Amateur World Chess-Boxing Championship begins in Kolkata tomorrow

KOLKATA: The second edition of Amateur World Chess Boxing Championship will take place in Kolkata from 26th July to 29th July, 2018.

This is the second time in the history of the young  sport a three days tournament will be held open to everyone with both good chess and boxing skills.

Fighters from all over the world are expected, hailing from the member countries of the World Chess Boxing Organisation (such as Russia, Germany, India, USA and Italy) to fighters from countries where there is not yet a chessboxing organization in place (such as France and South Africa). The experience of the fighters varies from 3 to more than 80 amateur boxing bouts as well as chess ELO ratings between 1200 and 2200.

A chessboxing fight consists of up to 11 alternating rounds of chess and boxing. A bout begins with a three-minute chess round, followed by three minutes of boxing. Competitors each have a maximum total of nine minutes to complete all their chess moves.

A fight can be won in one of four ways: by knocking an opponent out in the ring, via a checkmate in chess, by a judge’s decision, or if a competitor exceeds their chess time limit.

“By combining the number one fighting sport with the number one thinking sport, there is no other sport that challenges the full scale of human capacity as radically as chessboxing does!” says lepe Rubingh, inventor of chessboxing.

After creating and founding the sport in 2003, Rubingh started the first Chess Boxing Club in Berlin in 2004 from which all other organisations worldwide emerged. In 2013 The World Chess Boxing Organisation was founded as a non profit to foster the sport of chessboxing on a global amateur level.

Today there are 11 national organizations with more than 3500 fighters and over 1,500 fights take place annually.

The Chess Boxing Organisation of India (CBOI) is the organiser of the second amateur world championships. Under guidance of it’s founding father Montu Das, the CBOI has established itself as one of the leading organizations in the chessboxing community as it is by far the biggest with more than a 1,000 members.

General Facts:
What: Chessboxing Amateur World Championships
Date: 26th-29th of July, 2018.
City, Country: Kolkata, India
Stadium: Kshudiram Anushilan Kendra and Boxing Hall
Governing body: World Chess Boxing Organisation
Organising body: Chess Boxing Organisation of India

Indian Women’s Hockey Team to take on hosts England on Saturday

London, 20 July 2018: The mood among the Indian Women’s Hockey Team is upbeat as they are set to take on hosts England in their opening match of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 on Saturday, 21 July 2018. India grouped in Pool B will take on World No.16 Ireland on 26 July followed by World No.7 USA on 29 July apart from facing the Olympic Champions England in their home ground on the opening day of the prestigious tournament.
“The pressure will be on England and not on us,” asserted Indian Team skipper Rani on the eve of the match. “Yes they will have the home ground advantage but we are not new to playing in front of big crowds. We have done well against England before and we will carry the confidence of doing well in our recent tournaments including the CWG where we had tasted victory against England in the Group Stage in Gold Coast. We will go into the match with the belief that we can beat them. We just need to make sure we don’t make silly mistakes like we did in the Bronze Medal match at the CWG which cost us the game,” added Rani.
India’s previous appearance at the FIH World Cup was in 2010 when the event was held in Argentina. Rani then was the cynosure of India’s ninth-place performance as she had scored maximum of seven goals for the team during the course of the tournament. While there will be a lot riding on Rani during the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 too, she has a unit that has shown confidence-inspiring performance over the past two years where India even climbed to a career-best ranking of World No.10. “The team, especially the forward-line does not depend on Rani alone anymore to score goals. We have young strikers including the experience of Vandana Katariya with 200 plus International Caps who have scored on multiple occasions for the team. I like to look at the positives we have and having a drag-flicker like Gurjit Kaur who is one of the best in the world is also an advantage we have,” stated Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne.
After having arrived in London a week prior to the start of the tournament, the Indian Team has had good training sessions at the event venue Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Stadium including two practice matches against Australia and Belgium. “We have had good match practice against two of the top teams in the World. The team is upbeat and excited ahead of the first match and right now, our only focus is to do well against England. We have played USA and Ireland too in the past and have specific game plan against them. But for now, our focus is on the first match,” signed off Rani.
On 21st July India will take on England in their first match of Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 at 18:30 IST. All matches will be shown live on Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD 2 and Hotstar and
DD Sports (Only India matches).

