Indian Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand took to the game as a child and became a Grandmaster at the age of 19.
But winning the World Championship for the fifth time last year (after four consecutive titles) seems to have inspired young city kids. The Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) inter-school chess tournament has seen a rise of 300 entries compared to last year.
The organisers attributed the increase in interest to Anand’s success on the world stage as well as schools’ growing interest in the sport. “Around 1000 students participated last year.
This year, we received a record 1300 entries. Anand’s domination on the international stage is the prime reason for the rise in interest. If there was no restriction to entries, the number could have crossed 3000,” said Salil Ghate, a Bombay Chess Association (BCA) official, who is helping MSSA conduct the inter-school event.