The five-day all-India Public Sector Units’ chess tournament 2013 got under way at the Four Points hotel here on Friday.

Visakhapatnam Telecom District Senior General Manager P. Nagaraju, who participated as chief guest, hailed the PSUs for promoting and supporting sports. He felt that the private sector should also support sportspersons. India could then produce more sportspersons at the international level.

Recalling his college days, Mr. Nagaraju said that he used to be the captain for both chess and bridge teams.

In those days, there was no adequate encouragement to sportspersons. Though chess was said to have been born in India, it was only after Viswanathan Anand became Grandmaster, chess glory came to the nation, he said.

Mr. Nagaraju hoped that Grandmasters S.S. Ganguly and Abhijeet Kunte, and other GMs who are participating in the tournament, would bring more laurels to the game.

Regional Executive Director (Southern Region) of Airports Authority of India (AAI) D. Devaraj said that chess would further the mental and analytical skills of players. Deputy General Manager (engineering) M.H. Adil briefed the contribution of AAI in promoting sports talent in the country.

It has a sports scholarship scheme and had sponsored Women Grandmasters Harika Dronavalli, Tania Sachdev, and Krutika. AAI was the first Runner-Up in the chess tournament held last year. Regional Secretary of AAI’s Southern Region Sports Control Board M. Ramesh Yadav was present.

Eleven PSUs are participating in the tournament. All India Public Sector Sports Promotion Board entrusted the conduct of PSUs’ chess tournament this year to AAI and Visakhapatnam was chosen as the venue.

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