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Action packed chess in Akola, Maharashtra

by Pravin Hend - 08/08/2019

Akola is a city in Vidarbha region in the state of Maharashtra in central India. It is the 3rd largest city in Vidarbha, situated about 290 miles east of the state capital, Mumbai, and 140 miles west of the second capital, Nagpur. This time it is going to organize three rating tournaments. These three tournaments will be organized by PR Chess Academy, Akola and Akola district Chess Association. This is a great boost for the sport of chess in Akola, as from 8th September 2019 to 2nd February 2020 these tournaments will be organized. One of the key members of the organizing team Pravin Hend has sent us the following article, along with an invitation to all the players across India to visit Akola and play in the events.

Three Rating tournaments in 4 months in Akola

Maharashtra State Selection under-11 open and girls Championships 2019

The 11th Maharashtra State Selection under-11 open and girls FIDE Rating championships will be held at Bhatru Mandal Hall near Tathod Mangal Karyalay Shastri Nagar Akola from 8th - 11th September 2019. The championship is jointly organized by the PR Chess Academy and Akola District Chess Association. Total Cash Prize is ₹30000 and 60 trophies will be distributed as a prize. For more details, click here.

PR Chess Academy 1st All India Open FIDE Rating 2019

PR Chess Academy will organize 1st All India Open FIDE Rating 2019 at Jilha Parishad Karmchari Bhavan opposite Aakashwani kendra civil lines, Akola - 444001. Total number of prizes is 131 including 63 cash prizes and 68 trophies. Total Prize fund is ₹400001. Click here for more details.

PR Chess Academy 1st All India Open Below 1600 FIDE Rating 2019

PR Chess Academy will organize 1st All India Open 1600 FIDE Rating at the same venue as the November's open rating tournament, Jilha Parishad Karmchari Bhavan opposite Aakashwani kendra civil lines, Akola - 444001. Prize structure is also the same as the previous one. Total number of prizes is 131 including 63 cash prizes and 68 trophies. Total Prize fund is ₹40000 . Click here for more details. 


PR Chess Academy and ADCA

I, Pravin Hend, was the first international rated Chess player from our Akola district with the initial rating of 1883 around 2007-2008. Chess was my childhood love but due to lack of opportunities and awareness I was unable to excel ahead, so it was my dream to develop chess in our Akola district and try to reach out as many as players we can. I was aware that the players from remote villages have huge talent but due to financial problems and lack of opportunities it is difficult for them to perceive chess as a career. After 2011 I shifted to Pune for PG (Post Graduation) and then after completion started working with Asian paints group.

Praving Hend in action at IIFLW tournament | Photo: Niklesh Jain

First step which might have been a big risk for me was when I left my job in February 2014 and decided to start my chess academy in Akola. So after returning to Akola, in March 2014, I established my chess academy and after working hard throughout the year we had conducted 1st All India Open FIDE rapid rating chess tournament in 2015.

Pravin's academy organized their first tournament | Photo: Pravin Hend

The sponsorer was Mrs Bharati Anup Rathi who helped us by sponsoring a prize fund of ₹1 Lac, without her initiative and guidance it was difficult for us to improve chess in Akola. We also got a very good team which was ready to work hard for chess. This is how we formed ADCA and PR Chess Academy.

After this tournament we also conducted Maharashtra state under-15 selection in 2017 and Mah State U-17 selection 2018 but this was not enough we wanted attract more players From all over the state so we have planned these 3 tournaments - Maharashtra State under-11 open and girls (8th - 11th September 2019), All India FIDE Rating Open (2nd-7th Nov 2019) and All India Below 1600 FIDE Rating Open (31st Jan - 2nd Feb 2020) with the prize fund of ₹4 lacs each. We have designed circular in such a way so that everyone should get a prize. We have also tried to arrange accommodation and food packages at minimum cost for both open and below Rating tournaments. The details can be found in the circular.

Tournament Pillar - Dr. Bharati Anup Rathi | Photo: Pravin Hend

Being a gynecologist, she is busy 24/7 but when it comes to chess she has worked with us tirelessly at grass root level. With such busy schedule, it is difficult to devote time for chess but despite that, she has helped us in every aspect from  organizing a tournament to look sponsors, venue, every single thing which an organizer has to look after. She is also vice president of All Marathi Chess Association of Maharashtra state. When you want to do something great you need great leadership - Finances, Sponsors which our president has done for our district. We need such people, at least one in every district who can take chess to greater heights!

Akola has a lot of greenery | Photo: Pravin Hend

Also our joint secretary, Rahul Bharsakle (rating 1644) sir is working hard to make these events a grand success.


Akola District Chess Association Committee

1.Dr. Bharati Anup Rathi - President/Vice-President of Maharashtra State

2. Anil Kant - Vice President ADCA

3. Pravin N Hend - Hon. Gen Secretary

4. Rahul Bharsakle - Joint Sec.

5. Vijaykumar Firke - Hon.Treasure

6. Anant Wagh - Member

7. Nilima Lakhade - Member


One good thing to notice that all the kids of members in our body are rated. Our aims are high and in upcoming years we would love to host some big National events in the future. Apart from this we would like to give special thanks to Dilip G Pagay sir for his help and guidance throughout these years. We also thank all other people who are associated with us and for helping us to take chess at greater heights.

Sundarabai Khandelwal Tower in Akola | Photo: Pravin Hend

As we believe in, "Chess player who takes Risk has more chances of winning the game! Same about life high risk high gain..!"


Welcome all to Akola!


Article was edited by Shahid Ahmed