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World Chess Champion Comes To Botswana

Staff Writer
World Chess champion, Vishwanathan Anand of India is coming to Botswana at the end of this month. The Botswana Chess Federation (BCF) announced the visit of the Grand Master (GM) at a media briefing at the NIIT campus on Wednesday.

The visit is sponsored by NIIT with to promote chess at the college and Botswana. The GM will play chess with NIIT students and other youngsters. Anand will be the first reigning world chess champion to visit Botswana.

The Indian became the NIIT Brand Ambassador in 1997. There is clearly great synergy between the world champion of the mind game and the Information Technology education giant, NIIT, demonstrated by the over 12 year relationship.

NIIT is built upon the experience of the Russian state of Kalmakiya, where the introduction of chess in schools helped improve students' concentration. This in turn led to better pass rates and an equally dramatic drop in crime in the state. Anand and NIIT realised that people who play chess, as many studies have shown, perform better academically. This realisation is at the root NIIT's Mind Champion's Academy MCA) created in 1998. The initiative targeted thousands of

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government schools in India where NIIT imparts computer education. It was an attempt to take the game of chess to the deep interiors of the country.

Today, NIIT's MCA has grown to be the most comprehensive chess programme in India. It operates a yearlong calendar of tournaments that begin at the school level and go all the way up to a national championship. MCA has managed to produce many budding young challengers to Anand.

Vishy Anand, as he is known, started playing chess at the age of six and became a GM in 1988 when he was 18. Anand and Bobby Fischer are the only two players who have beaten Soviets/Russians to claim the world title in match-play in the post World War II era. Anand is widely recognised as the world's best advanced chess player. His message is: "You have to hang in there" and not give up.



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