AFI selects six ultra-runners for 100km World Championships

New Delhi. Six Indian ultra-runners will take part in the 30th IAU 100km World Championship to be held at Sveti Martin na Muri, Croatia on 08th September 2018. This is the first time an Indian team will participate in the 100km World Championships.

The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) has selected Vikash Malik, Lt Cdr Abhinav Jha, Sandeep Kumar, Lallu Lal Meena, Binay Kumar Sah and Suman Kumar Mishra to represent India at the ultra-marathon race.

Earlier last month, AFI invited applications from Indian nationals to represent India in the competition. The cut-off timing for Men in 100km was nine hours 45 minutes while for Women it was ten hours 45 minutes. The ultra-runners who have completed a 90km race in past one-year were also eligible for selection with a cut-off time of eight hours 30 minutes for Men and nine hours 30 minutes for Women while a distance of 115km (Men) and 100km (Women) in a 12-hour race was also considered as a selection qualification.

Out of a total 42 applications received by AFI, Vikash Malik, Lt Cdr Abhinav Jha, Sandeep Kumar and Lallu Lal Meena met the cut-off timings while Binay Kumar Sah and Suman Kumar Mishra are considered for the team on the basis of their timings which were very close to the selection criteria set by AFI.

Lt Cdr Abhinav Jha, said, “I am very excited and would like to thank AFI for sending team to this competition. I will try my best,”

Adille J Sumariwalla, AFI President said, ”I am really glad that sport of ultra-running is catching up fast in India and we are now having athletes who can represent India in World Championships. In the years to come, we will start organizing National Championships in ultra-events so there is more participation across the country.”

About Ultra-marathons- Ultra running, Trail running and Mountain races are events that are growing world wide especially in Europe, America and Asia. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has recognized these sporting events. The International Association of Ultra runners (IAU), the international governing body of ultra distance running and the International Trail Running Association (ITRA) conduct World Championships. The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) is a member of the IAAF, IAU and ITRA. Through the AFI, Indian ultra runners have the opportunity to participate at the World and Regional Championships.

Indian Achievements- Ultra running as a sport began in India around 2007-08. Since then it has grown rather rapidly, with more and more runners venturing into this field each year. The year 2007 saw mere 65 finishers in India’s only ultra race at that time. Today more than 1500 runners (and counting) participate in about 18 ultra races being organised across the country. The AFI sent a team comprising Ullas Narayan and Kieren D’Souza for India’s first ever participation at the Trail World Championships, Italy in June 2017; and, Meenal Kotak, Aparna Choudhary, Ullas Narayan and Kieren D’Souza represented the country at the 24 Hour World Championships at Belfast in July 2017. The participation of Indian athletes had provided athletes the much need exposure to the international arena and has also fueled the passion of ultra-running among others.

Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team play out a 1-1 draw against Belgium

Antwerp (Belgium), 18 July 2018The Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team were held to a 1-1 draw by Belgium in their third round robin match of the U-23 Five Nations Tournament (Men) here on Tuesday.
The Indian Junior Men’s team had a mixed bag of results in their first two matches of the tournament as they beat Ireland 5-0 in their first match, but lost 1-3 to Great Britain in the second match. However, a strong performance against the hosts was needed and the Indian Forwards did not disappoint as they produced an attacking display in the first two quarters.
The Indian Junior team were rewarded for their constant pressure on Belgium when striker Mohammad Umar found space in the striking circle and put the ball into the back of the net at the stroke of half-time. The third quarter, however, saw the hosts produce a quick reply to India taking the lead, as Syril Frying cancelled out the lead in the 34th minute to level the scores.
Both the teams had their chances in the final quarter of the match, but neither could capitalise the chances and  the match ended in a draw, which means that India will need to win their last round robin match against the Netherlands to have a chance of qualifying for the Final match of the U-23 Five Nations Tournament.
On 20 July 2018, Indian Junior Men’s Hockey Team will take on the Netherlands at 18.30 hours IST.

