Bhubaneswar�s welcome shows in 228 entrants
Manjusha rallies into main draw
Bengal team announced

Bhubaneswar, June 4: 
Bhubaneswar has welcomed the arrival of The Telegraph Schools� Chess Championship with open arms. In its inaugural run here the meet � which kicks off the three-leg Eastern sector before the grand finals in Calcutta � has shown a huge 228 confirmed entries, including 34 girls, from 74 schools from ten towns across Orissa. The meet, which will be inaugurated tomorrow, ends on June 9.

The Gymnasium-cum-Indoor Hall in Shahid Nagar is dolling up for the event that will be organised by the Orissa State Chess Association, in co-operation with the Alekhine Chess Club of Calcutta. It is a quaint venue, a new corrugated steel roof having replaced the old one, which was torn off by the super cyclone, keeping the spirit intact. The place is set to become a virtual mela ground for these days.

Orissa State Chess Association secretary B. Dash said at a press conference today that he was surprised to see the generally tepid approach of sports lovers of the state suddenly give way to this level of enthusiasm. �Maybe it is because we have never had any children�s chess meet of this magnutide ever before,� he beamed.

It was possibly expected. A meet that has thrown up players of the calibre and renown of GM norm holders Sandipan Chanda and Tejas Bakre, IMs Neelotpal Das, Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Shanker Roy and even current world under-12 champion Deep Sengupta, is not expected to be neglected by anybody with even a nodding acquaintance with chess.

No wonder, therefore, that the youngest in the fray is Prabhu Prasad Panda, who was born on November 3, 1995. The the youngest girl is Prachurya Mishra (born February 26, 1994).

In a place where excitement possibly comes with a high price tag, this meet was lapped up quickly. State association president S. Srinivasan said it was surely the best way out of the drudgery of life, and �if the bug bites, you just have to go the distance�. That is, discounting the fact that these days, there is a career quite visible in the sport.

The Telegraph meet moves over to Jamshedpur from here (later this month) before Guwahati (early July). The Calcutta finals, which is the only international rating schools meet in the country, will see the top five from each of the three legs mix and match with home competiton for the big glory.

The field here may be relatively raw, but hardly less talented. The top seed is Byomesh Naik who was the under-14 boys� state champion last year, followed by Piyush Roy who was runner-up in the state under-14 meet.

However, there is this young lady, who just might be the find of this leg. Kiron Manisha Mohanty is the current state under-12 champion. Last year she was the state under-19 girls champion and the under-18 girls champion. She was also champion among sub-junior girls of the state last year. She has just finished in 11th position in the national under-12 girls meet in Bangalore.

The meet is being co-sponsored by Smithkline Beecham Consumer Healthcare Ltd, the makers of Horlicks. This is the second consecutive year that Horlicks has been associated with the Telegraph Schools� Chess Championship.


Seville, June 4: 
India No. 2 Manjusha Kanwar fought brilliantly to storm into the main draw of the world badminton championships here tonight.

Manjusha outplayed Li Li of Singapore in a three-game tussle lasting 54 minutes. The Indian, trailing 2-9 in the first, fought back to draw level at 9-9 but conceded some negative points after that and lost the game.

In the second and third games, Manjusha adapted an intelligent strategy and hardly allowed Li any freedom on the forehand. Things became easier for her after that.

�This has been one of my best performances in recent times. I am happy with my form,� said an elated Manjusha after the match.

However, there was disappointment for India in the men�s section as both singles entries in qualifiers lost in the final round. Siddhartha Jain lost 5-15, 4-15 to Shimogami of Japan, while Chetan Anand bowed out after a spirited performance.

Chetan was up against Thailand�s Polsana Boonsak, who had defeated Chen Hong of China and Taufique Hidayat of Indonesia in the Asia Cup in Singapore last month. Chetan started in great style to race to a 12-6 lead but made a number of rash errors to lose the game. In the second game he fought back from 5-12, hitting some delightful down-the-line winners to win the game 15-13.

However, despite taking a 5-2 lead in the decider Chetan failed to capitalise and lost 5-15.

Hyderabad girls Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurien, the national senior and junior champions, had another great outing in the ladies� doubles qualifying event.

Though Jwala failed to qualify in singles, she is the fulcrum around which this doubles team is built. The two teenagers comfortably beat Canadians Charmeine Reed and Jody Patrick 15-10, 15-2 in the second round. Shruti was a perfect foil for Jwala, providing the correct openings to her hard-hitting partner who provided the firepower needed to subdue the experienced Canadian pair.

Jwala muffed a 6-3 lead in the decider to lose 4-11, 11-8, 7-11 to 20-year-old Estonian Kari Tolmhoff.

B.E. Meenakshi ran into Canadian Kara Solmundson who proved to be a better fighter and swifter mover on court. Meenakshi overcame a 3-9 deficit in the first game to equalise at 10-10, only to lose it 11-13. Kara was far too positive in the second game and won easily 11-1.

In ladies� doubles, Madhumita Bisht and P.V.V. Lakshmi were thrashed 3-15, 5-15 by Chinese Taipei pair Pei Tang Ku and Chia Chi Chu. The Indians were far too slow and looked disoriented.

There were some good results in mixed doubles with two pairs advancing. V. Diju and Lakshmi, especially, played some fine badminton to oust Canadians Mike Beres and Kris Solmundson 17-15, 17-16 in 45 minutes of pulsating action.

Jaseel Ismail and Madhumita produced magic on the ajacent court to overcome Finland�s Nina Sarnesto and Alexander Book 15-13, 15-7.


Calcutta, June 4: 
A 22-member Bengal football team was announced today for the M.N. Dutta Roy Trophy meet (under-21) to be played in Duliajan in Assam.

Mridul Banerjee has been named the team coach but its captain will be announced once the team reaches the venue. The team leaves the city tomorrow.

Bengal�s first match is on June 9 against Madhya Pradesh. Manipur and Karnataka are the other two teams in the group.


Hasan Sahabuddin, Arindam Ghosh, Mahesh Singh, Kabijit Khotel, Surya Chakraborty, Madhusudan Mazumdar, Sandipan Das, Debkumar Sasmal, Palash Ghosh, Amritlal Biswas, Nausad Hussain, Kutubuddin Sepoi, Ashish Das, Sujoy Dutta, Swarup Chatterjee, Mohammed Rafiq, Brajadulal Jana, Gourav Dutta, Niladri Chakraborty, Laxman Ghosh, Sujoy Kundu, Shyambabu Raut. Coach: Mridul Banerjee; Manager: Goutam Goswami.

Shishir�s gesture

Former international and the selection committee chairman for under-16 team, Shishir Ghosh made an exemplary gesture while seeing off the squad at Howrah station.

He made light of the absence of other selectors and IFA officials and took care of the team by buying food for each player. He extracted, in return, a promise from them to win the title.

4 goals by Krishnendu

Dalhousie AC rode Krishnendu Sardar�s four goals to thrash Kasba Central 7-0 at Kalighat Club ground in the IFA League, fourth division, which kicked off today.

In another match, Jadavpur Agragami beat India Club 3-0 at the YMCA ground, but the former�s G. Roy was sent off.

The match between Rakhi Sangha and Beleghata BB at BG Press was called off because of bad ground conditions.

Dipankar stays with EB

Dipankar Roy stayed with East Bengal, while five players signed for BNR in the local inter-club transfers today.    

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