First Maharashtra Open for Children

1/7/2014 – India is becoming a powerhouse in every aspect of chess. After the series of open tournaments that the country has been hosting, we take a look at how India is training its young players. Niklesh Jain brings us a report of the first Maharashtra Open tournament for U-15 children - including the technological innovations they are using to improve their play...

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It is really amazing as to how one person has changed India's perspective towards chess – a game of which its origins can be traced back to my country.

Iconic Anand cannot be left out from any chess event in India

Because of him we see Indians taking to chess as never before. Now we can take pride of not only having the highest number of rated players in the world, but also winning almost every possible world title. The change of guard at the heartland did hurt us, but in no way does it diminish the achievements of this ‘Living God’ of Indian Chess. In fact more children are aspiring to become the next ‘Anand’

This was evident as more than 325 children gathered at the head quarter of Anand’s Alma Mater – Don Bosco High School, Matunga, Mumbai to participate in a unique FIDE rated event organized by the Indian Chess School for the Under-15 school children from the State of Maharashtra.

The fact that this game has penetrated even in remote places can be gauged from the fact that the event was won by 10-year old Sankarsha Shelke from Shirur – a small town bordering the city of Pune. With a whopping score of 8/9, including a win over top-seeded Sammed Shete, this 10-year old talent from the Vidyadham Prashala School Sankarsha Shelke won Rs,25000 (~US$400) and the prestigious B.M. Zaveri Memorial Trophy.

Sankarsha Shelke receiving the B.M. Zaveri memorial trophy from FI. Praful Zaveri

A group of 4-players, Atharvaa Tayade, Bhavik Bharambe, Akshay Nehete and Divya Brahmecha tied for the second place with a score of 7.5/9 however, Atharva was able to obtain a better tie-break. He got the cash prize of Rs.20,000 while Bhavik, Akshay and Divya bagged Rs.15,000/-, Rs.10,000/- and Rs.5000/- respectively.

A total cash prize of Rs.125,000/- (~US$2000) were disbursed to the top 36-players in this tournament along with 12-trophies for the best players (boys and girls separately) in the Under-7 and Under-9 category respectively.

The beautiful trophies awarded to the winners.
The first place one is bigger than most of the participants.

Avril David (1316) – Best Player U-9 Girls

Soham Palkar (1316) – Best Player U-9 Boys

Ashutosh Gangan – Best Unrated Player

Krisha Khandelwal – Best U-7 Girl Player

Vishwa Shah – Best Girl Player of the event

The prize distribution ceremony was presided over by Mr.Narendra Wable, editor of the local daily newspaper ‘Shivner’ and Mr.Govind rao Mohite, Secretary of RMMS. The event was organized by Indian Chess School – India’s prominent chess training school located in the premises of the Don Bosco High School, Borivali and Matunga – the two prominent suburbs of Mumbai.

Borivali Center

Matunga Center

Powered by India's first FIDE Instructor Praful Zaveri, the Indian Chess School has established itself as one of the premier chess training schools in India. A big group of more than 175 school children (35 of which are FIDE rated players) are undergoing systematic training at its two centers.

This state-of-the-art school uses the most modern of chess training with structured syllabus (based on FI Praful Zaveri’s 6-chess training chess manuals). The trainees from the school have achieved success at all the levels of chess tournaments right from the inter-school to the national chess tournaments. The school also has a dress-code for its students.

ICS Students at their Inter-Class events

One of the unique features of this event was the 'Live’ games of the top-10 boards through an android-based chess application developed by the Indian Chess School.

FI. Praful Zaveri felt the need for this application to ensure that all the games played by his students go into their database so as to ensure its subsequent analysis. His vision turned into reality as one of his earliest student, Vishal Shah (highest ELO: 2138 and ranked as top-15 junior of the country in the year 2002), and an IT expert developed this application for the Indian Chess School. All that is needed to run this application is a 7” Android Tablet and Wi-Fi!

The ‘Live Games’ application was inaugurated by Mr.R.M. Dongre, Treasurer of the All India Chess Federation and Chairman of the Maharashtra Chess Association by repeating the 1st move on tablet. From round 4 the games on top 10-boards were relayed 'Live' on the official website: www.indianchessschool.com

Mr. Dongrewas was impressed by the application and is contemplating the use of the same in the forthcoming Mumbai Mayor's International Chess Tournament, which is scheduled to be played in May of 2014.

FI. Praful Zaveri (L) explaining the live game application

It was Christmas time and the school was beautifully decorated and lit-up

Final standings

Rank
Name
IRtg
Age
Pts
1
Shelke Sankarsha
1801
10
8
2
Atharvaa P Tayade
1856
12
3
Bharambe Bhavik C
1785
11
4
Nehete Akshay S
1712
14
5
Bramhecha Divya
1761
13
6
Sammed Jaykumar Shete
1952
14
7
7
Sharang Sanjeev Kapoor
1751
13
7
8
Wagh Suyog
1780
13
7
9
Anand Nadar
1817
12
7
10
Thakkar Malay
1311
12
7
11
Shukla Rahul
1767
12
7
12
Gaurav Rajesh Zagade
1583
11
7
13
Dafale Vaibhav
1495
14
7
14
Balachandar Eshan
1608
14
7
15
Joshi Abhijeet M
1496
13
7
16
Solanki Harsh
1524
13
7
17
Mahindrakar Indrajeet
1600
13
7
18
Singh Nishit
1545
12
7
19
Jain Aum
1503
12
7

Niklesh Kumar Jain

Niklesh Kumar Jain, international player, FIDE National Instructor, Arbiter, tournament organizer, won the International Tournament in Sri Lanka in 2010. He also worked in television network as an anchor and news writer for two years. He was also in a ChessBase report when he played in France 2007.

With the AICF and the school management Niklesh is working to promote chess in Schools of Central and North India.


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