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Come, Lend a Hand in the Fight for Chess Coach Durgesh's Life

by Satanick Mukhuty - 07/09/2020

Bangalore-based well-known chess coach Durgesh K collapsed from a severe brain haemorrhage last month and has been hospital-bound in critical condition since then. Durgesh's family is in desperate need of funds to meet the expenses of his hospitalization and recovery. His close friend Sushrutha Reddy has sponsored a fundraiser event (Prize fund of Rs.50,000, held on 19th of September) along with ChessBase India to make sure that Durgesh recovers and comes back home. We therefore urge the chess community to come forward and Play for Durgesh and lend a helping hand. Read this article to know more about who Durgesh is, what his contributions to the game of chess are, and how you can help him overcome the toughest time of his life.

On the 3rd of August evening a shocking misfortune befell the chess fraternity of Bangalore as Durgesh K, the city's much loved chess coach and the Tattva Chess Academy co-founder, collapsed at his residence from a major cerebral stroke. The 39-year-old was rushed immediately to the nearby Trustwell Hospital in JC Road where he spent the next three weeks, following a successful brain surgery, languishing in coma. Durgesh also tested positive for Covid-19 during the post operative care and although since then he has recovered well from this, his condition otherwise continues to remain critical. Needless to say, there has been no end to woes for the chess player and his family. They have been already billed over rupees 14 lakh and in the coming months, to meet the various needs of long-term medical care, the expenses are only expected to go through the roof.

Durgesh K, before and after his brain hemorrhage.

Meanwhile, Durgesh's limited financial resources have almost dried up, his modest insurance coverage of 10 lakh rupees has been long exceeded, add to this the litany of formalities involved in the process of settling insurance claims—a health crisis of this magnitude for any middle-class family can be quite backbreaking. However, a ray of hope has come in these dark hours from the fellow chess players and chess coaches of Bangalore, who have assembled to fight beside Durgesh and raise funds to meet the increasing costs of his medical treatment.

No matter what it takes, Durgesh's friends from the chess community are absolutely determined to bring him back home.

Durgesh has a reputation of being an exceptionally committed chess coach. To quote the words of veteran chess mentor Bharat Vijay: "Durgesh makes learning fun...We know that everyone should respect their teacher but Durgesh is that unique teacher who respects his students, patiently answering all their questions on a variety of topics from chess to Kaala Jamun! His commitment to students is tremendous. He just gives his time, heart and intellect to the well-being of his students." 


Well, Durgesh's contribution to the royal game doesn't stop here. He is also credited for founding the Tattva Chess Academy along with his friends Arvind Shastry and Manjunath Jayaram in 2016, which has emerged into of the finest academies in Bangalore today. It high time therefore that the country's larger chess community supports one of its best assets during his most dire plight.


The ChessBase India team implores its readers to come forward and help out in this urgent cause. Money is the need of the moment and here's how you can donate:

Play for Durgesh Online Fundraiser Blitz on 19th September 2020

In order to raise funds a tournament has been organized by Sushrutha Reddy under the aegis of United Karnataka Chess Association along with ChessBase India. We will be conducting a fundraiser online blitz tournament for his good friend Durgesh  Play for Durgesh Online Fundraiser Blitz with a total prize fund of ₹50000 and a first prize of ₹10000 will be held from 8:00 p.m. IST on Saturday the 19th September 2020. The entire prize fund is sponsored by Sushrutha Reddy.

Details of the online tournament:

Date: Saturday 19th September 2020

Time: 8:00 p.m. IST

Time control: 3 mins + 0 second increment

Number of rounds: 10

Venue: Vishy Anand Arena in Playchess

Total Prize fund: ₹50000


Main Prizes

Rank Prize
1st 10000
2nd 8000
3rd 7000
4th 5000
5th 3000
6th 2000
7th 1000
8th 1000
9th 1000
10th 1000
11th 500
12th 500
13th 500
14th 500
15th 500
16th 500
17th 500
18th 500
19th 500
20th 500
21st 500
22nd 500
23rd 500
24th 500
25th 500

Lucky Prizes

30th 500
40th 500
50th 500
60th 500
70th 500
80th 500
90th 500


The entire prize fund is instituted by Sushrutha Reddy, who is a close friend of Durgesh and a well-known trainer in Bangalore

Entry fee is Free for all players irrespective of title or location. Since the tournament is for a noble cause, you are requested to donate whatever amount you can. There is no minimum amount for donation. All the proceedings collected will go towards the treatment of Durgesh.

