A stamp of excellence for Dibyendu Barua
It is a glorious moment for Indian chess. Arjuna Awardee GM Dibyendu Barua's postal stamp was released on 10th of August 2017 by Government of India. From being the youngest (12 years) to participate in Indian National Championship to defeating Viktor Korchnoi at the age of 16, to becoming the second Indian grandmaster, to winning National Championship 3 times. He has done it all. He won the Arjuna award in 1993. And now this postal stamp release. It's not just a feather in his cap, but a moment of pride for the entire Indian chess fraternity.
“I wish to make serious comeback to competitive chess soon”
At one point there was a brutal race for who would become the first grandmaster of India between Vishy Anand and Dibyendu Barua. In the end it was the Tiger of Madras who edged out the Bengal legend, but it goes without saying that each of these brilliant individuals with their contribution have made Indian chess what it is today.
Barua's achievements stand tall. He has won the national title three times, has been the National Rapid champion in 1992, and also the recepient of the Arjuna Award in 1983. While all of these achievements are huge, on 10th of August he went a step ahead and was honoured with something that made each and every Indian chess player proud. A postal stamp was released with Dibyendu Barua on it.
Interview with GM Dibyendu Barua
By AGM Sk Shahid Ahmed
GM Dibyendu Barua is one of the most iconic figure in Chess in India as well as the World. He has an inspirational story which is admired by various chess players throughout the nation. GM Barua spoke to ChessBase India editor Sk Shahid Ahmed at his home in Kolkata on the postal stamp release, his return to chess, Garry Kasparov's comeback and Praggnanandhaa's bid to become the youngest GM in the world.
Congratulations GM Dibyendu Barua for getting your Postal Stamp published. Tell us about your experience.
GM Barua: It is difficult to express. I am really honored, I am thrilled and I am glad that it has been published in my name. Yeah, I mean, I have won many prizes before, many awards, I have got awards from the Central Government and also State Government but this is something special. I think this is one of the most memorable experience and I dedicate this honor to my late father Benoy Barua, because I feel that whatever I am today, it is because of him. Because when I started playing chess, when I was just six years old in the year 1972, then the sport was considered different, a different conception was there. It was because of him, because of his desire, because of his willingness that I became a chess player. He kept on taking me to the tournaments and that is why what I am today.
In the age of electronic media, postal way is a way of communication which is being used very less these days.
GM Barua: Yes, it is true. I think because, nowadays we don’t use it. We don’t send any letters by post. We all use Social Media, E-mail and so on. Definitely it will not make that much impact and let me make it clear that this will not be available for the public use. This will be kept in the Postal Museum (National Philatelic Museum, Delhi). That way it will not be open for public use but I think this will definitely give a different kind of satisfaction and the recognition for Indian chess.
Speaking of Indian Chess and recognition, AICF Secretary Mr Bharat Singh Chauhan has applauded about your recognition by saying this is a great moment for Indian chess.
GM Barua: I am thankful to them. He called me and also Mr Sundarji (FIDE Vice President, D V Sundar) and Mr Dongreji (Ravindra Dongre) called me and after this I got many calls. Definitely I am thankful to them, all of them. I am part of the Indian Chess Federation, so I feel very glad and I think that definitely this will help in future. It is not for me or my family, it is for the Indian chess fraternity.
Garry Kasparov made his return to competitive chess What are your thoughts about it?
GM Barua: Yeah it is a great news, because I think it is going to be very helpful for the upcoming players. Those who have not seen him playing in action, players who have come up for the last 10 years or so. It is something different experience to see Kasparov in action. His body movement, his expressions, his analysis. So all put together, definitely it’s a great news for the entire chess Fraternity.
R Praggnanandhaa is on the verge of breaking Sergey Karjakin’s record of becoming World’s Youngest Grandmaster. As we speak right now, he just needs a draw to make his first GM Norm. What are your thoughts about it? He has like 7 months left to break the record.
GM Barua: Yeah I think he will make it and we all should be proud of him. Records are made to be broken. So, either today or tomorrow, someone is definitely going to break it. But, of course as an Indian definitely I would like to see any upcoming Indian players breaking that record. I am sure that he will make it and all the best. Also advance congratulations to him also.
What are your future plans about Chess?
GM Barua: [Haha] Of course I want to comeback, I want to play serious chess. I have not played for the last three years since 2014 July. Okay I played in-between, just 2 months back I played one tournament in Kolkata. It was a Rapid Rating tournament, in which I could not do well because I lost 2-3 games with the youngsters. So I want to comeback and that is my first criteria.
Of course, apart from that, I am busy with the academy (Dibyendu Barua Chess Academy) and I organize tournaments also for the kids and also I organize GM Open Tournaments. So this year I thought of organizing but due to some problems I am not doing it, but next year I will do some International GM Open Tournament. Of course I will do some tournaments like All India Rapid Rating, Senior Citizen and so on. But my first and foremost plan is to comeback to serious play. I am waiting but at the same time I am very much afraid of the youngsters. They are very strong. I don’t know how well I will do. But anyway, we will try. You can expect to see me in some serious tournaments.
I wish you all the best in your future endeavors and I hope you make a comeback soon.
GM Barua: Thank you very much.
Since I was at GM Dibyendu Barua’s, I thought, why not give the world a chance to see all the Trophies and Accolades he has won. A short tour of his achievements and short description of them in the video below:
The background music was not added using any software. It was GM Dibyendu Barua’s son, Dishan Barua, a very talented young artist playing Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Celebrating 12 years of Dibyendu Barua Chess Academy
The Dibyendu Barua Chess Academy (DBCA) will turn 12 years old on 5th September 2017. In their honour ChessBase India has planned an online blitz tournament with a record breaking prize money. Stay tuned for detailed updates on this soon.