Posts Tagged ‘Sports’

Fondly called Vishy, the tiger of Madras, Vishwanathan Anand is the man of Chess, the game that originated in India. Anand is the Indian Chess Grandmaster, along with currently being the World Chess Champion and the second highest rated player in the world.


Anand was born on 11 December 1969, in Mayiladuthurai, a small town in Tamil Nadu. Shortly thereafter, the Tamil family shifted to Chennai, erstwhile Madras. The Chess-fever came from his mother, Susheela who was a Chess enthusiast. Anand learnt Chess at the tender age of six and stunned the experts while at game. His qualities of marvelous intuition and amazing speed at play left them open-mouthed.
Anand holds a degree in commerce from Loyola College, Chennai. He lives in Collado Mediano in Spain with his spouse Aruna.


Vishwanathan Anand bagged the title of Youngest National Champion at the age of 16. He also earned the popular, India’s first Grandmaster title at 18 by winning Shakti Finance International chess tournament held at Coimbatore, India. Anand has been described as the most versatile world champion as he is the only player to have won the world chess championships in many formats including Knockout, Tournament, Match, Rapid, and Blitz.

  • Anand won the National Sub-Junior Chess Championship with a score of 9/9 in 1983 at the age of 14
  • In 1987, he became the First Asian to win the World Junior Championship
  • Anand won the strongest tournament at that time, The Reggio Emilia in Italy, in 1991, ahead of Kasparov & Karpov
  • Melody Amber tournament (1994 & 1997)
  • A World Championship challenger in the PCA (New York 1995) & FIDE (1997 Lausanne) cycles
  • Winner of the strongest knock out tournament in chess history in Groningen in December 1997
  • Credit Suisse Masters (1997)
  • Dos Hermanas (1997)
  • Wijk Aan Zee(1998)
  • Linares Super Torneo in 1998
  • He also managed to beat Fritz, the popular chess software application in 1999
  • Anand became the world champion in Chess for the first time in 2000 when he beat Spain’s Alexei Shirov
  • The title went to him again in 2007, which he retained in 2008 and 2010 when he walked away with 1.2 million Euros as prize money

The list of his victories is endless and leaves one stunned. Vishwanathan Anand will face the next challenger, Boris Gelfand, the winner of the Candidates Tournament, for the World Chess Championship 2012.


  • 1985: Arjuna Award for Outstanding Indian Sportsman in Chess
  • 1987: Padma Shri, National Citizens Award and Soviet Land Nehru Award (Anand was the youngest recipient of Padma Shri)
  • 1991-92: The first recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India’s highest sporting honor
  • 1997, 1998, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008: Chess Oscar
  • 1998: British Chess Federation ‘Book of the Year’ Award for his book ‘My Best Games of Chess’
  • 1998: Sportstar Millennium Award, given by India’s premier Sports magazine
  • 2000: Padma Bhushan, third highest civilian honor given by the Government of India
  • 2001: Jameo de Oro, highest honor given by the Government of Lanzarote in Spain
  • 2007: The first sportsperson to receive India’s second highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan
  • 2011: ‘Global Strategist Award’ for mastering many formats of World Chess Championships by NASSCOM


Anand is a humble and down-to-earth being, despite his fame and stupendous achievements. He has always stayed away from political and psychological strategies and focuses solely on the chessboard. He is a well-liked sportsperson who has inspired many players of next generation.

Anand does a lot of work to promote the game of Chess as well. He joined the Board of Directors of Olympic Gold Quest, a foundation for promoting and supporting India’s elite sportspersons and potential young talent. On 24 December 2010, he was the guest of honor on the grounds of Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, where 20486 players created a new world record of simultaneous chess play at a single venue. Also, Anand was the only sportsperson to have been invited for the very exclusive dinner that Indian PM Dr Manmohan Singh hosted for US President Barack Obama on November 7 2010.
There is none who can ‘Checkmate’ Vishwanathan Anand!

