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