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Well organized. Excellently planned. Top competition. These were just some of the words that were buzzing around the stands and ground, on the 24th of March 2012 when Vibha Dream Play was hosted at South Forsyth Middle School.
The Vibha Dream Play is the annual flagship charity chess and table tennis tournament hosted by Vibha every year to help raise funds for projects supporting under-privileged children in India. This year, the event was organized almost entirely by Vibha Youth, at South Forsyth Middle School gymnasium in Forsyth County.
The location served well for the intense thinking and physical competition that took place during the day. The Dream Play event this year witnessed an enthusiastic crowd from all age-groups and occupation. As the day unfolded, the South Forsyth gymnasium was packed with cheerful abundance – young people accompanying parents and adult participants - all eager to compete against each other and stake their claim on the trophies. A fun-filled day with indoor table tennis and chess tournaments and various other awareness events was an excellent addition to the schedule of adults and children who attended the occasion on Saturday.
From the bold move to change the name from Khel Mela to a more encompassing Dream Play, designed to encourage the participation of people from wide ethnic groups, and from door to door registrations all the way to mass emailing every week, these were just some of the tasks Vibha Youth focused on to make the trademark event a success.
Chess: The 2012 Dream Play chess tournament was held in K-3, K-6, K-9, K-12 and open categories, where many passionate chess players had an opportunity to shine. A special gratitude must be shown for Steve Schneider who helped coordinate the chess tournaments throughout the day. Steve Schneider was roped in by the Vibha Youth for this year as an excellent suitor for chess, due to his experience as the founder and director of the chess school Championship Chess, and author of the Scholastic Chess Series. He also owns a chess club and has coached several kids at the state and national level. Coach Steve is currently developing a network of Affiliate instructors in cities across America to further his vision of providing strong chess programs for children across the country.
The chess tournament was a prolific event, with almost seventy children and adults attending, from the novice to the experienced and people of all scopes.
The chess tournament was a revelation of mind strategies. The elementary awards for excellence went to Pranav Potluri and Sanjay Shajith for showing good technique, temperament, and strategy, with them being in the tender years of Kindergarten and First Grade. In the fixed playing categories, Siddharth Vijay was crowned the winner of the K-3 division, while Eeshwar Potluri was named the runner up. Ainesh Balaga and Sid Balaga were announced as co-champions in the K-6 category and Tejas Mirthipati, the runner up. The K-9 category champion was Rithvik Sarasani and in the hotly competed Open category, Shyam Dasari was deservedly handed the cup while the runner up trophy was presented to Srini Baddam.
Table tennis: was also a crowd puller this year, the event bringing in almost fifty people. There were several categories, ensuring that all could participate and reap rewards for their talents. The numerous divisions were Men and Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, Under 15, Team Championships. As the matches unfolded one by one, the players did not fail to impress, keeping the audience engaged throughout the ties and the spirit of fair play their dictum.
The men’s single was a showcase for skill, as it has been since Dream Play’s inception, churning out many bright prospects as well as old masters. In an intense showdown between Vasudev Kallapur and Krishna Venkatesh, Vasudev Kallapur was rightfully awarded the winner of the Men’s Singles event. After several rounds of sweating it out at the table, the trio of Suresh Kanchusthambham, Vasudev Kallapur, and Srinivasarao Kanchusthambham emerged as the victors over runner-ups Krishna Venkatesh, Satish Vasa, and Vinay Uchil in the TT Team Final. In the entertaining match-up in the Men’s Doubles finale, Suresh Kanchusthambham & Vasudev Kallapur, a regular in TT in the Dream Play games, triumphed over Srinivasarao Kanchusthambham & Vinay Uchil, thus sealing Vasudev Kallapur excellent showing in the tournament, being part of the winning team in all three men’s contests.
The women’s and youth playoffs were no less spectacular than the men’s, and with three categories to engage, there was a good turnout and match quality. In the battle for the Women’s Singles trophy, victory was rewarded to Archana Athalye, who won against 2009 finalist Rinku Singhal. The mixed doubles’ final proved to be no less than nail-biting, where Archana Athalye & Mahesh Athalye pulled through to clinch the cup against second place Pallavi Sathe & Vaibhav Sathe, who have to be credited for their play. In the finals of the U-15 Cup, a commendable performance in an electric match by Yagnik Tadavarthi ensured that he won the event against Chetan Velivela.
The 9th Annual Vibha Dream Play was a success and the youth’s commitment towards service through restarting the Vibha Youth as well as management of the event along with the support of the people, families, and sponsors that helped in Dream Play is what really made this event click. The event served its purpose, and as Suresh Kanchusthambham of title sponsor K-MACS put it across, “Vibha – its passionate volunteers and the cause… has inspired me a lot. Our company has joined as the title sponsor for the Vibha Dream Play primarily to be part of good team working for a great cause. We will work closely with Vibha in coming years.”
“Vibha is grateful through the support it has received in numbers through its sponsors, especially title sponsor K-MACS, as well as financial and physical help to make this Dream Play a success of immense stature,” a press release issued to this newspaper said.