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A detailed profile of Geet Sethi: the dominant player of English Billiards and notable Snookers player of India

Name: Geet Siriram Sethi
Birth: 17th April 1961 at Delhi
Family Status: Married to wife Kiran, has two children: daughter Jazz and son Raag
Education: Studied at St. Xavier’s School, Ahmedabad

  • BA from St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad
  • MBA from BK School of Management

Works for: Tata Oil Mills as the Manager


Start: At the members’ table – Managing Committee of the Gujarat Sports Club, Ahmedabad
Inspiration: Satish Menon, a very successful Billiards player of the time


1979: Won both the Junior National Billiards Championship and Junior National Snooker Championship
1982: Created a double in the National Billiards, when he won the Junior National Doubles Billiards Championship and defeated Michael Ferreira to win the Senior National Billiards title
1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988: Won both the Indian National Billiards Championship and Indian National Snooker Championship
1997 and 2007: Won the Indian National Billiards Championship again
2008: Runner Up in the Indian National Billiards Championship and entered the Top-16 Round in the Indian National Snooker Championship



1984: Won the International Snooker Professional-cum-Amateur Championship in England & the International Billiards Amateur Championship in Windsor
1985, 1987 and 2001: Won the IBSF World Billiards Championship 
1986: Won the Asian Billiards Championship
1989: World Amateur Snooker semi-finalist‚ Asian Snooker Championship number 3
1992, 1993, 1995, 1998 and 2006: Grabbed the World Professional Billiards Championship
1996, 2003, 2005 and 2008: Runner Up in the World Professional Billiards Championship
1998: Double Gold Medal at the Bangkok Asian Games collaborated with Ashok Shandilya
2002: Busan Asian Games – won a Silver Medal in the Doubles event and a Bronze Medal in the Singles event
2006: Bronze Medal in the Doubles event at the Doha Asian Games in partnership with Ashok Shandilya. Also, won the USA Senior Team Snooker Championship in partnership with Devendra Joshi and BVS Moorthy
2007: Won the Irish Open Billiards Championship and a Silver Medal at Indoor Asian Games English Billiards tournament
2008: Won the English Billiards Open Series held at Prestatyn, Wales and finished as a Runner Up in the World Pro Billiards Championship held at Leeds


  • Winner of eight World titles including five World Professional and three IBSF World Billiards Championships
  • Featured in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the first amateur in the world to compile the maximum 147 break in Snooker in 1989 at National Snooker Championships held at Guntur, Andhra Pradesh
  • Made a break of 1276 in the 1992 World Professional Billiards Championship, a World Record. This is the highest world championship break of the last 50 years
  • Padma Shri (1986)
  • Arjuna Award (1986)
  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award (1992-93)
  • KK Birla Sports Foundation Award 1993


  • Co-founder of Olympic Gold Quest, a program of Foundation for Promotion of Sports and Games
  • Authored a book ‘Success v/s Joy

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The BWF has come up with new clothing regulations for the female Badminton players. The move came as a part of an overall campaign to raise the profile of women in Badminton and profile of the sport. The Badminton World Federation (BWF) is the governing body for the sport of Badminton and has its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with an office in Lausanne, Switzerland. The rule 19.2 of the General Competition Regulation requires female players to wear skirts or wrap arounds for Level 1 to 3 tournaments. This specific regulation has its genesis in the extensive review into the marketing and events structure conducted by an external international marketing agency in 2009.

The new rule was supposed to be enforced on May 1, 2011, the date from which the 2012 Olympic qualification period begins. But it has been granted a month’s extension and it will come into effect from June 1. The game’s governing body said that the postponement would give enough time to the shuttlers to adapt to this change. Also, it will provide an opportunity for its members to understand the reasons behind this rule, leading up to its May 28 Annual General Meet in Qingdao, China. Thus, now, the Li Ning Singapore Open, which will be held at the Indoor Stadium from June 14 to 19, will be the first tournament where all female badminton players must wear a skirt.

