~ Awards ~

Checkmate – Maria’s chess prodigies

“Chess is everything: Arts, Science and Sports.”- A Karpov.

Maria’s Public School takes pride in its budding talents and acknowledges them every time there is an opportunity. It was one such occasion when Mrs Nellie Ahmed Tanweer, the Founder and Managing Trustee, Maria’s Public School felicitated two chess prodigies of the school, Shahil Dey and Afsheen in the Mofizuddin Ahmed Hazarika Literary Fest Award ceremony on August 29, 2015 together with all the other award winners of the fest. The tiny little frames, one with a curious smile on his face and the other walking to the dais as Alice enters the Wonderland, were cheered with a huge round of applause by the audience. Overwhelmed with the performance of these two promising children Prof Ranjit Choudhury, former HoD, English, Cotton College and a well-wisher of Maria’s, announced cash prizes of Rs 10,000 each to these children.

  Shahil Dey

Shahil Dey studying in class 4 in Maria’s Public School is now ranked second in the U-8 category in India. His Asian rank is fourth and he is 17th in the world. His present fide rating is 1511 which was 1596 in March, 2015 showing a tremendous leap in his moves. Shahil started his journey in chess in April, 2012 when he was five years and four months old. The same year he faced the National U-7 as donor entry and achieved only five points out of 11 rounds. The first big achievement of Shahil came when he clinched the gold medal at the Asian School Chess Championship U-5 category in December, 2012. Since then he has never looked back. He achieved the first position in the state level chess in 2013 and went on to become the National Champion U-7 in September, 2014. That day Shahil’s first dream was realised. He became the Gold Medallist in Commonwealth Chess U-8 category in June, 2015. He won the Silver Medal in the Asian Youth Chess Championship, held in South Korea in August this year. Shahil represented India in the tournament. Now he vies for the World Championship title which is slated to be held in October this year in Greece. Besides other awards and accolades Shahil was conferred with R G Baruah Trophy for the Most Promising Player in 2013 by the Assam Journalists association. He has been trained in chess by Mr Trailokya Nanda and Mr Rajib Dhar of Assam since the first day of his chess career. Shahil is the first player from Assam to have won any medal in an international chess meet.

  Afsheen Afsha Zaman

As her proud parents related Afsheen’s entry into chess was unplanned. It was on that day when Afsheen along with her parents was travelling back to Guwahati by Rajdhani Express that a chess board caught her attention. She asked her father about the chess board being played by two passengers in the train. Her father replied, “It’s chess!!” She quietly observed what the fellow passengers were doing and asked them if she could join them. After reaching Guwahati she declared, "I Need That One (Chess)!” That was the beginning. It was in the month of November, 2014, that her parent thought of enrolling her somewhere so that she could learn chess in a very professional and correct method. Afsheen was admitted in Arohan under Mr. Biswajit Bharadwaj. Since then Mr Bharadwaj has been coaching Afsheen in chess. So it has been hardly 6-7 months since Afsheen has been into proper chess. She picked up quite well and after a few months of training her coach advised the parents to make her join in small tournaments. Her first tournament was at Guwahati Town Club (GTC) where she received the Best Girl Award U-7 category. After that she also played in Jugal Kishore National Open in Guwahati where she scored 2points under 11.
After these tournaments she continued playing in GTC and then she was selected to represent Assam in National Chess Championship in Chennai in August last. She won in 3.5 matches and was honoured with medal, memento and a certificate.

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