Arshiya Das (third from right) after winning the gold medal in Uzbekistan  Credit: EastMojo image

Agartala: Tripura chess prodigy Arshiya Das has scripted history by representing India in the Asian School Chess Championship held in Uzbekistan and winning a gold and a bronze medal for India.

The tournament, which started on June 19, will go on till June 29.

Speaking with EastMojo, Purnendu Das, Arshiya’s father said: “Arshiya received a gold in the ‘blitz’ category by scoring five points in seven rounds and a bronze with 6.5 out of 9 in the standard category.”

Arshiya missed a medal in the ‘rapid’ category by ranking fourth.

Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb took to Twitter to congratulate Arshiya for her success in Uzbekistan.

Deb wrote: “Congratulations Arshiya for winning Bronze Medal (under 9 girls category) in Asian School Chess Championship, 2019 organised at Uzbekistan. You are a pride of our state and I wish you all the best for your brilliant future.”

Arshiya Das after winning a bronze medal in the standard category at the Asian School Chess Championship in Uzbekistan on Thursday

Earlier in an interview with EastMojo, before leaving the state, the chess prodigy had said that she was confident of winning a gold medal for India at the tournament. “I will give my best and play well to win the gold medal for my country and make everyone proud,” she said.

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A student of Class III in Holy Cross School in Agartala, Arshiya holds the top position in the country’s championship (U-9 chess category). She also said that she had started playing chess when she was five years old and has won a series of tournaments across the country over the past few years.

Arshiya said that she wanted to become a woman Grand Master and grow up to someone like Viswanathan Anand in the future.

Arshiya’s mother, Arnisha Nath Das, said that while visiting a mall, when she was five years old, she saw a chess board and asked me to buy it for her. “That was the humble beginning. Following this, she has never stopped. The following year, when she was just six, she played her first national championship,” she said.

Her father, Purnendu Das, an officer in the state-run BSNL, said, “We never knew that she would do that good. But when she started playing, it became very difficult for us to get funding for her competitions. Till date, over Rs 40 lakh has been spent on her travel, stay, entry fees and other expenses. We have met chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb to help her in providing financial assistance so that she can continue with the game.”

Earlier in 2018, Arshiya missed the World Championship in Spain and got the 13th position. She played at Asian Chess Championship in Thailand in 2018 and at the World Chess Championship in Spain last year. She has also won several state championships like the Telegraph Championship, Northeast Championships, etc, in the past.

Arshiya’s coach Prasenjit Dutta, a FIDE master, said that Arshiya became the first chess player from the state of Tripura to participate in a performing-rated chess tournament at Agartala at the age of five years and is performing brilliantly. She also achieved the ‘youngest player’ title in the tournament.

Arshiya had qualified for the Asian Youth Chess Championship-2018 in Thailand and the World Chess Championship-2018 at Spain after winning a bronze medal in the 31st national Under-7 open and girls’ chess championship in 2017 at Vijayawada.

Recently, she got a gold medal in National School Championship-2019 at Raipur and qualified for the Asian School Chess Championship-2019 at Tashkent, Uzbekistan starting from June 19 to 29, 2019.

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