9/9/2019 0 Comments
Darpan Inani became the first visually challenged Indian chess player to cross the FIDE 2100 ELO rating threshold with his October, 2019 rating to be 2117. He caught up with the founder of Project Checkmate for an exclusive interview for the online sports news network Sportskeeda.com. Congratulations Darpan! Read more on the link below-
5/8/2019 1 Comment
The World Children's Winners Games are conducted in Russia each year to motivate children who survived cancer. A team from India also participated in this year's edition. The Checkmate blog interviews the coach, Kedar Palsule, for finding out more about this competition and the Indian team's results.
1. Can you please share some information on your background? How did you get involved with chess and then teaching it?
I started coaching in the year 2000, when I was 16 years old. I used to teach in the Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan Mumbai Chaturang Chess Club formed by Mr Johny Shah. The basics of chess were taught to me by my father, Late Mr Prabhakar M Palsule and my sister, Prachee P Palsule. In the Chaturang Chess Club, I learnt my intermediate level of chess.
From 2000 onward, I started coaching in the same institute and took my advanced level of coaching under Late Mr Malik sir.
2. What has been your experience so far in this training? Can you elaborate on your methodology?
Teaching the cancer survivor kids at the Tata hospital is a great experience. The kids participate in World Children Winners Games held in Moscow, Russia. Here they compete in various sports like chess, swimming, rifle shooting, table tennis, etc. Most of the students have zero knowledge about chess. Introduction to piece movements, check checkmate, stalemate is done in the first month. Basic short games like fools mate, scholars mate, legals mate, Italian trap, etc are taught thereafter. More focus is given on basic end games (KQ vs K, KR vs K, KBB vs K and basic pawn endings). Simultaneously, different tactics are introduced (pinning, double attack, fork, discovered check, double check, skewer, decoy etc) with the help of many puzzles.
3. Can you please share some details about the recently concluded CanKids World Chess Championship?
The Tenth Children Winners Games took place from July 4-7, 2019 in Moscow. The “Gift of Life Foundation”- founded by Russian actresses Chulpan Khamatova and Dina Korzun gives a great opportunity for the survivors of childhood cancer.
This year, 16 countries had participated. Since 2014, the Tata hospital is invited to participate in The World Children Winners Games. All the 10 children from India participated in this event were sent through Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, namely Nidhi Baipotu, Priti Nag, Devanshi Rawat, Anant Tiwari, Aronyatesh Ganguly, Atharva Deshmukh, Monish Joshi, Tanush Jain, Hritik Alamanda and Harsh Devgharkar.
4. The efforts of the players have attracted the interests of several prominent Indian personalities including Shah Rukh Khan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Can you share your thoughts on this and how it has helped, if at all, in boosting the children's spirits?
It definitely helps the children a lot and boosts their morale, not only in these sporting activities, but also overall in their life. Grandmaster (GM) Pravin Thipsay also visits these kids every year and guides them for participating in chess competitions.
6. What are your own personal goals and where do you see yourself in the next few years?
After my coaching experience of 19 years and having had many students achieving their international FIDE rating, I feel very happy and satisfied about my chess career's growth. My next goal is to become a FIDE trainer.
7. Finally, any concluding thoughts that you would like to share with us?
I feel very happy and honoured to get the opportunity to teach in the Tata hospital. These kids are cancer survivors - they are already the winners.
K. Jenitha Anto is a 'Wonder Woman'. She is the only Indian to have won six World titles by securing the top spot at the 2019 IPCA World Individual Championships in the female category in Slovakia. The 32 year old was diagnosed with polio at the age of three and started competing in chess when she was ten years old. To her, chess was something that gave her a 'Will of Steel' (referred from the book of the same name that the champion was given to read by her father) as she was encouraged by her supportive father to take up the mind sport seriously. Her father runs the Chess Federation for the physically disabled in Tiruchy, where Jennitha comes from. The bright lady is also a graduate holder of a Bachelor of Commerce degree as she had aspired to become a Chartered Accountant after completing her high school education.
Coming to the 2019 edition of the IPCA Championships, Anto dominated the field by scoring 5 points out of a possible nine. Overall, she finished 19th in the combined men's and women's section. Anto has reigned in this event for four consecutive years from 2013-2017 but had to settle for a bronze in last year's edition. However, she reclaimed her former glory by securing the top spot in 2019's championship.
Anto had also won four medals in the Asian Para Olympic Games in 2018 in Jakarta and is clearly a massive inspiration for all. Despite her physical disabilities, she is able to show her determination in playing for over three hours for a single match. She has conquered many territories, and it is only to be seen where she heads off to next. We wish her the best in her future endeavours.
