World renowned chess champion, Chitra Sridhar, now a graduate student in the College of Computing Sciences at NJIT, has challenged the university community to a play-off Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009. The event, which will take place in the lobby of the Campus Center, will start at 2:30 p.m. The public is invited.
Sridhar, now a Harrison resident, is enrolled as a master’s degree candidate, majoring in computer science. She will play 20 contenders simultaneously. As students lose, others will be substituted so that at any time Sridhar will always be playing 20 contenders. Faculty, staff and students are invited to participate.
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Sridhar, who grew up in Bangalore, India, has been playing the game since she was six years old. Her father, S. Sridhar, who works for the Indian government, taught her. Her first major victory was winning the under-eight-year category for the Indian National Championship in 1992. Victory followed in 1996 when she was crowned the bronze winner in the World U-12 Rapid Chess Championship in Paris. The event made her an instant star back home with write-ups in major publications because she was the first female ever from India to win a medal in this category: http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl1419/14191040.htm
Other honors followed, including finishing among the top 10 winners on two occasions in the World Championships in 2000 and 2002. She also tied for 10th place in the World Youth Olympiad held at Moscow in 2000.
Sridhar says that she loves playing chess because it mimics life. “There is a lot of strategy, analysis, tactics and psychology involved in the game. I have learned many skills which I use in life.” In India, chess is a game played with almost a religious fervor among youth. It is believed that playing chess is the best way to hone logical thinking skills.
To prepare for the game, much work, sweat and toil is spent. “Typically I analyze my strengths and weaknesses and work towards eliminating the latter,” Sridhar said. Much time is spent on examining her core opponents’ games, especially his or her strategies.
Sridhar is a graduate of Visvesvaraya Technological University, Bangalore, India. She majored there, too, in computer science. Prior to attending NJIT, she spent 18 months working as a solution and delivery consultant, based in India, working for Cerner Healthcare Solutions, headquartered in Kansas City.