Knights and bishops are
leading students down the path to better marks in city schools.
Acquainting the students with
the chess pieces are professional coaches, who have now found a
place in school staff rooms.
The aim of the authorities
behind employing chess coaches is to introduce youngsters to the
brain game and improve their academic proficiency in the
The renewed interest of
students in chess and how their game has improved under the tutelage
of professionals were in evidence at the Inter-School Team Chess
Championship, organised by Future Hope School.
While DPS Ruby Park won the
tournament with 15.5 points, three schools, including the “A” team
of the hosts, were tied at 13.5 points for the second place.
Lakshmipat Singhania Academy was eventually declared runner-up on
the basis of the BH points its team had garnered by virtue of taking
on tougher opponents.
Four of the participating
schools — Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, Ashok Hall, GD Birla Centre
for Education and Mahadevi Birla Sishu Vihar — have made chess a
part of the curriculum and the results have been impressive.
“As a rule, the performance
of students in mathematics and physics improves after they take up
chess. Their concentration also improves and they become more
responsible,” Bipin Shenoy, who coaches six schools including the
hosts, said on the sidelines of the tournament.
Dolon Chanpa Bose, who
teaches chess at GD Birla, said she had seen the mathematics skills
and “memorising capacity” of students improve after they start
playing the game.
Citing the example of
Gujarat, she commented that all school students should be introduced
to the game to unleash their true academic potential.
“Gujarat chief minister
Narendra Modi had visited Baku in Azerbaijan, the birthplace of
chess living legend Garry Kasparov, two years ago and found the game
had been made a mandatory part of the school curriculum. He also
observed that the kids in Baku were considerably more intelligent
than kids from other areas he met on the tour,” said Bose.
“Right after coming back to
India, Modi made chess compulsory in all schools in Gujarat. That
has done wonders for the game and helped students improve their
studies,” she added.
At the Calcutta tournament,
DPS Ruby Park, where chess is not on the curriculum, came up trumps
after being tied with three other schools on eight points after
three of the five rounds.
“We picked up our game in the
last two rounds to get 7.5 points,” said Soumyodeep Chaudhuri, the
captain of the DPS Ruby Park team.
Don Bosco, the third team
that was tied for the second place after five rounds, rode the
shoulders of Aubhropratim Manna, the skipper and the best rated
player in the tournament and Aritra Chowdhury. The two won all their
matches, bagging 10 points between them.
“Because I was too restless,
my parents had introduced me to chess, thinking the game would calm
me down. I am glad they did. I started doing better in studies
because of chess. Today, however, my parents are not glad that I am
spending the entire day at the tournament since my board
examinations are coming up next year,” said Aubhropratim, who thinks
Viswanathan Anand’s feat of becoming world champion in three formats
of chess will not be matched this century.
Good players leaving chess is
a problem that has dogged the chess fraternity in the city for years
The coaches feel the solution
lies in drawing more children to the game.
Chess buffs in the city can
take heart. Aubhropratim’s hero Anand has promised to ask Mamata
Banerjee to follow Modi’s footsteps when he meets her