Grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly and youngest participant in the boysÂ’ section, Hrishiraj Chowdhury, during the inauguration of 22nd The Telegraph SchoolsÂ’ Chess Championship, at the Gorky Sadan, on Saturday. A Telegraph picture

Calcutta: Grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly was elated to see so many youngsters taking part in the 22nd The Telegraph SchoolsÂ’ Chess Championship, at Gorky Sadan, on Saturday. A child prodigy and a product of the meet himself, Surya Sekhar graced the occasion as the chief guest, where, 16 years ago, he had won the seventh edition of the tournament.

“I started playing at the age of five. Today, I am happy to see many players starting much earlier,” he said.

The 11-round Fide rating Schools’ Championship — the only one of it’s kind in India — has attracted nearly 480 participants from 10 states and also a few from neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Nepal. The Championship is being organised by Alekhine Chess Club and is presented by Himani Sona Chandi Chyawanprash.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Surya Sekhar said, “Let these youngsters enjoy the game without pressure from their guardians. Children learn best when they get pleasure from playing the game. The appreciation of the finer points will come later.”

In the meet, the seeded players had a field day as all of them won their respective games with ease. Top seed and defending champion Sayantan Das of Scottish Church Collegiate School beat Joy Majumdar of Sree Bharati, in 42 moves in a Ruy Lopez opening.

Former Asian U-8 champion Prince Bajaj of Delhi Public School, Ghaziabad won a piece against K. Lalrinfela of Oxford Mission School, Mizoram, and had little difficulty in converting his material advantage to a victory.

National U-13 boysÂ’ champion, South PointÂ’s Diptayan Ghosh checkmated his opponent Kalpok Guha of Patha Bhaban, in only 12 moves.

Kaveri Sharma of Mahadevi Birla GirlsÂ’ H.S. School put up stiff resistance against sixth-seeded S. Prasannaa of Velammal Matriculation School, Tamil Nadu, but eventually lost in 38 moves.

The only Bangladeshi participant, Prativa Talukdar, won her match. She was the only one to reach the city as the other players had failed to get visas.

For the first time, 10 underprivileged children from Future Hope School are taking part in this meet. Brothers Susanth Kr. Das and Sumit Das, aged five and seven respectively, were keen to put up a good show, but, unfortunately, Surijit Moria was the only one from the school to register a win.

The second and third rounds will be played from 9.30 a.m. and 3.00 p.m, respectively, on Sunday.

important results

Sayantan Das (1) bt Joy Majumder (0); K. Lalrinfela (0) lost to Prince Bajaj (1); Diptayan Ghosh (1) bt Kalpok Guha (0); Kamal Sarkar (1) W/o Sidhant Mohapata (0); Chandrasish Majumdar (1) bt Kaustav Saha (0); Kaveri Sharma (0) lost to S. Prasannaa (1); Aubhropratim Manna (1) bt Keshav Agarwal (0); Kirti Kumar (0) lost to N.R. Vignesh (1); Aditya Chakraborty (1) bt Komal Shah (0); Koustav Chatterjee (0) lost to N.R. Visakh (1); Ardhya Sekhar Bagchi (1) bt Krishnam Malpani (0); Kirti Karnani (0) lost to Nishant Malhotra (1); Saurabh Mandal (1) bt Krittika Agarwal (0); Kshitiz(0) lost to Dangol Bijaya (1); Debankan Dhara (1) bt Kunwar Singh Chawla (0); Kushagra Mohan(0) lost to Kautav Kundu (1); Sumit Kumar (1) bt Lakshya Shrrof (0); Lalmuansanga (0) lost to Suvankar Maity (1); Sayan Majumder (1) bt Lokenath Roy (0); Madhav Nagori (0) lost to Nishant Kumar (1); Bivek Lama (1) bt Mainak Dasgupta (0); Maloy Deb Roy (0) lost to Dhrti Sankar (1); Kumar Sanu (0) lost to Malyajit Raha (1); Manash Sengupta (0) lost to Shoumi Mukherjee (1); Arpan Das (1) bt Mangal Hembron (0); Mayank Verma (1) W/o Ankit K Singh (0); Ankit Sinha (1) bt Mayukh Bhattacharyya (0); Mehendi Sil (0) lost to Mitrabha Guha (1); Prativa Talukdar (1) bt Mehul Tantia (0); Melisa Pal (0) lost to Ved Prakash (1)