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Capablanca Chess Festival is coming with a huge prize fund of Rs. 25 Lakh

by Vijin Babu S - 19/03/2023

Capablanca Chess School celebrates its Annual day with a week-long chess events termed CCS Chess Festival! The first Edition of this event started in 2017 as a state level event of 3 days Classical, 2 Days Rapid and 1 Day Blitz chess. This time, there's a huge prize fund across all 3 formats - Classical, Rapid and Blitz! In 2023, Capablanca Chess school celebrates its 7th Anniversary Day by leveraging the CCS Chess Festival 2023 to newer heights as The biggest prize money event of Kerala with a prize fund of Rs.25 Lakhs. Read more about this wonderful chess festival held at Trivandrum, Kerala.

Capablanca Chess School Chess Festival 2023

Celebrating the anniversary of the Capablanca Chess School, the Capablanca Chess Festival is taking place at Trivandrum, Kerala! There are 3 different events scheduled - tournaments in Classical, Rapid and Blitz time controls. The event starts from 30th March, and ends in 6th April 2023.

The tournament will be held at the Jimmy George Indoor Stadium, Trivandrum, Kerala.

This is the first time CCS Chess Festival is FIDE Rated across all 3 formats - Classical, Rapid and Blitz!

The previous editions of CCS Chess Festival.

Registration and entry fee

Entry fee for Classical event: Rs. 5000

Rapid event: Rs. 1500

Blitz event: Rs. 1000

The entry is completely free for GMs, IMs, WGMs and WIMs. You can register for the event here.

The website for the tournament entry - there are some cashback offers available!


The total prize fund for the event is a huge Rs. 25 Lakhs! Following are the prize structures for the classical, Rapid and Blitz events:

The first prize for the Classic FIDE Open is Rs. 1,00,000!

The winner of the Rapid FIDE Open will bag Rs. 30,000!

For the Blitz event, the first prize is Rs. 20,000.


The complete schedule of the Classical, Rapid and Blitz events.

Accommodations and contacts

Complete list of contacts for tournament enquiries and accomodation details.

Capablanca Chess School

Capablanca Chess School is the first of its kind in India with a unique blend of Chess Education with cognitive enhancement  modules. CCS started its operations in the year 2016 in Trivandrum, Kerala.

The Campus of Capablanca Chess School. Check out their official website here.

Since inception, we have been able to do 25+ District & State level events across the Kerala region. The organization is able to contribute to the Chess community of Kerala by creating 42 District Champions and 12 State Champions over various official category events. Currently, Capablanca Chess School has presence over 14 Countries and has proudly trained 10,000+ users till date.

The School was started in 30th March 2016 in capital city of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram. The directors – Vijin Babu (Founder & CEO, Jithin Babu- Director- Admin & Operations and Sreeram S T- Director – Brand development). The Principal (Academic head ) – Sreekumar P and Chief Advisor - Dr.Martin Payyappilly (Hypnotherapist).

The people behind the formation and running of CCS.

The story/idea of Capablanca Chess School

 I know Sreekumar Sir from short distance since 2008 . As a teacher he used to give me ideas and beauty of chess especially the end game. Sreekumar Sir is a great fan of Capablanca – The legendary World champion and he had an Academy named Capablanca Chess Academy. I was also one of the students of Capablanca Chess Academy in 2012-13. During these years , Sreekumar Sir used to share me about the hardships he faced during his childhood for pursuing chess and the lack of proper dedicated institutions in Trivandrum for helping chess enthusiast to learn and grow. Unavailability of dedicated libraries, playing space, lack of recognition for sports persons, etc. were the common topics which he used to share.


Living in Metro cities like Mumbai and Bangalore and building a professional career there ,was quiet easy for me compared to living away from chess world. Every evening after my work hours I used to have online sessions with Sreekumar Sir for building my passion for Chess. I was learning chess but was far away from chess world and tournaments.If the system/Surroundings didn’t provide an opportunity for a player to evolve and fly, then we have to create a system, we have to be the system. From that thought I started thinking for building an organisation for myself and for each and every newbie  of chess in Trivandrum to grow.


