Huge chess pieces on a giant chess board set up at Popular Plaza

Getting associated with a sport is not news, but associating with it in a unique way catches the eye-balls of the public and media. Some years ago, the city cricket buffs had a jaw-dropping experience when Prasanth Kumar, a cricket lover-cum-physician, laid a roof-top cricket pitch.

This time around the man to spring a surprise was Popular Shoe Mart managing director Chukkapalli Amar Kumar. While many loved play the game of sixty four squares, that sharpens the thinking process, in a normal way, he preferred the jumbo way. Overawed by the jumbo chess boards at the five star hotels he stayed world over, Mr. Amar decided to set up one at his residence.

His recent construction of the swanky Popular Plaza, a three-storied building, in Gandhinagar has become the platform for him to execute his idea, thus paving way for setting up of a 12 feet x12 feet long chess board on mosaic flooring with huge chess pieces.

“I preferred wooden pieces to fibre for they have the native touch. I approached Manu Babu, member of Guntur District Veteran Cricket Association, who carved the sixty four pieces from wood,” said Mr.Amar, after inaugurating the first Popular Cup, an inter-school chess tournament at Popular Plaza as part of Republic Day celebrations.

The ‘mother of all chess boards” was the cynosure of the 30-odd schoolchildren who literally went bonkers over the size of the pieces. The players formed into two teams and made a couple of moves amidst peals of laughter. Mr.Amar, who is involved with ball badminton in a big way, is keen to conduct a good many inter-school chess tournaments in Krishna District.

The tournament also witnessed felicitation to Potluri Supreetha, who tied for the first place at the World under-12 chess championship held at Dubai. “She hauled five points along with three others. Under the Buchholz scoring system, she was declared fourth,” said her coach V.R. Bobba.

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