Young Sharda holds 12th seed
Haldibari meet Jesu�s IV in final
CFC win 2-0
It�s unfair to paint all players with same tar
Blue Ridge best for �Civil� Cup

Jamshedpur, June 23 
The youngest girl of the meet, R. Sharda of DBMS, held 12th seed Varun Anant (2.5 points) to a draw in The Telegraph Schools Chess meet at J.R.D. Tata Sports Complex here today.

Sharda failed to capitalise on Anant�s rash play in the transposed King�s gambit decline structure. Sharda accepted Anant�s truce offer on the 25th move, not realising that her king was safer than her opponent�s.

Top seed Rohan Shandilya (3) of S.R. Singh HS (Munger) employed the Slav Defence against Nitesh Kejriwal of SER English Medium School (Chakradharpur). Kejriwal lost the e4 pawn due to his poor handling of the Botvinnik variation and further had to accept a broken pawn structure on the k-side to save the exchange. He lost the game in 32 moves.

Second seed Pratik Sengupta (3), playing white side of the English opening, had no problems beating Bharat Sevashram School (BSS)-mate Abhishek Biswas (2).

In a duel lasting three and a half hours � longest game of the meet thus far � Abhishek Das of BSS outwitted Kaushik Das of SER English Medium School (Chakradharpur) in 49 moves.

In a similar structure to the game between Anant and Sharda, the only difference was black c8 bishop on outside. Kaushik, trying to play lively on the king�s side by pushing pawns, gave away some weaknesses which were exploited by Abhishek to win a pawn and clinch full point in the resulting rook pawn ending.

Fourth seed Sudipto Dasgupta (3) outplayed Ravi Kumar Sonkar (2) with white pieces in the Steinitz Defence of the Spanish Opening in 32 moves.

After three rounds, 22 players have a cent per cent record with three points each, followed by four half-a-point behind.    

Calcutta, June 23 
Haldibari and Jesu�s IV qualified for the final of the Teams event in the Shree Cement Open bridge championship.

In the 48-board knockout semi-final matches that concluded today, Haldibari defeated Arvind Poddar by 111 IMPs to 80 while Jesu�s IV overcame the challenge of A.R. Das� IV by 137 IMPs to 122.

Trailing overnight by 10 IMPs, Jesu�s IV � comprising Kalyan Nandi, Tapas Mukherjee, Asit Kundu, Ajoy Sengupta and Kanan Mandal � opened up a 12-IMP lead with the aid of a 32-18 third quarter. In the early stages of the last set, it seemed A.R. Das�s IV might pull off a win as Jesu�s IV missed a cold game but the latter held on to win the last quarter by 30 IMPs to 27 and the match by 15.

The other match failed to live up to expectations. Haldibari � comprising Sudhir Ganguly, Deepak Majumdar, Subir Majumdar, Shankar Prasad Ghosh, Kajal Das and Sumit Mukherjee � quite easily won against the star-studded team of Arvind Poddar. The latter, who were trailing by 22 IMPs when play ended last night, disappointed by losing 18 IMPs to 29 in the third quarter to trail by 33 IMPs with one set to go.

In the last set, the losers had a few chances as Haldibari failed in a slam that their opponents did not attempt and lost some more on partials but the Poddar squad failed to capitalise as they went down in a difficult spade game that Haldibari stayed out of, and also in a minor suit game where the winners easily scored three no-trumps. When the smoke cleared, the losers had recovered only 2 IMPs to lose by 31.

Meanwhile, some score corrections had to be made in Pairs qualifying as it was detected some players had recorded their scores on wrong score-sheets. This resulted in some alterations in the original list of qualifiers.    

CFC WIN 2-0 
Calcutta, June 23 
Calcutta Football Club (CFC) beat Wari 2-0 in a first division group A tie of the Calcutta Football League today. Santanu Chakraborty and Pankaj Basak were the scorers.

In group B, Ever Ready Association beat Milan Samity by a Bapi Mitra goal. Elsewhere, Calcutta Customs blanked Muslim Institute 2-0, thanks to goals from Brojogopal Lodh and Sanjay Kundu.

Police AC overcame Kalighat Friends via an Abhijit Pal strike.    

One thing strikes you immediately on arriving in England is that the sport that is loved more than any other is football and the talking point is whether England would qualify for the knock-out stages of the Euro 2000. In the event, Romania outplayed them and dashed the hopes of the football mad fans. For the next few weeks the media will be full of post mortems � this should have been done and that should have been done columns will be frequent along with the calls to sack Kevin Keegan and Co.

