Lucknow recently witnessed a unique game of chess, not in any closed room but onboard their metro train.
On April 7, a team of nearly 25 people, including 20 children participated in a speed chess tournament while riding the metro. The team started from IT Chauraha metro station in Lucknow and went all the way to CCS airport metro station.
The event was organised by Chess Club Black & White Lucknow (CCBW), where players in the age group of 8-15, were given three minutes to finish each game. “The idea was you can play chess anywhere, anytime. You don’t have to be intelligent to play the game. You become intelligent by playing chess because it rewires your brain. That’s why European and American schools have a full fledged scholastic chess programme as part of school curriculum. We wanted the kids to leave the screen and come out and play chess,” Shilpa Mehra, founder member, CCBW, told Express Parenting.
“Children did not want to get off; they wanted to play more and more rounds of the game,” she expressed.
The site for the tournament was also chosen with the purpose of showcasing the cultural heritage of Lucknow while travelling across the city on the metro, Mehra added. There was a mascot dressed as Doraemon and also members of the Ilyas Khan music group accompanying and entertaining the participants along the journey.
“We were not sure if we would be able to pull it off, given the practical constraints but we got special permission from Lucknow Metro Rail Corporation,” said Mehra, while acknowledging the efforts of Dr Junaid Ahmad, managing director, CCBW and FIDE arbiter Hemant Sharma, whose contributions helped in making the event a success.
“I was impressed by the confidence and focus of the children despite the tournament happening in the Metro,” Pushpa Bellani, CS, PRO, LMRC, said.
The tournament was won by Aryan Singh, 14, from Jaipuria School.