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Ploughing on, starry-eyed

other Updated: Jan 16, 2008 23:00 IST
Anupma Tripathi
Anupma Tripathi
Hindustan Times
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After the four initial moves in chess, there are 10 billion possibilities for the next anticipated move. Likewise, in a tournament where 200 players are competing, chances are you'll come across scores of talented players. To pick one, depends on discretion.

The focus is on Arjun Tiwari, turning out against Grandmaster Abhijit Kunte, at table number 8. Though he lost against his far superior opponent, Tiwari has not fared too badly in the ongoing Parsvnath Open chess tournament - notching up victories till the fourth round and drawing the fifth before the loss to Kunte in the sixth.

The simpleton from Aurangabad has a ELO rating of 2322, a score enough to get him an International Master norm, but unfortunately he lacks the requisite other two norms.

Playing with black, Tiwari opted for the King's line defence (Nf6) in reply to the d4 (Queen's pawn opening), and played gambit in which he suffered a pawn, which he was never able to recover.

A pawn up, Kunte gradually took charge of the positive positions and raced ahead.

"He made a mistake by sacrificing his pawn and I took advantage of it. But, he is a strong opponent."

Son of a farmer, Tiwari was full of praise for his father. "Had it not for him, I would not have been able to play chess."

Winner of the u-25 Nationals in 2006 at Aurangabad and a sixth position in the u-18 Nationals, Tiwari aims to make it big. "I follow Alexei Shirov and hope to emulate his feats."

The 22-year-old has never ventured beyond the country's shores to play. Reason: "I thought one has to be a non-vegetarian, so I am scared of going abroad."

A porter with the Western Railways, he admits that finance is a problem. So where does he manage funds?

"The prize money I win is the major source of funds. We also get some revenue from our land. The rest I manage on my own."

Just before signing off, he asks a pertinent question, "Do you think I can get a scholarship in Delhi?"