Even 10 titles won't fetch me a job: Indian chess star Kishan Gangooli
Asian blind chess star Gangooli, who won his fifth consecutive National 'A' Chess title yesterday, says he has lost all hopes of gaining help from his state Karnataka and central government authorities
Kishan Gangooli with his fifth National 'A' Chess C'ship trophy at the Andheri Sports Complex yesterday. Pic/SNEHA KHARABE
Current Asian blind chess champion Kishan Gangooli broke his own record and became the first player to win five consecutive National 'A' Chess Championship titles. Before yesterday's competition at the Andheri Sports Complex, Gangooli won the title in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. India's top 14 visually challenged chess players competed in this event after which five – Gangooli, Ashvin Makwana, Soundarya Kumar Pradhan, Aryan Joshi and Subhendu Kumar Patra will represent the country at July's World Team Championship for the Blind in Bulgaria.
Gangooli, who decided to quit the sport because he is jobless, told mid-day after his fifth crown that he will stick by his decision to quit chess. "Even if I win 10 titles, I don't think the governments (Karnataka and central) will come forward. No help is forthcoming, so I've lost hope," said Gangooli. All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB) founder president and Dronacharya awardee Raghunandan Gokhale, who was chief guest at the prize distribution function yesterday, urged Gangooli to continue playing chess. "Kishan is as good as any FIDE Master (FM) among sighted players. If he is provided a good job and coaching, he will surely become India's first blind International Master (IM). I will convince him to compete in the World Championship for the blind," Gokhale told mid-day yesterday.
Gokhale also urged current AICFB chief Charudatta Jadhav, who he had coached when Jadhav was a player, to take up Gangooli's case with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, who was once the president of the Gujarat State Chess Association. "If AICFB and Kishan approach Mr Shah, he will surely remember his association with chess and help out and provide a good job for Kishan," said Gokhale.