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Updated: February 21, 2013 23:58 IST

Determined to conquer all 64 squares

V. V. Subrahmanyam
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Venkata Krishna Karthik who qualified for the 2013 National Team Chess Championship which began in Hyderabad on Wednesday. - Photo: V.V. Subrahmanyam
THE HINDU Venkata Krishna Karthik who qualified for the 2013 National Team Chess Championship which began in Hyderabad on Wednesday. - Photo: V.V. Subrahmanyam

Venkata Krishna Karthik, who suffers from a nervous system problem since childhood and recently lost his right eye to TB, has qualified for National Chess Team tourney

He defies all odds. For, 26-year-old Venkata Krishna Karthik, who suffers from unusual physical tiredness because of a nervous system problem since he was three years old and recently lost his right eye when getting treated for Tuberculosis, stands tall as a symbol of rare courage and conviction by qualifying for the National Chess Team Championship which began at Kotla Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy Indoor Stadium here on Wednesday. And, he has a dream too of becoming an International Master one day!

Passion personified

It is sheer passion which drives Karthik, coached by his mentor Sk. Khasim and earlier promoted by ex-APCA secretary V. R. Bobba, to the chess tournaments.

For someone who is said to be an instinctive player with an uncanny knack to come up with some stunning moves, Karthik has the problem of losing energy levels as his temperature often shoots up beyond 105 degrees whenever he is engaged in long battles on the board. Then, why are you playing chess?

“Well, I can’t do anything other than this,” is his reply.

Battling the odds

This Vijayawada boy, who managed to complete his class X, officially qualified for the National team event but has plenty of problems on hand to pursue chess.

For instance, the Railway recruitment rules say that only those who have an ELO rating of 2300 should apply for even Class IV jobs while Karthik has an ELO 2080.

“Can they give me some concession so that I can get a job,” he says as even his speech is hampered because of the handicap.

“His strength is his ability to come up with highly calculated moves and his weakness is that he cannot last the full game if it goes beyond four hours,” says Khasim, who runs the Global Chess Academy and has been training Karthik for close to seven years now.

With no job and his ageing father K.V.L. Narasimha Murthy too struggling to make both ends meet, the misery of his only son, Karthik, piles up.

What is even more disturbing for this 2004 State Open champion is that he has to pay even entry fee often costing him Rs. 5,000 for many of the FIDE-rated events.

Fate may have cornered him, but Karthik is determined to conquer the 64 squares and make an impact in the world of chess.

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