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The reigning national champion and International Master, Mahmood Ahmed Lodhi, has retained his crown by emerging triumphant in the 31st Friendship House Chess Festival 2010, held under the auspices of the Mind Sports Association of Pakistan (MSAP) at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) in Karachi.
The Gujrranwala-based Mahmood Lodhi, lived up to the billing in the Open Category event in which there were a total of 24 contestants competing in seven rounds. The International Master won all his games to score a maximum of seven points. Aziz Farooqui finished second with 5.5 points and Rahat Ali came third 5 points.
The three-day chess championships, contested in open, non-ranking and students categories, concluded with the prize distribution ceremony, presided over Tariq Rasheed Khan, Director, MSAP, and President, Pakistan Bridge Federation (PBF). The Consul General of the Russian Federation, Andrey Vladimirovich Demidov, was the chief guest of the evening.
Mohammad Aslam ran away with the top position in the non-Ranking Category which also had 24 participants trying their luck in seven rounds. Aslam won the contest with 6.5 points while Shakeel Ahmed and Makhdoom Hammad shared second position with five points each.
As many as 30 students from Beacon House School, Karachi Grammar School, St Patrick School and Foundation Public School took part in the ‘O’ & ‘A’ Level category in which a total of six rounds were played.
Mohammad Hunaid of St Patrick School won the ‘O’ Level contest by securing six points while Abdul Rashid Siddiqui, also from St Patrick School and Syed Hur Hasan of Beacon House School shared the second position with 4.5 points each.
The students of St Patrick School dominated the ‘A’ Level competition as well with Wahaj Ahmed winning it and Taha Javed sharing the runner-up spot with Jawwad Naimat of Beacon House School.
The Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) in Karachi, more famous as the Friendship House, has been holding a chess tournament every year for quite sometime but the event has come alive with the proactive support of the Mind Sports Association of Pakistan (MSAP).
The MSAP, with their professional approach, has given a new lease of life to chess during the last year and a half or so. They have adequately made up for the lethargy and red tape culture of the Chess Federation of Pakistan (CFP) whose office-bearers have often remained inaccessible even for their own game.
The advent of the MSAP has already helped the cause of chess immensely and their consistent support augurs very well for its future. It’s very heartening to note that some of the active chess players have joined hands with them and together they have started making a different.
The MSAP has been working for the promotion of bridge, chess and scrabble but they must have found out by now that chess merits greater attention of theirs because of its tremendous potential.
The MSAP would be doing a great service to the nation if they continue supporting the game of chess with the current passion and enthusiasm because this is one sport which catches the imagination of the young generation.
Syed Khalid Mahmood has had passion for writing and sports since childhood. After having edited wall papers and magazines in his student life, he had started contributing to various international publications from an early age.
He joined the mainstream journalism in 1987 and his first book was published later the same year. After having studied at the famed institutions like Cadet College Petaro and Delhi College, he graduated in civil engineering from the prestigious NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi, in 1986.
He has earned greater fame and recognition in the field of media being acclaimed as a leading international sports writer, having worked for some of the eminent newspapers like The Frontier Post and The News International besides a brief stint with The Mississauga News. He has also appeared regularly as an analyst on various television channels.
He has already authored 12 books viz Asian Glory (2012); Reflections (2010); Cricket Fever: A History of Pakistan-India Tours (2008); Mission Caribbean: A Guide to ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 (2007); World Cup 2003: Top of the Charts (2005); Spotlight on World Cup 2003 (2005); World Cup 1999: So Near Yet So Far (2000); Pakistan’s Sports Greats (1997); Pakistan: The Land of World Champions (1995); Pakistan’s Triumph in World Cup 1992 (1993); The Caribbean Challenge: A History of Pakistan-West Indies matches (1989) and Focus on World Cup (1987 and 1994).
He has had an active social life throughout. Having founded The Young Champs in 1984 he became the District Secretary of Rotary International District 3271 (Pakistan) in 2015-16. Besides being the Founder President of the NED Alumni Association, he is also the Vice President of the Delhi College & Schools Old Boys Association. He is also a member of The Petarian Association, Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi Press Club, Pakistan Engineering Council and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.
His write-ups are carried by innumerable portals and websites across the world while his exclusive articles on the web, having grown in popularity, could be accessed on his blog at www.skmsports.com
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