PRIYANKA OFF TO ITALY
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.”