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Anand wants Olympiad win to bring in ‘long’ due national honours for chess players

first_imgLast Updated: 31st August, 2020 19:48 IST Anand Wants Olympiad Win To Bring In ‘long’ Due National Honours For Chess Players It’s been seven years since a chess player got the Arjuna award and the iconic Viswanathan Anand is hoping that India’s triumphant campaign at the online Chess Olympiad will change this when the national sporting honours are announced in 2020. SUBSCRIBE TO US Asked if the tweaked format helped India, he said: “I think in future it will be nice for India if you can double the number of boards, for instance to showcase our depth. Since we have so many good juniors, so many girls playing. Whether it particularly favoured us, I don’t know…nice thing is that if you are putting pressure on all six boards then you could feel someone or other could click for us. Even when we had one setback, someone could rescue us, added Anand.On whether it was a conscious decision by him to sit out the first game of the final, Anand said he had expressed the desire to play only one game.Yes, it was. I had discussed with N Srinath (vice-captain) that I wanted to play only one game on the final day. Because I strongly felt that we had a good team. I thought we had to use that strength,added Anand.  He said in the last few years, there has been “a drop off in the attitude of the Sports Ministry towards chess players” regarding government awards. FOLLOW US “I also commend their decision to improvise with the format. Instead of the same format, they got juniors and women, made the event much more fun to watch. It went really nicely.” Lauding his teammates, Anand said each one of them clicked at some point. “Sometimes you need to show that we are still there and I hope this results in positive impetus for many things,” Anand said. “But in this particular case, it was quickly verified that the problem was not at our end. So FIDE had to consider that in our appeal,” he said. “I didn’t anticipate this. I mean clearly the strongest argument in our favour was that this disconnection was not our fault. The rules are clear that if a team loses by disconnection, they forfeit the game. LIVE TV “You saw without me the team beat China and that result helped us a lot. So I was happy to repeat that again,” he quipped. It’s been seven years since a chess player got the Arjuna award and the iconic Viswanathan Anand is hoping that India’s triumphant campaign at the online Chess Olympiad will change this when the national sporting honours are announced next year.In an interview to PTI after India won the top honours jointly with Russia on Sunday, Anand, a recipient of both the Arjuna and the Khel Ratna, said award recognition is due for the sport’s practitioners in India. COMMENT The last time a chess player received the Arjuna was in 2013 when Abhijeet Gupta was bestowed the honour, while a chess coach has been given the Dronacharya just twice — Raghunandan Vasant Gokhale (1986) and Koneru Ashok (2006). Written By First Published: 31st August, 2020 19:48 IST Press Trust Of India Everyone clicked at least in one game. That really worked to the strength of India that we have such depth not only in men, but also women, girls, juniors,added Anand.  “During the whole tournament whenever I watched the other boards..some team member somewhere had done something…,” he said. “It is peculiar to this year that the whole chess world has kind of moved online. It is a positive feeling especially for this generation of youngsters who are part of this winning team.”  “I don’t mean at a personal level obviously. Just that institutionally, we no longer get awards for international competitions,” Anand said later in an online media interaction. (Image Credits:PTI) The 50-year-old said he was waiting to be told of a rematch instead.I expected something along the lines of replaying the second match…The Russians may not have been happy with this and there would have been discussions. I was expecting a replay,added Anand.I think then the FIDE opted for the other route, declared both as winners. Look these are teething problems. We are starting online chess, this will not be the last disconnection in online chess. I think this was a fair decision,added Anand. The senior Indian men’s team comprised, apart from Anand, Vidit Gujarati (captain), P. Harikrishna and Arvindh Chithambaram (reserves).The senior women’s side featured Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika, Bhakti Kulkarni and R. Vaishali.It is nice to write their co-tales as well, added Anand. Anand also said that his performance in the event was not great.I was able to rely on the team,explained Anand. It was a good idea to have an online Olympiad this year instead of postponing it amid the COVID-19 pandemic,added Anand.  The India-Russia final was said to be widely followed online with over 60,000 viewing it and there were a lot of congratulatory messages flowing in afterwards, which Anand said was a pleasant surprise. “It might be due to various issues pertaining to code of conduct etc. Our federation has had some difficulties. It would be nice to reset this. And the best way to reset this is not by writing long letters to editors but by having good results like this,”added Anand. “The event was a pleasant surprise…The original decision was to move it to next year and then this good idea, I think, to have an online Olympiad. Any sport still has to function, you can’t postpone it by a year,”added Anand.  Anand also touched upon the wrangling within the national federation. The five-time world champion was expectedly ecstatic about the triumph even though he didn’t expect it after server malfunction led to two Indian losses, prompting an appeal from the team. Nihal Sarin and Divya Deshmukh lost in the second round of the finale due to disconnection and server malfunction. WATCH US LIVE “I hope this will lead to all sorts of positive things including the reconsideration in the Sports Ministry of the Arjuna award and the Dronacharya awards for chess. It has been a long time,” said the country’s first Khel Ratna awardee, India’s highest sporting honour.last_img read more

