A tribute to Hanumantha
In a tribute to his mentor, Hanumantha, who passed away on April 15, 2021, Sushruta Reddy goes down the memory lane and provides an insight to the contributions made by him towards the growth of Chess in Karnataka. Sushruta shared a strong bond with Hanumantha dating back to more than two decades. 
Dear friends,

As I write this, I am yet to regain my poise after getting the devastating news that Hanumantha passed away. It was during the 90s that I got to know Hanumantha as a friend through his nephew Jayaram. It was the period when players from Karnataka were asked to go back home from various National Chess Championships - the State Chess Association was in a mess.
The 90s was a period when we were hardly having any Chess Tournaments being organized in Karnataka. It was Hanumantha along with Rajasekhar and Madhav (a genial and a very generous man) who did all the hard work by going to Court for several years to root out the corruption and eventually setting up the Association through the Court appointed Tahsildar in 2000. The whole objective was to have Events being organized in Karnataka and to ensure that the State Players do not suffer in the Nationals.

Additionally, he wanted the Players to be provided grants from the Department of Youth Services and Sports. The grants were not going to the players and the Association was dissolved by the Court which appointed Tahsildar to look after the day to day activities in Bangalore. It was Hanumantha and Rajasekhar who managed all this on their own. I would daily go to Hanumantha's house to draft various communication letters those days in the mornings at 630 am. Hanumantha's wife, Jayanthi, would daily serve Badam Milk with sumptuous breakfast. Over a period of time, both - me and Hanumantha - of us grew close and our bond grew beyond Chess.

As a teenager, I questioned Hanumantha during the 90s, "You are pouring most of your savings towards Chess to have Tournaments organized and for the sake of the Association. Please save money for your son's future too". His wife, Jayanthi immediately replied, "Sushrutha, the day he met me for the first time before marriage, he said that Chess will forever be his first wife and I was happy seeing his passion". Just before their marriage, Hanumantha's father - Rajanna - passed away. Jayanthi waited for a year to marry Hanumantha. She would always oblige me whenever I ask her if I could take Hanumantha to a restaurant to a movie. Jayanthi provided him support in every Chess Tournament he organized in life. During the 90s, she would write postcards to all players inviting them to participate in Chess Tournaments.

I must also mention before continuing further on how Hanumantha took up Chess. At LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of India), a colleague was playing Chess and Hanumantha was known to be a Kabaddi player. When Hanumantha approached his colleague to learn the nuances of the game, he was told playing Chess at a competitive level will be too much for a Kabaddi player. This challenged Hanumantha who took it upon himself to learn the game of Chess. What is even more commendable here is that he went on to represent LIC South Zone for many years at the National level.

Post 2000, we were eventually able to set up the Chess Association in Karnataka. The next step was conducting Chess Tournaments. I still remember that he made me the Chief Arbiter for all Chess Tournaments when I was still 19 years of age. Considering the age group Tournaments were receiving very less entries, Hanumantha understood that it is important to impart Chess training to Children. He brought in Durgesh upon my suggestion and both at that time trained under the banner of C.V.Raman Chess Club. He even tried to coach me to the best of his ability and I regret that I was not seriously involved at that time. My involvement with Hanumantha was related to drafting Press Releases, Press Reports, all communication related to the Association, Arbitering and going out together to movies and restaurants at least once a week. I must say that he strongly stood by me like a pillar of support when I was made the Arbiter. He supported me each time I made a mistake and it took me years to realize that I was transformed into a confident personality only due to Hanumantha.

In every Tournament where Hanumantha was at the helm as an Organizer, he would provide free food to all Parents and Chess Players. When I said let us do away from this, he said, "Sushrutha, no, it is wrong. They are like guests and we should treat them very well and make sure they don't go through the inconvenience of travelling to a Restaurant."

I must also state how much he was involved in ensuring that Chess should be played across all parts of the State. He would always stress with me that activities should be conducted to popularize the game. I have lost track of the amount that he spent from his pocket towards the Association. He would always say that Chess is something that brought him a lot of respect in life and it is perfectly fine if we give something back to the game that has brought us name and fame. Years later, I used the same principle thanks to the advice he provided to me.
Until 2009, I lived very close to Hanumantha's house. In 2009, I started drifting away from him after shifting to Koramangala in Bangalore. We spoke less and met less. However, he was always someone I was forever indebted to, considering what I went on to achieve in my Chess Career (As an Organizer, player and an Arbiter).

There have been many instances where he would go and sit at the DYSS office for a long time to initiate grants for the top players. I have lost count on this front. Since 1992, I never saw any other office bearer from Karnataka Chess Association or United Karnataka Chess Association work in such a manner - who would work so much for the benefit of the players. Growing up, I was only used to seeing people trying to take away the grants meant for the players. And then suddenly here comes a man who selflessly worked for many players in Karnataka. There has even been instances where he has even put his own respect on the line so that the Players could go abroad, achieve in International Events. All these Players I am referring to should be extremely thankful for having played in the era of Hanumantha.

The bond I shared with Hanumantha cannot be easily put in words. There always used to be an element of fondness from Hanumantha towards me - this even showed in the innumerable times he would call me in anger reacting to my various mischiefs about ten years ago. It was akin to a father taking to a son who is going astray. This is a bond that I would cherish throughout my life. 

Hanumantha took over the United Karnataka Chess Association (UKCA) as it's Secretary in 2005. He left us all today, April 15, 2021, as the UKCA Secretary. He remained loyal to Chess from the time he learnt the game and as his proud student, I take pride to say that Chess is my life and my entire livelihood revolves around Chess. This turned out to be the best ever gift given to me by Hanumantha, the person I loved the most in life.
Sushrutha Reddy, creates history in Las Vegas
The Millionaire Chess Tournament was conducted at Hotel Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas from 9th to 13th October, 2014. The Tournament witnessed the highest stakes prize money in the history of the sport for players below the Super GM level.

The Event was conducted across the Under 1000, 1400, 1600, 1800, 2000, 2200 and Open Categories respectively.

Sushruta Reddy of Innovators Chess Academy, Bangalore won the Millionaire Chess Below 2000 Chess Tournament by remaining unbeaten almost through the Event. After scoring 6 points out of 7 and finishing 3rd to qualify to the knock out stage, he defeated Coel Tadas Oshiro of USA 2-0 in the Semi Finals and Aderemi Adekola of Nigeria in the finals 1.5-0.5.

Sushruta Reddy won the first prize money of $ 40,000 (about 24.5 lakh Rupees). This is one of the highest ever prize amount won by an Indian in the history of Indian Chess. 

The Tournament was conducted by reputed US Grand Master Maurice Ashley and his partner Amy Lee who forged a partnership and created the Millionaire Chess Tournament. The Tournament witnessed a participation of nearly 600 participants from across the globe.