In 2016, at the peak of team lead career where I was leading multiple projects nationwide , I quit my job to start Capablanca Chess School in Trivandrum,Kerala with two partners –Jithin Babu (younger brother ) and Sreeram S T ( childhood friend) .  I Got Seed funding from Kerala Govt through Kerala State Entrepreneurship Development Mission(KSEDM) program. Building a venture with very high vision especially on a land where minimal chess ecosystem was very tiring and struggled mentally for many years. Dedicated space in the heart of the city, bringing more professionals into an organised stream and huge investments on infrastructure, school van and other amenities were drained out all my savings. Occasions came multiple times where there I didn’t have any single rupee in pocket to buy a tea but have to pay the salary and other expenses on time. 


Working 24x7 for 5 years without able to take any single rupee as remuneration was very difficult for a person like me where at that time I have to support my parents too. Without the support of my Wife – and my mentor Sreekumar Sir , it would be highly impossible to tackle such scenarios.


Before going deeper , I would like to add one thing – why we have termed it "School" instead of "Academy". To say in short, School is a place of holistic development and the system or process of the school provides the student to get the needed benefit. Whereas, an Academy is person-centric and its focus is only the subject, not the individual. Building an Academy which articulates around renowned coaches is easy, but building a School or system without it being person-centric was quite difficult. Currently CCS have 3 International Masters as Coaches, but the school won't highlight such things since the organisation focuses on building a process or system.

Capablanca Chess School's learning philosophy lies in four Pillars:

1. Chess Academics- Core subject

2. Physical & Mental Development – through Yoga Session

3. Psychological Support through psychologists led by Dr.Martin Payyappilly

4. Nutritional Interventions

Yoga sessions take place everyday!

Capablanca Chess School covered in big newspapers!

CCS has created a learning pedagogy and each and each every new member (teachers) has to follow the same. CCS follows the patterns of normal schooling system where a new teacher has to undergo multiple interview process and training process before performing teaching activities.

Creation of Chess Ecosystem in Trivandrum

After the inception of  CCS in 2016, we have realised that merely focusing on training won’t help a player to grow. We have to create an ecosystem for chess players like local events on higher standards with some media attention.

Various chess events conducted by the Capablanca Chess School

All the players are completely focused on their games!

Super genius

Super Genius is a project to create chess culture among school students. Super Genius addressed the Challenges occurring in schools for starting a chess clubs in Schools like:

1. Most of the physical education teachers doesn’t know chess

2. PT Teachers doesn’t know how to run chess clubs in schools by limiting the time controls.

In 2017 CCS picked 40 Aided and unaided schools in Trivandrum and done selection championships in schools over 6 age categories (U-6 to U-16) and created chess clubs. We helped the PT Teachers to maintain the clubs and oriented the club members over the FIDE Rules of Chess. Every year there will be a Grand Finale Super Genius Event to keep the motivation of Club members!

Pictures from the Super genius Grand Finale 2018 and 2019

Some success stories

Since inception in 2016, trained more than 10,000 + students across globe.

Created 100 + Fide rated Players

12 State Champions

42 District Champions

The best CCS performers in 2021 and 2022.

In 2022, we decided to keep all the social relevant activities of CCS like chess rehabilitation programs in Old age homes ,orphanages , free chess education and player sponsorships to have a separate entity. Thus, the genesis of Capablanca Chess Foundation occurred.

Capablanca Chess Foundation

Capablanca Chess Foundation(CCF) is a not for profit affiliate of Capablanca Chess School established to advocate and evangelize the benefits Chess above and beyond the remit of sport. CCF envisions to empower talented chess players and nurture them with opportunities and exposure to unlock their true potential to be champions of tomorrow.

