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Archive for Monday, August 9, 2004

It’s their move: Chess players headed to national events

August 9, 2004

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Anjali Datta, 12, doesn't say much about the new title she's acquired.

But as of this month, Anjali is the U.S. Chess Federation's highest-ranked girl under 13 in the United States, and ranks 51st regardless of age based on standings.

"Not that many girls play chess," Anjali said.

She began playing chess five years ago after watching her brother, 14-year-old Deepyaman, play for a couple of years. And he's no slouch, either.

Deepyaman, who provides Anjali with some instruction, was ranked 21st in the 14-year-old age group as of this month. He also has an "expert" ranking. That's based on the number of points he has accumulated through playing.

Not bad for a boy who basically fell into the game. He decided to sign up for chess while attending Quail Run School. He knew nothing about the game, but found he enjoyed it.

"I like the problem solving involved," he said. Anjali agreed, adding that no two chess games are the same.

Deepyaman and Anjali have traveled to tournaments in Chicago, St. Louis and Dallas are more common destinations.

"Traveling is one of the great things about playing chess," Deepyaman said.

Chess players Anjali Datta, left, and her brother, Deepyaman Datta,
will compete this week in chess tournaments in Fort Lauderdale,
Fla. Anjali has qualified for the Susan Polgar Invitational, which
features the top girls chess players under 19 from each state.
Deepyaman will represent Kansas in the Denker Tournament of High
School Champions.

Chess players Anjali Datta, left, and her brother, Deepyaman Datta, will compete this week in chess tournaments in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Anjali has qualified for the Susan Polgar Invitational, which features the top girls chess players under 19 from each state. Deepyaman will represent Kansas in the Denker Tournament of High School Champions.

The two local chess whizzes left Saturday for Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for a week of chess.

Deepyaman will represent Kansas in the Denker Tournament of High School Champions, which features the top high school player from each state. Anjali will play in the Susan Polgar Invitational, which features the top girls under 19 from each state. She also will compete in Greece at the World Youth Championships in November for a second time. She first competed in 2002.

The siblings play chess about two hours a day during the school year. They said they played more in the summer, when they're not involved with other activities, such as tennis and the piano.

But the youths aren't just resting on their laurels. Deepyaman said they both continued to study the game. They own about 50 books on chess and several computer chess programs. Deepyaman also takes lessons online from a grand master, Vladimir Kosyrev, who is based in Moscow.




Technology has provided Deepyaman and Anjali opportunities to improve their game, said their father, Deepak Datta.

"They're not going to be professional chess players," Deepak Datta said. "But I think the payoff is that they will do well on a variety of fronts."

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