Gangtok, 07 Aug:
Smart Girls FIDE Rating Chess Tournament got underway here at 5th Mile, Tadong, on Wednesday.
The tournament, exclusive to girls and women, is being organised by Sikkim Chess Association for the first time in Sikkim and even the entire north-east region and has attracted the participation of 64 from different parts of Sikkim and a few from West Bengal.
The inaugural function had Upper Tadong in-charge of Sikkim Krantikari Morcha, Anand Lama, as the chief guest accompanied by international arbiter, Dharmendra Kumar, as guest of honour.
The chief guest expressed happiness over the development of the chess in the State and on the participation of the young.
While congratulating young girls for their participation in the tournament, he commented that their active participation heralds a bright future for Sikkim in chess.
He also congratulated SCA for its continuous effort and hard work under the leadership of Mahendra Dhakal in bringing chess to this level.
Mr Lama expressed hope that chess will help develop a healthy and productive human resource for the State. He stressed upon the need for infrastructures and facilities to take chess to the next level.
On the same, he assured the association to take up these issues with the State Government for future promotion and development of chess and to take local players to the national and international levels.
Mr Kumar, who is the chief arbiter of the tournament, mentioned that the main objective behind organizing the tournament was to promote chess among girls.
He congratulated SCA for making a good start. He also congratulated parents for their support and encouragement to their children in taking up chess.
The SCA general secretary, Mahendra Dhakal, informed that the tournament was a rating tournament and hence provides a good opportunity to young players to play with rated players and earn their rating.
Mr Dhakal mentioned that this tournament has been allotted only to Sikkim in the entire north-eastern region due to the large number of girl chess players in the State.
The tournament is being played on Swiss League system of nine rounds and carries a total cash prize of Rs 30,000 along with trophies and certificates. The tournament also has age categories of U-7, U-9, U-11 and U-13. The valedictory function of the tournament is scheduled for 11 August.