The BWF has developed guidelines to implement this rule, to ensure that it will not, in any way discriminate against any religious or other beliefs and respect women. Players can continue to wear shorts if they wish but they need to wear a skirt over the top of the shorts, as is often practiced already by some players.



“Sometimes it is necessary to make rules to get a consistent implementation. BWF have for many years encouraged both, Badminton clothing manufacturers and players, to produce and wear clothing that would enhance the presentation of the game in general. We are, however, always willing to listen to the players, which is why we have decided to delay the implementation date … to be able to advise and have a dialogue with the players on the implementation guidelines.”

SAINA NEHWAL (World number 3 Indian shuttler)
“The stadium is always packed whenever I play, even if I’m in shorts. Let’s see how well they can promote the sport through

this rule. I am sure it will be made optional after two months. Badminton is a lot about jumping and running across the court. Once the players start getting uncomfortable doing this while wearing skirts, I am sure they will fight against the rule together.”

JWALA GUTTA (India’s doubles specialist)
“I have no problems because I wear skirts on and off the court. I think they are just trying to glamorize the sport. But I don’t think it’s the right way. You cannot make it compulsory for everyone to wear skirts. It depends on each individual and their comfort level. I am not sure people will like being told what to wear and what not to.”

ASHWINI PONNAPPA (India’s doubles specialist)
“I personally feel happy about it because I am quite comfortable wearing it. But I know a lot of girls would not be comfortable with it. It is quite interesting for those who like it. A lot of Indian girls like wearing shorts as they have always played with shorts but even in skirts, you can wear shorts underneath it, so it would take a little time for them to get used to it.”

YASMIN ABRAR (National Commission for Women – India)
“Sports should be treated as sports. Forcing a dress code to make a game attractive is wrong. What is important is your performance, not what you wear.”

NORA PERRY (Former world champion, Head – BWF Women in Badminton Working Group)
“I am thrilled to be part of putting the women’s game higher on the agenda in the BWF. And the new clothing regulations are one of the tools that can help create a better presentation and more distinct profile of the women’s game. We need to be able to differentiate the women’s game to create the attention that the women’s

game deserves. Being a woman myself, I do not think that the rules in any way discriminate against women. The rules give sufficient room for the players to chose comfortable clothing and still be living up to the intentions of the regulations.”

LILIYANA NATSIR (Mixed doubles world champion – Indonesia)
“I wear skirts or such dresses only in special occasions, but never in tournaments. Skirts hamper my movement when I play.”

“Most of the time, I just want to find an excuse not to wear a skirt. Just the way you play, it’s really different. Your movement is limited. Thankfully, this rule is only for BWF events, not local ones.”

GREYSIA POLII (Women’s doubles specialist – Indonesia)
“I have no problem with it. If some people are not comfortable with it, I think it should be made optional. I believe this rule was made with the best intentions. Let’s just hope that it will do the sport good and more sponsors do come in to support Badminton.”

SHANTANU AND NIKHIL MEHRA (Fashion designers – Sports)
“What is important is the comfort of the players. They should be allowed to wear what they want.”

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G FOR GROWTH! Gujarat is growing at a rapid speed and that too in all the possible directions. Along with the truly vibrant ‘Vibrant Gujarat Summit’, Gujarat hosted the ‘Gujarat Kensville Challenge 2011’. It was the first-ever European Challenge Tour event in India, played from January 13 to 16 at the sprawling Kensville Golf and Country Club in Ahmedabad. This was the third city of India to host an international men’s golf tournament after Delhi and Kolkata.

Gujarat has emerged as a Global business hub and the International Golf Tournament affirms that the Golf culture in Gujarat is all set to scale new heights in the coming days. The Kensville is an 18-hole international championship golf course designed by India’s leading professional golfer Jeev Milkha Singh. Spread over 160 acre, the Kensville club has around 600 members – they belong to Gujarat, Mumbai, Delhi, Rajasthan, and South -Africa.


