Pune to host the World Junior Chess Championship – 2014

WJCC-2014 will be jointly organized by the Maharashtra Chess Association and Pune district Chess Circle under the auspices of AICF and FIDE.

August 11, 2014 11:20 IST | India Infoline News Service
Enjoying a rich chess culture, the royal city of the Peshwas -Pune is all set to host the prestigious and second most important Chess tournament in the World-the World Junior Chess Championship (WJCC) 2014 from 5th  October to 20th  October. 250 players from 65 countries including Grandmasters and International Masters are expected to participate in this 15 day event that will be held at Hotel Hyatt, Viman Nagar, Pune.

The media launch was conducted today by five time World Champion GM Viswanathan Anand, Ashok Jain, President, Maharashtra Chess Association (MCA) and Aniruddh Deshpande, Vice President, Maharashtra Chess Association and Chairman, WJCC Organizing Committee.

The WJCC-2014 will be jointly organized by the Maharashtra Chess Association and Pune district Chess Circle under the auspices of AICF (All India Chess Federation) and FIDE (Federation Internationale des Echecs-, World Chess Federation). The tournament will feature two categories - the Open category and the Girls category. It will be conducted in the Swiss League format comprising 13 rounds with one round being played each day. The winner in both these categories will be conferred the title of Grandmaster (GM) and Woman Grandmaster (WGM) respectively and, will automatically qualify for the forthcoming World Cup, which is part of the World Championship Cycle. The winners would also take home a cash prize of Rs 6,00,000 (Six Lakhs). As a special recognition, the best Indian performers in both the sections will be presented with the Pune Mayor’s trophy.

Ashok Jain talking about MCA said ‘The Association has been very active conducting International and National tournaments. We have initiated the novel Maharashtra Chess League (MCL), the first Chess League in the country which has been a big hit in both its editions. MCA has also been committed to the development of chess and introduced the ‘Chess In Schools’ (CIS), another initiative to introduce chess at the grass roots. Currently there are 186 schools with about 9500 students enrolled in the programme and the target is to reach out to 500 schools and about 50,000 students in the next couple of years”.

 During the press conference Deshpande announced, “It is mandatory for every country participating in this event to be affiliated with the FIDE and field their top player for this championship.” The organizing committee of WJCC- 2014 comprises prominent chess players and  key personalities of various Chess Associations namely Ashok Jain, Ravindra Dongre,  Zone President of World Chess Federation (FIDE) and, Treasurer, AICF and, Chairman of the Maharashtra Chess Association; Siddharth Mayur, Vice President of the Pune District Chess Circle; Niranjan Godbole, Secretary  of Pune District Chess Circle; Sanjay Karavade, treasurer of Pune District Chess Circle; DilipPagay,  Secretary of Maharashtra Chess Association; Chess Grand Master Abhijt Kunte ;Prakash Kunte and Moreshwar Bhagwat.

Deshpande further added, “Pune city is known not only for its excellence in academics, but also as a thriving hotspot for sports and other curricular activities. The rich tradition and chess culture in our city has resulted in the emergence of many Grandmasters. By hosting WJCC in Pune, we would like our other talented players to be exposed to International platforms in their backyards.” This is the first time that Maharashtra will be hosting a WJCC event. In the past, the event has been held at Kozhikode in 1993, Goa in 2002, Kochi in 2004 and Chennai in 2011.

Viswanathan Anand said,  “The importance of this under-20 event can be gauged from the fact that stalwarts of game of chess and World Champions like Boris Spassky, Anatoly Karpov, Gary Kasparov and many others first hit the limelight as World junior Champs.I also gained entry into the big league of chess after winning the World junior title in 1987. Pendyala Harikrishna, Abhijeet Gupta, Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika and Soumya Swaminathan are the other Indians who have won this tournament in the past.”

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