Monday, February 11, 2008

Keep an Eye Out for Anant Dole

From City teen makes his move in world chess February 04 2008 at 01:50PM By Leila Samodien He might only be a schoolboy but Cape Town's Anant Dole, 15, made a world-class impression at an international chess competition in 2008. Anant exploded on to the local chess scene a few years ago just a year or two after his sister taught him the game. But his proudest triumph yet was at 2008 Fide-hosted Parsvnath International Open Chess Tournament in New Delhi, India, where he clinched a joint fifth place and scooped a prize of 10 000 rupees (about R2 000). In a rare occurrence for such a junior player, he also defeated Turkmenistan grandmaster Sapar Batyrov. The tournament, held from January 13 to 20, was open to anyone so Anant had to compete against 400 talented players of all ages and backgrounds. These opponents included grandmasters, Fide masters and international masters with years of experience and reputable international ratings. The Grade 9 Sacs pupil who is also one of Mark Shuttleworth's Hip2b² ambassadors this year is ranked among the top 10 junior chess players in the country and has been invited to the national championships every year since he was eight. "I won (nationals) at least five times in my age group," he said. After his success at the competition, Anant was left with a local rating of about 2 150 (points) and an international Fide rating of 1 985. His ambition is to eventually become a grandmaster - the most prestigious title a chess player can hold. Players require an international rating of 2 500 to make grandmaster status. "I would love to become a grandmaster one day but it will take a lot of effort. At the moment, I practise about an hour a day, but grandmasters put in about five hours a day," Anant said. He believed the game not only taught him discipline, but also played a big role in his academic performance. "I don't have to put as much effort into certain tasks as I used to, especially subjects like maths, because maths and chess are closely related. It has helped me face problems in all spheres of life," he said. Anant's former coach, Kenny Solomons, said Anant had "great potential" as a chess player. "If he continues to work hard and stay disciplined, he could be one of the best chess players around," he said.

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