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Sports - Chess

* 5 Aug 2022
Sathuranga (Chathuranga) Vallabhanathar
Sathuranga (Chathuranga) Vallabhanathar - Pinterest collection
A temple for Lord Shiva at Thirupoovanur near Needamangalam in Tiruvarur district is linked to the game of chess (Sathurangam/ Chathurangam in Tamil)
The presiding deity of the temple is Sathuranga (Chathuranga) Vallabhanathar, an expert in chess.
Legend has it that, Lord Shiva was called Sathuranga Vallabhanathar after winning the right to marry the daughter of a local king by defeating her in a game of chess. The princess, Rajarajeswari, believed to be an incarnation of Goddess Parvathi was a genius at chess and the king had declared that he would give the hand of his daughter to anyone who defeated her in the game. As none could defeat her, a worried king prayed to Lord Shiva. The Lord was said to have appeared in the guise of an old man/siddhar, defeated Rajarajeswari in the game and later shed his disguise to marry the ‘Goddess’. The temple also houses a rare shrine for Chamundeeswari, who is said to have been sent as a nurse to Rajarajeswari.
Source:  Sathuranga Vallabhanathar, the deity of chess by S.Ganesan, The Hindu, July 21, 2022

* 4 Aug 2022
Lothal was a port city contemporary with Harappa and Mohenjo-daro. The site was discovered in 1954 and excavated on most scientific lines between 1955 and 1962. Lothal is situated at the head of the Gulf of Cambay at a distance of 80 kilometres south-west of Ahmedabad.
A fact of particular pride to chess lovers is that Dr S.R. Rao discovered some "chaturanga" pieces during excavations at Lothal. With carbon tests they are dated 2,500 B.C.
This proves that "chaturanga" was in vogue in India some 4,500 years ago.
Source: Views of V.D. Pandit (Bombay, India) from The Origins of Chess by Edward Winter,

* 4 Aug 2022
‘Hindu mythology believes that the game of Chaturanga - of which, I repeat, chess is the descendant - was invented by Mandodari, the Queen of King Ravana of Lanka (now Sri Lanka) to amuse her ever ambitious and warring husband. The recent excavations at Lothal (Gujarat) lead us to think that after all this does not seem to be a mere myth.
The first version of Ramayana (basically an epic of war between King Ravana and Lord Rama wherein Ravana was demolished by Lord Rama) was composed during 800 B.C. But scholars differ about the period of Ramayana. In any case, it is, however, older than 1000 B.C. But the pieces found at Lothal are from 2500 B.C. It seems possible then that the prosperous and civilized Dravidians, who ruled India, knew the game and Mandodari, a Dravidian Queen, did not actually invent the game but taught Ravana the game already in vogue. Newly wed Mandodari was not happy with Ravana’s habit of frequently going out on wars leaving her behind all alone. With a view to promoting acquaintance between the two, she taught him the game.
Source: Views of V.D. Pandit (Bombay, India) from The Origins of Chess by Edward Winter,

* 4 Aug 2022
The International Olympic Committee considers chess to be a sport.
Chess requires physical exertion as mental exertion manifests itself physically.
Chess has rules and etiquette which are officially recognized internationally.
Chess is competitive as the participating players feel the drive to win.
Chess requires skill as a deep and serious chess training is necessary to become good at chess.

*  1 Aug 2022
On July 28, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared open the 44th FIDE Chess Olympiad, the first time in the place of origin of chess, India.
The world’s biggest team chess championship, featuring players from 187 countries at Mamallapuram upto August 10.