Rahul Gurung retains champion status at NE Chess c’ship, Rakesh Gurung, also of Sikkim, comes in sec

Gangtok, 03 Feb:

Rahul Gurung emerged as the champion of the North Eastern States FIDE Rating Chess Championship held here in the State. This is his second consecutive champion’s trophy of the tournament, having won the last edition as well. He accomplished the feat by securing eight and half points in this, the 19th edition of the championship held here at Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences auditorium.

Impressively, another player from Sikkim, Rakesh Gurung, stood on the second position with Soram Rahul Singh from Assam securing the third position.

The six-day long prestigious championship was organised by Sikkim Chess Association [SCA] under the aegis of All India Chess Federation [AICF] for the second time in the State from 29 January to 03 February. A total of 250 players from the North Eastern States had participated in the tournament.

In the list of top 20 players of the tournament, Sahil Dey from Assam stood on the 4th position, Santanu Borpatra Gohain from Assam on 5th position, Rohit Gurung from Sikkim on 6th, Trailokya Nanda from Assam on 7th, Nitish Das from Assam on 8th, Iftikar Alom Mazumdar from Assam on 9th, Dupit Tabu Arunachal Pradesh on 10th, Silkam Sangma from Meghalaya on 11th, Projit Phukon from Assam on 12th, Lalnungsanga from Mizoram on 13th, Manoj Das from Assam on 14th, Thendup Tamang from Sikkim on 15th, Hage Lasa Nado from Arunachal Pradesh on 16th, Rajbeer Ahmed from Tripura on 17th, Barbith M Sangma from Meghalaya on 18th, Rijied Katrai from Meghalaya on 19th and Raluk Dui from Arunachal Pradesh on 20th position.

Rahul Gurung received the champion’s trophy along with a cash prize of Rs 30,000, while certificates and cash prizes were handed over to players in top-20 overall and top-three players in different age categories. The tournament carried a total cash prize of Rs 1.50 lakh sponsored by the All India Chess Federation.

The prize distribution ceremony had Sikkim Olympic Association president, BK Roka, as chief guest, who, along with other special guests, gave away the trophies and medals.

Sikkim Chess Association also feted the youngest player of the championship, five-year-old John Lalrinfela from Mizoram and the oldest player, 84-year-old TP Ghimirey from Sikkim.

In his address, the chief guest congratulated all winners and participants from different NE States and congratulated all parents for supporting and guiding their children and stated that such support and encouragement from parents would take their children to national and international level.

Mr Roka urged SCA to continue with its efforts for the promotion and development of chess in the State and towards providing more platforms to players.

Chief Arbiter of the championship, Dharmendra Kumar, commented that the standard of the chess in Sikkim and the entire north eastern region has been gradually improving and lot of quality players have been coming out of the region.

He also congratulated Sikkim for carving out a prominent place in chess in the north eastern region in a short period. He encouraged SCA to continue with its efforts to produce more quality players from the State.

SCA general secretary, Mahendra Dhakal expressed his happiness and satisfaction with the performance of Sikkim players and stated that achievements made by Sikkim players would encourage other players and help SCA efforts produce International Masters and Grand Masters from Sikkim.

He assured that the association would try to organise more regional and national competitions in the State to provide bigger platforms to local players.