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The Pursue your Chess Scholarship 5 is here with a fund of Rs.1,50,000

by Sagar Shah - 09/06/2024

HelpChess has had many scholarships in the last 5 years of its existence. But which one is the longest standing one? It is the pursue your Chess Scholarship instituted by a gentleman by the name of Ashwin Subramanian who lives in Bangalore. What started with Rs.50,000 in year 1, has now reached an amount of Rs.1,50,000. In this article you get to know more about Ashwin, the impact this scholarship has created and how you can apply for the fund of Rs.1,50,000. 

The longest standing scholarship at the HelpChess Foundation - Pursue Your Chess has now reached its 5th year. This scholarship has been instituted by Ashwin Subramanian, a chess lover and a tech expert living in Bangalore. It started with an amount of Rs.50,000 per year and with an increase of Rs.25,000 each year, it has now reached its 5th edition and the amount has grown to Rs.1,50,000.

Ashwin Subramanian (in the background) with the current World Championship Challenger D. Gukesh, at the latter's home in Chennai

Apply for Pursue your Chess Scholarship 5

History of the Pursue your Chess Scholarship

When the scholarship began Ashwin had mentioned to us, "Basically I would like to ensure talented players don’t quit pursuing their chess goals for lack of money or funds to play in tournaments or study material or world class coaching etc. I also hope that this inspires corporate sponsorship." He had also shared a wonderful anecdote with us, "One personal story is that when I wanted to buy a book on 2 Kasparov Karpov matches - it was Rs.35 and my mother/grandpa both refused saying it was very expensive. This was in 1991. My aunt lend me money and I clandestinely went to the store and bought it. That was my last book until I started earning myself! This was when I was in 9th std. So yes! “Pursue Your Chess” is what I’d like to enable!"

The year 1 scholarship of Rs.50,000 went to Sammed Shete. The boy went on to become an IM pretty soon after that.

Year 2 scholarship of Rs.50,000 went to Shahil Dey who also shortly after getting the scholarship made it to his IM title. As the scholarship amount was Rs.75,000, there was another Rs.25,000 remaining, which was used for Anirudhha Potawad. The youngster received a few training sessions from GM Vishnu Prasanna. As on today he has moved from an Elo of 1800 to 2300+!

Year 3 scholarship of Rs.1,00,000 was equally shared between IM Harikrishnan A.Ra and Neelash Saha. Both have steadily progressed towards their GM title. Harikrishnan has already crossed 2500 Elo and is rated 2502, while Neelash is 2481.

The 4th year of Scholarship went to IM Kushagra Mohan (Rs.1,00,000) and Shriraj Bhosale (Rs.25,000)

Speaking about the scholarship and how it impacted him in a positive way, Kushagra Mohan (the recepient in 2023) says, "This scholarship had helped me in making a trip to Europe to participate in high level norm tournaments and gain more exposure and I am thankful to Ashwin uncle and HelpChess for the same. Actually after that trip in which I gained 16 points my rating has come down a bit so I am working on trying to make a comeback at the moment." Shriraj Bhosale writes to us, "Last Year I got the scholarship named Pursue your Chess scholarship. It helped me a lot to chase my goals. Also I got 4 months of Grandmaster coaching by Shyam Sundar and surely they were some great sessions for me. The most important thing is that through the scholarship, I directly connected with ChessBase India and Sagar Shah. I managed to cross 2000 Elo with the help of the scholarship and I would like to thank Ashwin Subramanian for the same."

Enabling the dreams of so many young talents - Pursue Your Chess Scholarship

A few questions to the man behind the scholarship - Ashwin Subramanian

Q: How does it feel that Pursue Your Chess is in the 5th year of its scholarship?

Ashwin Subramanian (AS): I simply feel very grateful to be able to continue to offer this scholarship for the 5th consecutive year now – I see the opportunity to help other chess players pursue their chess goals as a huge privilege and honour! I am glad to have the wonderful HelpChess India Foundation platform to do so!


Q: What have you found the most rewarding when it comes to Pursue your Chess Scholarship?

AS: While I’ve never had any specific expectations, seeing some of the past recipients like Sammed and Shahil evolve into International Masters is very rewarding! It takes tremendous effort, courage and commitment to pursue such bold and audacious goals so I’m glad that I could play a small but meaningful role in their journey!


Q: What qualities do you see in the applicants before choosing them for this scholarship?

AS: I consider several qualities such as talent, dedication, and the potential for growth in chess which are crucial along with sincerity in pursuing chess as a career and the financial need for support.

Did you know Ashwin has more than 1000 chess books at his home!

Q: You have added so much value to the chess world by helping them in various ways. Can you share some things with budding chess talents that you have learnt by interacting with top players of the world like Gukesh, Aronian, Anish Giri, Vidit Gujrathi and others.

AS: Interacting with top chess players has been very enlightening and inspiring personally! I am especially amazed by their strong work ethic, emphasis on fitness, mental resilience and growth mindset!


Q: How do you see chess in India shaping up in the years to come?

AS: I see a very bright future for chess in India - with several players in the top 20 and a strong pipeline of talented players along with increasing support structures like sponsorships, scholarships and training programs, Indian chess is certainly poised for continued success on the global stage! If there is one thing that could make it even better, it would be more top-level tournaments such as Tata Steel Rapid and Blitz, Chennai Masters etc.

Ashwin has a lot of knowledge on biofeedback in chess and was the man who made the heart rate monitoring possible at the Tata Steel Chess India event in 2022

Get to know more about Ashwin through this article

Apply for the Pursue Your Chess Scholarship of Rs.1,50,000

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