Big time beckons Guwahati top five
Bagan not to experiment
Basak return delayed
Just 11 turn up on Day I
E. Railway down Sonali
Sourav has a quiet homecoming
Race Review/ Big day for small-time jockeys

Guwahati, July 9: 
The following are the pen pictures of the top five players who qualified from the Guwahati leg of the Telegraph Schools� Chess championship to take part in the grand finals to be held in Calcutta.

Khumukcham Sanjoy Singh � Age: 6�; Class III, Kairang Primary School, Imphal. Champion of the Guwahati leg with eight wins and one loss. Last year he had scored 7 points out of a possible nine and was the youngest player in fray. Represented Manipur in National U-12 meet in May this year and earned 7 points out of 11.

Coach Rajendra Prasad, a teacher, takes care of his chess tutoring and his study books because Khumukcham comes from a deprived background.

Sashank Singh � Age: 13; Class VIII, Nichols High School, Guwahati. Runner up. Finished fifth in the tournament last year. Sashank�s talent came to light when he won the PC Baruah North-East Children�s Under-12 Championship in February last year. He learnt the game from his brother at home.

Nandan Burgohain � Age: 14; Class IX, Nazira Higher Secondary and Multi-Purpose School, Nazira. Bettered his last year�s seventh-place finish. Earlier this year, Nandan finished first in Assam under-14 championship. He was runner-up in the PC Baruah North-East children�s Under-14 championship last year. He learnt the game at home from his father.

Chiranjit Saha � Age: 14. Student of Umakanta Academy, Agartala. Has been playing a number of tournaments in the age-group category in Agartala for the past four years. He represented Tripura in the national under-14 and under-12 championships last year as well as this year. Chiranjit had clinched the lead in this tournament in the 8th round, but could not cling onto the top position. His draw against Sasank in the penultimate round and loss to Nandan in the final round relegated him to the fourth position.

Jibananda Singha � Age 11; Class V, Md. English School, Silchar. The dark horse of the tournament who, by winning his last two rounds, suddenly moved up to clinch the fifth position.


Calcutta, July 9: 
Real action in the Super Division League begins tomorrow with Mohun Bagan playing their first match against George Telegraph. Coach Subrata Bhattacharya, having said earlier that he will treat this tournament as a platform to experiment, retracted somewhat today, saying the condition of the ground doesn�t encourage fresh ideas.

�I was thinking of playing with three defenders but the ground is not suitable for experiments and my team will follow the 4-4-2 format tomorrow,� he said. The coach agreed the league would have been an ideal platform to try out combinations or gameplans but he had no choice.

�Everyone wants us to win, they don�t want to see good football. Also, hardly anybody is willing to appreciate experiments. All they want is success. If I have to fulfil their expectations I can�t promise good football,� he said. The coach felt it was too early to assess the quality of new recruits Rishi Kapoor, Bungo Singh or Seriki Abdulateef but indicated they were shaping up well.

Striker Seriki, along with defender Lolendro Singh and goalkeeper Surajit Chatterjee, completed the registration formalities today but Brazilian defender Amouri Da Silva is yet to arrive.

The coach didn�t disclose his starting line-up but informed that midfielders Rennedy Singh and R.P. Singh have left for Patiala to join the national camp. That leaves Subrata with midfield options of Basudeb Mondal, Bungo, Bhabani Mohanty, James Singh.

In defence, those available are Kajal Bhattacharya, Debjit Ghosh, Hussain Mustafi, Kapoor, Dulal Biswas and Sumit Sengupta. The forward line looks strong with Jose Ramirez Barreto, R.C. Prakash and new recruit Seriki.


Calcutta, July 9: 
Arup Basak�s return to competitive table tennis has been deferred.

Basak, whose six-month suspension expired this month, was expected to play the on-going 61st Central Calcutta (stage I ranking) championships.

However, the former national champion today withdrew from the meet after having contracted conjunctivitis.

Later in the evening, Basak said he intends to return to the circuit from the East Zone meet, scheduled in the city from July 29 to August 2.

Seeds in quarters

The top eight men�s seeds justified their billings and moved into the quarter finals.


Ranabir Das bt Amlan Patra 21-17, 21-6; Soumik De Sarkar bt Apurba Thakur 21-14, 21-17; Indranath Bhattacharjee bt Arunava Roy 16-21, 21-12, 21-10; Amit Mukherjee bt Dipankar Adhikari 21-15, 20-22, 21-19; Anirban Nandy bt Ranjan Chakraborty 21-16, 21-18; Somnath Ghosh bt Niloy Basak 21-19, 21-19; Kaushik De Sarkar bt Kishalay Basak 10-21, 21-14, 21-15; Amit Das bt Avijit Pal 21-11, 23-21.

Kundus in final

Pallabi Kundu (BKP Girls HS) will meet Sayantika Kundu (Srirampur Mission) in the final of the Patterson memorial inter-school table tennis meet.

In today�s semi-finals at Khudiram Anushilan Kendra, Pallabi beat Kajal Das 21-12, 21-11. Sayantika defeated Sweta Modak 21-14, 21-8.

Manda II scaled

Junipers, a city-based club of climbers, conducted a successful expedition on the peak Manda II (6568 metres) late last month. The team comprising Arnab Banerjee, Avijit Das, Arka Ghosh, Kaushik Pal and R.K. Gambhisana reached the summit in two batches on June 21 and 22.    

Calcutta, July 9: 
The Indian football team�s preparatory camp for the tour of England got underway at Patiala today with just 11 of the 25 probables turning up.

