A recent graduate from SRCC, Yogesh Gautam has started a crowdfunding campaign so that he can embark on a 50,000km road journey to promote chess in the interiors of India.


Starting on October 5, from Jammu and Kashmir, Gautam’s itinerary includes places such as Bikaner (Rajasthan), Katch (Gujarat), Katni (Madhya Pradesh), Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu), Agartala (Tripura) and his hometown Bhiwani, Haryana. “I will teach kids Chess, and will distribute chess sets for free, DVDs and books on the game in remote areas. As all of this require funds, I have started a crowd funding campaign for it,” he says, talking to a popular national daily.


The 21-year-old also seeks to break the Guinness World Record for the longest journey by car in a country. “The Guinness World Record for the longest journey by car in a country is 36,060.1km. By travelling 50,000km, I’m hoping to break that record as well. However, that will only be the icing on the cake. The main motive for me to aim for setting these world records is also only to draw more attention towards chess,” adds Gautam.


A fresh graduate from one of the most prestigious colleges in the country, Gautam is all praise for his college in helping him nurture his love for the game. “Not a lot of colleges go the extra mile for their sports students, but my teachers supported me a lot. Not only would I get attendance for my tournaments and practice sessions, the teachers would also give me extra classes just so I could catch up on my coursework,” he was quoted as saying.


His affair with Chess began over a decade ago when his sister gifted him a chess set. He believes that people in India don’t know the game and don’t care about it much. “Aaj tak mujhe koi scholarship nahi mili hai. In my own state, many have been celebrated for bringing Olympic medals in various sports, but many still don’t consider Chess asport. I want to change that”, he remarks in an interview with a national daily.



With inputs from Hindustan Times


Riya Chhibber

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How often do we come across true acts of passion in our lives? Yogesh Gautam India’s premier chess prodigy, who is well on his way to acquiring a Master title in Chess globally, has presented himself as a bright example. Yogesh backed by DesiredWings.com, via a crowd funding campaign, is all set to undertake a journey across India, covering over 50,000 kms and breaking the Guinness World Record for the longest journey undertaken by a car.

But the young visionary has a totally different goal in mind, he states with a twinkle in his eye, “My aim is not to gain fame by breaking a world record, my objective of spreading love for for the Game to every corner of this country is the main driving force. I want every child to share the same passion I have for Chess”. Yogesh has made it his life’s mission to seek out talent from the most remote areas of India and provide these children with the opportunities to play and train in Chess, which he himself lacked as a child. Originally from a small city, Yogesh came across Chess in form of a birthday present and instantly fell in love. The zeal he discovered in his heart for the sport led him to pursue and excel in it further, winning many competitions from a young age.

Though the challenges can be many, Yogesh is thankful for his family’s support and realises how important it is to have a backing, especially in a game like Chess where sponsors and coaching is hard to come by. With this in mind, he prioritized undertaking this journey and trying his best to cover as many small cities and rural areas as possible, to touch as many lives as possible, to nurture and support the dreams of budding new players. His plans are big, but so are his preparations! He has already put his heart and soul into garnering support from the veterans of the industry, sharing with them his vision and gathering support and supplies. So far he has a thousand Chessboards of international standard quality, to be distributed free of cost to as many children as possible. This might be small, but it’s a start. Yogesh views this as a positive sign and a green signal for his journey commencing 5th October, beginning from Jammu and Kashmir, touching parts of Ladakh and spanning to Bikaner in Rajasthan, Katch in Gujarat, Katni in Madhya Pradesh, Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, Agartala in Tripura, finally coming to a close in Bhiwani, Haryana.

