Welcome to ChessBase India

by ChessBase
11/23/2015 – Chess in India is booming. With Vishy Anand at the helm and many talents behind him, the country has a bright future in the game – in fact it is, with China, the major emerging chess superpower. But the infarstructure of information and reporting has been somewhat lacking. That is all set to change, with a new web portal exclusively dedicated to Indian tournaments and players.

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Welcome to ChessBase India

In India, the total number of chess players registered with the national federation, All India Chess Federation (AICF), is 51,179 – out of which 19,126 are FIDE rated players. Over a million FIDE rated games are played each year, of which 190,000 were in Spain and 183,000 in India, putting the country in second place, followed by France, Germany and Russia (2013 statistics).

India boasts 41 grandmasters (two to be confirmed in the next FIDE congress), 88 International Masters and seven WGMs. You can see how that stands up to the rest of the world in the table above, which ranks countries according to their strongest players.

In the year 2014, the total number of tournaments held in the country were a whopping 207! At the recently concluded World Youth Championships 2015 India claimed 11 medals – five Gold, three Silver and three Bronze. One thing is certain: the country is on the rise and in a few years India will be the powerhouse of chess in the world.

One of the main reasons for India’s phenomenal success is none other than the five-time World Champion Vishy Anand. Almost single handedly this man has popularized the sport in the country. In 1987, he became the first grandmaster of India, and since then the growth has been exponential. But the chess wave created by Anand requires work to be done at the ground level and that’s where the national federation comes into the picture.

The All India Chess Federation made sure that they provided the right amount of tournaments and structure for chess to grow in the country. There are nearly six to eight grandmaster events held every year in the country, and many top players around the world with an Elo of 2650+ participate in these tournaments, which have the first prize of more than €4,000. The Chess in Schools program is also being implemented intensively, and many new chess players are being created every day in the country.

There is no doubt that the growth of chess in India has been humungous. However, along with this progress a huge challenge faced by the players and chess enthusiasts is: There are so many tournaments held all over the country, but there is no central website where these tournaments are reported.

The ChessBase India website was launched a week ago, on the 13th of November 2015, with one ambitious goal: to cover and report on tournaments taking place in India, and also follow the top Indian players participating in events in foreign countries.

Tournament coverage

With regards to tournament coverage, we have made sure to launch the website at a time when two of the strongest Indian tournaments are in progress: the National Men and Women's Premier event. The website already has more than 20 articles ranging from the Indians at World Cup 2015 to Harikrishna's victory at Isle of Man to Swapnil Dhopade's great show in Orissa. Here are previews of some of the articles on the website:

Men’s National Premier 2015, Thiruvarur

The National Premier event, a 14 player Round Robin which has an average Elo of 2501, began on 14th of November 2015. The tournament has nine grandmasters, four International Masters and one FIDE Master participating. India’s World Cup 2015 hero, S. P. Sethuraman, is the top seed along with the guy who beat Alexander Grischuk at the World Rapid, Vidit Gujrathi. Six rounds have been completed and Vidit leads the event with 4.5/6. One of our editors, Priyadarshan Banjan, is in Thiruvarur and provides live round by round coverage of the event. Check out the round six report.

Women’s National Premier 2015, Kolkata

The Women's premier event, which brings the best women players of the country together, is being held in Kolkata from the 12th to 24th of November. The top seed is India’s number three player IM Padmini Rout. At the half way stage we have Soumya Swaminathan, the World Junior Girls 2008 Champion, leading the tournament with 5.0/6.

S. L. Narayanan becomes the 41st GM of India

Former National Junior Champion S.L. Narayanan has shown steady progress throughout his chess career. On Saturday, at the Philippine International Open, he crowned his forward march by taking his rating across the 2500 mark and earning a GM norm in the process – his third norm – which makes him India’s 41st grandmaster. There is a report on the tournament with a special focus on India's latest grandmaster.

Meeting a living legend: MC Mary Kom

A boring mandatory visit to the UK embassy turned out to be the most interesting day in the lives of Sagar Shah, and his wife Amruta. They were sitting in the waiting area, biding their time and there she was wearing a pink t-shirt, long skirt and a pair of slippers. One of the greatest sporting champions our country has ever seen – MC Mary Kom, five-time boxing World Champion! Read more about this amazing meet and also how a new emerging sport called chess boxing could be something that you would like to try out.

Tania Sachdev commentator at Millionaire Chess 2

Millionaire Chess is the highest prize money tournament currently in the world of chess by leaps and bounds. The style perfection and professionalism with which it is organized makes it a one of its kind event in the chess calendar. India number five IM Tania Sachdev is the official commentator at the event. We caught up with her to know what she felt about the sin city adventure. We have many more interesting articles like Sethuraman’s take on World Cup 2015, and Vidit Gujrathi’s superb performance at the World Rapids 2015. Browse through our site and see the kind of events and stories we cover.

In this connection: if you are a tournament organizer and would like ChessBase India to cover your tournament, you must get in touch with us. Or if you are a budding chess writer and have an article on chess which has been lying in your computer since a while and you would like the chess community to read it, you should definitely write to us. You can find our email address in the contact us section.


We have the biography page of the top Indian players. Currently it includes the bios of top five male – Viswanathan Anand, Pentala Harikrishna,B. Adhiban, Parimarjan Negi and S. P. Sethuraman and top five female players – Humpy Koneru, Harika Dronavalli, Padmini Rout, Tania Sachdev and Eesha Karavade. We will steadily increase it to include the bios of all the titled players of our country. Again you can contribute to this section if you feel the need.

Responsive design

One of the most important features of the CB India website is that it is completely “responsive” and has a mobile phone and tablet compatible layout. You do not need to zoom in or zoom out – everything is perfectly aligned. You can not only read through all the material but enjoy the resized images and also play through the games using the custom JavaScript PGN replayer. Try going to ChessBase India through your mobile device – you will be surprised. The responsive design is particularly important since the density of mobile phones in India is greater than practically anywhere else in the world.

The founders of ChessBase Indiaare IM Sagar Shah and his better half, WIM-elect Amruta Mokal. Sagar has written over 200 articles for the international ChessBase newspage, and Amruta Mokal has been the official ChessBase photographer at many high level events.

There are a lot of kids in India that show promise at an early age but later are unable to make it big. ChessBase India will make sure that these talents get the right technological backing at right time and at affordable prices in order to reach the ultimate goal of creating another World Champion from the country.

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


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