Toledo Trojans’ Grandmaster Amir Bagheri: Mastering the most out of life

MANILA, Philippines – The phrase “an all-rounder, not a master” has come to rest at the feet of the Iranian Grand Master Amir Bagheri of the Trojans of Toledo City.

It sounds obvious that it is wrong, as the word “master” is appended to “great”, indicating that he belongs to one of the elites of chess. The crème dela crème. And the 42-year-old from Tehran-Iran is safe.

Yes. There is friction.

Bagheri is not only a grand master in chess, but also a very good painter and can also assert himself as an excellent cook. He is a man of incredible talents.

“Interests,” he counters with a smile.

It’s a cool spring day in Nice, on the south-east coast of France and not far from Monaco. It’s a place that GM Amir calls home today.

It takes about 12 hours for him to compete for the Trojans he used to join the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines for the Wesley So Cup. He has time to relax, read, cook, paint, and then focus on the matches.

Bagheri opens the window and the Mediterranean Sea is just a stone’s throw away.

“This view helps me relax my mind every day,” he says. “A calm mind is good for the disposition.”

It’s a fair point if he plays chess or even draws, which he has spent a lot of time doing over the years.

“A calm demeanor helps your mood and your thinking when the game is moving at lightning speed or at high speed.”

Amir was 10 years old when he made the classic cars and masters in a nearby chess park in Tehran sit up and take notice of the young puppy.

Bagheri learned the game through watching, learning, and anticipating.

“If you play this move, you win in three moves,” he once offered to a wrinkled master of the game. The oldest grunted but thought about it.

It was a “Eureka moment” when the young Amir was right and then got the chance to play his elders.

A child prodigy was born. Soon he started beating everyone. In the park. Visitor. And all in Tehran. Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Achilles in Troy could be felt as challenging, “Is there anyone else?”

At 20, Bagheri initially wanted to go to university to study engineering. Instead, like the great Persian kings, he set out to conquer Europe (and later the United States) in order to win the title of “Grand Master”.

When he achieved his original destination, Amir returned to Tehran to teach the game to young Iranian children. Soon he longed for more.

As a 10-year-old, Amir saw the chessboard and all of its myriad moves and possibilities.

As a grand master, he saw the world and what it had to offer. It filled the chess grandmaster with a nomadic spirit and he longed for a renaissance.

“Chess teaches you to be patient,” said Bagheri of the game’s long-standing advantage. “Unless I wasn’t patient enough. I wanted to see what the world has to offer. “

While on vacation in Thailand, Amir relaxed in a swimming pool and stared at the sky and the jungle forest ahead.

“It was the first time I felt different,” he revealed. “I realized that I am blind. I mean my eyes were fine in terms of eyesight. What I mean is that I enjoyed the colors of nature in a different way. “

Bagheri then met Dariush Zhahedi, who eventually became his teacher and mentor in painting. “Dariush taught me to appreciate the world around me and to paint what I see,” said Amir. “He never told me negative things. You can do this, but never negatively. He gave me courage and motivation. I appreciate him. “

Painting cured Amir of wanderlust. He buckled up to master the art and has since sold several dozen.

His new nirvana state also enabled him to get even better on the chessboard.

“Painting is not my job, it’s my love,” Amir clarified. “In chess you think like a GM and play like a GM. In painting, your eye should become the master, and then your hands. The same principle applies to chess. “

Since moving to Nice he has competed for the Monaco Chess Federation (he became Monaco Rapid Chess Champion 2021 last Sunday, June 13th). When the Trojans called from Toledo City, he immediately accepted. His fond memories of Cebu (where Toledo is also) made the decision easy.

“The Philippines are the land of people with beautiful smiles. In Europe people are more serious. Maybe it has something to do with the weather. But the smile … how can that not make you feel good? “

Since joining the Trojans, he has led them to fourth place in the Southern Division standings with an 11-4 record (Amir himself has a 16-5-8 record so far).

“Of course we hope to be able to help our team even more.”

So it is almost time for lunch. And well, Bagheri will cook.

We said he’s an excellent cook too. Not a cook, but a cook. Though he knows that if he focuses on it, he can safely achieve it.

“We just want to make the best of this life,” he sums up.

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