Pandemic hurting chess queens’ progress | Ahmedabad News – Times of India


Ahmedabad: While most outdoor sports have been revived after Covid-related restrictions, and are taking place using bio-bubbles, the game of 64 squares is being played more online rather than in the traditional form, face-to-face on a wooden board.
“No major national or international tournaments have taken place in the last seven months with the world chess body (FIDE) instructing against holding any championship. Players have not been able to participate in any serious competition,” said Bhavesh Patel, CEO, Gujarat State Chess Association. Two of Gujarat’s brightest prospects, Ahmedabad’s 15-year-old Dhyana Patel (ELO rating 1947) and 14-year-old Vishwa Vasnawala (ELO rating 2034) have carved niches for themselves in the sport and are on the verge of making it big on the international stage.
However, the pandemic has halted their progress, forcing them to stay home in Ahmedabad. Speaking to TOI, Women FIDE Master (WFM) Dhyana said, “I had plans to participate in tournaments at Sharjah, Greece, Prague and Riga (Latvia) but could not do so because of the pandemic.” She is a Class X student of Nirma Vidyavihar, and had won the National Under-13 Chess Championship 2018 in Ahmedabad.
Vishwa, the youngest WFM of Gujarat, is worried that after bagging the first Women International Master (WIM) norm last year in Budapest, her plans to achieving the next two have gone for a toss.
“The championships for the second and third International Master norms were to be held in April and May in Hungary and Spain but have been postponed indefinitely,” she says. Vishwa is a Class X student at the Best Higher Secondary School in Maninagar.
She said to keep in touch with chess she has been participating in online tournaments and getting coaching online from a GM from Ukraine.

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