India has a fair chance

Hindu, India
Sunday, Oct 19, 2008

India has a fair chance

Manuel Aaron

CHENNAI: A 62-player Indian chess contingent will arrive in Vietnam on
Sunday to participate in the World Youth Chess Championships in the
under-8, 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 categories, in open and girls only

India has the second largest contingent after host Vietnam with
96. The next highest is Russia with 48. The total strength of the
Indian contingent is 110 including the coaches and others.

The first of the eleven Swiss rounds begins on Sunday and the
tournament ends on October 30.

Fair chances

Indians have a fair shot at medals in the five Open and three girls

In the under-8, Jeet Jain, Abhimanyu Puranik and Bhaskar Gupta are
seeded one, two and four. Diptayan Ghosh and Sidhant Mohapatra are
seeded two and five among 91 players in the under-10 category. In the
under-12, Shiven Khosla and Girish Koushik are seeded second and

In the under-14, N. Srinath is seeded second and will have to battle
it out with top seed Polandâs Swiercz and 2007 World Under-12
champion Daniel Naroditzky of USA.

India has three International Masters in the under-16 ‘
S.P. Sethuraman, B. Adhiban and M. Shyam Sundar. But the top seed in
this category is Ter Sahakyan, an Armenian with a near grandmaster
rating of 2495.

The under-18 has one British and two Vietnamese grandmasters as top

Clear favourite

In the under-8 girls’, Riya Savant of Goa is the top seed as she is
the only FIDE-rated player among 55. In the under-10 girls’ section,

Sweety Patel is seeded second and Ivana Furtado fourth. In the
under-14 girls’, the Orissa talent Padmini Rout is top seed with last
year’s bronze medal winner in the under-12 girls, Shalmali Gagare
seeded sixth.

At the same championship last year at Antalya, Turkey, India had one
gold (Ivana Furtado, under-8 girls), two bronze (Prince Bajaj, u-10
and Shalmali Gagare, girls u-14). A disastrous last round had cost the
country quite a few medals.

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