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Wipro to sponsor two chess players from TN

Our Bureau

CHENNAI, Aug. 9

IT major Wipro as announced that it would sponsor two young chess players from Tamil Nadu - Deepan Chakkravarthy and M. Priyadarshini. The two players from Madurai have joined three others from Pune, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh in the Wipro chess initiative team.

Wipro would provide Rs 4 lakh as sponsorship for each player per year. The players can use the package in any form they wish to use it for, and participate in as many tournaments possible in India and abroad. Depending upon the players' performance, the amount would be increased, the company's Vice-President, Brand and Communication, Mr Vijay Gupta, told newspersons here on Friday. Wipro has allocated Rs 1 crore in this fiscal year for the chess initiative, he added.

Mr Gupta also handed over to both the State players a notebook personal computer, which would be loaded with chess-related software to assist the players in the game. With the new team, Wipro is currently sponsoring seven chess players including the Indian Grand Master, Harikrishna, and Aarthi from Andhra Pradesh. "Our vision is to have 25 grandmasters in five years. We have one, Harikrishna. We would continuously look out for young players," he added.

According to Mr Gupta, Wipro has identified chess as a game where Indian can excel, and hence has "pledged" to support budding chess players. "We firmly believe that young Indian chess players can make India a superpower in the field of chess, if they are supported and coached well. The players are all 15 years of age and are fast-rising stars on the Indian chess horizon," he added.

Deepan, who came to limelight at the age of eight, has won the Asian Junior Championship held in Marawila, Sri Lanka, while Priyadarshini has to her credit the national title wins in 1995, 1996 and 2000, as well as an international title at Bikaner in 2001, said Mr Gupta.

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