Kolkata school promotes chess as tool against lockdown and mental health issues


A Kolkata-based educational institution is holding an inter-alumni chess tournament with the aim of popularizing the sport as it believes that chess can be a powerful tool in dealing with two problems brought about by the lockdowns: isolation and mental health issues.

Chaturanga, a two-day tournament to be held this weekend, is organized by the Nava Nalanda Alumni Association (NNAA) with the Nava Nalanda Group of Schools and will be held at Nalanda Bhavan in South Kolkata. It will be conducted under the guidance of Sara Bangla Daba Sangstha – freely translated, All Bengal Chess Association. Alumni of any school or college can participate, only for an institution to be represented, at least three of its alumni must register, or an applicant can join as an individual.

“We will have awards in both categories, individual and alumni. So far, we have received 117 registrations. We review the forms for duplicates and talk to each participant to make sure there are no dropouts. We would like to have at least 100 attendees for the event, said NNAA’s Dyuti Kanta Lahiri Chowdhury. The Hindu.

Explaining why the failures, Mr. Lahiri Chowdhury said, “COVID-19 was not just limited to physical health, it had a big impact on our mental health as well. Confined to their own homes, people suffered from anxiety, loneliness and mental fatigue. The best remedy for such conditions is sport. But with outdoor sports not possible in a lockdown situation, indoor games are the only option and there can be no better indoor game than chess. It keeps your brain active.

The event has the blessing of Grandmaster Dibyendu Barua, who has already confirmed his presence for the awards ceremony. Participants will include several well-known chess players from West Bengal, such as Mitrabha Guha, Neelash Saha, Kaustav Kundu and Aronyak Ghosh.

“Chess as a game has huge potential in our country and in West Bengal. However, the number of popular tournaments is very low. That is why we started the concept of chess tournament at the elder level. platform is not only good for gaming but also for bonding alumni. Sport unites people and builds relationships, which is very important in today’s nuclear society. This tournament is just the beginning.” , said Mr. Lahiri Chowdhury.


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