chessbase india logo

Sammed Shete wins the Pursue your Chess scholarship of Rs.50,000

by Sagar Shah - 05/11/2018

A chess lover from Bangalore, who wishes to remain anonymous, instituted the Pursue your Chess Scholarship of Rs.50,000 for a deserving player who had made at least one of his/her norms (WIM/IM, GM/WGM). The winner of this scholarship is Sammed Shete from Kolhapur. Sammed is just 19 years old but has already seen great number of ups and downs in his life. His father passed away in November 2016 due to mouth cancer. The youngster lost a lot of money when his visa was recently rejected for an international trip. But Sammed has kept powering on and currently has an Elo of 2368 with one IM norm. This scholarship is sure to be useful for him in his chess career. In this article we tell you about the scholarship and also the story of Sammed's life until now.  

"Pursue your chess" scholarship was launched on 5th of September 2018. An article was published on the ChessBase India website. The scholarship was worth Rs.50,000 for a year and the people eligible to apply for the award were players who had already scored one or more of their norms (WIM, WGM, IM or GM). The institutor of the scholarship is a gentleman from Bangalore, who wishes to remain anonymous. He himself was a passionate chess player, who had to give up chess because his family did not support him and he did not have the resources to afford chess books and training. Now he has a well-paid job and can afford any sort of chess material, but the crucial years of his life were not utilized in the best possible way for chess improvement because of lack of finances. In order that something similar doesn't happen to the talented youngsters of Indian chess, the "Pursue Your Chess" scholarship has been instituted.


The winner of the scholarship is Sammed Shete, 19-year-old from Kolhapur, Maharashtra.

Sammed Shete has a current rating of 2368 and has one IM norm | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Story of Sammed Shete:

Sammed was born on 12th of October 1999 in Kolhapur, Maharashtra. His father Jayakumar Shete had a business of auto spare parts and is mother is a home-maker. Sammed has two elder sisters Asmita and Anjali.

The Shete family - Sammed with his parents and two sisters

The young boy learnt the game of chess from his father when he was seven years old. Seeing that their son was interested in the game, the parents decided to send him to a local trainer Utkarsh Lomate. Sammed began to improve at chess, but his rise wasn't quick. Because his father had to attend to his work and mother had to take care of the house, Sammed never really had someone who could travel to tournaments with him. This slowed down his progress. In the first few years it was Bharat Chougule who travelled with him to tournaments. Thanks to this Sammed received his first rating of 1723 in November 2009 when he was 10 years old.

Sammed with his first trainer Utkarsh Lomate (left) and Pritam Ghodke

Sammed's growth graph was steady and in the next six years he kept increasing his rating. When his school ended in 2015, Sammed had a rating of 2071. Nothing outstanding or spectacular. But that's when he made the major jump!

Within a period of three events in one month Sammed jumped from a rating of 2071 to 2346 in three events

First up was the KIIT International 2015 where Sammed beat strong players like Ritviz Parab, Bhakti Kulkarni, Harikrishnan A.Ra, to gain 104 Elo points

In the Mumbai Mayor's Cup he gained an Elo of 92 by beating GM Abdulla Al Rakib, and Aradhya Garg

The final dream event was Commonwealth 2015 where Sammed gained 78.8 Elo points and beat Chandrashish Majumdar, Mahmood Lodhi and Sai Agni Jeevitesh

From a normal player, Sammed had become one of the top most junior players in our country. Speaking about this performance, Sammed says, "I used to work hard every day, but the thing which made a huge difference I think was the fact that I used to solve a lot of studies. From whatever source I got I would keep solving studies - my coach Utkarsh Lomate sir would send me positions, I loved working with John Nunn's books and also with Kasparyan's domination in 2545 Endgame positions."


Just when it seemed that things were going in the right direction and that the young boy would become one of the strongest players ever from Kolhapur, disaster struck. Sammed's father was diagnosed with mouth cancer. To make matters worse, the doctors had given up hope and had told the family that nothing could be done to cure Jayakumar of his illness. Sammed's world was shattered. From playing in tournaments and gaining Elo points, he had to shift his attention to making rounds of the hospital and taking care of the house. In November 2016 Sammed's father passed away.


