Master of the 64 Squares: Chronicling India’s chess legacy

Master of 64 squares traces India’s chess legacy from its first known player Sultan Khan to Viswanathan Anand, the country’s first Grandmaster, to Rahul Shrivasthav, the 74th and most recent member of the club.

The first two copies of the book were presented to five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand and Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Anurag Thakur

The first two copies of the book were presented to five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand and Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Anurag Thakur | Photo Credit: R Ravindran/B. Velankanni Raj

Master of 64 squares traces India’s chess legacy from its first known player Sultan Khan to Viswanathan Anand, the country’s first Grandmaster, to Rahul Shrivasthav, the 74th and most recent member of the club.

In recent years, India has emerged as one of the leading nations in international chess with a sudden spurt in the number of Grandmasters. 

The country also shared the gold medal with Russia in the Online Chess Olympiad in 2021. 

The 44th Olympiad in Mamallapuram, near Chennai, has witnessed a record participation (186). 

To celebrate the hosting of the global event, Sportstar and The Hindu have dug deep into their archives to bring this labour of love — Masters of the 64 Squares — that chronicles the memorable journey of the Indian kings and queens who have gone places in the chess world. 

From India’s first known player Sultan Khan to Emperor Viswanathan Anand, the country’s first Grandmaster, to Rahul Shrivasthav, the 74th and most recent member of the club, we relive the milestone moments. 

The first two copies of the book were presented to five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand and Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Anurag Thakur. 

To purchase the book, click here.

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