The Siliguri Municipal Corporation will build the first chess academy of north Bengal here in association with Grand Master Dibyendu Barua, mayor Gautam Deb said on Tuesday.
Sources said Barua had visited the city last year and held informal talks about a chess academy with representatives of the civic body. A couple of months back, Barua held another round of talks with Deb, who asked him for a detailed plan.
Barua's proposal for the academy was tabled at the monthly meeting of the board of councillors on Tuesday. It was approved, said Deb.
“The facility will be known as North Bengal Chess Academy and be run by Dibyendu Barua,” mayor Deb said.
A sum of around Rs 1.8 lakh would be spent on the academy, said sources.
“We are yet to finalise the location for the academy. On a preliminary basis, some places have been identified, such as the indoor stadium and the Kanchenjunga stadium. Also, once the new administrative building of SMC is ready, space would be available at the existing building,” an official said.
Initially, the academy will have two magnetic demonstration boards, 100 chess sets and 50 clocks for players, along with necessary furniture.
Siliguri has a thriving table tennis culture, also an indoor sport. But this is the first time that such an initiative for chess has been taken up.
“We welcome the decision. The academy will help budding chess players of this region,” said Siliguri-based chess coach Somnath Banerjee.