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Appeal for chess as subject

Guwahati, Feb. 13: The All Assam Chess Association (AACA) has appealed to the state government to help it promote the sport like Tamil Nadu and Gujarat for all-round development of students at the school level.

AACA president Rajib Bora today admitted that albeit its efforts, the state association has not been able to take chess to the school level in its truest sense “because we are not getting enough support from the government.

“We have taken it up with the state government and the chief minister to make chess a compulsory subject at the school level because it aids intellectual development of the youngsters. At least four states — Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Goa — have already made it compulsory and Odisha is going to do so,” Bora said. He also appealed to the government for financial support to promote the sport. “Chess is doing far better than most of the sports in the state and a little help from the government can help it scale newer heights,” he said. State-level Advisory Committee for Students and Youth Welfare member-secretary Debabrata Saikia, said efforts were being made in his capacity to extend government help to the sport.

The two were speaking on the occasion of announcing the introduction of the AACA’s first Asom International Open Fide-Rating Chess Tournament to be held at the T. Ao Indoor Stadium of Cotton College here from April 2 to 7. The 10-round Swiss League tournament (with prize money of Rs 4 lakhs) will involve as many as four grandmasters and five international masters. The AACA also felicitated young players Manthan Kashyap Dutta, who represented India in the World Youth Chess Championship in Dubai in December last year, and 2012 Asian Chess champion Shahil Dey on the occasion.