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Vishy Anand to join forces with Microsense to create future champions in India

by Sagar Shah - 02/11/2019

One of the companies that is supporting Indian chess in a big way is Microsense Networks. Based in Chennai, the co-founder and Managing Director of the company S. Kailasanathan is a chess lover and a former state champion of Tamil Nadu. The company supports over 20 chess talents of India and sponsored the Kramnik Microsense India chess program that took place recently in Geneva. On 31st of October, they held a felicitation ceremony where three of the youngsters of Indian chess - Raunak Sadhwani, Prithu Gupta and P. Iniyan were awarded with Rs. 1 lakh each and feted by none other than five-time World Champion Vishy Anand. At the event Kailasanathan and Vishy Anand made a very important announcement. What was it? We tell you all about it in this article.

Becoming a grandmaster is a commendable feat, especially when you do it at the age of 13 like Raunak Sadhwani did or 15 like Prithu Gupta or 16 like P. Iniyan. These are the brightest young stars of Indian chess, who have the ability to ensure that the Indian flag flies high in the chess world in the years to come. The hardwork, toil, effort and dedication to get the GM title is immense. Thousands of hours have been invested in trying to perfect the art, lakhs of rupees have been spent. Yet when they achieve this highest title in the world of chess, there is hardly anyone who comes to the airport to receive them, there are hardly any felicitation ceremonies held to honour their effort, there is hardly any support extended by the Government for making the country proud. Well, all of this is changing now and one organization that is playing yeoman's role in bringing this change is Microsense.

On 31st of October a ceremony was held in Chennai where Vishy Anand was invited to felicitate the 65th, 64th and 61st grandmasters of Indian chess - Raunak Sadhwani, Prithu Gupta and P. Iniyan | Photo: Prasad R/TOI

Microsense is a global technology company with offices in India, UAE and the USA. It specializes in Wi-Fi and premium hotel technology solutions for international hospitality chains. The co-founder and managing director of the organization S. Kailasanathan was the state champion of Tamil Nadu in 1972.

Know the story of Microsense through this video where Mr. S. Kailasanathan speaks about his experience of 30 years as an entrepreneur

Each of the players were awarded with Rs.100,000 for their efforts by Microsense. The prizes were given to the players by Five-time World Champion Vishy Anand. Also present at the felicitation ceremont were FIDE Vice President D.V. Sundar and India's first International Arbiter D.V. Sundar.

India's latest GM Raunak Sadhwani with his parents and Vishy Anand

Apart from these three GMs who were felicitated, you also had some other big names of Indian chess attending the ceremony like Adhiban, Aravindh Chithambaram, R. Prggnanandhaa and others | Photo: Kristianus Liem

As the Indonesian team was also present in Chennai for a friendly match with ten Indian chess players at Chess Gurukul, they too were invited to the ceremony

"It was an excellent atmosphere at the venue," said Mr. Kailasanathan. We had young grandmasters, young talents, legend like Vishy Anand, administrators, players from Indonesia, all connected with the same bond - chess!"

Even Vladimir Kramnik, who has trained all three of these youngsters, was part of the ceremony as he sent a three-minute clip congratulating the youngsters

Prithu's mother Poonam, speaking to ChessBase India said, "Our sincere thanks to Kailashji, his family and all the Microsense India officials for felicitating and encouraging Prithu in such a beautiful way. When we met Kailashji, his elder brother and his family for the first time in Chennai in September, we had no clue that both Kailashji and his elder brother were former chess players themselves. I and Prithu were busy gaping at both the brothers as they took us down the memory lane, from the time when both of them were Tamil Nadu state champions themselves to achieving various feats in their own chess careers. All this while they were citing the various life stories of the GMs of their era and how they now plan to help the budding players realise their dreams in the recent times. We burst into peals of laughter as the hilarious stories unfolded, one of them being when Kailashji was reprimanded by his professors at IIT Chennai for missing classes to play and promote chess in his institute, and the other when Kailash ji’s elder brother (he’s an alumnus of UC Berkeley) met the Russian embassy officials in Chennai with his friends to initiate the setting up of the Tal chess club in Chennai. Kailashji and his family’s simplicity, grace and their continual support to the Indian chess fraternity has given a whole new meaning to the phrase, ‘You rise by lifting others’. I hope Indian chess gets more supporters like them in the future."