Surge in World Ranking is big motivation, says Indian Men’s Hockey Team Skipper PR Sreejesh

Bengaluru, 18 July 2018Following their stupendous Silver-Medal performance at the recently-held FIH Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2018 in Breda, the Netherlands, the Indian Men’s Hockey Team have have surged ahead in Men’s FIH Hero World Ranking from World No.6 to fifth place. The PR Sreejesh-led Indian team’s recent exploits has pushed Germany to sixth place.
According to the FIH Release on Tuesday, Australia (1906 points) sit 23 points ahead of second ranked Argentina (1883), with Belgium (1709) and Netherlands (1654) occupying the respective third and fourth positions.
“We are really happy and elated to see ourselves jump one step ahead in the World Rankings. The higher we go there is a lot more responsibility on our shoulders to do well and come up with consistent performance. The elevation in World Ranking gives us a big boost to do well in the upcoming 18th Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta and the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018 where we want to finish on the podium in front of our home crowd,” expressed Sreejesh on the sidelines of the ongoing National Camp at Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru.
The ace goalkeeper further added that the team needs to work hard to achieve their desirable goal of moving up to Top 3 in the World. “When you are going higher up the World Ranking, everyone (other teams) will take a close look at us and we will be in their radar constantly. We need to work really hard to maintain and improve our World Ranking. I believe we have the potential to go higher up to World No.3 but for that we need to do significantly well at the upcoming events and World Ranking has certainly added positive energy to our preparations,” stated Sreejesh, who was awarded the Goalkeeper of The Tournament title at the FIH Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2018.
Meanwhile, the team’s Chief Coach Harendra Singh congratulated his players for their efforts but was quick to add that they must remain persistent to climb further up. “My heartiest congratulations to all the players, support staff and Hockey India for their constant support. It is the hard work of the players that has paid dividends. I believe this team has the potential to do better and moving up to Top 3 is realistic if we finish on the podium at the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup Bhubaneswar 2018. We must work harder now and take this as a big motivation to excel in forthcoming tournaments,” stated Chief Coach Harendra Singh.

‘Can’t take any team lightly at Asian Games,’ say Indian Hockey Men and Women’s Team Chief Coaches

New Delhi, 17 July 2018The Indian Men’s Hockey Team will begin their campaign at the 18th Asian Games 2018 Jakarta-Palembang against Hong Kong China on 22 August 2018 as per the fixtures that was announced on Monday. While the Men’s team led by PR Sreejesh will face Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong China in Pool A, the Indian Women’s team led by Rani will take on Indonesia on 19 August 2018 followed by matches against Kazakhstan, Korea and Thailand in Pool B as per the schedule announced on Monday.
“Though we are the Defending Champions, we cannot take any teams lightly. I don’t call this an easy group. We must be highly cautious against each of these teams as we have not played against teams like Hong Kong China and Sri Lanka. Japan is a rising team in Asia and are capable of surprising any team. They have done well in recent events while Korea too are a good team, play very defensive hockey and we have watched their game closely during the on-going practice matches in SAI, Bengaluru,” stated Indian Men’s Team Chief Coach Harendra Singh. The Indian Men’s Team had defeated Pakistan in the Final of the 2014 Asian Games to win Gold and qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
The Chief Coach further stated that the team will go in with a must-win attitude if they wish to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games. Harendra said, “I expect the team to be hungry to win the Gold again and get direct qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games and I want to make it clear that there will be no room for complacency.”
In Men’s Pool B, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Oman, Thailand, and Indonesia, will go head to head to secure top positions in the round robin stage.
Meanwhile, the Indian Women’s Hockey Team will be vying for a Gold too in order to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games and had previous settled for the Bronze in the 2014 Asian Games. “As we arrived in London on Sunday for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018, our focus is on the current tournament. However, in the Asian Games Pool, Korea will be our toughest challenge and I am happy we have played quite a few matches against them this year and are aware of how they play. The only thing I would say to the team is that it does not matter who we play, if we want to win, we must win against everyone whether they are ranked lower than us or higher,” Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne stated.
In Pool A of the Women’s Category, China, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong China, and Chinese Taipei will take on each other to secure top positions in the round robin stage.
Hockey at the Asian Games will witness 21 Teams from 14 countries go head to head in the Men’s and Women’s categories in 60 matches over a course of 14 days. The winners of the Men’s and Women’s tournament will book their place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. All matches will be played in the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Sports Complex, Jakarta, Indonesia.

