Local doctor runs volunteer chess program for 23 years Coos Bay World Every Tuesday she gives back to the community by teaching chess at local schools. Her morning begins with a book challenge called Battle of The Books at Coquille High School. Then, at 11 a.m. Keller holds a chess club with Coquille middle school …
US-China trade talks now a game of three-dimensional chess The Hill China’s chief economic minister Liu He and his team has arrived in Washington, D.C. to continue the ongoing trade negotiations between China and the United States. At stake is nothing less than the resetting of the world’s most important bilateral …
The Philadelphia Eagles tried their hand at chess with local students. 6abc.com From the field, to the board,The Philadelphia Eagles tried their hand at chess Wednesday with local students during an annual tournament. The Eagles Chess Tournament at Lincoln Financial Field included 225 Philadelphia youth chess players from across …
On a misty winter morning at a gym in Kolkata, Pushpa Jha, 15, hits a punching bag with all her might, sweat trickling down her cheeks and temples, while her mother looks on.
Jha had severe malnutrition when she was younger, which affected her respiratory system badly, stunting her growth. Tiny and frail, she’s an unlikely candidate for a gold medal at the World Chess Boxing Amateur Championships, but she won that very title in May of 2017. Now she has set her sights on the 2018 championships, to be held this July in Kolkata.
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Her coach, Montu Das, president of Chess Boxing Association of India, says that she has something that many players do not—a desire to succeed against all odds. Her mother, Golapi Jha, agrees.
“She forgets everything when she is up in the ring; she has been wounded and injured twice already during matches, and she often has blood flowing through her nose during physical stress, yet she is adamant to continue,” Golapi Jha, a domestic worker, says.
Much to the surprise of its pioneers, this new sport is transforming the lives of a group of Indian girls.
Many of them have learned chess at home, so training focuses on the physical skills needed for boxing, with a half-hour at the end dedicated to chess strategy.
“It has made me strong—not only physically but also mentally,” Jha says of the sport. “I am learning to overcome my fears. It has helped me in getting medical help too.”
She says the prize money had been useful for her and her family. Her local elected representative has also given her small scholarship packages over past two years for her achievements.
Rashmi Saha, 16, hopes to build a more certain future for herself through chess boxing. Her mother cleans the houses of six different families every day, while her father pulls a rickshaw on Kolkata’s backstreets. In total, the family income usually doesn’t exceed Rs 22,000 ($338) per month, which vanishes as soon as it appears.
They don’t have enough money to send their daughter to college, but Saha hopes chess boxing will change that by giving her access to scholarships. Certain schools and colleges recognize certification from the Chess Boxing Association of India when considering applications.
“I’ll appear for my board exams next year and hopefully secure a seat in a college,” she says. She hopes the sport will give her an edge over other students in the job market too. In India, a percentage of jobs in the railways, defense, banking, and other government departments are reserved for people in sports. The Chess Boxing Association of India is currently in talks with committees and government departments to recognize the new sport nationwide as part of these programs. In the meantime, practitioners can apply for the program through either the chess or the boxing streams.
“If my performances are good, I may find a job somewhere using the sports quota,” Saha says.
Debjani Dutta Roy, the headmistress of Kolkata’s Surah Kanya High School, says chess boxing has provided an alternative to domestic labor for her students, more than 200 of whom have trained in the sport so far.
“I don’t know how long they’ll be able to hold on, but they are persisting. This sport has introduced them to an alternative; this has made them hopeful,” she says. “At least, they are not dropping out from school to join the workforce.”
Das agrees. “Many of these girls would have been married away at an early age, right after they dropped school, or would go after some kind of employment,” he says. “Their parents can’t support their education nor could they help them pursue a proper career. Chess boxing has helped them dream of something—a medal, a fantastic performance, maybe a job going forward.”
Saha is already training a few girls in her area. She aspires to become a sports coach when she is done competing.
“It’s relieving that they are able to bring home something. Even though we want our children to have a good life, it’s practically not possible to invest much in them,” her mother, Kumkum Saha, says.
India now has more than 1,200 registered chess boxers, 35 percent of whom are women, Das told News Deeply. The sport’s founder, Iepe Rubingh, who is also the president of the World Chess Boxing Organization, says this is unusual.
“In India, there are a lot more women involved in chess boxing than in Europe. In Europe, it’s 90 percent men and 10 percent women,” he said in an email. He says there will soon be opportunities for India’s women chess boxers on the international circuit.