Donate here

Alternatively you can donate via the UPI ID - chessbaseindia-1@okhdfcbank


Those who are willing to play must fill up the Google form including titled players. First 700 registrations will be accepted. Anyone submitting their entries twice will get their entries cancelled. Entry will NOT be accepted by any other means.

Players outside India who would like to participate can donate to this upi id: chessbaseindia-1@okhdfcbank and write an email to mentioning their name, contact number and Transaction ID to confirm their entry.

No draw before 30th move

In all events organized by us, 'Draw offer' before the completion of 30th move is not allowed. If a draw is agreed before the completion of 30th move, the player who offered the draw will be given a loss in that round irrespective of tournament situation. This rule has been enforced to see fighting games on all boards.


Please ensure that you have a valid Playchess id. You can create one here.


For registration queries contact:

Mr. Shahid Ahmed (Tournament director) - 9038139510 (Entry confirmations will be done via site only, no whatsapp/phone call confirmation of entries)

Email -

• We request all players to check their internet connection before the tournament. Minimum requirement should be at least 2 mbps. No phone calls/messages will be entertained once the tournament starts from 8 p.m. IST onwards. All queries must be resolved before the tournament. Each player is responsible for their internet connection, organizers will not be held responsible for any players connectivity issues. All games will be thoroughly checked for cheating/impersonation. Anyone adapting any unfair means will be removed from the tournament and will not be allowed to participate in future events on Playchess.

