For K. Sathish, Tuesday will be a day to remember. It is not every day you get to see a world chess championship at the venue.
“It was wonderful to watch Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carslen from close quarters,” says Sathish, one of the 16 students of Kavi Bharathi Vidyalaya, Tiruvottiyur, who witnessed the world championship at Hyatt Regency on Tuesday.
Their visit is the result of an initiative by the organisers of the tournament and the school education department to get schoolchildren to be a part of the world championship.
“The response has been overwhelming, as many schools have come to see the ongoing world championship,” says K. Thirukkalathy, public relations officer for the world championship.
“We are expecting another 15 or more schools to come. The entry is free,” he says.
Student visitors usually spend an hour in the ball room where the match is played. They also go to the lobby where some of them take part in the chess puzzles contest.
“We did not invite any schools particularly, yet a lot of schools contact us to send their students for the championship match,” says Mr. Thirukkalathy. “Many of the children are chess players.”
Bella John, who accompanied the students from Kavi Bharathi Vidyalaya, along with physical education teacher, K. Murugan, says there are many children learning chess at the school. “The kids are delighted to be here,” she says. “They will be heroes at the school tomorrow.”
Seeing their enthusiasm as they tried to move the big chess pieces at the hotel lobby, it is not difficult to understand why the city continues to produce little masters of chess with remarkable regularity.