“We will select the best fighters from India to fight in the professional league in Europe, and if they do well and win a title, the plan is to bring the professional events together with Mr Montu Das to India.”
This article originally appeared on Women’s Advancement Deeply, and you can find the original here. For more news coverage and community engagement focused on women’s economic advancement, you can sign up to the Women’s Advancement Deeply email list.
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov’s result in the last Candidates’ tournament has cemented his position as one of the world’s very best players.
In a year-old article, we already discussed what makes his chess so sparkling and powerful. Today I would like to talk about one of his favorite chess patterns, which perfectly fits the description from the above-mentioned article: “he uses a well-known classical concept as an inspiration and then produces a much more sophisticated and beautiful gem.”
The following masterpiece by GM Bronstein is one of those games that a proverbial “Russian schoolboy must know.”
White’s daring piece sacrifice allowed him to create a powerful pawn center, which simply steamrolled Black’s position. Yes, Black’s play could be improved on many occasions (like his dubious move 10…c5?! that only made White’s center pawns stronger), but it is White’s brilliant concept that really matters here. In many positions it is absolutely worth it to sacrifice a minor piece for a couple of pawns that are going to push your opponent off the board!
Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.
We can find this pattern in many games by GM Mamedyarov!
Looks pretty easy, right? Now try to play like Mamedyarov in the following position:
And here finish the game in style just like Shakhriyar did!
Since Mamedyarov is a very aggressive attacking player, it is quite common in his games that such far advanced pawns help him to checkmate the opponent’s king.
Now that you know how dangerous Mamedyarov’s passed pawns can be, you’ll appreciate the following game. To some extent this was one of the biggest achievements of Fabiano Caruana in the tournament of his life where he won the right to challenge Magnus Carlsen. When I saw the position where Mamedyarov had three passed pawns, I thought that Caruana was doomed.
Fortunately, he managed to do the impossible: stop Shakhriyar’s pawns! And that eventually sealed the tournament.
Jasper Faeldonia scores 7.5 points out of 11 rounds to win his first national tournament
Published 2:38 PM, May 14, 2018
Updated 2:38 PM, May 14, 2018
CHAMPION. Jasper Faeldonia wins the Under-14 category in the National Age Group Chess Championships. Photo from Pinoy ChessClub Online’s Facebook page
MANILA, Philippines – Sometimes, one just needs a little push and the results of that push can prove to be a pleasant surprise.
National Master Rudy Ibanez persisted, but in a gentle way, that 13-year-old Jasper Faeldonia was ripe for the National Age Group Chess Championships in Capiz. Even he, however, did not expect the young man to win the Under-14 ahead of the favorite, Michael Concio Jr of Dasmariñas.
Faeldonia won with 7.5 points out of 11 rounds to win his first national tournament. He had the same score as Concio, who was a finalist in last year’s national championship but a better tiebreak gave the incoming Grade 8 student from Arellano University the victory.
“I was not expecting since I saw good players there but I relied on his hardworking character,” said Ibanez through a Facebook exchange. “It’s luck being first.”
Faeldonia had only won silver medals in the 2014 Milo National Little Olympics and the 2017 Palarong Pambansa. In the 2017 NCAA high school division, he won a gold medal playing board 5, which is as a reserve.
There were several players with FIDE titles who did not have to play the national finals, along with some players who will be sponsored by their cities or province.
But strong players, like Daniel Quizon, 14, played in the Under-20 division where he may play in next month’s Asean age group chess championship in Davao. Another one was Al-Basher Buto, who played in the Under-8 division and dominated.
Cherrylyn, Jasper’s mother, said in a text message that her son “was excited playing in his first national tournament.”
Jasper has a quality which is not often seen among some young players who prefer a waiting style. He is aggressive and knows when to take calculated risks, said Ibanez.
“He has lots of room for improvement. (He is) hardworking and never missed practice,” said Ibanez. “For me, this attitude is important.”
Faeldonia, who learned chess at the age of 6, idolizes world champion Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So, his mother said. In So’s case, Jasper’s mother said “he was inspired because So became a strong player at a young age.”
Jasper’s mother said they would be paying a call on Odiongan Mayor Trina Frimalo in Romblon on Monday, May 14, to express their thanks in helping her son. But, for the big event in Davao, Jasper’s mother said the National Chess Federation of the Philippines will be paying for his trip.
It could be the start of something good for the boy who doesn’t miss chess practice. – Rappler.com