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Little chess player from city makes the right moves

The girl bags two gold medals in Asian Youth Chess Championship:
Moogi Sahithi Varshini, a third standard student from the city, has brought laurels to Andhra Pradesh by bagging two gold medals in blitz and classical in below 10 years category at the Asian Youth Chess Championship held in Uzbekistan on Saturday and Sunday.
Her hard work by taking a break from her studies at Chalapathi School, Gajuwaka here, for a year for intensive coaching at home and outside has paid off, Lokeswara Rao, her father and personal coach and a former national chess player, told The Hindu over phone from Tashkent. In all, 17 countries participated in the championship from the continent.
She became the first Woman Candidate Master (WCM) from the region. Her father is a senior officer at HPCL Visakh Refinery. Her mother Jaya Sri is a homemaker and sister Falguni is three years elder to her.
‘Father my role model’
“My father is my role model and my dream is to become the youngest woman Grandmaster,” she said when asked to disclose what motivated her to choose chess as her career and her aim in life. She also lauded the efforts made by her full-time professional coach Chiranjeevi for her success. She underwent coaching by her father at the age of eight. Her inspiration, she says is Bobby Fischer, American chess Grandmaster and eleventh world chess champion. “I have been practising 10 hours a day as I have strong passion to become a top-class chess player,” she said. In nine-round tournament, she got 8.5 out of nine. She remained undefeated with eight wins and one draw. The second best performance at the championship was put up by Savitha Shri from Chennai.
Her Elo (method to calculate skill levels in games such as chess) rating has improved by 130 points. She reached a FIDE (Federation Internaitonale des Echecs or World Chess Federation) rating of 1498 with only four rated tournaments.
Sahithi became U-9 silver medallist last year. Her family is confident that she has every chance to cross the records set by Koneru Hampi.

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