As the crowd of chess lovers grew in Gariahat, so did the number of chess players who also frequent the local chess tournaments and even spur at the state level competitions, reveal officials of the club.
“The notable chess players of south Kolkata like Kunal Chatterjee, Dyutimoy Mukherjee, Sarbajit Adhikary, Himadri Biswas, Sanjib Burman, Subir Ghosh and others also began to frequent the venue and sometimes spurred each other in a rapid round of chess,” says Debashis Basu, president of GCC.
“We rejoice whenever our regulars take part in competitions or win prizes. Inspired by the success of a few from here, others also venture into competitions,” says Basu.
The informal gathering of chess lovers in the area since the late 1980s took shape as a chess club in November, 2006.
The presence of Grand Master Dibyendu Barua and West Bengal Chess Association (WBCA) secretary Udayan Ghosh also helped to popularise the chess fraternity of Gariahat further.
The objective of GCC is simple, says Basu.
“We are keen to bring this game of skill which needs very little money to the grassroots level and popularise it specially among school going children. We are trying to make some useful contribution to the cause of the cerebral game,” he says.
With the latest world title garnered by Anand, the enthusiasm has only grown in the Gariahat boulevard.
As 35-year-old Basudev Haldar, who plays under the flyover till 10 pm every night, sums up: “We are proud of Vishwanathan Anand and our love for the game has grown with each of his achievements. Perhaps one day another Vishy will emerge from here.”
Image: People are looking engrossed as two players are engaged in a game of chess in a street corner near Gariahat traffic intersection in south Kolkata.