It makes for a change in reading from what is appearing on the front pages of Indian papers, for if football is the big sport in England, then cricket is the No. 1 sport in India, though, it does look that it will slip down the ladder considerably the way things are going at the moment.

Cricket and cricketers are not exactly the flavour of the month nowadays and are being rubbished by anybody and everybody and by even those who have a faint acquaintance with the game. This is sad for as the unfolding Hansie Cronje drama is showing us that by and large, the rest of the South African cricketers were clean and that may well be the case in India too, where there may be the odd bad apple but the great majority of the cricketers would be people to be proud of.

To paint them all with the same tar is not fair. What is even more unfair is to try and make your own name and reputation by spoiling someone else�s hard earned one through innuendo and unsubstantiated and vague allegations. Cricketers are human with failings, which are probably common, and they hurt as well when something ill is spoken about them. That�s why one hopes when all the dust is clear and the inquiries complete, critics will be big hearted to accept that allegations made against some were wrong and amends made for it.

But onto pleasanter subjects and nothing can be more pleasant than trying to help raise funds for a worthy cause. I have been playing for the last few years just one game of cricket and that is for a charity called Wellbeing. The game is invariably around the same time as the Lord�s Test and Wimbledon, so it is the ideal time to be in England as one can get to see a bit of both.

Sir David Frost is one of the organisers and the match is played at Sir Victor Blank�s ground in Chippinghurst, just outside London. The participants are leading industrialists and businessmen from England along with former players like yours truly.

Sometime the managers and a couple of members of the team touring England also come and play. The companies of the industrialists and the businessmen make a hefty donation to the charity and there is also an auction of memorabilia between innings where a lot of money is raised. It is a family outing, for children can keep themselves occupied with the games and rides that are just next to the ground and there is free ice cream and candy going for them as well as painters to paint their faces. So everybody has a good time and plenty of funds are raised for the charity.

It was this game which gave the incentive to do something similar in India, and so for the CHAMPS Foundation, the idea was used after slight modifications. The match in England is a 35-over-a-side contest but for CHAMPS it was decided to have double-wicket competition with a leading Indian industrialist teaming up with a member of the 1983 World Cup winning side.

It was again a most enjoyable day and a good amount was raised and even simple ordinary folk contributed and that was the most heartening of all. CHAMPS was looking to have the second fixture in February but the ground was given for the South Africa vs Board President�s game. Moreover, since not too many names have come up for the recognition that the foundation wants to give, the trustees felt that it was okay to postpone the game.

CHAMPS stands for Caring, Helping, Assisting, Motivating and Promoting Sportpersons from any field who need assistance. Do let us know, if you have any suggestions. As a rule sportspersons are not going to ask for assistance for they have too much pride and self respect to spread their hands and that�s why CHAMPS assistance to them is termed recognition of their contribution to sport.

The foundation has been fortunate to get some of the biggest names in Indian industry and business to support it and it is looking forward to the sports lovers to suggest ways and means to improve and to recognise sportspersons who may have fallen on hard times.

As for the match that is to be played around the time you are reading this, I am hoping to get to a half-century for a player has to retire after getting to a fifty. In all these years I have not managed to get there and for three consecutive years, I got out for 18. The bowling has not been all that bad, I have regularly picked wickets with the new ball and then bowling my �mixed bhajiyas�. But that is not good enough for I must get that half-century and am hoping that the new millennium will be the year when I get there.


Bangalore, June 23 
An easy winner in the lower class, the Padmanabhan-ward Blue Ridge, with Aslam Kader in the saddle, looks best of the nine runners to lift the 1,200m Civil Service Cup, tomorrow�s feature event.

Going by her thirds in the Fillies Trial Stakes and 1000 Guineas last season, the Boundary-Macquarie Ridge filly seemingly belongs to a better class. She is working brilliantly and may leave Own Legacy, King�s Star and Stariano to battle it out for the minor placings.


2 pm: Spice Of Life 1. Suhasini 2. Court Lane 3.

2.30 pm: Star Fantasy 1. Flying High 2. Arduous 3.

3 pm: Absolute Hit 1. Resplendent Star 2. Krishna Priya 3.

3.30 pm: Obsession 1. Fereneze 2. Prime Target 3.

4 pm: Blue Ridge 1. Own Legacy 2. Stariano 3.

4.30 pm: Tierrce 1. X-Pac 2. Glencruitten 3.

5 pm: Chevalier 1. Great Eastern 2. Harry The Horse 3.

5.30 pm: Power Extreme 1. Storm Boy 2. Innerleithen 3.

Day�s Best: Blue Ridge Double: Absolute Hit & Chevalier    


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