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The launch of ChessBase India Foundation

by Sagar Shah - 21/06/2018

ChessBase India started two and a half years ago with the mission of powering chess in India. Over the years, everyone in the organization has worked tremendously hard to unite the chess community of India. We have received great support and love from you and that is the reason why we think we are in the ideal position to start this ambitious project - The "ChessBase India Foundation". There are many people all over the world who want to contribute financially to the growth of Indian chess, there are many talents in India who are in need of these finances. ChessBase India Foundation aims to act as a bridge. We believe that when ordinary people come together and contribute, extraordinary things can happen to our chess society.

Travelling the length and the breadth of the country in the last six months to promote chess and being present at innumerable events as a trainer/journalist/interviewer/reporter, I have come to one conclusion - there are chess players in India, who need help - financial help. The talent is there, the will to work exists, but what they lack are finances. The lack of finances leads to reduced opportunities. If these players were to get enough financial resources their progress to the top would be way faster.


In February 2018, the blind players of India were in grave difficulty. Their National Blind Premier tournament was about to begin in a couple of days and the main sponsors of the event did not come forward. In such a situation we appealed to the chess community at large to help in the collection of the funds. We received 119 donors and the total amount that was collected within a week was a mammoth Rs.5,75,053.

The blind premier championship went ahead smoothly and the prize fund was also increased thanks to the magnanimity of the chess community.

In May 2018 we met the little boy named Om Kadam. Om was the reigning under-9 national champion and also the Asian under-10 champion. He is definitely one of the best players in his age category. Om's father Manish Kadam is a general mechanic at the Hinduja Hospital. His monthly income was Rs.15,000. Living in a city like Mumbai and making the ends meet with such an income and at the same time pursuing an ambitious chess career for his son was becoming extremely difficult. Om's dream was to play outside India and the ChessBase India group tour going to Spain was one of the best opportunities, because it meant that Manish could send his son alone with the ChessBase India Power Head Ankit Dalal, the manager of the trip and his cost of travelling would be saved.

The father and son duo - Om and Manish Kadam

We appealed to the chess community asking them to help Om for his trip to Spain. The amount required was Rs.75,000 and the money was received within 48 hours. One Indian grandmaster wrote to us saying, "Om's situation reminds me of my younger days. It reminds me of the times when I was in grave need and no one helped me. I really want to help Om, not just monetarily but also guide him to become a better chess player." Respecting the grandmaster's request we are not revealing his name. Om's visas have been done and his flight tickets are also booked. He will be flying to Spain in July to play in four tournaments in Barcelona. We will keep you appraised.

The launch of ChessBase India Foundation:

From our experiences of Blind National Championship and Om Kadam, we realized that there are people who would like to contribute money, there are people who want to help the chess players in need, they have the financial resources. A lot of people even thanked us for informing about these important causes so that they could donate the money. However, what they lack is correct information, the right avenue to donate their money, with the feeling that their money will be utilized for the right cause and in the right manner. 


With ChessBase India Foundation we would like to bridge this gap. We would like to help people who have the resources, identify the talents in the country who are in need of financial support. Amruta and I (Sagar Shah) are travelling throughout the country. We are in constant touch with people on ground level. Our aim is to ensure that India becomes a super power in the world of chess. We would personally ensure that the funds reach the right chess players to boost their chess careers. We want to maintain a high level of transparency for all the funds that are received and used so that people can keep a track of all the work that is being done by the ChessBase India Foundation. Once the player is sponsored, his performances will be tracked and updates will be given to the donor.

More information about the ChessBase India Foundation:

Currently, the ChessBase India Foundation is in the form of an Association of Persons (AOP). Our aim is to make it a Charitable Institution with the benefits of 80G. The formation of a Charitable Trust in India takes a lot of time. We did not want to delay with the start of the Foundation and hence started it off as an AOP. We will continuously be working to change the AOP to a Charitable Trust so that the donors get tax benefits for the amount that they have donated. For now, the money you will donate to ChessBase India Foundation will not entitle you to any tax exemptions. We will inform you as soon as the ChessBase India Foundation becomes a Charitable Trust.

How does the entire process work?

Let's assume that a chess lover would like to start a scholarship in India for a talented boy under the age 15 years of Rs.48,000 per annum. That comes to Rs.4,000 every month. We would name the Scholarship as per the donor's request. For eg. if Mr. Suresh has decided to contribute the money, he can keep the name of the scholarship as "Suresh Scholarship for boys under-15". If the donor has already identified the talent then we will directly make the payment to that talent of Rs.4,000 on the 1st of every month. If the talent for the scholarship has to be discovered, ChessBase India will write an article inviting all the interested youngsters to submit an application for the scholarship. These applications will have criteria as decided with the donor. The applications will be analyzed and the decision will be made in close communication with the donor. In this way, you can be sure that the money is reached to someone who is genuinely in need of it. After the money is received we will keep a close tab on the player and keep the donor appraised about his performances.


Note: The donation need not be a yearly scholarship. It can also be a one-time donation. It can also be a few hours of coaching from a competent trainer that are donated to a player. The above was just an illustrative example of how a donation can work.

Benefits of contributing to the ChessBase India Foundation:

1. Ensuring that the money reaches the players who are in the need of it.

2. Transparent selection process in discussion with the donors.

3. Publicity to the donor (It motivates other people to come forward and contribute)

4. Details of how the money is being used by being in close touch with the player

5. Helping the talents of our country to achieve their goals

How to donate or start a scholarship?

If you have some amount that you would like to donate for promoting chess in India then please write to us at We are building up a page where all the donations and scholarships will be properly mentioned and also the donors behind them. The amount can be just about anything that you can afford. It need not be a yearly affair, it can also be a one time donation. Bear in mind, there is some talent somewhere in the country who is need of the funds. Your generosity can help to power chess in the country. 


“When ordinary people come together and contribute, extraordinary things can happen to our chess society.”


Write to us at if you are interested to donate. Let us know your ideas and we will help you to take it forward in the best possible way.