NOW BOARD­ING

PRIYANKA OFF TO ITALY

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE - ASHOK VENUGOPAL ashok.v@newin­di­an­ex­press.com

Ju­nior chess player Priyanka Kal­i­das is fi­nally on her way to Italy. The Un­der-17 Open Na­tion­als win­ner did not have funds to go to com­pete at the World Ju­nior and girls Un­der-20 cham­pi­onships. The story, pub­lished in The New In­dian Ex­press, evoked an over­whelm­ing re­sponse from the read­ers, who contributed to fa­cil­i­tate her jour­ney. Even se­nior ed­i­to­rial staff of TNIE took part in the ini­tia­tive and contributed money to the cause.

My strength is that I play well in at­tack­ing and com­pli­cated po­si­tions. I need to im­prove upon po­si­tional chess and I have worked on it. Priyanka Kal­i­das, na­tional U-17 chess cham­pion

SIX­TEEN-YEAR-OLD Priyanka Kal­i­das and her mother K Marutham­bal are over­come with joy. Thanks to a The New In­dian

Ex­press ini­tia­tive, Priyanka, the na­tional U-17 chess cham­pion, will be trav­el­ling to Tarvi­sio, Italy, to take part in the World Ju­nior and girls U-20 Cham­pi­onship from Novem­ber 12-26. Funds have been raised to help the Coim­bat­ore­based girl re­alise her next goal. “We are thank­ful to the New

In­dian Ex­press for high­light­ing our prob­lem for spon­sor­ship to take part in the event at Italy. From the day the mat­ter was pub­lished we were flooded with phone calls and ev­ery­one who spoke wanted to help in some way or the other,” Marutham­bal said. “Peo­ple from all across the coun­try have been send­ing small amounts to our bank ac­count,” she said. “My daugh­ter is leav­ing on Satur­day and all her travel and stay has been take care of as we re­ceived around `1.5 lakh.’’

Priyanka’s win will help her get SAI spon­sor­ship as she has qual­i­fied for gov­ern­ment aid next year. “After win­ning the U-17 ti­tle I was in a spot of bother as to how to fund my trip to Italy. Thanks to the fund­ing, all my wor­ries have van­ished,” a de­lighted Priyanka said. The pair trav­elled to Ben­galuru to get the visa. Since then, Priyanka has been pre­par­ing for the event. “For the last few days, she (Priyanka) has been pre­par­ing vig­or­ously. She will be play­ing against play­ers older and more ex­pe­ri­enced than her.”

What makes this story unique is she learnt how to play through the com­puter. No coaches, noth­ing. She did not have time to train un­der RB Ramesh as she could not come to Chennai. “I would have loved to train un­der Ramesh sir. But visa and other things took time,” she said. “My strength is that I play well in at­tack­ing and com­pli­cated po­si­tions. I need to im­prove upon po­si­tional chess and I have worked on it.”

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