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Grandmaster to mentor young players

- 15 aspirants selected for five-day chess camp beginning on Monday

Jamshedpur, Aug. 23: Budding chess players from Jamshedpur, Dhanbad and Chakradharpur can look forward to fine tune their skills under guidance of Grandmaster Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury.

The Calcutta-based chess maestro will mentor boys and girls during a five-day training camp starting on Monday (August 25). Organised by All Jharkhand Chess Association (AJCA) in collaboration with Tata Steel sports department, the camp has been approved by the All India Chess Federation (AICF).

The proceedings will be held at Tata Chess Centre at JRD Tata Sports Complex.

“We have selected 15 players in the Under-7, 9, 11, 13 and 15 age groups for the camp on the basis of their performance during the state championship held in Ranchi in April,” AJCA secretary Pritam Singh told The Telegraph.

The state association is charging Rs 2,500 per participant. “We have selected 15 players but others are also welcome to take tips from the Grandmaster,” he added.

The selected players include Ankana Kabiraj, Sanchit Mukherjee, Arisha Shiraj, Kumar Utkarsh, Pracheta Agarwal, Priyashi Agarwal, Anshul Nigam, Kshitiz, Bidisha Roy, Vatsal Singhania and Asfia Shiraj — all from Jamshedpur. Apart from them, Ishant Kumar, Shubhang Saurabh and Simran from Dhanbad and Mandip Mukhi from Chakradharpur will also seek to learn some valuable lessons during the camp.

“We are expecting some more players for the camp. Getting trained under a Grandmaster is always beneficial. Saptarshi will not only teach the technicalities of the game but will also shed light on how to improve the overall game. The Grandmaster will also play with the aspiring campers,” a state chess association functionary said.

International Master (IM) and working president of AJCA Neeraj Kumar Mishra said the camp would go a long way in motivating the participants.

“Playing in front of a Grandmaster and interacting with him work as a motivating factor. It also boosts the confidence of players. It is a great opportunity for the participants to improve their game. In fact, the main objective behind this camp is to motivate budding boys and girls,” he added.

The steel city players had an opportunity to train under Grandmasters Pravin Thipsay and Dibyendu Barua back in 2002. Thipsay was the programme director of Operation Crown, which was launched by the Tata Steel sports department. The initiative, however, was discontinued for some reasons.