Golden harvest in Iran

Nutakki Priyanka... commendable show.-

It rained medals for India at the recently-concluded Asian youth chess championship in Sari, Iran. The Indians pocketed as many as 49 medals including 20 gold in all three segments — standard, rapid and blitz — in the girls’ and Open categories. The overwhelming show by the youngsters is encouraging news as the players lived up to the expectations.

“Good results are coming from the age-groups for quite sometime. Several top GMs like Pendyala Harikrishna, Koneru Humpy and Dronavalli Harika made their mark in age-group tournaments during their formative years. Chess has become the favourite game for the middle class and modern-day parents strongly believe that the game enhances the intelligence quotient in children,” said veteran Grandmaster and seven-time national champion Pravin Mahadeo Thipsay from Pune. He felt that many parents preferred chess to other popular games like cricket, hockey, football, tennis and badminton. “The mushrooming of academies in the country is also a reason for the surge witnessed by the game”.

Koneru Ashok, a Dronacharya and World No. 2 women player Humpy’s father, said the patronage (to chess) offered was not on merit but on personal basis. “These children will face the reality when they grow up as sponsorship will become a major issue to participate in the rated tournaments aboard to enhance their ratings”.

He said many talented players gave up chess after achieving good rating due to lack of financial support. “When it comes to employment, only oil companies are offering jobs presently. The corporate and the government sector should come forward and offer jobs to talented players thus giving them a sense of security,” Ashok added.

THE MEDALLISTS

Girls: Standard: Gold: B. Pratyusha (u-18), S. Riya (u-14), R. B. Vaishali (u-12), D. Divya (u-8), B. Savithashri (u-6); Silver: Srija Seshadri (u-16), N. Priyanka (u-12), C. Lakshmi (u-10); Bronze: S. Ananya (u-14), F. K. Stella (u-10).

Rapid: Gold: M. K. Mahalakshmi (u-16), S. Ananya (u-14), C. Lakshmi (u-10), D. Divya (u-8), B. Savithashri (u-6); Silver: P. V. Nandhidaa (u-18), P. Supreetha (u-12), B. Swera Ana (u-10); Bronze: P. M. Catherina (u-18), G. Tarini (u-12), P. P. Bhagyashree (u-8).

Blitz: Gold: Srija Seshadri (u-16), N. Priyanka (u-12), C. Lakshmi (u-10), P. P. Bhagyashree (u-8); Silver: P. V. Nandhidaa (u-18), M. K. Mahalakshmi (u-16), F. K. Stella (u-10), B. Savithashri (u-6); Bronze: J. Saranya (u-18), S. Riya (u-14), R. B. Vaishali (u-12).

Open: Standard: Gold: K. G. Arun (u-16), N. Letchumanan (u-10), Praggnanandhaa (u-8); Silver: A. Ghosh (u-10); Bronze: K. V. Narayanan (u-14), K. Mohan (u-10).

Rapid: Bronze: K. G. Arun (u-16), K. V. Narayanan (u-14), R. B. Praggnanandhaa (u-8).

Blitz: Gold: V. Aravindh (u-14), N. Letchumanan (u-10), R. B. Praggnanandhaa (u-8); Silver: P. P. Pravin (u-18), Sayantan Das (u-16), Murali Karthekiyan (u-12), A. Ghosh (u-10).

J. R. Shridharan