Five players from Sikkim had taken part in the tournament. Other players were Rohit Gurung, Thendup Tamang and Sushmita Lama. Four from the Sikkim team also succeeded in improving their rating in the tournament.
The team was accompanied by the Sikkim Chess Association general secretary, Mahendra Dhakal, who also served the tournament as an arbiter.
Speaking at a press conference today, 17-year-old Rakesh, who has also improved his FIDE Rating from 1994 to 2065 in the tournament, expressed that this achievement would help him to move forward towards his dream of becoming an International Master. He said that although the tournament was really tough, he was determined to be the champion this time.
“I lost in the 3rd round but determination and motivation from my coach helped me to finish as the champion in the tournament,” he stated. Rakesh defeated a Tamil Nadu player in the final round.
Another player, 13-year-old Rahul also said that he was prepared and confident this time to better his performance in this tournament. He hopes to continue with more hardwork and dedication in the future.
“There is no IM from North East India, Nepal and the neighbouring hills. Looking at the continuous improvement in the performance of players from Sikkim, people are now hoping that Sikkim can produce an International Master in the near future", said Mr Dhakal.
Rakesh and Rahul coming first and fourth respectively among 585 players in category B is a big achievement for Sikkim and other players, he added. He went on to add that all five players gave a tough fight in the tournament.