Prithu with Mr. Kailasanathan, his wife and his elder brother at their residence in Chennai

Raunak Sadhwani's mother Heena said, "It was wonderful meeting Mr. Kailasanathan sir , his  loving wife and his  brother - The real chess loving family! Giving us this opportunity to meet Five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand sir was really an awesome feeling. Felicitation function was really very good, very systematic, we enjoyed a lot. We felt fortunate to be a part of this. A Big thanks to Microsense for their big heart and a big salute to their vision. I am very much sure that it will be fulfilled, not immediately but definitely in the years to come. It's a dream of every parent that the efforts and hard work of their child should be recognized  by none other than The Legend of the game and so we want to thank Raunak for making our dream come true. Big thanks to our son Raunak because of him we both (me and Bharat) were there."

Raunak Sadhwani receives his cheque from Vishy Anand

Raunak Sadhwani when contacted by ChessBase India said, "I was really very happy to be felicitated by Anand sir. I gained lot of positive energy and motivation to move ahead from this function. Thanks to Kailashnathan sir for inviting me. Now it's time to work hard as many achievements are on the way. Eagerly Looking forward for the 2nd Kramnik Microsense India chess camp."


Speaking to ChessBase India, Iniyan said, "I had received an award from Anand sir when I became IM in Mahalingam sir's KCT college, Coimbatore. Getting an award from him motivated me to achieve more. It feels good to get one again from Anand sir when I became GM. The event was great. Microsense had put in a lot of effort for this. For example, the video message from Kramnik was very boosting. There were a lot of players, who are being supported by Microsense. It felt like a chess family's get together. The announcement about the next camp and Anand sir collobrating with Microsense were discussed in the event. These are great news and I am excited for it."

This was in 2017 when Iniyan had just become an IM and Vishy Anand had felicitated him in Coimatore!

Vishy Anand to join forces with Microsense

On the occasion, Mr. Kailasanathan gave a brief speech. Here are excerpts: "A hearty congratulations to the youngsters. Just like Vladimir Kramnik, I am also following the games of all of you (speaking to the youngsters). That's how interested I am in your progress. It's wonderful to see the young talent progressing so quickly and being so passionate about chess. While we are felicitating the players, the real people who need to be felicitated are the parents of these players, without whose support these youngsters would not have been able to go so far. The first player whom we sponsored was B. Adhiban at the World Cup in 2015. Adhiban was looking for financial help and we decided to help him. That's how our journey into the world of chess began. We now support over 20 chess players and are looking at how we can achieve our vision of having many Indian players in the top ten or twenty of the world. This would require five to ten years to happen. So we are in this as a long-term commitment."


Towards the end of his speech Kailasanathan said, "I have some piece of good news. Microsense will work together Vishy Anand to impart knowledge to these young players. We are working out the details, so nothing much can be shared as of now. But the one thing that can be shared, is that we are going to work together."

Vishy Anand will soon work with Microsense in order to impart training to the young talents of Indian chess | Photo: Kristianus Liem

Vishy Anand in his speech at the event, said, "I really applaud Microsense's support to these youngsters. It is quite an impressive list of talents that they support. It really makes life easier. This sort of heads up systematic coaching, the ability to work with Kramnik. This is really going to make a difference. What I like is that this is a patient and long term support. We have agreed to see how I can support his vision of generating lot of champions in India." 

Vishy Anand's speech at the felicitation ceremony. Don't miss his anecdote about Chessmoms!

What is the vision of Microsense?

Microsense vision/mission is to have a galaxy of Indian Chess Stars in world top 10 and top 20, a world champion in Open/men category and women category and in world team events. A few years of work has already gone into this mission and will continue till the mission is fully achieved. Such a mission requires not merely promoting one or two would be champs, but many. They presently support close to twenty young boys and girls and happily all of them are making rapid strides in the world arena and winning laurels. These include GMs Adhiban, Vidit Gujarati, Sethuraman, Aravindh Chithambaram, Gukesh, Iniyan, Arjun Erigaisi, Praggnanandhaa, Prithu Gupta, Raunak Sadhwani. IMs Leon Mendonca, Sreeshwan Maralakshikari and Pranesh, Jubin Jimmy, Pranav Venkatesh, Rakshita Ravi, Savitha Shree and Om Kadam.

Microsense is doing a fantastic job of supporting the sport of chess in India. A few years later when India would be dominating the world of chess, a lot of the credit would go to Microsense for sowing the seeds right now and investing in the future of Indian chess!

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