The younger masters – Frontline

Pentyala Harikrishna and Koneru Humpy emerge because the brightest rising stars on the planet of Indian chess.

THE two distinguished names in Indian chess at present aside from Viswanathan Anand are Pentyala Harikrishna and Koneru Humpy. Each are world-beaters within the sense that they’re quick sinking most of the information Anand set early in his profession. They’re among the many prime teenage sporting celebrities of the nation. The fascinating factor about them is that each are rising quick and it’s exhausting to foretell what they might obtain subsequent. They’ve ample expertise to attain nearly all the things on the planet of chess. “Their achievements will encourage and encourage hundreds of different Indians to take to the sport,” mentioned P.T. Ummer Koya, secretary of the All India Chess Federation (AICF).

Pentyala Harikrishna. By profitable the grandmaster title at a youthful age than Viswanathan Anand did, this teenager from an agricultural household in Andhra Pradesh has aroused nice expectations.-ARVIND AARON

Humpy’s triumph on the planet junior ladies’ championship in Athens on August 29 is a milestone in her profession and the third most vital achievement for Indian chess after Anand’s world chess title of 2000 and the world junior title of 1987. The opposite newsmaker of August was Harikrishna who, at 15, turned India’s youngest grandmaster at Kolkata. He then went on to win the Commonwealth Championship in England and is probably the youngest particular person to take action.

One of many main causes for his or her success is company assist. Because of such assist, the gamers get extra time to consider the sport relatively than fear about their tour preparations. Harikrishna is backed by Wipro, the knowledge know-how large, and Humpy by the general public sector Financial institution of Baroda. Harikrishna admitted throughout a felicitation perform in Bangalore not too long ago that if the opposite gamers get such assist they might additionally play higher.

What makes Harikrishna and Humpy stand out within the ranks of gifted Indians is their skill to win essential video games and occasions. If profitable the world under-10 championship at Menorca in Spain in 1996 attracted sponsors for Harikrishna, in Humpy’s case it occurred following her triumph on the planet under-10 ladies’ Championship at Cannes, France in 1997. The 2 have constructed up their fortunes by way of exhausting work, dedication and, to an extent, parental assist. The governments additionally proceed to assist gifted gamers. In line with an AICF supply, Humpy was a particular entry on the planet junior championship that she received on August 29 and the federal government had cleared a big 11-member workforce. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu introduced Rs.25 lakhs and a home to Harikrishna after he turned a grandmaster.

BORN on Could 10, 1986, Harikrishna, not like many different chess gamers who’re city-bred, comes from an agricultural household in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. He learnt the strikes from his grandfather.

Though he has received just one world title (Beneath-10), Harikrishna has been making speedy strides in his profession which he began with the ambition of turning into an excellent grandmaster. It is going to be fulfilled when he crosses the two,600-mark, transferring on from his current rating of two,522 Elo factors. In January 2000 he was listed as a FIDE Grasp with 2354 Elo factors. In a single and a half years he has added 168 factors to turn into a grandmaster. He might be acknowledged as one within the January 2002 record.

Within the final one yr, Harikrishna has been steadier than earlier than. His Indian coach Varugeese Koshy mentioned that when he left Chennai for Guntur his chess suffered and he was not in a position to focus absolutely on the sport. Within the final one yr, Koshy mentioned, they haven’t had a lot time collectively since Harikrishna had been taking part in lots of tournaments or making ready in Bangalore with Evgeny Vladimirov of Kazakhstan who had educated Gary Kasparov.

When Harikrishna arrived in Istanbul for the Chess Olympiad final yr he was drained. The captain gave him good relaxation and fielded him up the board order as a shock. He lived as much as the captain’s expectations and made his maiden 10-game grandmaster norm by remaining undefeated. He unnerved massive names like Jonathan Speelman of England by turning down their draw gives.

India’s robust exhibiting within the early rounds at Istanbul made main match organisers sit up and take word. The organisers of the Corus Chess Event invited Harikrishna to play first within the Reserve Group at Wijk aan Zee, a snow-filled Dutch village. Harikrishna declined the supply regardless of requests from gamers like Genna Sosonko, the Dutch legend.

