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Truly, Gens Una Sumus!

by Sagar Shah - 11 July 2017

ChessBase India has been trying its best to bring you updated and timely news of the Indian chess scene for about a year and a half now. In our endeavour to do this, we have connected many chess players across the country. Few days ago, we publish a story of a girl from Kolkata with her sketching abilities and a chance to get sketched by her. A man sitting thousands of kilometres away wins the contest. The normal thing to do would be send a photo and wait for it to be sketched. But Suresh Sundaram went the extra mile and did something truly special. Truly, Gens Una Sumus!

Sketching a positive future for chess!

A few days ago we had published an article entitled Gens Una Sumus where the 17-year-old Chandreyee Hajra wrote about her experience of travelling from Bhubaneshwar to Mumbai and playing in the Mumbai Mayor's Cup. At the end of the article we uploaded six of Chandreyee's sketches of famous Indian players and had the following quiz:

Your chance to be sketched by Chandrayee:

Here's a small trivia. It has two parts:

1. Chandreyee has a favourite sketch from the six that we have published above. Which one is it?

2. Who is the person in this sketch?

Hint: She is not a chess player, but related to chess in a big way!

The readers were asked to leave their answers in the comments section of the article. The right answers were:

1. S. Vijayalakshmi

2. Sudeshna Datta (wife of Surya Sekhar Ganguly)


Two people gave the right answers: Shanya Mishra and Suresh Sundaram. We did a lucky draw and the winner was Suresh Sundaram. We asked Suresh to send us a picture that would be sketched by Chandreyee. Suresh not only did that but also surprised us with his mail.

Excerpts from Suresh's mail to ChessBase India:

"I am attaching my photo (I am along with my wife in the photo) for the sketch. More importantly I feel very much proud to be part of chess through this and happy that I am being sketched by an upcoming talent. Wish her many more success in chess and to attain the peak of her chess career.


True to the saying Gens Una Sumus - I would like to do a little contribution for the development of chess and encouragement of chess players.Through this contest I would like to gift Ms. Chandrayee Hajra - Rupees five thousand (Rs. 5000/-) to encourage her in chess and keep her motivation alive in other talents like sketching. She can use the amount in whatever way she likes, but would be happy if she uses it for her chess development."

Excerpts from Chandreyee's mail to Suresh:

"Thank you very much for your gift. Since a long time I am trying to take a personal class from R.B. Ramesh sir but due to financial issues it was difficult. As soon as I got your mail I asked sir for the class and most probably the class will take place in July. I am sure that your gift will help me to make my dreams come true."

Suresh Sundaram ensured that Chandreyee would be able to fulfill her dream of working individually with the super coach of India R.B. Ramesh
Suresh did deposit the money in Chandreyee's bank account. On the other hand Chandreyee kept her part of the deal and did a fantastic job of making Suresh and his wife's sketch.

This was the photo that Suresh had sent to Chandreyee

And that's Chandreyee's masterful art!
Chandreyee also ensured that she couriered the hard copy of this sketch to Suresh's home in Tamil Nadu.


Suresh and Chandreyee had never met each other before. They didn't even know about each other. Yet, the samaritan comes ahead and donates Rs.5000 for the development of chess of the young girl. This is the true meaning of Gens Una Sumus and we at ChessBase India couldn't have been happier. Indian chess needs more selfless people like Suresh to help the sport develop and prosper. Suresh, we thank you for your kind gesture.


Note: This is the first time that Suresh would be seeing his sketch. We are waiting for his reaction, as to how he liked the sketch, in the comments section below.

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