World junior squash championship opens

Chennai: The world junior squash championship was formally declared open by the Tamil Nadu Minister for Youth Welfare and SportsDevelopment, Mr P. Balakrishna Reddy at a colourful function at the Indian Squash Academy here on Tuesday. The matches get underway on Wednesday.

Members from the 28 teams, including host India, marked for participation in this championship were present for the neatly organised function. Flag bearers of the representing countries came in to the arena amidst cheers all around and gathered into a colourful bunch within the centre court. As always the host team, whose flagbearer was Ashita Bhengra, received the biggest applause.

The Minister Mr Balakrishnan underlined the big role that the government had been doing for the promotion of sports in the state. He mentioned the name of former Chief Minister late J. Jayalalitha and her keen interest in sports development while adding that the present government was fully behind all the ideals that she had stood for. Ever since the establishing of modern infrastructure in the wake of the 1995 SAF Games, he said, the State had seen a surge in the performances of athletes in various sports. The government had also provided several crores of rupees in sportsincentives to the best performers. The Minister said he was happy that Tamil Nadu was in the forefront in the sport of squash and specially mentioned the role of State’s squash players Saurav Ghosal, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal Karthik in the main in bringing laurels to the country.

Referring to the Current World championship, Mr Balakrishnan congratulated Mr N. Ramachandran, President, Tamil Nadu Squash Rackets Association and his team for the good work done for the successful conduct of the event.

Earlier Mr Ramachandran thanked the Government and the Chief Minister in particular for being very supportive in all the major ventures of the Squash Association, including the current World championship.

Also to speak on the occasion was Mr Dheeraj Kumar, Principal Secretar, Ministry of Youth Welfare and Sports Development. The Championship Director, Mr Cyrus Poncha proposed a vote of thanks.

Another highlight of the evening was a brief phase of music and dance to symbolise a blend of tradition and modernity that set alight the arena even as colour lights ran riot. All in all it was an evening that the good gathering in good cheer.