Of the 25 named earlier this month, Bhaiuchung Bhutia will join the team in England. Jo Paul Ancheri and Basudeb Mondal have pulled out of the tour.

Six East Bengal players and three from Mohun Bagan were called but the Big Two have refused to release all of them.

However, Mohun Bagan�s Rennedy Singh and R.P. Singh and East Bengal�s Bijen Singh are among those present in Patiala.

Coach Sukhwinder Singh informed from Patiala that of the six called from Mahindra, only goalkeeper Virender Singh have joined the camp.

EB suspend Bijen

East Bengal, meanwhile, have suspended Bijen for joining the camp without the club�s permission. Club officials said he has been suspended for �being absent without informing� them.

Club secretary Dipak Chakraborty today said the striker will remain suspended till he gets in touch with the club. The IFA and Sukhwinder have been informed about the club�s decision. He said East Bengal are prepared to release players for the tour if they are allowed to join the team without attending the camp.

If the IFA also suspends Bijen, considering the merit of East Bengal�s decision, the player may find himself in trouble. IFA officials were not available for comment.

New jersey

East Bengal today unveiled new jerseys to be worn by their players this season. The three-coloured jersey of yellow, white and red has the brandname of �Kingfisher� embossed in the middle and the club logo in the left corner.    

Calcutta, July 9: 
Eastern Railway posted a 4-2 win over Sonali Shibir in a first division group A match of the Calcutta Football League today.

Eastern Railway struck through Raju Mondal (2), Monojit Sarkar and Samrat Roy Chowdhury. Basir Ali scored both goals for Sonali Shibir. In another group A match, Ever Ready Association beat Milan Bithee 2-0. Amit Das and Ziaur Rahman scored.

In other matches, Rajasthan and Bata drew 1-1 while CFC beat Kalighat 1-0. City AC and Kidderpur SC also drew 1-1.

Md. Sporting sign 5

Mohammedan Sporting today recruited four outstation players and retained Insaan Ali. The new players are Jasim Khan and Samim Khan (both Bihar), Baji Nath Hembram (Orissa) and Mughata Aye (Assam).    

Calcutta, July 9: 
It was a quiet homecoming for the India skipper this evening, without the avalanche of autograph-seekers, who normally greet him at the city airport.

Being received by father Chandi Ganguly and wife Dona, Sourav was in no mood to spend time with the handful of mediamen present and sped off for his Behala residence at the earliest.

There had to be a little bit of cricket talk and the India skipper said a decision on Sachin Tendulkar�s replacement at the top of the order will be taken after reaching Sri Lanka.

About Yuvraj Singh�s inclusion in the 15-man squad for the tri-series also involving New Zealand, Sourav said: �He is a good player and deserves to be in the side.�

Sourav is likely to leave the city on Sunday.


If victory of long-priced horses came as a shock, one felt happy about the lesser-known jockeys ruling the opening day of the monsoon season last Thursday. A win always infuses confidence and opportunities for small time jockeys in city racing are known to be at premium in view of small fields. Most of them, from this category of horsemen, practically make living on their weekly riding fees which is little more than Rs 500 a ride.

Jockey Brij Shaw did not look like a work-rider when he partnered Crucible to an under three- length but fluent win in the Dorania Handicap. Victory for the four-year-old by Sizzling Melody out of Maiden of Iron from Vijay Singh�s yard was long overdue but little did one think it will come in the hands of Shaw. Incidentally, it was stablemate Magnifico ridden by champion rider Christopher Alford who drew a quite support at 5�s but failed to do much beyond finishing a poor fourth.

Equally commendable were efforts of the two apprentices � Rutherford Alford and a relatively new Fateh Ali Khan. Although he failed to do justice earlier on a well backed Double Dancer in the Fusebox Handicap, Khan, in a handicap race for babies, drew major weight advantage from his five-kg allowance on Secret Adversary. Khan not only downed Vijay�s hot-favourite (35-100) Calamint, he also made a highly-rated Gold Discovery-Tamarisca filly look ordinary. However, the filly�s top-weight and the 1,100m sprint may have worked against her. Cristopher was seen struggling as the prime-favourite made a slow headway in the stretch-run.

Vijay�s another hot-favourite, Aherlow, too, indicated the Sir Bruce-Emerald Orb filly would be better off with this outing and over a slightly longer course than 1,200m of the Prince Lyon Cup which was claimed from the start by Rutherford on Russian Czar. The young Alford is maturing fast and it would be in his own interest that he puts on little weight and strength, too. Father Richard, however, is keen that the boy competes against a harder lot thus a temporary switch of head-quarters for the youngster could be well on the cards.

Not all horses relish the monsoon course but Lockers Park had started his four in-a-row winning streak from this track only. Having picked up two wins on the wet track last season, the Batzushka-Fusion had stretched the form to early winter. The next three runs of the Bharath Singh-trainee did not earn him a winning bracket, but as the things stand now, he is destined to pick up another race on his favourite ground.

Finishing third behind a strongly fancied Sovereign Bullet, Vijay�s Aldebro served a notice of his return to from. The five-year-old may surprise soon. The 5-4 favourite Endless Surprise was fourth and needed the run.

Helped by a well-judged ridden-race by his apprentice Md. Islam, Bharath�s Aflicker had a comfortable measure of a half-money favourite Starina in the opener, the Moth Handicap.

Although Russian Czar recorded the longest margin of six-length victory, it was Adeline who was more fluent of the two in her effort to win the Fusebox Handicap by a shade under four-length. The Daniel David-trainee has in her another victory coming.


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