It was a big blow to Sammed and his family, but the youngster is a fighter. Within couple of months, he moved on and started working seriously on chess. Sammed realized that he had an excellent chance of making his norms if he played outside India. In order to gather funds for this international trip, he started playing a lot of local rapid events. He won many of them and was able to have sufficient funds to plan a trip to Spain. He booked his flight tickets and accommodation. When he made his application for visa, it was rejected because of lack of funds shown. The boy lost Rs.70,000 in this process. Once again the boy picked himself up and played a fine tournament at the National Challengers 2017. He finished in the top bracket and qualified for the national premier 2017 in Patna.

It was a great learning experience for Sammed as he fought for 13 rounds with some of the best players of Indian chess. He scored 4.0/13 but impressed everyone with his fighting spirit and will to win. He beat two strong players Abhijit Kunte and Shyam Nikhil.
Sammed's interview with ChessBase India at the National Premier 2017

Sammed scored his first IM norm at the Delhi GM International 2018 | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Here is one of Sammed's favourite game from his chess career until now:

While reminiscing about his favourite game Sammed also mentioned about his attacking win over Krishna Teja from 2015. This game is the perfect example of how the youngster likes to play active chess and attack. He sacrifices a piece, then a rook and then continues to bring his remaining forces into the game!

Currently Sammed has a rating of 2368 and one IM norm. Even at the tender age of 19 years, the boy has seen tremendous number of ups and downs in his life. Recently his second sister was married in August 2018, which means that Sammed can now devote all of his time to chess.

This dates back to the time when Sammed's eldest sister Asmita got married

Sammed currently doesn't have a trainer, but thanks to being one of the top juniors in the country he is getting camps from GM Konstantin Landa - an excellent initiative by AICF."In order to make my ends meet I continue to play Rapid events and have also started training. My mother is a home-maker and doesn't have any income. The only income we get is Rs.13,000 via rent. This is not sufficient for me to sustain an ambitious chess career. I had to resort to coaching in order to make some money, but even that is not enough", says Sammed. On getting to know that he had won the "Pursue Your Chess" Scholarship of Rs.50,000, the boy was naturally elated. "I will be using this money to play in more tournaments. My aim is to become a grandmaster as soon as possible."


Sammed's next tournaments are Hyderabad Rating tournament from 17 to 21 November, National Juniors 2018 from 28 November to 6 December and National Senior 2018 from 8th - 18th December 2018.

Made for great things on the chess board - Sammed Shete!

Details of the scholarship that Sammed has won:

The amount of the scholarship is Rs.50,000. Sammed will get Rs.6000 in the first month (November 2018) and Rs.4000 on the first of every month for the remaining 11 months. This amount will be credited to his account on the first of every month.

What is HelpChess?

HelpChess is an initiative by ChessBase India Foundation. It is the banner under which we want to continue all our charitable activities. The name clearly mentions what we are aiming for. We are looking for individuals/organizations who would like to help the talents of Indian chess by donating money or instituting a scholarship or donating in kind, so that the financial burdens on the players who come from humble background are reduced to an extent. The logo of HelpChess clearly shows this philosophy.


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. HelpChess aims to act as a bridge. If you are interested to start a scholarship with certain criteria, or you would like to donate some amount or donate in kind (for eg. coaching or training or any other way), please write to us at ChessBase India will ensure that rest of the groundwork is done and the money reaches the players who are worthy and in need.


These are the bank details for you to donate to a good cause:

ChessBase India Foundation


A/C No. 50200031999591


Branch Address :-  001 / 002, Samyak Darshan, Junction Of Tilak Road & Vallabh Baug Lane, Mumbai, 

IFSC CODE  :- HDFC0000118


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

Related links:

The Launch of ChessBase India Foundation

MKG Scholarship of Rs.50,000 for a girl under the age of 18

K. Priyanka wins the MKG Scholarship of Rs.50,000

Scholarship of free coaching for one year to the deserving candidate

14-year-old Nihal Sarin raises Rs.1,74,463 for the victims of Kerala floods

Don't give up on your dreams, Pursue your chess scholarship is here!

Contact Us