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Neglect of Chess in India brought to limelight again after Divya Deshmukh wins Nationals

Neglect of Chess in India brought to limelight again after Divya Deshmukh wins Nationals

Sohinee Basu

Published: 26 July 2018 4:01 AM GMT
Little did Nagpur-born Divya Deshmukh know as a 4-year old that her shift from badminton due to height issues to the world of chess would prove to be a life-changing event. At just 12 years old now, Divya is already making a place for herself in the pages of history after emerging as the winner of National Girls Champion in the Under-15 category! But Divya is no stranger to being at the receiving end of accolades and winning laurels for herself over the years. The girl from Nagpur has eyes brimming with dreams which get rekindled every time she makes a move on the chess board and marks her dominance in the mind-boggling game that only few can master.
Ramachandran Ramesh
, the famed Indian chess grandmaster, hailing from Chennai took particular interest in the highly talented prodigy from Nagpur. Taking to Twitter immediately after Divya's win to laud her latest conquest, Ramachandran congratulates the pre-teenager on her repeated success as she took home the National Sub-Junior Championship (U-15) for the second year in a row. https://twitter.com/Rameshchess/status/1022126232303890433 https://twitter.com/Rameshchess/status/1022136971852800007 Divya defeated Bengal’s Bristy Mukherjee in the 10th round to tally nine points and ensured the title in the process.
It will be very unfair to stop praising the young Divya who had won local chess competitions after being exposed to its nuances for just six months when she was all of four years. In no time Divya rushed to win the Under 7, Under 9, Under 11 Girl Championship titles. If that isn't enough to make us marvel at this chess prodigy, her records are historical as she is currently the youngest woman International Master(IM) in the world and also the youngest to cross 2200 FIDE ELO in the world as a whole. At just 12 years of age, Divya has managed to represent India ten times and won 14 Gold, two silvers, and four bronze medals and done the nation immensely proud. Ramachandran Ramesh, however, laments how Divya, being the bright star she is, is unable to venture out and play in the coveted European circuit due to financial strains. Born to gynaecologist parents, Divya is yet to be aided by sponsors to help her compete in the European continent. Ramesh, who is himself the
winner of the 2002 British Championship and the 2007 Commonwealth Championship,
calls out at the sheer pain in seeing so much of talent and potential going to waste, unnoticed as it is by the masses and hence the sponsors. He states how sad it is to watch talent being snipped at the bud before allowing it to bloom fully due to practical constraints like lack of funds, parental apathy and pressure. Divya, who has her mind set on conquering the world of chess and becoming the youngest woman Grand Master, is one who is meant for greater glory. At just a tender age of 12, Divya has created an indelible place for herself in the pages of history. Her talent needs to be appreciated and noticed because it is scarce. Ramachandran Ramesh's overt concern about the fate of a large number of sportspeople being washed away due to financial issues and parental pressure is a valid thought that needs to be addressed at the get-go so that more people like a Divya Deshmukh can bloom into something better and not remain crouching in the shadows forever.
Also read: R Praggnanandhaa becomes the second youngest chess Grandmaster in History! Also read: Viswanathan Anand: The tiger cub from Madras
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