SPORT

Wipro to sponsor players

KOLKATA JULY 26. Rahul Sangma of Goodricke National Chess Academy, Kolkata, along with Deepan Chakkravarthy and M. Priyadarshini, both of Tamil Nadu, Dronavalli Harika of Andhra Pradesh and Eesha Karvade of Maharashtra have been chosen to get the prestigious Wipro sponsorship for one year.

The five would join India's youngest Grandmaster P. Harikrishna and IWM Aarthie Ramaswamy to get the IT major's support in furthering their interest in chess.

At a brief function in a city hotel, Rahul Sangma, 14, was presented with a lap top computer by the company's vice-president, Brands and Communication, Mr. Vijay Gupta. The sponsorship is to the tune of Rs. 4 lakhs, includes financial support to organise coaching by international coaches, travel expenses and entry fee for international tournament.

Mr. Gupta said the sponsorship would be extended to all the five provided they maintain a reasonably high performance level during the next 12 months. The five, Deepan (Elo 2310), D. Harika (2234), Rahul (2220), Priyadarshini (2193) and Eesha (2161) would undergo an intensive coaching in Bangalore under one of India's two foreign coaches, GM Evgeny Vladimirov, for one month beginning August 15.

Rahul, hailing from Chapra district of Bihar, is the son of a schoolteacher. Initiated into the cerebral game by his mother at the tender age of five, Rahul made his first mark securing fifth position in the National under-9 tournament when he was eight years.

He finished sixth in the world under-10 meet in Spain in 1999 and was fifth in the Asian under-10 at Ahmedabad the same year. He was seventh in the next Asian meet. He was crowned the all-India under-14 boys' open champion in 2000. He did exceedingly well in the recently concluded Standard Chartered Bank chess meet in Bangladesh.

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