Istanbul: Abhijeet Gupta`s silver medal ended a long drought for Indians in the open section of Chess Olympiad, and the Grandmaster said he will cherish the memories of the triumph for a long time.
It was after a gap of 22 years ? the last one being Dibyendu Barua`s gold medal on board two in Novisad 1990 that an Indian could win a medal for individual performance and it indeed elated BPCL employee Gupta, who is scaling one peak after another recently.
For the records, this was Gupta`s 23rd medal representing India in various age-groups, Asian and Commonwealth championships. A remarkable feat indeed.
"This one is very special. I will cherish this for a long time. Chess is not an Olympic sport yet but to us, the Olympiad is the Olympic and winning a medal here is so very special," Gupta told PTI.
Gupta scored an excellent seven points out of nine games and had the second best performance on the fourth board behind Vladislav Tkachiev of France.
A total of 158 nations took part in the event this year. And as Chess is not an Olympic sport, the significance of the medal does not stand as tall back home.
"Yes, I know this, but it is significant for the chess world. I hope we get due recognition in some time with chess is a medal sport in Asian games," he said.
Closing in on the silver jubilee of medals, Gupta knows that chances of his getting treated the way medal winners in Olympics, are slim.
Yet, he could not be denied the glory after a fine performance. "It`s not only me, Tania (Sachdev) also won a bronze, it`s an Indian double and I am very happy for Tania too. We have the same trainer and we also work together many times."
The Indian women team finished fourth at the event.