Chess in the Footballing Nation

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By PrafulZaveri

That chess is indeed emerging as one of the global sports is evident here in the Brazilian city of Pocos de Caldas as 419 players from more than 40 federation affiliated to FIDE have descended to claim supremacy in the three categories (Under-08/10/12 – Open & Girls) of the World Cadets Chess Championshipin progress here at the convention centre of Hotel Golden Park from 22 – 31 August 2017.

In a nation known for its footballing prowess, it is indeed surprising that chess is the limelight with participation of the cream of chess talents across the world.

And, one of the strongest contender for these titles – the Indian contingent of 20 players has travelledmore than 15,000 km in their quest for gold!

The statistics at the half-way stage (at the end of Round 5) of the event is as under:

Under-08 Open: 72 players

  1. DaaevikWadhawan (1561, 11th seed): 3/5
  2. Ilamparthi A R (1492, 16th seed) – 4/5 joint 3rd
  3. Priansh Das (1482) – 17th seed: 4/5 – joint 3rd

Mishra Abhimanyu (1774) of USA is the sole leaser with 5/5 and he is closely followed by compatriot, Wong Steve of USA (1732): 4.5/5.

The Indian duo of Ilamparthi and Priansh jointly occupying the 3rd position with a score of 4/5

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Under – 08 Girls: 51 players

  1. WCM A.N. Shefali (1177, 15th seed), 3/5
  2. SnehaHalder: (1103, 17th seed): 3.5/5
  3. Saineha R M (un-rated, 45th seed): 4/5

WCM RoudaEssa of UAE & Chen Yining of China jointly leads this section with a score of 4.5/5 while un-rated Saineha is occupying 3rd spot with a score of 4/5 and is unbeaten.

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Under-10 Open: 88 players

  1. CM BharathSubramaniyam (2209, top seed)
  2. CM ShahilDey (1810, 16th seed) – 3/5
  3. CM Dev Shah (1793, 17th seed) 4.5/5
  4. CM V Prraneth (1579, 42nd seed) – 2.5/6

Dev Shah jointly leads the field with a score of 4/5 along with along with Xu Arthur and Zhou Liran of USA while Bharath is sharing the 2nd spot jointly 4/5.

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Under – 10 Girls: 57 players:

  1. Savitha Shri (1712, 2nd seed) – 3.5/5
  2. WCM SahitiVarshini (1536, 12th seed) – 3.5/5
  3. ShivikaRohilla (1251) – 33rd seed) – 4.5/5

ShivikaRohilla leads the field jointly with WCM IvanovaDilyana of Bulgaria with a score of 4.5/5. While Savitha Shri and SahitVarshini are lying in 3rd spot with a score of 3.5/5

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Under-12 Open: 93 players

  1. CM Rohith Krishna (2095, 11th seed)– 3.5/5
  2. Manish Anto Cristiano (1851, 34th seed): 2.5/5
  3. Pranesh M (1816, 37th seed): 2.5/5

This is the strongest category with one of the world’s emerging talent, SindarovJavokhir of Uzbekista heading the field with an enviable rating of 2399. As expected of the player of his calibre, he is the sole leader with cent percent score. He is the chased by the US duo ofYoo Christopher (2242) and Eidelman Gabriel (1884) with a score of 4.5/5.

This is the category where Indians have a lot of catching to do and we expect a strong finish from CM Rohith Krishna who has scored 3.5/5

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Under – 12 Girls: 58 players:

  1. Rakshitta Ravi (2050, top-seed) – 3/5
  2. WFM DivyaDeshmukh (1993): 3rd seed) – 4.5/5
  3. WCM Dhyana Patel (1751, 11th seed) – 3.5/5
  4. BhagyashreePatil (1606): 20th seed – 3/5

With a score of 4.5/5, WFM DivyaDeshmukh is leading the section jointly with with Vu Bui (1612) of Vietnam while the top-seeded Indian, Rakshitta Ravi suffered two back-to-back defeats after a strong start and is now on 3/5 along with BhagyashreePatil.

Dhyana Patel has scored 3.5/5 and is occupying the 3rd spot

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The biggest challenge for Indians to play in this part of the world is the high cost of air-travel and lodging for the accompanying person. As a result, participation of Indians was by far and few when the event was held in South America.

However, thanks to the initiative of the All India Chess Federation and the Sports Authority of India, the lodging expenses of players ranked 2nd and 3rdhas been provided. This has enable participation of more number of Indian players for the event.

The Indian team used the rest-day to rejuvenate with a city tour as the fight for the medals is expected to be intensified in the 2nd half of the championship.

The team, under the leadership of T.J. Sureshkumar (Head of the Indian delegation), S.Sujatah and PrafulZaveri sees a great camaraderie and high in team-spirit in their quest for Gold!