Ummid Assistant

UK varsity offers scholarship for Indian managers

IGNOU's preparatory course for students desiring higher education

Welcome Guest! You are here: Home Special Reports

Kolkata's street chess flourishes under busy flyover

Saturday June 23, 2012 02:37:47 PM, Anurag Dey, IANS

Kolkata: Rain or sun does not bother them, neither does the cacophonous traffic nor the incessant clamour of a packed city. Their dream is to get World champion Vishwanathan Anand to visit their "club", the concrete railing under a busy flyover where a clutch of chess aficionados concentrate on games over which rulers once traded kingdoms.

For the 80-odd members of the Gariahat Chess Club, the love for the game transcends everything else - weather, traffic, crowds - as masters and novices come together to play the game of kings right under the busy 570-metre-long Gariahat flyover in south Kolkata.

"I've been playing chess here since my childhood, even before the flyover was constructed. This area was our favourite meeting place. As more and more people joined us and some even ventured out to participate and win prizes in various tournaments, an idea began to take shape - that we should form a club," Gariahat Chess Club president Debashish Basu told IANS.

However, despite attempts spread over months, no closed space could be found. Finally, the love and passion for the game catalysed the motley group in November 2006 to give birth to the club on an an open space under the flyover.

The club now boasts of at least 80 members, who sit on concrete railing where the chessboards are also placed.

"For me and other members of the club, all the noise does not affect us. If you have the passion, nothing can bother you," Basu said.

The chess club has one aim - to promote the game of chess - and their mission is to organise a tournament every month.

From retired pensioners to school and college goers, from bankers to professionals - all make a beeline to the Gariahat Boulevard waiting for their turn to play the cerebral game.

But how does one concentrate, in the chaos of the traffic and the clamour of the hawkers and commuters, on a game which demands tremendous mental attention?

"We have been playing here for years and nothing - be it the weather or the noise - has ever affected us. When a game is played we transcend to a different world where the only things visible are the 64 squares and the pieces on them," Sandip Mazumdar, for whom a day is never complete without a game of chess, told IANS.

"It would be wrong to say they do not get disturbed by the surrounding noise and cacophony. Initially it surely is difficult for them but as time passes they get habituated," said Sabyasachi Mazumdar, a clinical psychologist.

"On the contrary, those who have been playing there regularly might find it difficult to concentrate when playing at a secluded and calm place," Mazumdar added.

The Gariahat Chess Club, a constant source of inspiration for budding chess players, is making an effort to invite five-times World champion Viswanathan Anand to their club.

"It has been our dream to bring Anand to our club, especially now when he has retained the world crown. We are trying all out to bring him. If he comes it will be a dream come true for us," added Basu.

Though one may find it amusing to see people playing the game on the street in India, street chess is popular outside the country, especially in Russia and the US, as also in Europe.

In the town of Ravna Gora in Croatia there is even a "Chess Street" because of its regular street chess events.

Chess hustling, as street chess is known in the West, has been around for many years, with the spring being the most popular season for the game.



(Anurag Dey can be contacted at deyvil@gmail.com)









 




 


 

 

Home | Top of the Page

Comments

Note: By posting your comments here you agree to the terms and conditions of www.ummid.com

Comments powered by DISQUS

i

i

 

 

 

Top Stories

Raja Pervez Ashraf elected new Pakistani PM

Raja Pervez Ashraf of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), a former federal minister in the government of ousted prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, was Friday elected the country's 25th prime minister by 211 votes 

New Pakistani PM Ashraf was an agriculturist before entering politics

Race for Pakistan PM: PPP drops Shahabuddin, names Ashraf

 

  Most Read

RTI activist alleges sabotage in Mantralaya fire

A prominent Right to Information activist, alleging negligence and non-implementation of norms, Friday urged the Mumbai 

Mantralaya fire continues second day

Rupee ends at 57.12 after slipping to 57.33 against a dollar

The Indian rupee hit a record low for the second consecutive day Friday and slumped below the psychological resistance level of 57 to a dollar for the first time on increased demands for the American currency by oil and gold importers. The partially convertible rupee closed at a record low 

 

  News Pick

At Rio, India blames it on rich but content overall

It was a mixed bag for India on the penultimate day of the Earth Summit here Thursday where Prime Minister Manmohan Singh articulated 

HRD ministry calls IIT meet on common entrance test

A day after IIT Delhi followed Kanpur's way against the proposed common entrance test, the human resource development ministry has called 

Court seeks Delhi varsity view on OBC quota in minority colleges

The Delhi High Court Friday sought a response from the Delhi University (DU) on a plea filed by a group of colleges seeking exemption from reserving seats for students from 

Package for pandits irk migrants from Jammu hills

While Kashmiri pandits, forced out of Kashmir Valley, are happy over the state government recommending more relief for them, the victims of militancy from hilly areas of Jammu region are feeling like "children of 

 

Picture of the Day

A major fire broke out Thursday afternoon in room 411 on the fourth floor and quickly spread, engulfing the three top floors of the six storied iconic Mantralaya building in the heart of South Mumbai.

(Photo: Rahul More)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

RSS  |  Contact us

 

| Quick links

News

 

Subscribe to

Ummid Assistant

 

National

Science & Technology

RSS

Scholarships

About us

International

Health

Twitter

Government Schemes

Feedback

Regional

History

Facebook

Education

Register

Politics

Opinion

Newsletter

Contact us

Business

Career

Education

     

 

 

Ummid.com: Disclaimer | Terms of Use | Advertise with us | Link Exchange

Ummid.com is part of the Awaz Multimedia & Publications providing World News, News Analysis and Feature Articles on Education, Health. Politics, Technology, Sports, Entertainment, Industry etc. The articles or the views displayed on this website are for public information and in no way describe the editorial views. The users are entitled to use this site subject to the terms and conditions mentioned.

2012 Awaz Multimedia & Publications. All rights reserved.