The Scope Of CCF lies in the following aspects:

1. Chess Advocacy: Conclave & Event 

- Projects to nurture interest and enthusiasm toward chess culture among school students

- Shaping the Chess ecosystem in India towards international standards by creating opportunities and hosting International events across the country 

- Deepening the roots of chess culture by taking chess tournaments to rural areas by both physical tournaments and digital tournaments


2. Fellowships and Scholarships 

Fellowships and Scholarships for identifying and nurturing young talents in chess and enable them to seek excellence 


3. Healing Mind & Social Rehabilitation

Numerous psychological and cognitive studies have demonstrated the ability of Chess and its scientific application to heal minds.Chess therapy has proved to be highly effective for those with neurobehavioral disorders, especially children with ADHD, bipolar disorders, depression. We use a blend of teaching techniques coupled with our expert psychologist panel to support juvenile Homes , Central prisons &  Old age homes etc. We hope to enable the mind healing process through chess and help cope with adverse life scenarios.

Capablanca Chess Foundation is going to officially launch on the 7th Anniversary day of Capablanca Chess School i.e 30th March 2023!

Important links

Check out the complete player list 

Check out the complete tournament brochure here

Capablanca Chess School Official website

Capablanca Chess School Facebook page

Capablanca Chess School Instagram

Register for the Capablanca Chess School Chess Festival from 30th March - 6th April 2023

About the author: Vijin Babu S, Founder and CEO of Capablanca Chess School

Vijin Babu S with his wife Meenu Rajendran

I am basically a Pharma graduate from  Medical College, Trivandrum. My Family members include Wife –Dr.Meenu Rajendran and a son –Veera Bhairavan ; a younger Brother –Jithin Babu S ( Director –Admin & Operations Capablanca Chess School) and his family. I started playing Chess at the age of 10. Learned chess from my Cousin brother- Jayaghosh  and got much more from knowledge from other friend – Sarath Chandran ( a local tournament player)

I came to know about Chess events, age category events, FIDE etc. only while studying in college. The first and the last age category event which I participated was Under-25 State championship in 2008. There I Got Second Runner up and represent Nationals for Kerala State where I got rating (1754). Then I became Trivandrum District Senior Champion .Represented University of Kerala for Inter University Championships in 2008 & 2009.

Like every player, I also wanted to become a Grandmaster - even though I knew little about the hurdles and hard work needed for the same.  While studying in college, I used to work as an Insurance agent (PNB Metlife) for meeting my expenses for chess event participation. Mr.Sreekumar P – (Former Kerala State champion ; Former trainer of GM SL Narayanan ; former trainer of Under-9 National Champion- Anupam M Sreekumar ) was my teacher at that time.

After graduation, for pursuing chess career; I decided not to go for higher studies, though I did not get a good rank in PG entrance exam. I chose a marketing career as my full-time employment on the hope that it would help me in building chess career in terms of time and money. But the tables were turned - I built a marketing career, but not chess. In 2014, I moved to Mumbai as a National Team Lead in a Bangalore based Health Service Sector company- Indegene. There I got the opportunity to work and  successfully  implement multiple projects of companies like CHAI ( Bill Clinton Foundation),Dr.Reddy’s , Mylan, ITC etc. This experience helped me in building my team leading and project implementation skills.

In August 19, 2015, I married the love of my life – Dr.Meenu Rajendran.  Actually , the love for Chess turned to real love and finally tied the knot. Meenu Rajendran is a chess player from Trivandrum who was  Youth Olympiad 2004 Indian team member, Indian Junior team member in  2009, U-25 Kerala State Champion and State champions of various age category events U-12, U-14, U-15 , U-17  &  U-19. Her peak rating was 2029. One more addition about Meenu is that her family is a chess family with Younger brother –Sabari V R( Fide rated Player, District Champion & Senior National Arbiter ) and Father – Rajendran Achary ( Fide Rated Player, State Arbiter & Secretary , Trivandrum District Chess Association).

We have known each other since childhood (Year 2000). Sharing the aspirations of becoming Grand masters, discussing chess and related things were the common topics. We represented Trivandrum Medical College for Inter Collegiate for team Championships for 3 consecutive years and more events across Kerala. But discussed about Love and a life living together in 2014 only J and marriage happened in 2015. In 2016 March 30th , I started the dream venture called Capablanca Chess School.


This article was edited by Himank Ghosh


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