NBA Academy India lose to NBA Academy China in their opening game

The second NBA Academy Games and Basketball Australia Prospects Camp tipped off yesterday at The NBA Global Academy at the Australia Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra, Australia. More than 120 prospects representing 18 countries arrived in Canberra for a series of exhibition games, on-court drilling, positional skill development and daily life skills sessions.
The week-long camp will feature prospects from the NBA Academies in Australia, China, India, Mexico and Senegal, along with five teams comprised of 50 top prospects from Australia, including BA’s Centre of Excellence team.
NBA Academy Game and BA Prospects Camp Teams: The NBA Global AcademyThe NBA Academy AfricaThe NBA Academy ChinaThe NBA Academy IndiaThe NBA Academy Latin America; Centre of Excellence
BA Prospects Team A; BA Prospects Team B; BA Prospects Team C; BA Prospects Team D; BA Prospects Team E
Today’s on-court action included combine testing, physio sessions and team practices throughout the morning. Prospects also participated in an Introduction to Meditation life skills session led by former NBA player and NBA Academy Advisory Committee member Adonal Foyle.
Exhibition games began Monday afternoon, including the following three matchups:
The NBA Academy China vs. The NBA Academy India
  • The NBA Academy China defeated The NBA Academy India 81-63.  The NBA Academy China features prospects from the three NBA Academies in China (Jinan, Urumqi and Zhuji), while The NBA Academy India traveled from Delhi National Capital Region (NCR) to Canberra for the second straight year.  The high-scoring NBA Academy China team was paced by Xihao Yang, who recorded a 12 point / 10 rebound double-double and Lin Qi who dropped 17 points on 7/10 shooting.  Pritish Jitesh Kokate scored 14 points off the bench for The NBA Academy India. Box Score.
The NBA Global Academy vs. The NBA Academy Latin America
  • The NBA Global Academy defeated The NBA Academy Latin America 72-55. After being down two points at halftime, The NBA Global Academy rallied in the second half to outscore The NBA Academy Latin America by 19 points to win the opening game of the week.  The NBA Global Academy had three players in double figures including, Tamuri Wigness (Australia), Josh Bannan (Australia) and Aly Khalifa (Egypt). The NBA Academy Latin America’s strong team chemistry was on full display, led by the dynamic backcourt of Jermaine Perez (Puerto Rico) and Santiago Vescovi (Uruguay) who scored 15 points and five points, respectively. Box Score.
The NBA Academy Africa vs. Centre of Excellence
  • Centre of Excellence defeated The NBA Academy Africa 60-41 in the final game of the day. Centre of Excellence jumped out to an early 32-15 lead at the half before The NBA Academy Africa settled into an offensive rhythm, scoring 16 third quarter points. The Centre of Excellence benefited from a balanced scoring attack fueled by 21 points off turnovers. Alexander Ducas and Daniel Grida led the COE in scoring with 13 points and 10 points, respectively.  Timothy Igohoefe (Nigeria) led The NBA Africa Academy with a team high 14 points and nine rebounds. Ibou Badji (Senegal) turned in an impressive eight point, six rebound and four block performance in 19 minutes. Box Score.

Indian Women’s Hockey Team leave for Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018

New Delhi, 15 July 2018: The excitement among the members of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team was palpable as they boarded the flight at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Sunday afternoon for the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 to be held between 21 July and 5 August 2018.

This is the first time in eight years that the Indian Women’s Hockey Team will appear at the prestigious World Cup and no other player in the current squad apart from skipper Rani and Deepika have ever played at a World Cup before. “The team is extremely excited and we have waited for this moment ever since we won the Asia Cup last year. For almost everyone on the team, this will be a first-time experience to be playing at the World Cup,” expressed skipper Rani who was brimming with confidence ahead of the team’s departure.

Though this will be the first-appearance at the quadrennial event for most of them, the fact that the team consists of players who have more than 100 International Caps is an advantage feels Rani. She said, “It is a plus point for us that this team barring only three or four players have been playing together for over two years now and have had good international exposure with many of them having more than 100 or 150 plus International Caps for India. Every player in the team has grown from strength to strength and I am confident we will do well at the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018.”

The Indian team is grouped in Pool B with Olympic Champions England, World No.7 USA and Ireland. In their first match on 21 July 2018, the Indian team will take on hosts England. Having beaten the team who are ranked World. No 2 at the recent Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Rani believes the pressure will be on England when they meet on the opening day. “The pressure is not on us but it will be on England because they know we are capable of doing well against them. Though they defeated us in the Bronze Medal match at the CWG, we made some silly errors that cost us the match that day. The Indian Women’s Team are no longer the underdogs and in our mind, we want to get off to a good start regardless of England having home support and advantage,” stated an assertive Rani.

On 21 July 2018, the Indian Women’s Hockey Team will take on hosts England at 18.30 hours IST.

