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West Zone Inter University Women’s Chess Tournament Hosted by HSNC University Concludes

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Mumbai: The much awaited West Zone Inter University Women’s Chess Tournament by Association of Indian Universities- AIU (Inter University Sports Board of India) concluded today at the pristine Worli campus of HSNC University, Mumbai with RTMNU (Nagpur) Chess Team lifting the Winners’ Trophy. A magnificent and sensational battle of some intense grinding finally came to an end on 24th November 2023. The tournament featured some illustrious players along with some very promising talents.

The valedictory ceremony of the tournament was graced by Dr Hemlata K. Bagla, Vice Chancellor, HSNC University; Dr Bhagwan Balani, Registrar, HSNC University; Dr Tejashree Shanbhag, Principal, K.C. College, Mr RK Sharma, AIU Observer; Mr Praful Zaveri, Tournament Director; Mr Sandesh Nagarnaik, Chief Arbiter; Ms  Jayshree Dangche, Deputy Chief Arbiter.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Hemlata K. Bagla said that sports are very important for holistic grooming and Chess inculcates a lot of virtues in players such as confidence, leadership skills, decision making, and healthy competitive spirit. Dr Bagla congratulated the winners and asked those who lost to not get disheartened. She highlighted that though the pawn is the smallest of pieces, it can still emerge as one of the most powerful ones. Life is like chess, take it one step at a time, one move at a time. She expressed her fervent hope to see the players who participated in this tournament, playing in international tournaments in the years to come.

Presenting a summary of the Tournament, Mr Bhalchandra Savardekar, I/C Sports Director, HSNC University thanked the AIU for entrusting the responsibility of hosting “West Zone Inter University Women’s Chess Tournament” at HSNC University from 21st -24th November 2023. He informed that the chess tournament was played in accordance with FIDE rules and 7 rounds were conducted with the assistance of officials. He revealed that over 150 participants (and their support staff) from 50 Universities across the West Zone participated in the tournament..

Avril David (University of Mumbai); Aakanksha Hagawane (Bharati Vidyapeeth, Pune); Mrudul Dehankar (RTMNU, Nagpur); Mandakini Mishra (RDVV, Jabalpur, MP); Pooja Sain (Maharaja Ganga Singh University, Bikaner) and Pallavi Kadam (SRTM University, Nanded) were awarded special medals for winning 100%  of the matches they played in the tournament. 

Mr R.K. Sharma, AIU Observer, praised Dr Hemlata K Bagla and HSNC University for extensively promoting Chess and other sports in the country. He shared that India leads the world with the highest number of rated Chess players. He encouraged and motivated players to keep practising hard since participation in tournaments is more important than winning or losing. He shared that 4 top Universities from each of the 4 Zones will be going for the AIU conducted All India level Zonal Tournament at Jaipur and he was hopeful that the top4 West Zone Universities maintain their ranks and continue to be successful at Jaipur too.

In his vote of thanks, Dr Bhagwan Balani thanked players, managers, coaches, officials, arbiters, volunteers and the organising committee for making the event a resounding success. He stressed that Sports is a great practical education; a player admits the mistakes he commits in the field, learns from them and is strong enough to overcome his weaknesses. He called upon the students to take up Sports as a career, recreation and entertainment and advised them that winning and losing is part of the game; but what is more important is how much heart and soul is poured in while striving for success.

The 7-round Tournament was played as per Swiss league system, wherein all the teams played all rounds without any knock out. The winning team was declared after the last round by amassing the scores gathered in different rounds by the concerned team members. More than 69 FIDE rated players participated in the tournament. Over 10 Arbiters were roped in to ensure fair playing.

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