While there is much news of India’s cricket, and the new soccer league, there are some quiet achievements in which Indian competitors have been excelling this year. The Under-16 chess squad has played extremely well in Gyor, Hungary, at the Junior Olympiad.
Out of the nine matches, the Indian team won eight matches, conceding only one match to the Russian team. India took the gold medal while Russia took the silver, and Iran took the bronze.
There were 54 different nations that took part at the Junior Olympiad, with each team having at least one female member. Although many of the teams left their female members as reserve players, India’s G.K. Monisha played three games for the Indian team.
When it came to the final round, Iran and Hungary fought hard to see which team would make it through. Russia easily beat the Ukraine, and India quickly beat Turkey.
India came third overall in the Olympiad this year, with China coming out as the winners. It is certainly clear that the Asian countries have strong chess players. When individuals from the Indian team played in South Africa at the most recent age categorized world championships, there were a number of medal winners. Although Viswanathan Anand had lost in the match for the world title, he has managed to win three tournaments since that time. There are also some strong chess players emerging from The Philippines, and from Vietnam.
To add to India’s excellent performance, both Aravindh Chithambaram and Murali Karthikeyan have received grandmaster titles with playing that has exceeded the Elo 2500-mark.
This was certainly a strong finish to 2014 for the Indian Under-16 chess squad, and there are hopes and expectations that the squad will continue to play well into the next year, bringing India more medals, both from individuals and from the team.