Chess silver for city boy in Cannes youth tournament

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 04 November 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A 14-year-old student from the city has bagged a silver medal in the under-16 category at the Cannes youth chess tournament in France recently.

Armaan Gala, a Class IX student of Oberoi International School in Goregaon, secured the second position in the tournament held in St Marguerite, France, from October 27 to November 1. With a FIDE rating of 1601, Gala scored four points at the tournament, while French boy Degeorges Hogo logged five to clinch the gold medal.

Gala was also awarded the best under-14 player in the Grand Europe Cup in Bulgaria in June.

"Apart from the international accolades, he has also been adjudged the best unrated and youngest performer in the several other Indian and international FIDE rating events," his coach, Nagesh Guttula, said. "Now Armaan plays a select few tournaments as he is in Class IX but he balances it well with academics."

Guttula has trained Gala since the was six years old. Gala picked up chess at five.

"I was fascinated by the game as I saw my father and grandfather play," Gala said. "Soon, I started playing with my grandfather and developed an interest."

His father, Jal, said it took him about six to eight months to persuade Guttula to start coaching the boy. "It has been a great journey since then," he said.

Gala loves football, has a knack for inventing gadgets and even likes humanities subjects and economics.

"I love working on projects based on physics," he said. "As part of school assignments, I have created various things such as a working windmill model."

His parents are willing to support his passion for chess. "We want to give him a platform and opportunities we never had," Jal said.

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