Koneru Humpy. With 4 world titles to her credit score, she is making speedy strides in her chess profession in a characteristically unassuming method.-SANDEEP SAXENA

Inside every week of the Olympiad, the Netherlands made a suggestion to take him into the Grandmaster Group ‘B’. This meant that he would play a closed grandmaster match, which might be held alongside the principle tremendous class match. He was 14 then and took three days earlier than signing in his participation. At Wijk aan Zee this January, he stretched prime gamers corresponding to Mikhail Gurevich and Boris Gulko earlier than making attracts. Harikrishna was delighted to play in the identical corridor as world champions Viswanathan Anand, Vladimir Kramnik and Kasparov and he attracted the eye of the massive stars. Taking part in in Wijk aan Zee, he made a nine-game grandmaster norm and Kasparov referred to him in his speech on the closing ceremony.

Having already received two grandmaster norms protecting 19 video games, he wanted a five-game norm to win the grandmaster title since his Olympiad norm will also be thought of a spherical robin norm. Gamers making all title norms from the Swiss format match have to the touch 30 video games. These making one spherical robin norm might be awarded the title in the event that they have already got a norm protecting 24 video games. The 9 norms he constituted of the Asian Championship at Kolkata had been technically ample for him to win the title. However no one appeared to have realised that the Olympiad norm had the pliability to be thought of a spherical robin norm. It was solely when Harikrishna went to England for the Commonwealth Championship that it was identified (by Stewart Reuben) that he had certainly accomplished the title in India. The delay was a matter of curiosity just for the report as a result of FIDE would have anyway awarded him the title in its subsequent congress in Greece in September 2001.

At Kolkata, Harikrishna certified for the World Championship to be held in Moscow from November 24. He missed the world junior championship however will give it a shot later. Gamers like Gata Kamsky and Vladimir Kramnik too needed to play the world juniors late of their careers however that they had grown so robust within the sport by then that taking part in in it turned irrelevant. The identical might occur to Harikrishna, given the report that he has turn into a grandmaster at a youthful age than Anand had.

UNLIKE Harikrishna, Humpy comes from a chess-playing household. Her father Koneru Ashok was a nationwide ‘B’ participant from Vijayawada. She works for about six hours on chess each day. She prepares by downloading video games from the Web, utilizing the desktop laptop introduced by The Sportstar in 1998. (The journal awarded her the distinguished Younger Achiever Award in 1999 for profitable the world under-12 championship at Oropesa del Mar in November 1998.) In 1999 she did not defend the title. She made up for this failure by profitable the Asian under-12 championship at Ahmedabad.

Humpy received the Asian junior title in Mumbai in September 2000 to realize a nine-game world grandmaster norm. Within the Oakham Junior and the occasions in Hungary she obtained her different norms. Within the ultimate spherical of the world junior in Athens, she wanted a win for the title and received it when her German opponent, Elisabeth Paehtz, blew a profitable place and missed a repetition. Humpy had not anticipated to win this occasion. She might be listed as a girl grandmaster within the subsequent scores record. After Vijayalakshmi, she is the second Indian to win the title.

Humpy’s profession is marked by a sequence of information. Within the girls’s nationwide ‘B’ in Chennai in December 1998, she certified for ‘A’. She is the youngest to win the British Women Championship: she broke a 61-year-old report at Somerset on August 11, 2000. A journalist from England rated her efficiency at Somerset as the most effective by an under-14 lady because the time of the Polgar sisters.

Humpy now has 4 world titles underneath her belt. She received the under-10 ladies title at Cannes in 1997, the under-12 ladies title at Oropesa del Mar in 1998, the under-14 ladies title at Oropesa del Mar in 2000 and now the under-20 (junior) ladies title.

Humpy appears all set to win a couple of extra titles when she competes at Oropesa del Mar 2001 and on the planet girls’s championship in Moscow in November.

Humpy’s father is her coach, apart from the pc. Ashok stop his instructing job to dedicate his full consideration to Humpy. He travels along with her to all match venues. Though she has reached a stage the place she is stronger within the sport than her father, an unassuming Humpy believes that she nonetheless learns from him.

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