Posted on: July 15, 2013
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President Jacob Zuma has praised Abhijit Gupta for winning CWG Chess Championships

By Antara Das

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President Jacob Zuma has praised Abhijit Gupta for winning CWG Chess Championships

President Jacob Zuma of South Africa has praised Indian chess player Abhijit Gupta following he won the Commonwealth Championships in the coastal city of Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape Province of the country.

Zuma awarded a gold medal to the 23-year-old, who has won 20 medals while representing India at World, Asian and Commonwealth Chess Championships in junior, sub-junior and senior titles.

Sergii Fedorchuk of Ukraine won the silver medal while Sergei Tiviakov of Netherlands hauled the bronze medal. Almost 900 participants from 29 countries took part in the 19th edition of the Commonwealth Chess Championships.

Previously, Zuma drew a game after 20 minutes against the youngest player in the championships-5-year-old Keagan Rowe from East London in South Africa. Later he claimed that he had sacrificed some pieces "to balance the game."

Zuma got the chance to play chess while imprisoned on Robben Island along with former president Nelson Mandela. Zuma explained how prisoners had made chess sets out of soap and driftwood. He admitted that chess provided a solace to them that they needed in those conditions of isolation and deprivation. It propelled their minds beyond the confines of the prison walls. The game allowed them to reflect and to position their thoughts strategically to fight the apartheid regime.

Zuma stressed for chess to be encouraged as a serious sport in schools too. He claimed that chess promotes latent skills among the children, patience, decisiveness, quick wit and confidence emanating from competition with counterparts which includes those from outside the country.

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