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18x64 book release in Uttar Pradesh

Former Principal Secretary, UP Government, Mr Amal Kumar Varma, released a book on chess and the Bhagavad Gita along with Dr Anup Kumar Srivastava in Lucknow.

Lucknow, Oct 19, 2021: Former principal secretary, UP Government, Mr Amal Kumar Varma, released a unique book by Fide arbiter and chess player Naveen Karthikeyan, here on Wednesday. Mr Varma, who was the chess champion at the IAS Academy back in the 70s, said, "The Bhagavad Gita has answers to every moral dilemma in life. This is the first time that anyone in the world has connected chess with the Bhagavad Gita. I am particularly proud that this research work has its Lucknow connection, as does chess."

UP State Senior Chess Champion, Dr Junaid Ahmad, who has collaborated on the research for the book titled, "18x64: Chess Class, Life Lessons with Bhagavad Gita shlokas," said the book combines Indian philosophy and chess compositions for not just chess lovers, but everyone. Dr Ahmad said, "The book is creative interpretation as it brings the message of peace from the battlefield: the Kurukshetra and the chess board." Several scholars have summarised the recitation of the Bhagavad Gita with one representative shloka for each of the 18 chapters. "I’ve picked up the most popular sequence common across India. Each shloka (in Sanskrit) is followed by a literal translation, scene-setting, a life philosophy interpretation and a thought for chess players. Each chapter concludes with six amazing studies compiled by Ghenrikh M. Kasparyan, one of the greatest composers and analysts of chess endgame studies, said Karthikeyan. Dr Ahmad added, "The carefully selected 108 chess studies are sure to raise any chess player's playing strength by at least 150 rating points and possibly more in terms of life skills."

Press coverage:

  1. The Times of India.

2. Hindustan Times

5. Inqalabi Nazar

6. Voice of Lucknow



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