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Vaibhav Gautam is a nineteen year old boy from New Delhi, India with a rating of 1293 (as of July, 2019). What's special about him is that he has achieved an international rating and played in the 2019 Commonwealth Championship in the U-20 Open category despite his disability (He has cerebral palsy since birth). Our blog had a chance to interview him and ask him about his resilient attitude in life and not giving up at any cost for anything. He is supported by his father who accompanies him for the tournaments in Delhi and sits next to him during the match to write down the notations. In fact, one is absolutely stunned to see even his father's dedication towards his son's career. Although he has a shop to look after, he is always with his son whenever Vaibhav participates in any tournament. In fact, it was the father who first brought Vaibhav into the game of the sixty-four squares. (It was this kind gentleman who also agreed to give us the interview for the Checkmate blog!)
Vaibhav has been playing chess since a long time, but he competed in his first tournament at the Parsavnath Delhi International tournament in January, 2017. He achieved his rating in this first attempt itself. The Magnus Carlsen fanboy, Vaibhav looks to conquer greater heights in chess, making the Grandmaster (GM) title his goal. Despite his disability, he has not slowed down on any part and continues to train hard on the game. He is solely focusing on chess as of now and has no plans to digress from his aim to become a GM soon. We, at the Checkmate Blog and Project, wish him the best of luck in his future endeavours.
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Darpan Inani set out to conquer the west in his month long tour of Europe in July-August,2018. He had been returning to competitve play after a gap of about a year and a half due to his Chartered Accountancy Final Exams, but the boy left no stone un-turned to accomplish what he had always desired to become, India's first 100% visually challenged International Master.
During his tour, he competed in three sighted open tournaments. In these, he played against some extremely strong opposition and did not disappoint. He increased 46 ELO Rating points overall and 30 in a single event, where he became India's first visually challenged player to win an international category prize(1800-2000). He has now become the country's highest rated blind player and returned to the 2000 ELO Rating bracket(2015 effective from September,2018).
What's remarkable is the fact that he came from a break in tournament play but managed to win some fantastic games. He undertook a short training camp with GM Srinath Narayanan a few weeks prior to leaving for Europe. One can only wonder where he gets so much energy from. With a record that only few can match, this young man has the potential to do the unthinkable. It's not long before we, as a country with over a billion citizens and residents, get our first visually challenged International Chess Master.
Project Checkmate would like to congratulate Darpan for his fantastic results and wishes you the best for your future. It would also like to thank you for your continued support towards its work and project.
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1. Can you share your first memory in chess?
Yes, when I was in 10th standard there was a club level tournament. They had kept a chess competition to celebrate their annual function. I participated in this and won the first place. In that same month, I participated in the 1st telegraph school chess championship in 2003 and scored 6/9.
2. Why do you like the game so much and who is your inspiration?
I like the game because I enjoy playing it a lot. I started playing chess in my childhood when I didn't know anything about turning PRO or who Vishy Anand was. So, my first inspiration was my father.
3. How do you practice?
I prepare my openings from Chessbase and Mega Database. I manage to read PDF books only. I also call my friends to my place to practice with me or play online games.
4.What are your favourite memories in chess?
In 2013, I had defeated two 2100 rated players consecutively. I cannot forget those moments.
5.What are your future goals in chess?
I have not set any particular goal of becoming an IM or a GM. However, I want to be a better player and a well recognized one in my country.
6.In which tournaments are you participating in next?
In October,2018, I am playing the Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
7. What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I like to read about the current affairs and a few other e-magazines.
8.What do you think about Project Checkmate?
Project Checkmate is a great initiative made by you and you are working well. I am pretty sure PROJECT CHECKMATE shall be well established. (Thank you for your kind words Subhendu and we hope that we can soar to greater heights in the near future with the help of players like you)
9. Why do you think that it is important for the blind to play chess?
I think chess is the only blind friendly game in which we can compete with normal people. Of course, it makes us think logically in our life too.
Thank you for your time Subhendu and Project Checkmate wishes you the best for your future.
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Soundarya Pradhan is a nineteen year old 100% visually challenged chess player from Odisha. With a current rating of over 1800, he is one of India's top most blind chess player. He won the National Championship for the Blind at a young age of 12 and ever since then he hasn't stopped achieving more and more in the game. This year he is the only member of the Indian team at the World Blind Team Championship who is completely visually challenged. He will also be competing at the World Junior Chess Championship for the Blind in August,2018.
Although Soundarya has got no professional trainer, he has reached an amazing level, which many can't boast of. He trains just like a sighted player would, the only difference being the accessibility for some software, which he manages to get otherwise. He trains for hours on end and has competed at some of the biggest chess events for the blind. These include- winning a bronze at the Asian championship for the blind in 2017 and at the National Premier for the Blind in 2018- amongst others.
