Chess tournaments on a roll

City Sports

Karnataka organises  more than 300 chess tournaments every year.

Karnataka is seeing a boom in chess tournaments.

Arvind Shastri, Secretary of Karnataka State Chess Association, said, “There has been a big boom in Chess Olympiads after the pandemic in India. More than 600 chess tournaments are organised in a year. Karnataka itself carries more than 300 events in a year. When we started our chess association in 2006, there were only 40-50 Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE) rated players. But now, we have more than 3000 FIDE rated players.” He added that India  has highest the number of registered chess players in the world.

In an article, the president of All India Chess Federation (AICF) said that the sale of chess boards in India has also increased by 500 percent in 2020 as compared to 2019.

 Arvind added, “We get more participation from children below 15 years of age and majority of these players are trained by chess academies. There are a few chess training academies registered with our organization and we send these players to different tournaments.”

“Children need passion for chess, and with parents’ support, they   enrol in chess academies to train for bigger tournaments. Most of the players are trained but without passion, it is not possible,” Arvind said. Soujanya, 12-year-old girl from Davangere, said, “I have been playing for the past eight years and I have played in more than 40 events.”

Moreover, Davangere Chess Club is organising Puneeth Rajkumar Cup Karnataka State Open Rapid Chess Tournament on Dec. 3 and 4. This will be the first time Devangere is organising it. The tournament will be held in nine rounds and more than 200 contestants from different districts of Karnataka will participate in it. The total prize money will be one lakh rupees along with 100 trophies.

Dinesh Shetty, President of Davangere Chess Club, said, “This is happening for the first time in Davangere and we have seen a major boom in chess events in Bengaluru in the past seven to eight years. Now, we are organising it in a rural area to increase participation from such places.”