Top players gather for National Team C'ships

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> The creme de la creme of Indian chess have assembled in Vijayawada for the National Team chess championship.

Updated: February 25, 2007 08:37 IST
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The creme de la creme of Indian chess have assembled in Vijayawada to play the mindgame. The National team chess championships features Grand Masters and International Masters. The key to their success will be team spirit and coordination. Grand Master S Vijayalakshmi was seen practising before a game at the National Team chess championship in Vijayawada, with her younger sister Meenakshi. Viji, who is representing Indian Airlines, says team championships demand a very different approach. "When it comes to individual championships, sometimes I do take a risk. I do take some uncalculated risks, wherein I may lose also because of taking that risk. I try to avoid that when I am playing the team championship because here half a point also counts a lot. So I try to play more cautiously," said Vijayalakshmi. At an adjoining table, D V Prasad, captain of the defending champions, Petroleum Sports Control Board, is all concentration. And can't hide his disappointment at an unsatisfactory move. "Strategy here is not to win all the games all the time. Only thing is we have to win the match. That is the first priority. Secondly, if we try to win by huge margins, it is always better," felt Prasad. 200 players are participating in this prestigious event with 20 teams in the men's championship and 8 in the women. Grand Master Abhijit Kunte says with the creme de la creme of Indian chess in Vijayawada now, it helps the players in better coordination when they play for India together. "We play the Olympiad and the Asian Championships as a team event. So that are the two crucial events at the world level where we represent India. We had done quite well last time. In the Asian team championship, we finished third. Our team included myself, Sasikiran and Prasad. And at the Olympiad, we finished eighth, India's best-ever performance," explained Kunte. One of the unique features of this national event will be a family chess tournament for the first time in the country. Father-daughter teams will be pitted against a son-mother team or even a mother in law-daughter in law team.

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