The tournament was all glitters with the participation of one hundred and fourteen golfers. Fifty four from India and sixty golfers from abroad struggled for the top honors in the 200,000 Euros worth Gujarat Kensville Challenge.

The event was supposed to be flagged off by Jeev Milkha Singh, who had to back out due to back injury. In his absence, the Indian challenge was spearheaded by Ashok Kumar, who topped the Order of Merit in India last year, Gaganjeet Bhullar, who finished fourth in Brunei Open, six-time India number one Mukesh Kumar and Indian Open winner Vijay Kumar.


The event was glorified with Amitabh Bachchan and Narendra Modi playing on the same field. Big B made his first tryst with golf after he inaugurated the Kensville Challenge. “Once I retire from making films, maybe I can look at golf,” he said.

On the other hand, Modi was a happy man with Gujarat hosting this grand event. He said, “Gujaratis don’t have sports in their DNA but certainly they have the ability to bring sportspersons under one umbrella. Though golf is a new game for Gujarat, it is gaining popularity among the youth of the state and could be developed for tourism purpose. I believe that soon there would be over 1,000 golf players from Gujarat.”


Great seems to be a smaller word to describe the victory of Gaganjeet Bhullar. The man created a history by winning the challenge, the first Indian to win such an event. The murmur among the crowd who bit their nails to witness this historical moment, had to be controlled by the band playing popular numbers.

The 22-year old Bhullar hails from Kapurthala in Punjab. “I am very pleased to begin my new season with a victory. Even last year, I began the season with a victory on the Asian Tour but I cherish this moment as this is my first international victory in India. It was my father’s birthday on January 14 and I dedicate this win to him” confessed the youngster.

“It will take a while for me to digest this victory, as it’s a special moment in my life. Now that I’ve got a card on the Challenge Tour, I will have to consult my parents before deciding whether to play full-time on this Tour, as it would be a quicker way to step up to The European Tour,” added Bhullar.


England’s Matt Ford bagged the second position. Bhullar battled with his nerves during a closing round of 75, but his five-under par 283 was enough to see off Ford, who signed for a round of 70 to finish just a stroke behind. England’s Jamie Moul finished in the third place courtesy best-of-the-day round of 69, whilst his compatriot Matthew Baldwin took the fourth place at two-under 286. The only other players to finish below par were Bangladesh’s Siddikur Rahman (73) and Denmark’s Mads Vibe-Hastrup (72), who shared fifth place at one-under par 287.


Gujarat had a lot to gain, apart from being home to Gaganjeet’s victory. The tournament has put the state on the international golf circuit. The Chief Minister said that to promote golf-based tourism in the state, the Government has signed five memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with private players during the recently concluded Vibrant Gujarat Summit, 2011.

A huge round of applause from the audience continued as the European Challenge Tour director Alain de Soultrait announced during the prize distribution ceremony that for the next two years, this Tour event in India will also be held at the Kensville Golf and Country Club course. “It is a great achievement for Gujarat golf. The state not only hosted an international tournament to perfection but also got the European body`s approval for the next two years” appreciated Narendra Modi.

Ahmedabad already has five operational golf courses, one under construction and one on the pipeline. There are golf courses in Vadodara, Bharuch, Vapi and Rajkot as well. The latter two of course are private and small courses. Golf in Gujarat is sure to stay!


The global sport of golf is one sport which has many dimensions to it. Golf helps understand the human psychology more than any other game. A round of golf on the course is also a very good workout for young and old alike. It is entertaining as well: the dhoti-clad villagers at the Kensville and smartly turned out entrepreneurs enjoyed the game with equal fervor.

But more importantly, no game is more closely associated to business than golf. So in a state like Gujarat where entrepreneurship and business acumen are in the DNA, can golf be away for long? The European Tour event is just the beginning of a golf revolution in the state. More is yet to come.

Finally, a standing ovation to the G FOR GOVERNMENT as it not only became the main sponsor of the European Challenge Tour event, but the state machinery also saw to it that everything was in place for the smooth functioning of the first ever international golf tournament in India.

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