Matches will be shown live on Star Sports 2, Star Sports HD 2 and Hotstar.

Bekele, Degitu win first international edition of TSK 25K

Kolkata: Multiple times world champion Kenenisa Bekele kept his reputation intact cantering past the finish line in the maiden appearance of TSK 25K in its international avatar with a timing of 1.13.48 , even as over 13700 participants took to the streets on a nippy winter morning.

In the Elite national section winner Avinash Sable set a course record of 1.15.17 breaking the previous course record set by G Lakshmanan who came third with a timing of 1.17.13 which is also better than his mark set last year. Kalidas Hirave came second with 1.16.18. Thus all three bettered last year’s record of 1.17.23.

The Ethiopian world champion earlier paced his race brilliantly staying in the mix till the 21st kilometer when he broke loose and by the time he was across the finish line his closest competitor was nowhere in sight.

The leading group went through the 7.5km checkpoint in a sluggish 24:24. Just before halfway, Bekele briefly went through a bad patch and drifted off the back of the leaders, with his compatriot Asefa Diro leading at 12km in 39:09 and Bekele seven seconds adrift in fifth place.

However, the multiple world champion and world record holder soon got back up with the group containing Diro, Eritrea’s Tsegay Tuemay, Tanzania’s Augustino Sulle and India’s Avinash Sable before surging away with just under seven kilometres to go. His move almost immediately splintered the leading group with nobody able to stay with him once he moved into a higher gear. Tuemay eventually crossed the finish line on Kolkata’s historic Red Road in second place in 1:14:21 with Sulle third in 1:14:41.

Later Kenenisa said: “The race was very nice. The course is nice and flat all through. I have been training hard and the results showed. This was my first 25 K and it feels good to have won it. It was a tactical race and I paced myself depending on the kind of competition I faced.”

“The weather was good, though a little smokey in certain parts. But it was not difficult to manage. I had a great race and would like to come back here next year. Kolkata has been very warm and hospitable and I would like to laud Procam for organizing such a well managed race,” he continued.

The Ethiopian however wished he had a pacemaker to push down his time. “In a race like this you need a pacemaker, who sets you up for a fast finish. I was pushing myself, but that was not enough. I would have pushed my timing by 90 seconds at least had I a pacemaker,” Bekele rued.

Avinash Sable said: “I am concentrating for steeplechase. That is my event. The only reason I am running in the 25K is to increase my endurance. The fact that I have come first here goes to say that I am on the right track. My aim is the Commonwealth Games and a podium finish there in my pet event.”

In the elite women group the first place was taken by Ethiopian Degitu  Azimeraw with a timing of 1.26.01, followed by Kenyan Helah Kiprop with a timing of 1.26.04 and Tanzanian Failuna Matanga with 1.26.11.

In the Indian women’s L Surya won with 1.26.53 timing beating Sudha Singh’s course record of 1.27.31 . Manju Yadav came second at 1.32.51, while Jhuma Khatun came third with 1.32.58. All three ladies were from Railways.

The race was flagged off by Hon’ble Gobvernor of West Bengal Kesari Nath Tripathi, H H Shri Shri Ravishankar, General Abhay Krishna, GOC&C Eastern Command, Arup Biswas, Minister PWD and Sports, T V Narendran, MD Tata Steel.

Event Ambassador Sourav Ganguly and International Ambassador Mike Powell were at the starting line to encourage the runners. Later Ganguly said: “This is amazing to see the number of people come out and run in the morning. The world Champion running here and a world record holder long jumper watching the race makes TSK 25K really special.”

He exchanged a few words with Bekele once he crossed the finishing line breasting the tape held by the Prince of Calcutta and the man with a record that stands over quarter century Mike Powell.

Powell said: “I am thrilled to see so many people come out and run. And the standard of the elite field is also great. The race is competitive and fun to watch.”

Photos: Ajay/SportsIndiaLive