New Delhi: With many senior players pulling out of the National 'B' level chess championship in Delhi, the focus was squarely on the juniors. But to the surprise of many, the cubs were ready to take on the tigers. Sahaj Grover and N Srinath were the star attractions at the tournament. The reigning under-10 and under-12 World Champions became the focus of attention after senior players like Dibyendu Barua, Pravin Thipsay and Sathyaprakash pulled out for various reasons. Now it seems that young stars like Parimarjan Negi, Tania Sachdev and, of course Sahaj and Srinath, have taken the Indian Chess circuit by storm. Maybe now it's time for Vishwanathan Anand to move over because young Chess hopefuls now have role models their own age! "Youngsters nowadays have more motivation. They are willing to work harder, and that's why they are also roping in more sponsors," said Grandmaster R B Ramesh. This was the first time many of the young chess prodigies got to match their wits against the best in the country. "There is no lack of motivation for new players. This is almost like a craze. We've had 250 to 300 calls from parents and kids who want to participate in this tournament just to play against these young champions," said Bharat Singh Chauhan, president, Delhi Chess Association. "This is an important tournament. We learn a lot by playing or just observing seniors play at this level," said Parimarjan Negi, youngest-ever International Master. Sahaj lost while Srinath won. But what was heartening to see was the spirit with which they approached the tournament. With Grandmasters like Pravin Thipsay and Dibyendu Barua not playing, there were doubts being raised about the standard of this tournament. But the quality of chess displayed by the youngsters has meant that the seniors aren't being missed this time.
Topics : Chess