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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Pune boys Aarush Dolas, Nivaan Khandhadia win gold and bronze at World School Chess meet

For Aarush, who studies at the Bishop’s School, it is his first individual international medal. For Khandhadia, it was his toughest tournament as he faced five rated players before earning his bronze medal.

pune Updated: Apr 30, 2019 16:22 IST
Jigar Hindocha
Jigar Hindocha
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune’s Aarush Dolas in action in the u-7 category at the World School Chess Championships at Antalya in Turkey.
Pune’s Aarush Dolas in action in the u-7 category at the World School Chess Championships at Antalya in Turkey.(HT Photo)
         

Eat chess, sleep chess, think chess – this is seven-year-old Aarush Dolas’ daily routine and it has helped him win the gold medal in the under-7 category of the World School Chess Championships at Antalya in Turkey.

The tournament was conducted from April 17-27 and players from 32 countries took part.

The under-7 category brought double joy to Pune city as city lad Nivaan Khandhadia won the bronze medal at the championships.

Aarush Dolas, who trains at Kunte Chess academy under Woman International Master Mrunalini Kunte for four to six hours daily, says: “After the third round all the players were watching me, but I was not worried and just played my game.”

“From the third round onwards, Aarush was placed on table no 1 for his matches and there was a ‘live’ telecast of matches at that table, so opponents had a chance to read his game,” Dr Baban Dolas, Aarush’s father says of the challenges his son faced to come out on top.

“The complete focus is on chess. We don’t watch TV and it is only chess all the time. Aarush practices the game, reads about the game and even we call higher rated players to play him at home, so he develops accordingly,” says Dr Dolas.

For Aarush, who studies at the Bishop’s School, it is his first individual international medal. He had earlier won a team gold at the Asian Chess Championship in 2018.

Aarush scored eight points in nine rounds.

Kunte, Dolas’s coach says, “He (Aarush) is very hardworking. I did not expect him to win, but once he won five rounds, I had hopes for him to win a medal.”

Nivaan Khandhadia.
Nivaan Khandhadia. ( HT )

Bronze medal for Nivaan:

For Khandhadia, it was his toughest tournament as he faced five rated players before earning his bronze medal.

“It was a tough tournament. I enjoyed tournament and I was not afraid of other players,” says Nivaan.

“It was a fifth international tournament for Nivaan and he was very calm and composed. Even after facing tough players he stayed focused,” says Rathin Khandhadia, Nivaan’s father.

Khandhadia, who studies in Global Indian International School, settled for the third place with 6.5 points.

Nivaan trains at South Mumbai Chess Academy (SMCA) under FIDE Master Balaji Guttula, Nagesh Guttula, and Vishwanath Sandilya.

Guttula says, “Our dream is to make him the youngest Grand Master. He has very good game temperament and a sharp memory. The way he played is really impressive because he overcame many good players.”

Candidate Master:

Aarush Dolas and Nivaan Khandhadia, both, have now been granted the titles of Candidate Master (CM). World chess body FIDE has granted the title to both after their performances at the World School Chess Championships at Antalya in Turkey, which saw Dolas win gold, and Khandhadia, bronze.

First Published: Apr 30, 2019 03:19 IST

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