Chess

Manipal: The International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) Asian Chess Championship for the visually challenged 2017 was inaugurated at the Dr TMA Pai Hall, KMC Manipal, on Wednesday. The first round games will begin tomorrow as teams from Yemen and Philippines are expected to arrive later on Wednesday. The Championship hosted by Manipal University is being organised by the All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB) under the aegis of IBCA and All India Chess Federation. 

Manipal: Eight countries, including India, will take part in the International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) Asian Chess Championship for the visually challenged 2017, which will get underway at the Dr TMA Pai Hall, KMC Manipal from March 22 to 31. The championship, organised by the All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB) under the aegis of IBCA and the All India Chess Federation, is being sponsored by the Adani group.

Bengaluru: At the tender age of 12, Nihal Sarin of Kerala is the third youngest International Master (IM) in the world. Also, he is only the fourth International Master in the history of Kerala. Nihal’s feat in a way reminiscent of the current world champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway, who too had become the IM at the age of 12 years and 08 months in 2003.

Nihal at work (Pic: Sam S Babu)

Most titled players in India agree that Nihal Sarin is a super-talent. Last year, he was crowned the World U-10 champion at Durban, South Africa. This year, aged eleven, he started the World U-12 at Halkidiki, Greece, as the twenty-eighth seed and yet was silver, missing the gold on tiebreak due to an O'Henry twist. Those who have seen him know that he is heavily underrated, bringing forward his A-game when he plays those rated above him. Welcome to the amazing world of Nihal Sarin. 

Chennai: The challenge before chess World No. 10 Grandmaster (GM) Pentala Harikrishna is to first retain his ranking and then gradually improve upon it -- and it would be nice to see two Indian players figuring in top tournaments, Indian chess experts said. They also said Harikrishna's entry into the elite club would give other Indian players the confidence that reaching the top 10 is not something that is beyond their reach.

Chennai: India is still mulling the board order strategy that it will adopt at the upcoming World Chess Olympiad at the Azerbaijan capital Baku, the Indian team captain has said. "It is being deliberated. Whether we continue with the 2014 Olympiad strategy or chalk out a new one cannot be said in advance. It will be shared with the organisers a day before the Olympiad begins (September 2)," Grandmaster (GM) R.B. Ramesh, the non-playing captain, told IANS.

Mumbai: Dabang Delhi KC and Puneri Paltan played out the first draw of the fourth season ofPro Kabaddi League here on Tuesday. A closely fought game saw both sides exchange leads several times, it was Paltan captain Manjeet Chhillar who had an extremely quiet game in defence but came up with a crucial tackle in the last minute to tie the game at 27-27. Dabang Delhi KC, who headed into the match hoping to secure their first win of the season, failed to break the jinx.

Mumbai: Skipper Mamtha Poojari led from the front as Firebirds hammered Ice Divas 25-12 to win the opening match of the Women's Kabaddi Challengeon Tuesday. The match marked a historic occasion as it was for the first time that women Kabaddi players played at the same court as men i.e. 13 by 10 square metres in a 30 minute match. Firebirds skipper Mamtha Poojari produced a splendid performance to lead the team to a comfortable victory.

Johannesburg: Reigning world championLewis Hamilton believes that it could be a 'good year' for hisMercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg after the German added another victory to his account at the European Grand Prix. Rosberg, who started from the pole position, cruised to his fifth victory of the season after beating Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in the inaugural edition of the European Grand Prix on the Baku street circuit. With the win, Rosberg extended his lead back to 24 points over Hamilton in the world championship.

New Delhi: In a bid to encourage amateur baseball and softball at entry level among the common masses, an eight-team national level Softball league was held recently in the national capital. Bad Bulls Sports Club organised the inaugural edition of Softball League, recognized by Delhi Softball Association, at Saket Sports Complex from June 17-19. The eight men's teams were Delhi, Punjab, Chandigarh, Kerala, Telangana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.

New Delhi: Sardar Singh, who was rested for the recently-concluded FIH Champions Trophy, will lead a 20-member squad announced for the forthcoming 6 Nations Invitational tournament in Valencia, Spain starting from 27th June. The squad features a strong defensive line up, with experienced campaigners VR Raghunath, Rupinder Pal Singh and Kothajit Singh being joined by the returning Birender Lakra. Harmanpreet Singh and Surender Kumar provide the youth to the backline. PR Sreejesh and Vikas Dahiya are the goalkeepers included in the squad.

New York: Rio de Janeiro's state governor Francisco Dornelles has issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency, just 50 days before the Olympics. This authorizes additional funding to fulfill obligations during the games. An official government gazette released yesterday read that severe economic crisis has prevented the state from "honoring its commitments to the organization of the Olympic and Paralympic Games", reports CNN.

London: The Indian men's hockey team have qualified for their maiden Champions Trophy final despite suffering a 2-4 defeat in their final pool match of the tournament against Australia on Thursday. India made it to the summit showdown after Belgium settled with a 3-3 draw against Great Britain in their group clash. Australia, predictably started off the final pool match on the front foot, and held possession for longer period of time.

Kolkata: The iconic Eden Gardens, Kolkata will host India's first day-night game with a pink ball, starting June 18th. The four-day game, which is the final of the Super League tournament will feature a pink Kookaburra, which has been a topic of engagement amongst the cricket fraternity world over in the past year.

Mangaluru: Mangaluru’s power lifter Supreetha Poojary has won bronze medal in Asian power lifting championship – 2016 at Udaipur. “I was aiming at gold, however, I’m happy about the bronze medal. However, my next goal is to win gold medal in World Power Lifting championship,” exuded Supreetha. Supreetha had bagged bronze medal in 72kg category in Asian games.

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