City chess administrators and coaches had every reason to smile on Wednesday as they displayed the dozen medals won by the players at the Asian Youth Chess Championship that concluded early this month at Hikkaduwa in Sri Lanka.

City chess administrators and coaches had every reason to smile on Wednesday as they displayed the dozen medals won by the players at the Asian Youth Chess Championship that concluded early this month at Hikkaduwa in Sri Lanka.

Ten-year-old Nutakki Priyanka (Under-10) was the star attraction as she hauled six gold medals in the classic, rapid and blitz divisions in both team and individual segments. Abhilash Reddy (Under-18) and Lasya (Under-16) won team and individual gold in rapid and classic divisions and settled for a bronze each in blitz. “Krishna district players, after many years, scripted an overwhelming show in an international event. I am happy these three players are following in the footsteps of Grand Masters Koneru Humpy and M.R. Lalith Babu,” said Krishna District Chess Association secretary D. Srihari at a felicitation function to the players. Senior coach V.R. Bobba, who coaches Priyanka, felt that the State Government was not offering support to chess by granting cash awards to the achievers. “The representatives of Andhra Pradesh Chess Association are planning to meet Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and submit a memorandum seeking financial help for the achievers”, he said.

The educational institutions were not keen on promotion of chess, he alleged. “Earlier, the schools used to come forward and sponsor events and players, but now–a-days barring a few the other schools are not showing interest,” he lamented.

Priyanka will be taking part in the world championships to be held at Slovenia in the month of November. Slovenia tourney will be tough as the best of players from the world would take part. She has to fine-tune her skills and also add new moves and strategies to her arsenal, said Mr. Bobba, who was a private coach of Grand Master P. Harikrishna also in his formative years.

Lasya, a student of Nalanda Vidya Niketan, said that she was pursuing karate along with chess and would be achieving her black belt early next year. “My ultimate goal is to become a Grand Master and win the world championship,” said a confident Lasya.

Global Chess Academy director Sk. Khasim, parents of the players and coaches took part in the function.

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