Young talents in India

by Niklesh Kumar Jain
2/12/2015 – Early practice might make the master but more important seems to be the joy of playing. India now has lots of masters and might soon have many more because the Indian talents practice early. Very early indeed. And they enjoy the game. Which could be seen at the National School Chess Championships played in Goa at the end of January. Illustrated report.

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The real ambassadors of the game

From 28. to 31. January 2015 the Goa Chess Association and the All India Chess Federation organized the National School Chess Championships in Goa. 627 players from all over India took part in this event. The participants were divided into various age groups – U5, U7, U9, U11, U13, U15 and U17 – and the center of attraction were the U5 players. It was a great experience to see the four or five-year old boys and girls play this game that is so good for the mind, watching them make plans, carry them out, and winning their games. I saw humbleness and clear thinking, and I think these young kids are the real ambassadors of the game.

The beautiful venue of tournament: the green Sungrace Garden, Bethora, Ponda, Goa

Do you see the tournament hall?

The tournament hall; big enough for 627 participants 

To motivate the players the trophies were on show from day one.


The focus of these five year old girls is amazing

Iksha Soni scored 4.0/6 and finished third

Trisha Anshuman Jagtap finished second with 5.0/6

Pahel Sharma won with the perfect score of 6.0/6

Big trophies for five-year old children


This boy will soon be the fastest blitz player around: he does not even wait for his opponent to move

Lakshyesh Mohan Gupta

At the age of four years and 215 days on 1. February Lakshyesh Mohan Gupta became the world’s youngest FIDE rated player. In contrast to most of the other boys in his age-group he takes time to think about his moves, and even lost on time in some games. After losses in the last two rounds he finished 6th. Here’s one of his games.


In the final round I witnessed the pure honesty in these kids -  the first sign of good player.

On first board the position in the diagram appeared on the board. White said, "Oh, I lost, it’s checkmate”, and Black replied, “No, no, it’s not mate, you can take with your rook”. White won the game.

Tanish Santosh Khandave won the National School U5 Championship 2015 with a score of 6.0/7.

The honest boy Jack Samuel finished third but deserves a fairness prize.

Shashidhar Kumar R finished second with a score of 5.5/7

The job of an arbiter is not easy...

In a tournament with so many young players the arbiters are called for various reasons. Now the arbiter first has to listen carefully to find out what the problem is, then he should decide, and, most important, both players should agree to his decision.

Some kids take losing very hard, and then...

...arbiters need to play the role of parents...

...until the parents take over.

If you want spectators at chess tournaments, organize a children’s event.

Some parents relax at a picnic...

...but some also want to watch each and every move of their child

But this tournament was not only for children. GMs and IMs were also interested.
Here IM Saptarshi Roy and FM Sourabh Khadrekar acted as trainers in National Schools

The gentleman behind the tournament: Organizing Secretary Mr. K M Bandekar with FI Praful Zaveri

Pictures: Goa Chess Association and Gautam Tari

FIDE Instructor Niklesh Kumar Jain Jain is an international chess player who has participated in tournaments in almost in 20 different countries, winning the international tournament in Sri Lanka in 2010. He also worked for a television network as an anchor and news writer for two years and reported in Hindi during World Chess Championship 2013 and 2014.


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