EP #96: Shiyam Thavandiran – Data Scientist Who Took 1-Year Sabbatical To Pursue Chess Grandmaster Title

Shiyam Thavandiran (@shiyamalen) is a data scientist & International Chess Master, who took a 1-yaer sabbatical from work to pursue the Chess Grandmaster title.

He joins Ara on this week’s episode of #TheTamilCreator to discuss taking a year off work to pursue his chess ambitions, hanging out with one of the greatest chess players of all time in Magnus Carlsen, the importance of reflecting and being open to other perspectives, travelling to different parts of the world to participate in chess tournaments, the level of preparation required for chess tournaments, and so much more.

Follow Shiyam:
– Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/shiyamalen/)

TAKE THE QUIZ – “What Type of Creator Are You?”**



00:19 – Ara introduces this week’s guest, Shiyam Thavandiran
01:21 – Shyam speaks on his formative years and how he got into chess
03:33 – Why he built a stable career before branching out to pursue chess
05:56 – Difference between an International Master and a Grand Master; FIDE
07:18 – Will he pursue becoming a Grand Master?
08:44 – Going on sabbatical to pursue a career in chess
10:35 – How he financially planned for his sabbatical
11:12 – Some of his most notable moments along this chess journey
13:33 – Beating a Grand Master
15:18 – Being in the top one percent of International Masters
16:03 – How his family reacted to his decision to pause work and pursue chess
17:16 – Returning back to the workforce; the importance of reflecting
19:36 – How Shiyam prepares for chess tournaments
23:12 – How, and how much, professional chess players get paid
24:53 – Having mentors, and mentoring other players
26:12 – The Queen’s Gambit and other factors that have revived chess
27:16 – Cheating scandals in chess
30:36 – Shiyam’s chess handle ‘Houdinovic’
32:19 – A learning lesson from his chess journey; not being open to other perspectives
33:54 – Advice he would give his 16-year-old self
35:04 – How he wants to be remembered by friends and family
36:01 – Creator Confessions
43:33 – The Wrap Up

Intro Music

Produced And Mixed By:
– The Tamil Creator
– Yanchan

Written By:
– Aravinthan Ehamparam
– Yanchan Rajmohan