Chess prodigy hopes for gold

Arshiya Das of Tripura heads for Uzbekistan

By Tanmoy Chakraborty in Agartala
  • Published 19.06.19, 12:21 AM
  • Updated 19.06.19, 12:21 AM
  • a min read
  •  
Arshiya Das A Telegraph picture

Eight-year-old chess prodigy Arshiya Das has set her sights on gold at the Asian School Chess Championship in Uzbekistan.

“I am ready to participate in the competition. I am confident that I will play well and win gold for my country,” she said, before leaving for New Delhi on Tuesday, from where she will fly to Tashkent.

Arshiya is currently the national champion in the U-9 chess category.

Prasenjit Dutta, Arshiya’s coach and Fide master, said they are very hopeful of Arshiya clinching her first international medal in Uzbekistan. “She is a very talented player. I am sure she will win a medal this time,” he said.

Dutta, who runs a chess academy in Delhi, coordinates with Arshiya and other students via online classes for nearly two-three hours daily. He also visits Agartala quite often to train Arshiya.

A student of Holy Cross School here, Arshiya participated in a rated chess tournament in Agartala at the tender age of five and won the best young player in the tournament. She has won several other tournaments since.

She earned a bronze medal in the 31st National Under-7 Open and Girls Chess championship in 2017 at Vijayawada, by virtue of which she qualified for the Asian Youth Chess Championship, 2018 in Thailand and qualified for the World Chess Championship, 2018 in Spain. Arshiya secured the 13th position in Spain.

Recently, she bagged the gold medal in the National School Championship, 2019, at Raipur and qualified for the Tashkent event from June 19 to 29.

Her parents, Purnendu Das and Arnisha Nath Das, said chess came naturally to Arshiya. “Arshiya stumbled upon a chess game on the computer during childhood. She developed a knack for the game and started taking part in different events. She played in the first national championship at six years. Dutta started coaching our daughter and we hope she will fare well,” Arnisha said.

Arshiya said she wanted to become a woman grandmaster and achieve success like Viswanathan Anand.