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Spain follows through with tax break for burgeoning online gambling market

first_imgShare Winamax maintains Granada CF sponsorship despite bleak Spanish outlook August 19, 2020 StumbleUpon Related Articles Submit Share Andrea Vota – Jdigital’s challenge of Spanish restrictions is led by logic and rationale August 13, 2020 Martin Lycka – Regulatory high temperatures cancel industry’s ‘silly season’ August 11, 2020 Spain’s Parliament has pushed forward with its 2018 fiscal budget, which will implement a significant 5% tax reduction on a number of online gambling/betting services.Spain cuts taxes on gross gambling revenues from 25% to 20% on a range of industry online verticals including sports and exchange betting, online casino games and horseracing.Despite the recent upheaval in Spanish politics, which last June saw Mariano Rajoy discharged as Prime Minister following bribery scandals attached to the governing Partido Popular (PP – Conservative Centre Right).The Spanish parliament has decided not to delay its budget, which was initially agreed on in May, with the new fiscal policies being implemented by the new PSOE (socialist) government led by Pedro Sanchez.The tax breaks come at a crucial point for the burgeoning Spanish online gambling market, which is set to expand its licensing programme in 2018, welcoming a number of new operators to its marketplace.From a governance perspective, Spain will maintain its federal and regional divide between online and land-based gambling services.The Federal government will continue to regulate the Spanish online gambling marketplace through the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), whilst Span’s autonomous communities will be able to grant individual gambling concessions to enterprises adhering to DGOJ standards.last_img read more

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Chase Utley’s influence goes beyond analytics for Dodgers and their future

