The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Rousing welcome for Surya

Calcutta: Surya Sekhar Ganguly returned to a hero’s welcome Tuesday after a successful campaign in the Chess Olympiad at Bled (Slovenia). A crowd of around 500 were at the airport to greet the new Grandmaster, the second from the state after Dibyendu Barua.

“My sights are set on the junior world championship to take place in Goa,” Surya said. “I want to go past the 2600 Elo rating there itself. I’ll try to push myself to the elite category…” He didn’t, however, want to reveal his ultimate goal.

The lack of a laptop has been a bit of a bother. “But now, probably, I’ll get one,” Surya hoped.

He sounded quite satisfied with his performance at the Olympiad. “I was played as an attacker and I don’t think I did badly,” he said.

He did not call up home from Slovenia until he had clinched the third norm and the coveted norm. “ I came so close to doing it in Czechoslovakia and China earlier, but missed it by a whisker. But this time around, I was absolutely determined.”

He also added that his performance in Bled was one of his most satisfying in an international tournament. “I place it at par with my performance at the Asian Championships in Calcutta last year where I came third,” he added.

Surya denied rumours of his leaving Bengal to play for Andhra Pradesh. “My financial problems were solved after I joined Indian Oil. Now there’s no reason why I should leave my home state,” he added. He had a word of praise for long-time friend and rival Sandipan Chanda, who was among those present at the Netaji Subhash Airport to greet him. “He’s a fine player and I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t claim the third GM norm very soon,” Surya said of Sandipan.

The Alekhine Chess Club will felicitate the new GM Saturday. “We will ask chief minister Buddhabeb Bhattacharya to do the honours,” a senior official said.

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