Lack of sponsorship holding back Indian chess

If Pendyala Harikrishna gets sizeable sponsorship, he can be the second Viswanathan Anand or he can become a brand himself. The same is the case with Koneru Humpy. Like this there are many young players in every corner of India. Let both the Government and chess-loving sponsors come forward to make a youth revolution in Indian chess a reality.

Many children play chess in India, but a lack of sponsorship results in most of them dropping out after a certain stage.   -  Reuters

Chess came into being in India. But, at present, the most dominant country in the sport is Russia. In Russia, chess is included in the text books of primary schools! No wonder there are 236 Grandmasters and 528 international masters in the nation! (one can become a Grandmaster if he/she has a FIDE rating of more than 2500, and an International Master if the rating is more than 2000). Russia also has a grand total of 2452 titled masters.

The next best country is Germany with 91 Grandmasters, 254 International Masters and 1317 titled masters.

Where does India stand? It has 44 Grandmasters, 91 International Masters and 304 titled masters and is fifth among the chess playing countries (behind Russia, the U. S., China and Ukraine).

India’s lord of chess is Viswanthan Anand, while Pendyala Harikrishna is next to him. Anand is Number Eight in classic chess in the world, while Harikrishna is 11th (the difference being only nine points). Anand is seventh in rapid, while Harikrishna is 44th, with no other Indian in between. Anand is 22nd in blitz, while Harikrishna is 20th! (with a lead of only five points).

India’s top-most woman player is Koneru Humpy. She is fourth in classic chess rankings and 13th in rapid. Humpy is not in blitz chess and Harika Dronavalli (10th) is the highest ranked Indian here.

A multitude of children play chess in India, but no one is willing to entrust his/her future to the game. In Russia, the Government supports chess players in all respects. But such a committed support is lacking here. So chess has become only a pastime and not a profession in India.

If Pendyala Harikrishna gets sizeable sponsorship, he can be the second Anand or he can become a brand himself. The same is the case with Koneru Humpy. Like this there are many young players in every corner of India. Let both the Government and chess-loving sponsors come forward to make a youth revolution in Indian chess a reality.