This young man has not only some remarkable chess achievements to his name but also outside of it. He has received the honor of addressing parliamentarians in a special event organised by UNICEF on the occasion of World Children's Day in November,2017. He dreams of becoming a physics professor and a world chess champion. He has reached a step closer to accomplishing the first feat by gaining admission into the National Institute of Technology(NIT) in Jamshedpur.
From what started as a game when he was just four has now become more than a passion. Soundarya has defied all odds and has accomplished great success in his life. Project Checkmate would like to wish him all the luck for his continued improvement in the near future.
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28/7/2018 0 Comments
The Indian contingent at the 8th IBCA World Team Chess Championships,2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria were undoubtedly the underdogs of the tournament. Being the bottom ranked team in the B-Group of the tournament, the 5 member squad along with their coach IM Sagar Shah had nothing much to lose in this tournament as the other teams were much stronger on paper. However, these men did not lose any hope and performed way better than most of their counterparts. The boys beat players much higher rated than themselves, with Kishan Gangolli and Aryan Joshi both top-scoring for the team with 4.5 each out of the seven rounds that they played in the group stage.
The Indian team finished third in the B-Group, missing out on the semi-final spot by a narrow margin with Poland and Ukraine securing the first and second position respectively. This finish itself was great for the team and they now head into the play-off for the fifth to eighth spots. They will play against the fourth-placed team in Group A- Venezuela. Russia and Germany qualified from Group A for the semi-finals. The top two teams from both the groups will now clash against each other for the semi-finals and finals (Poland, Ukraine, Russia, and Germany).
The Indian boys did exceedingly well and all credit goes to their hard work and dedication. A huge shout out to the 16 year old Aryan Joshi, who out-witted much higher rated players than him with ease. Soundharya Pradhan and Ashwin Makwana also supported the team with their efforts, while Subendhu Patra did well in the two games that he got to play.
Project Checkmate would like to congratulate the team for their wonderful results and we wish you the best for the remaining rounds and the near future. Go India!
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Kishan Gangolli is a 25 year old, 75% visually challenged chess champion. He has represented the country in a variety of strong tournaments and has won two Olympiad medals along with being the current Asian blind chess champion. His most remarkable achievement is of winning the Indian national championship for the Blind five times.
Kishan started competing at the age of 19, and finished sixth in his first World Juniors in 2011 in Greece. He represents the Karnataka State and has played as the captain for the State team in the National School Games and other team tournaments. He has also competed in strong rapid tournaments with sighted players and has won prizes in these events as well. With an ELO Rating of 1996(standard), 2042(rapid), and 2006(blitz), he is the highest rated visually challenged chess player in the country at the moment.
This young man has not only these remarkable chess achievements under his belt. He is a Master of Arts(MA) holder in Economics from the Kuvempu University in Karnataka, securing the second rank there. Recently, he was also appointed as the brand ambassador of Akshaykalpa , a milk product company based out of Bangalore,Karnataka.
Currently, Kishan is playing for the Indian team at the World Blind Team Championship at Sofia, Bulgaria. Project Checkmate wishes him the best for his career and would also like to thank him for sharing his tips to our students.
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Chess came across to Megha when she was staying in her hostel in Brihalla, near Kolkata,India. She was only six years old at that time. A few girls playing on a chessboard made her curious to know more about this brain game. It was this incident that has drawn her to chess and now she aspires to achieve more in the sport.
Currently studying in grade 9, the fifteen year old has had a solid rise in chess. She participated in her first National for the visually challenged, where she achieved the second position, in 2016. She followed this up by a superb performance at her second national, this time in Ahmadabad, Gujarat a couple of months later in 2016. In this event, she even achieved her FIDE Rating, a step closer to becoming a professional player in the sport.
Once this bright young lady achieved her rating, there was no one stopping her passion from exceeding further. She played in a couple of more tournaments and practiced mostly on her own using the computer. Her mother Ms. Bandana Chakraborty has helped her throughout her chess career, and she exclaims with pride that she will continue to support her daughter's career to the best of her potential. She even got in touch with Kolkata based trainer Mr. Durga Prasad Mahapatra to get support for improving her daughter's chess game for a while.
Megha's biggest achievement by far was to clinch the Open National Women Chess Championship for the Blind in Ahmadabad this July ahead of many strong contenders. She has, thus, been selected to play in the Indian Women's team for the upcoming Para Asian Games in Jakarta in October,2018. She trains daily for hours on end to make her country proud.
As Megha continues on her path to become a Grandmaster in chess, Project Checkmate wishes her the best for her journey. Her successes so far have been remarkable, and we can't wait to see what's next in store for this 'Wonder Woman' from West Bengal.
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