List of players Name Playchess ID Rating
1 GM Kokarev Dmitry Kokarev 2611
2 GM Laxman R R LAXMAN 2411
3 CM Shahil Dey ShahilDey 2376
4 FM Nikhil Dixit nikhildixit 2321
5 FM Ajay Karthikeyan skkeyan 2315
6 Balasubramaniam H BIGIL 2298
7 FM Aditya S Samant adityass 2297
8 FM Suyog Wagh suyu28 2246
9 Shiv Shome kingofall 2237
10 CM Snehal Bhosale BurninggIce 2236
11 Rohit S rohit2007 2189
12 Sanjeev Nair Attacker_97 2143
13 FM C J Arvind Junosource 2124
14 Garv Gaur garvgaur1008 2083
15 Koutlas Nikolaos KoutlasNikolaos06 2059
16 Mugil Jayavel Voodoochild 2011
17 Shriyans chess_player_2010 1995
18 Aditya Varun Gampa CHAMP_2006 1937
19 Ojasva Singh Ojasva01 1933
20 Karthik HS khs95 1897
21 Shripad KV kvsripad 1858
22 Shubh Laddha shubh_2007 1849
23 Abhijith Pran kaspypran 1847
24 Arnav Maheshwari Firearnav 1844
25 Manasa K Manasa_chess lady 1827
26 Yash Laddha knowledge_gm 1748
27 Varun Anant Varunrambharose 1746
28 Ranjit Chutia dobadoba2 1736
29 E Agam Aditya aagam aditya e 1707
30 Vivekananda l
31 Swayham P Das swayham 1675
32 Rakesh N rakeshchess007 1651
33 Subhabrata Roy KingofKings 1634
34 Abhijit UCA2500 1576
35 Anurag Malik Furace 1573
36 Navodith V Bhat Whitefalcon 1562
37 M S Nawin Vaca100 1535
38 Gajanan D PlasticBabu 1530
39 Venu Madhav P L Venu Madhav 1529
40 Gaurav Kathuria MissionMagnus 1521
41 Pranay Singh pranay20 1513
42 Nandini B Mudaliar Nandini 1512
43 Mahi Doshi chess1311 1502
44 Ankur Khatri ankurkhatri 1488
45 Hrishikesh Rupesh Raghuvaran hrishikeshrr 1472
46 Swathi Bhat Knightowl25 1387
47 Shashank Karanam Shashank Karanam 1364
48 Naveen Venkatesan contactnaveen 1338
49 Surucha Shanbhag Crazyintrovert 1324
50 Avichal Jadeja avichaljadeja02 1321
51 Varadharajan I Varadhan 1303
52 Padmaesh M K Padmaesh M K 1293
53 M. U Nihelesh Nihelesh 1283
54 Aakash Madiwalar Aequs 1272
55 K Anukiruthika kiruthi 1268
56 Revana Siddayya GN
57 Devansh Chaudhury dev11 1231
58 Arihant jain Namanjain2005 1228
59 Sankaran Ponnada Krishnaswamy Enthusiast 1227
60 Avyaya Kumara Bhat avibhat 1203
61 Sarang Jagdish deer25 1172
62 Priyanshu ProBot123 1138
63 Abhinav Ram Bommakanti Abhi07 1132
64 Abdul Kalam A Abdulkalam25677853 1120
65 Alan K Thomas Alan K Thomas 1120
66 Dharma surendar raj Dharmasurendar 1115
67 Daksh Jain skipper_chess 1105
68 Pratik Dinesh Kumar prathinav244 1104
69 Archit Saigal architsaigal 1093
70 Sanjay Pradnesh G sragvidhanvi 1078
71 Adya Premkumar ClassicalQueen20 1007
72 Aarav Manche Aarav810 0
73 Aaryan K Shenoy Aaryan112 0
74 Abhinav Anand abh2k 0
75 Abyarth Kumar Mallick Abyarth_Mallick 0
76 Ahaan Naman Mehta ahaanmehta 0
77 Akshay Jadhav Stretogomniac 0
78 Aman Kumar Vishwakarma Porash28 0
79 Amar dev
80 Ameeth Hari Prasad Ameethh 0
81 Aneesh Adiga Aneesh009 0
82 Anish Ayyappan Anish Ayyappan 0
83 Anshul Verma anshulv896 0
84 Arnab Mallick ARNAB MALLICK 0
85 Arnav Krishna T ARNAV_KRISHNA 0
86 Aryan Sarode FlashThePro 0
87 Ashok Jasma Vollepore AshokJV 0
88 Atmaj CH chnivas 0
89 Atul Raj Dhapola Atulraj7 0
90 Ayush Rathi AyushR 0
91 Bhabnish Bohidar Bhabnish7 0
92 Bhavesh Vyas bhaveshvyas_01 0
93 Deboraj Biswas deborajbiswas 0
94 Geethanjali S geethanjali2 0
95 Gopalakrishnan GIRI_CHESSBASE 0
96 Harinandan H809 0
97 Harsh Pargat harsh37 0
98 Harsha R Harsha_r14 0
99 Hemanth Hemanth-chess 0
100 Himanshu Somani AlphaBeta007 0
101 Ishaan Soni Ishaan31 0
102 Karthik karthik Hero 0
103 Kaasyap paramose 0
104 Kumaran D studio87 0
105 Mansanjam Singh Bhatia mansanjam 0
106 N Manjula manjula64 0
107 Nachiketh Vaasishta Nachikethv 0
108 Naga Ram nagaramchess 0
109 Neelmadhav Nair genesis57 0
110 Nilay Kumar NilayKumar2020 0
111 Palak Chaurasia palakchaurasia 0
112 Pramod jain Pramod99 0
113 Prathamesh Vijay Bhanuse prathameshb 0
114 Pratik Tambe Criminal7 0
115 Pritam P Modak Pritampm 0
116 R Siddharth Sidhurajesh 0
117 Ramesh Patel Boonrook 0
118 Reeshav Dey RIJUD 0
119 Riya Rathi Iameture123 0
120 Rohan Sri Hari Rohan sri hari 0
121 Roosvelt Diwakar Torde Roosvelt 0
122 Santosh Sarikar santy18389 0
123 Shreya Rajesh frozen213 0
124 Shubham Sharma Shubham1318 0
125 Swapnil Rathod swapnil31098 0
126 Swathi Sanjeev HINWEIS 0
127 Tejas Chitnis Tchitnis 0
128 Tushar Sawant tusharsawant91 0
129 Uday Tej Singh DrVykterstein 0
130 Uddhav Raj maiuddhavhoon 0
131 Veyashini P VEYASHINI 0
132 Vinay Kumar Vinaykumar 0

