Hyderabad:Grandmaster Koneru Humpy is battling on the chessboard at the Dubai Open this week. But back home in Andhra Pradesh, those who look up to her as a role model, have no tournaments to hone their skills at.
Revanth Reddy is preparing for his big date in November when he will represent India at the World Chess championship in Turkey. Revanth is the under-7 national chess champion.
"I want to be the youngest grandmaster like Humpy and Harikrishna," said GV Revanth Reddy, National Chess Champion.
But it may be difficult for the seven-year-old to realise his dream.
The reason being there are no tournaments in Andhra Pradesh for him to play against good competition and improve his ranking. Not a single ranking tournament for instance took place in the state in 2006.
There was a time when boys and girls from Andhra Pradesh would sweep the medals at all the national chess championships. But experts now say it is only a matter of time before they are beaten by teams that were earlier considered very weak.
Russian coach Alexy Dreev says the talent base now is not confined to Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu alone.
"Earlier it used to be only Viswanathan Anand. He used to strong but alone. Now I see a lot of talented young players from India in several tournaments," said Alexy Dreev, Grand Master, Russia.
International player Lanka Ravi says the young players who had the talent to take over from Grandmasters Humpy and Harikrishna have not delivered on the initial promise.
"Where is the next generation? There is nothing, zero. We should have some kind of a plan targeting 2010 or 2015," he said.
Even banks, which used to sponsor players and conduct several tournaments in the state have moved away from chess to other sports, checkmating the game in the bargain.