Chess is a passion for him
Samarth J. Rao, a 16-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, with his father Jagadish Rao in Manipal on Saturday.

Chess is a passion for him


Nothing gives more joy to Samarth J. Rao, a 16-year-old boy with Cerebral Palsy, than playing chess. It is simply a passion for him.

A Class 10 student of Government High School Honnavar in Uttara Kannada district, he acquired the passion to play chess, thanks to the untiring efforts of his mother Vinutha Bhat, an employee at the Government Industrial Training Institute, and encouragement from his father Jagadish Rao, a clerk at SyndicateBank.

Samarth has been playing chess since 2013. His big breakthrough came when he was recognised with a special prize at the national open FIDE rated chess tournament held at T.A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI) on May 2015.

The Udupi District Chess Association was instrumental in getting sponsorship from TAPMI and Lions Club, which helped Samarth to play at the 15th International Physically Disabled Chess Association (IPCA) World Individual Chess Championship held at Bratislava in the Republic of Slovakia June 18 to 27, 2015.

Samarth won laurels by winning a bronze medal in the junior category in this championship. This achievement is significant given as he had started playing chess in 2013.

How did he get into chess? “When my wife Ms Vinutha saw Samarth sitting quietly in the class when his classmates went out to play, she decided to teach him chess. She was his first chess coach”, said Mr Rao.

Samarth has come a long way since then. He bagged the silver medal in national-level Physically Disabled Chess Championship held in Tiruchirappally, Tamil Nadu, in April 2015. He won the gold medal at the Under-16 State-level Lava Cup State-level Rapid Chess Tournament held in Chitradurga in September 2015. He bagged the second place in the State-level Rapid Chess Tournament held in Mysore in May 2015. Besides these, he has also participated in 32 other chess tournaments.

Mr. Rao accompanies Samarth to his tournaments and writes down the moves and helps in arranging the pieces if they fell down .“I gave up my promotion to help Samarth in his chess”.

Samarth has also been received training in chess from V.R. Shastri, a retired physical education director, chess player Jothiprakash from Madurai, and online chess training from chess player Srinidhi Sripathy from Chennai.

“I love playing chess. I enjoy it. My favourite piece is the queen. I want to become a world champion”, said Samarth, who is participating in the National Open Fide Rated Chess Tournament here.

Samarth’s present FIDE rating is 1320. He is also good at studies and has been getting over 60 per cent of marks.

Samarth J. Rao says "I want to become a world champion in chess".