For latest updates of the players list, click here.

Confirmed Titled players

First GM to confirm his participation GM Dmitry Kokarev of Russia

'Blitz King' GM Laxman R R | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

How to play tournament?

1. Download the free Windows software of Playchess

Firstly you have to download the free native Windows software from here. If you have Mac OS or Mac Computer, then you have to use some VMWare to run it as Playchess Desktop Client has native support on Windows OS only. The tournament cannot be played via mobile or tablet device. All players must update the Playchess software to the latest version before the tournament.

Login or Create account

After you have installed the Client. You must login.

Enter your Playchess username and password if you have one. (Note, for all the ChessBase Account Premium members, your login credentials will work). If you do not have a Username, you must click on "Create New Player Name" and create a new account. Alternatively, you can also create it here. This is free of cost and gives you free access to Playchess for a few days. 

The tournament will take place in the Vishy Anand Arena in the ChessBase India room. Registered players should be online and logged into Playchess at least 45 minutes before the start of the tournament to confirm your entries on Saturday 19th of September 7:15 p.m. would be a good time.

Click on the ‘Players’ Tab and then click on ‘Join Event’. The Sysop (Tournament Director) will accept your entry. Only those who have donated the money will be allowed to play.


Note: The Playchess id, while donating the amount and playing the tournament should be the same.

About online tournaments on Playchess by ChessBase India:

ChessBase India has organized innumerable online events successfully. Here is some feedback about the quality of the events:

GM Vaibhav Suri, winner of Letsup MCA Grand Prix and 2nd ChessBase Online Blitz tournament

The tournament was conducted quite smoothly and a quite "fun Sunday" event. The participation of Adhiban & Sethuraman definitely added the spark to the event. I guess an Online Blitz Festival would be the next way to go (with different formats - Chess960, Bughouse, Bullet etc). Overall really happy with such events. Way to go!!


GM R R Laxman, multi-time National Blitz Champion

I thank the  Chessbase India team once more for their strenous and tireless endeavour to popularise blitz events in India. Considering the fact that the present day time control  even in classical format ( unlike the yesteryears)  demands quick reflexes and blitz skills  , I feel that the entire Chessbase India team is doing an exemplary and praiseworthy job. A boon for Indian chess !!!. Though my performance this time was not satisfactory ,I hope to excel and cherish more pleasant memories from my side in the forthcoming editions of Chessbase India blitz events.


Tushar Bohra, father of Kanishk Bohra

Thanks for enrolling Kanishk for the event. He had a great time playing the games. And a great overall experience.


D Gukesh, youngest GM of India

I am extremely happy to have participated in my first online blitz tmt conducted by ChessBase India and loved the experience and thrill. from the start to the finish its professionally conducted and got the rare opportunity to play several high-class players in a single event and looking forward for its next event


Priti Mahendru, mother of Jaiveer Mahendru

This was our second chessbase online blitz event. My son is 8 years and it was an absolute thrill for him to be playing against titled players ! Thanks a lot for organizing this. We look forward to more such events !


Kushagra Mohan

I was happy the way the tournament was conducted. No problems at all. You just keep increasing the prize money and that is a big improvement.Cannot hope for more.

