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Move for talent

V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM
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Chess The ongoing International Grandmasters Chess tournament serves as a platform to showcase skills

CheckmateM. R. Lalith Babu (left) with Abhijit Kunte (extreme right) and othersPHOTO: V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM
CheckmateM. R. Lalith Babu (left) with Abhijit Kunte (extreme right) and othersPHOTO: V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

On the eve of the ongoing International Grandmasters Chess tournament, organised by Cyber Chess Academy at Yousufguda Indoor Stadium in Hyderabad, it was a pleasant experience to see just some of the emerging faces of Indian chess like Grand Masters (GMs) M. R. Lalith Babu and Vidit Gujarati exchange thoughts with seasoned campaigners like Grand Master Abhijit Kunte and Hyderabad's very one and low-profile International Master P. D. S. Girinath.

Andhra's first International Master M Lanka Ravi, whose interest lies not only in conducting sporting events but also in recruitment under sports quota, believes that these are the kind of tournaments the City badly needs. “Definitely, the atmosphere would have been more electrifying had Anand had won the World championship last week. But, again, it is a cycle where the contenders take charge easing out the incumbents,” feels Ravi.

The reason for hosting this GM tournament is to give a platform to the State players to showcase their skills and in the process earn the all-important norms by playing against the GMs. As part of the promotional efforts, Ravi ensured that there was a free coaching clinic on the premises of Tech Mahindra, a co-sponsor of the event.

However some big names of Indian chess from the State including GMs Koneru Humpy and Dronavalli Harika and Super GM Pendyala Harikrishna are not in action here. Humpy and Harika are absent due to their commitments in a Chinese event while Harikrishna is busy with preparations for major events lined up in the next few weeks.

Yet, the fact that the tournament was full of 500 competitors was a refreshing sight for those who had doubts whether chess would ever regain its days of glory in the State.

“We hope to see real talent come out from our State in this event. It’s a huge opportunity,” signs off Ravi as he takes care of the nitty-gritty in conducting not only this event with a prize money of Rs 10 lakhs but also hosting a invitation tournament simultaneously.

V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

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