“A road trip panning India” as Yogesh calls it enthusiastically, is one of a kind journey turning heads of veterans not just in India but globally as well. An initiative by Yogesh along with his friend Sambhrant, Drive for the Game aims at integrating Chess into the very framework of popular sports in the country. Yogesh, again emphasizing on the importance of gaining support for Chess says, “Being in the industry for many years I have realised the significance of the role of Media, because without its backing I cannot acquire the kind popularity I hope for Chess. Chess is a game of Indian origin, a gift almost – from India to the world and it saddens me now to see, that it has lost its popularity in India altogether. I hope to restore it to its former glory.”

Yogesh Gautam’s passion for Chess is astonishing and more so, the resolve he displays to impart his knowledge of the sport. Being a World Open Chess Champion (2200), he his sacrificing a whole year at the prime of his career just to travel and teach Chess to as many people possible, for which he is now seeking monetary support via crowd funding. When asked why he wants to go ahead with it, he just shrugs and says “It’s my dream. It’s very hard to gain support for training ahead in Chess and even harder to land a proper trainer. Thus I want to not only give hope but also support other Elite level players like me. Thus if my campaign succeeds, it will benefit the entire Chess industry.”

Saluting Yogesh and Sambhrant’s passion and perseverance, here’s hoping that Yogesh can see his goal fulfilled and Chess once again makes a comeback in popular sport via “Drive For The Game” – a unique journey of passion for Chess.

By Tarushi Varma

Desired Wings




  1. Octopush: What do discovery channel scuba divers do when they get bored? No, they don’t push Octopuses. They play underwater hockey and call it Octopush just to sound cool.
  2. Camel Wrestling: Here’s a question, what do camels and Sushil Kumar have in common? Absolutely nothing. And yet certain sadist Turks just love to see them wrestle.
  3. Cheese Roll: A group of English morons throw a huge ball of English cheese down an English hill and chase it. Sad part is, none of them have died doing it.
  4. Shin Kicking: Another group of English morons have taken to the idea of having their shins whacked. Those who can’t take the pain give up. The last man standing gets to go to the clinic first.
  5. Wife Carrying: To all the men who think marriage is an unnecessary burden, go bop yourselves in the head. Meet these guys from Finland who carry their wives through an obstacle course without a word of complaint.
  6. Chess Boxing: Consists of alternate rounds of chess and boxing. You don’t want to be the intelligent one here. They generally get knocked out cold before the chess round begins.
  7. The World Beard and Moustache Championships: There is little to describe about this one except that female contestants are not allowed. Unfair advantage, they say.
  8. Octopus Wrestling: Actual human beings wrestle actual octopuses with their bare hands (and tentacles). Unfortunately, authorities decided that the sport was too dangerous and today it’s illegal to molest octopuses. Really? Who would want to?
  9. Toe Wrestling: People get bored a lot it seems. The fact that this is actually an internationally recognized sport kind of places an upper limit on the average IQ of mankind. They also applied for inclusion in the Olympics.

In a decision ruling by High court, Delhi University was advised to lay down fresh physical standard criteria for students who take admission under the sports quota for indoor games like chess.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said:”No doubt it is the physical fitness which leads to mental fitness. However, it should be examined as to whether for a person playing games like chess the level of physical fitness mentioned in the rules is appropriate,”

The university was directed to reformulate physical standards for games like chess which it could implement from the next academic year.

The judges were of the opinion that the existing physical standard criteria was apt and justified for outdoor games and also indoor games like badminton and table tennis, in which physical activity was involved, but different standards of physical fitness may be required for games like chess and carrom.

Petitioner Chetna Karnani, a chess player who secured 72.5 percent in her Class 12 exams, had sought admission under the sports quota. She applied for B.A. (English) course in four colleges of the university under the sports quota for chess players. She failed in the fitness test.

The court declined to grant any relief to Karnani saying that “unless the Delhi University prescribes fresh standards for games like chess, we cannot grant any relief to her”.”Laying down all these standards is not the function of the courts, therefore, this court can only direct the University of Delhi to consider the matter in the light of our observation and after in-depth deliberations come out with the physical standards which are required for these games.


Sakshi Gupta
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