For any further queries and clarifications about Durgesh's health condition, the following people may be contacted:

Nirmala, Ph: 9731209672

Arvind Shastry, Ph: 9611832665

Sushrutha Reddy, Ph: 9886358313

None other than Grandmaster Ramesh RB has chipped in during this time of calamity. Now it is time for us to do our bit.

Ramesh even appealed his Facebook friends to lend their hands for this honest cause.

Some heartfelt words for Durgesh from Sushrutha Reddy

Sushruta is Durgesh's childhood friend and also a fellow chess trainer from Bangalore. In this section we include his words to understand Durgesh and the trauma he is going through right now better. 

Chess remained my favorite game from the time I learnt it at the age of four. I met Durgesh in a Chess Tournament sometime in 1995 when I was in the ninth standard. He then returned back to professional tournaments after a couple of years. He always said he was surprised to meet someone who could recognize him even though he played just one tournament. I invited him home that day and he reluctantly said no. Durgesh stayed very close to my house at Basavanagudi at that point of time. Soon, we would meet daily - primarily for Movies and Restaurants! The first movie I showed him was Matrix and it remains his most favorite movie until today.


Durgesh was my first regular chess Partner when it came to travelling to chess tournaments outside Bangalore. There would be times when he would say No. I would still ensure I help him resolve whatever is stopping him and make him come along with me to various chess tournaments. Our bonding became strong within a year. Little did I know that he was going to be walking into the most challenging times of his life. His family was undergoing a major economic crisis due to an accident his father met with while dropping the kids to school. Prior to the accident, his father had just stepped into a business venture after procuring loans. As a result of the accident, his father lost his finger and his job, and eventually the family had to sell their house as well.


During the next few years, Durgesh supported his sisters' education, worked himself, and eventually became a Chartered Accountant! He even used to go away to his maternal home at Vijayawada during these times to resist the temptation of going out with me for movies or chess. However, I must add that each time Durgesh wanted to quit chess, I would force him back in. Why? I dreamt that one day we would promote chess across schools in Bangalore. We had passionately dreamt to bring in more kids into the game of chess together. 

Way back in 2011, Durgesh giving away an iPad along with trophy and cash prize to Amardeep Bartakke for winning the 2nd Edition of Bangalore Open.

The same year in the Karnataka State Chess Championship.

An opportunity came knocking in 2002-03. Hanumantha Rajanna proposed that I start chess coaching. This place was found by Meena Sudhindra and the name of the Institute was Surabhi. I fell asleep while teaching a kid on that particular day and decided that chess coaching is NOT for me. However, I felt that I might let down Hanumantha if I quit, so I introduced him to Durgesh instead and guaranteed that he would not let him down. This was how Durgesh entered chess coaching. 

Durgesh with his young students...

What distinguishes Durgesh as a coach is the patience with which he is able to deal with students and it's an attribute he is absolutely adored for.

Soon, Durgesh shared that he loved teaching chess to children. But he wanted to quit playing! But I always wanted him to be with me when I go outside Bangalore to a Chess Tournament! However, after he completed his studies, he joined Arvind Mills and thereafter joined the Al-Hasan group of companies at Muscat. At that point, I thought he was gone away from chess for good. 


Yet, at Muscat, he started imparting chess training to students. This gave me a hope. Eventually, in 2008, he confided in me about how lonely he felt at Muscat and he realized that he loved chess a lot. I told him to return to Bangalore and embarked on a plan of setting up training centres. From this point on, there was no looking back for Durgesh as a Coach. It was Suresh Kumar Janardhanan who generated interest in Durgesh as a player! Life from hereon became much different. I always would stop teaching by evening (I eventually got into Coaching in 2006). Durgesh would continue teaching into late hours. From this point during the last 6 or 7 years, I started missing the Durgesh with whom I would go to movies, restaurants, etc. We started meeting rarely - but would talk on phone regularly. Suresh Kumar too became his closest friend. Chess had become his life. 

As part of the Innovators Chess Academy in 2014.

