Chess is a traditional sport and has been patronised in our country for a long time. Mysuru and Mandya districts have been producing talented players from time to time who have gone on to represent the country on various occasions. One such extraordinary talent is upcoming chess player in the U-9 girls section A.N. Shefali, who has made all of us proud by finishing second in the 31st National U-9 Girls Chess Championships-2017 held at Gurgaon from Nov. 6 to 12. She is our ‘Star This Week.’
Shefali of Karnataka, tied with Anupam Sreekumar (Kerala) and Rajanya Datta (WB), with 9 points from 11 rounds and finished a creditable second in the Championship held at Gurgaon, on the basis of her better tie-break score of 61 to Rajanya Datta’s 57.50.
Anupam Sreekumar of Kerala clinched the title with 9 points from nine rounds.
Rajanya Datta finished third while Aashi Upadhay (Raj-7.5) finished fourth. Karnataka’s K.G.R. Anagha from Kalale, Nanjangud taluk, secured sixth place with 8 points.
Earlier, Shefali, a fourth standard student of Santhome Public School, representing India in the Commonwealth Chess Championship-2017 held at Delhi, won gold in the girls U-8 section. She had also won gold in the 2016 edition held at Sri Lanka.
The National U-7 Girls Chess Champion, Shefali also won the silver medal in the U-7 Girls section in the Asian Schools Chess Championship held at Singapore in 2015.
Coached by Jayaram of Chess Shoots Academy, Bengaluru, this young girl began playing chess at the age of three watching her brother play the sport. Encouraged by her parents, Narendra and Nirmala, this chess prodigy from Mandya has done everyone proud with her feats in the International level. She intends to work hard in the days to come and improve her rating in the International level to become a Grand Master.