day, marked my return to professional tournament play after a decade-long hiatus.

sai centiloss
Computer stats avg mistake per move

Coaching Career: Shaping Minds and Lives

Transitioning to coaching, I embarked on this journey part-time from 2012, moving to full-time in 2020. Anticipating the lockdown, I launched an ad campaign to reach out to students, teaching over 700 students at an affordable cost during the pandemic’s peak. This period was instrumental in shaping the careers of many young talents like Aadik, Abishek, and Vedanth.

My coaching philosophy centers on hard work, strategic learning, and life lessons, transcending the boundaries of the chessboard. I create various opportunities for my students, from daily playing arenas to study materials and milestone tasks, aiming to enhance their skills and resilience.

Vision for the Future

My passion for teaching and chess continues to grow. I am particularly fond of chess960 and aspire to organize a significant tournament in India, hoping to attract legends like Magnus Carlsen. My efforts are now geared towards securing sponsorships for my top students, enabling them to compete internationally and elevate their ratings.

In the realm beyond chess, my life has been deeply intertwined with a cause close to my heart: animal welfare. Since 2012, I’ve dedicated myself to the care and rescue of animals, nurturing a bond with every creature in need, from dogs and cats to cows and crows. This connection, which I perceive as a karmic link, has been a source of immense fulfillment and spiritual growth.

My journey took a dramatic turn in 2017-18 when I faced a life-threatening situation, plunging me into a dark abyss of psychological turmoil. It was during this time that my daily commitment to feeding and caring for stray animals became my beacon of hope. The act of service, of being needed by these voiceless beings, gradually pulled me from the depths of despair, reaffirming my belief in the healing power of connecting with nature and its creatures.

Spirituality, too, played a pivotal role in my recovery and personal development. The teachings and chants of Mahadeva opened my eyes, guiding me from agnosticism to a deep embrace of Sanatana Dharma. This spiritual evolution was not just about religious belief but about finding a holistic approach to life, resonating deeply with my experiences and introspections.

My commitment to animal welfare materialized into the creation of the Brihat Jeevaseva Trust, a testament to my dedication to aiding those in need, whether human or animal. Despite the challenges and the discernment required in offering help—to ensure it reaches those genuinely in need—our efforts have made significant impacts, from educational support to medical aid and beyond, raising substantial funds to further our mission.

Parallel to my altruistic endeavors, my educational journey and career have been equally dynamic and unconventional. Dropping out of an MBA program due to my entrepreneurial engagements, I’ve ventured into realms where formal education is but a part of learning. My stint in publishing a scientific paper as a high school student underscored my insatiable curiosity and passion for knowledge, which later proved invaluable, especially during the pandemic.

iosr certificate
I was in HighSchool When I Published My Peer Reviewed Physics Paper in IOSR.

My career trajectory has been marked by diverse experiences, from starting Seed Succeed to honor my mother’s legacy to venturing into the digital marketing world, where I learned and contributed significantly. My time with ShortCastle Chesslang, albeit brief, was a period of achievement, helping the company expand its reach internationally.

The influence of mentors, both positive and negative, has shaped my philosophy of learning from every encounter, drawing lessons from success and failure alike. This ethos has led me to explore various fields and garnering insights have significantly impacted my entrepreneurial journey.

Predictions and foresights have been a peculiar aspect of my life, with my analytical skills often leading to accurate, if not surprising, insights into future events. These experiences, combined with a growing interest in Vedic Astrology, have enriched my understanding of life’s interconnectedness and the cosmic play of destiny.

sai mba
sai on economic times

In 2017, motivated by a desire to showcase my mother’s exceptional educational and managerial talents, I established a YouTube channel and Facebook presence for her. Having founded a successful school that grew to accommodate 1,200 students, her innate skills in teaching, managing, and child development were a treasure trove of wisdom I felt compelled to share with the world. This initiative was not just about public recognition but also about creating an enduring legacy for future generations. Thus, the Bhanumathy Seed Succeed YouTube channel was born, amassing over 9.8 million views to date. In this venture, I have worn many hats, including content advisor, editor, videographer, and publisher, embodying the multifaceted responsibilities of an entrepreneur.

In co-authoring “The Golden Path” with my mother, I ventured into the literary world, aiming to impart wisdom and guidance to the younger generation. This book, a culmination of life lessons and successful strategies, is set to reach a broader audience with its upcoming English translation.

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Tamil Books

Students & Parents Guide: The Golden Path in Tamil

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As I reflect on my journey, it’s clear that my life is a tapestry of varied experiences, each strand woven with lessons learned from the chessboard to the broader world. My narrative is not just my own but a shared journey with everyone who has been a part of my life, influencing and shaping the person I am today.

As I continue to build upon my legacy through Seed Succeed, my NGOs, and my various endeavors, my aim remains to inspire, educate, and make a meaningful difference in the world, one move at a time.

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