He left Innovators Chess Academy in 2015 and formed the Tattva Chess Academy in 2016 and got even busier. He was extremely successful in his profession. He overworked, returned home tired and was stressed and always wanted to get away from various personal issues that bogged him down constantly. The result was that his blood pressure shot up, he fainted several times during the past few years. These were the warning signs that he kept ignoring that culminated in the haemorrhage he suffered on August 3 at 10.10 pm.

I have written so far about what Durgesh was to me. Now I will about the struggles that he had to go through:


The first few days of our friendship puzzled me. He was always calm and subdued with me while I was the opposite. He would come to me daily and it looked like as if he loved my company. He soon started opening up. I got to know that he was a topper in class 10 and had dreams of studying in the IIT - dreams that were eventually shattered. It was initially happy times for Durgesh and his family. His father, Kumaraswamy was a Banker with Canara Bank and he had taken a risk by quitting his job foraying into a new venture of lorry business. 


Kumaraswamy's business endeavour was wrecked with heavy financial loss and to pay off his loans, he had to sell his house in Chamarajpet, Bangalore. This had a direct bearing on his personal life. The education of his three children was discontinued and daily fights ensued at home which eventually resulted in the parents separating. 


Post separation, Durgesh's father lived in a small room in Majestic, Bangalore. Durgesh lived with his mother and two sisters in a very small house (10x10 ft) with no electricity and water - I have visited this house and it came as a shock to me as to how four of them lived there. Durgesh's mother wasn't literate and thus could not get a job. Kumaraswamy would visit occasionally, giving some money and leave. 


I used to observe Durgesh's mother being quite violent and aggressive and this was vindicated in depth when I spoke to his sister, Rajeshwari, earlier last month (August, 2020).  Rajeshwari  said that Durgesh would never complain or cry and instead, remained empathetic towards his mother throughout his life.With Kumaraswamy's health taking a hit, there were days when the kids and their mother would struggle for food. Durgesh at this stage as a teenager started selling Magnetic headbands by travelling door to door in the neighbourhood. He would procure it in the Kumbarpet Market in Bangalore and sell them at MRP. His younger sister Rajeshwari says, "Durgesh was like a Godfather to us. Even though he had no money in his pocket, he took me to Vani Vilas College and pleaded with the Principal to admit me into the College." She also remembers her friends' and Teachers at Jnanodaya School who helped in funding their School fees. 


Soon in 2001, Durgesh decided that he had to further his sister's education. He joined Hotel Surya (a lodge at Majestic, Bangalore) as a receptionist. While Durgesh and Vijayalakshmi studied in the National Open School, he furthered his sister Rajalakshmi's education by getting her admitted to Maharani's College where the admission fee was Rs 800 at the time. 


He eventually completed his studies and I remember his first job was with Arvind Mills. Life started looking up financially for Durgesh. He soon got a job with a much better pay and this time it was at Muscat. The very reason that he went to Muscat was to have his sisters married. Financially life improved, whereas on the personal front challenges remained. The results of a tumultuous childhood eventually started showing on adult life.


It was only late into the current decade that Durgesh managed to get his sisters married. In 2016, his mother passed away in solitude. Her death became known to her neighbors only after two days from the foul smell of her putrefying body.  Durgesh got to know the update only through the police. On that day, I was present with him in a chess tournament where he was leading with a score of 5/5. He went completely blank on hearing the news of his mother.  


Gradually, Durgesh's health declined.  His Blood Pressure shot up and he fainted frequently. In 2015, he confessed to me that he was dealing with depression. Parents of his students and friends requested him several times to take care of his health.  In the month preceding the present crisis, Durgesh would often break down into tears, crying unusually. This left his father very perplexed as Durgesh never cried in his life, not even when his parents separated.

During happier times: 7-time Karnataka State Champion N Sanjay handing the best academy trophy to Innovators Chess Academy coaches - Sushruta, Durgesh, and Sanjay Sindhia.

Every penny collected by the ChessBase India Foundation will be donated to Durgesh and will be used for his recovery. It's time for us to Play for Durgesh, and raise funds for him. Hope you will join in this cause.

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