Gangtok, Jan 21
Sikkim Chess Association [SCA] is all set to host the 19th edition of North Eastern States FIDE Rating Chess Championship 2019 from 29 January to 03 February here at Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences complex, 5th Mile Tadong. Sikkim is hosting this prestigious championship for the second time in the State. Around 250 chess players from all north-eastern states are likely to join the championship.
Addressing a press conference here today, SCA general secretary, Mahendra Dhakal mentioned that Sikkim has hosted this prestigious championship for the time in year 2012. He mentioned that Sikkim has the largest contingent of around 120 players being the host State and followed by Assam which has around 55 players in this championship. He added that around 250 players were likely to join the championship.
The championship will be played on Swiss League System of 10 rounds. The championship carries the total cash prizes of Rs 1.5 lakhs, which has been sponsored by All India Chess Federation [AICF]. The championship has open and different age-group categories. AICF general secretary Bharat Singh Chauhan from Delhi is coming to encourage participants in the championship.
Speaking on the ongoing preparation of Sikkim team for the championship, Mr Dhakal stated that the state team members were in the good form and all set to give a tough competition to their competitors in the championship. He informed that SCA has organised a month-long camp for the State team at SCA office. He mentioned Rahul Gurung was the youngest and the current North East Championship. He added that another Sikkimese player, Thendup Tamang was the second runner-up in the last edition of the championship held at Shillong in Meghalaya.
The current champion of the championship, Rahul Gurung stated that preparation has been going well and to give his best to defend this title. Likewise, Thendup Tamang said, “I would go for the champion’s trophy this time. The preparation has been going very well and I would give my best to become the champion,” he said.
Likewise, other top rated players of Sikkim, Sushmita Lama, Rakesh Gurung, Rohit Gurung and Suraj Gupta expressed their hope to do well in the championship and to further improve their FIDE rating.