first_imgLOS ANGELES >> Baseball’s deep dive into statistical analysis has created a new language of exit velocities, launch angles, FIPs, WHIPs and BABIPs.But this is another new concept courtesy of the analytics crowd – a 37-year-old “bounceback candidate.”Chase Utley posted career-lows across the board offensively last season. A .212 batting average, .286 on-base percentage, .629 OPS and only eight home runs in over 400 plate appearances. Combined with the fact that he would turn 37 in December, the numbers seemed to scream of a player in decline. His 140 plate appearances with the Dodgers over the final two months of the season didn’t paint any prettier a picture (he hit .202 with a .654 OPS). Utley did bounce back. The oldest leadoff hitter in baseball this year, Utley has started 69 of the Dodgers’ first 94 games there – and eased a massive problem. Last year, Dodgers’ leadoff hitters (primarily Rollins and Joc Pederson) combined for the lowest batting average in the majors (.233), one of the lowest OBPs (.319, 20th) and fewest runs scored (93, 24th). Those numbers this season are a healthier middle of the pack in the National League.If not for a June swoon that lopped more than 20 points off his batting average, Utley’s individual statistics would be in line with most of his career norms.“I still feel like I can contribute. That’s the bottom line,” said Utley of his own belief in his bounciness.“Early in the (2015) season, first week or so, I felt like I was swinging the bat really well,” he said of his sub-par 2015, a season that started with him trying to play through an ankle injury suffered during an off-season workout. “For a couple weeks after that, even though I did swing the bat well I didn’t have a whole lot to show for it. At that point, I think it’s only natural to try to figure out a way to help your team. For me, I got out of what I’m most comfortable doing. Instead of trying to hit the ball hard I was trying to find places to hit the ball. And that didn’t work so well.“I took some time off (a six-week stint on the DL at mid-season) and got my body in more of a position to be successful. After that, I felt like I swung the bat okay, better than my baseball card would show. Obviously I appreciate that they were able to see beyond that.”For all their adherence to the measurables produced by an analytics department of unknown size but unquestioned influence, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and Zaidi also saw beyond Utley’s value in the batter’s box. When they re-signed Utley, they readily admit they were paying for intangibles as well.“The leadership, the attention to detail he has for the game — it was a huge boost for us down the stretch and into the playoffs (in 2015) and was an important thing for us to get back,” Zaidi said. “He just has such a strong reputation that even if you didn’t get quite that (offensive) production there was a lot of value to having him on your team.”The Dodgers expect to benefit from that value well beyond Utley’s one-year contract. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he “absolutely” sees Utley’s old-school influence impacting the Dodgers’ new wave of talent, young players like Corey Seager, Trayce Thompson and Joc Pederson.“Unbelievable. I can’t even, don’t even know where to start,” Seager said when asked if Utley has had a positive influence on him. “He’s helped me on the field, off the field, in the clubhouse. Anything you can think or imagine I’ve asked him and he’s talked to me about.“Just little things I’m picking up that people do, tipping pitches and little stuff that I personally never looked at that he’s shown me, tried to involve me. Obviously I’m a work in progress. I’m not awesome at it even when I know what he’s doing, the tipping or whatever.”Seager said he followed Utley’s career while growing up in North Carolina. Now he finds his locker next to Utley’s in the Dodgers’ home clubhouse and becomes effusive when talking about the benefits that flow from that relationship, saying he believes “100 percent” that being Utley’s teammate will benefit his career.“Just watching his at-bats, watching him grind through at-bats – I’m lost for words how impressive it is,” Seager said. “Watching him as a fan while I was growing up, you just think he’s this great player. He’s just that much better than everybody. But you watch him work – he grinds everything out, his attention to detail is off the charts.”Utley acknowledges the responsibility he has to provide a positive role model for a future star like Seager as well as others, whether through words or action.“For me, I don’t want to always be that guy, the teammate telling someone what to do. That’s not the way to go about it,” Utley said. “I think you play the game the way you think you should and hopefully some guys see how that can be beneficial and try to implement that into their game.” Utley’s long-time double-play partner, Jimmy Rollins, had similar numbers in those categories over a full season with the Dodgers last season and found himself unsigned until late February this spring when he accepted a minor-league contract offer from the Chicago White Sox. He made the White Sox’s roster and took a deep paycut (from $11 million to $2 million) only to be released in mid-June.But Utley barely had to wait until December to re-sign with the Dodgers for $7 million with other suitors lined up, willing to sign a 37-year-old middle infielder coming off the worst season of his career.“It was a couple things,” Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi said, explaining the thinking behind last winter’s most surprising decision by a front office that has advertised a desire to build a younger roster. “One, purely on the performance side, even when he was with us last year – he really had bad luck in that 150 at-bat sample. We looked at his hard-hit percentage, line drive percentage – that kind of stuff. It was actually very much in line with the numbers he’s putting up now. You would have thought he was a .280 to .300 hitter with .420 or .450 slug.“I think he was viewed as a strong bounceback candidate, that it (his poor offensive production) was going to be just one year.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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