‘Hyderabadi’ kid struck by cancer at 5 now a chess champ

Hyderabad: Aadish was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoplastic Leukaemia when he was just five.

The Hyderabadi cancer survivor was among 15 children from across the globe selected to compete in the chess category at the World Children’s Winners Games held in Moscow, for children who fought life threatening diseases.

While Aadish missed the bronze medal by a whisker at the international competition that had children from countries like Hungary, Bulgaria, Russia, Portugal, Croatia and Kazakhstan, it’s his story so far that makes him a real hero. Aadish was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoplastic Leukaemia when he was just five.

But the little braveheart, underwent chemotherapy and radiation, and spent nine months in complete isolation in a hospital room as part of recovery. He battled all the odds to emerge cancer free.

“We couldn’t come to terms with Aadish’s condition initially. But he showed positivity. It is that fighting spirit in him that saw us through,” says Nagalakshmi, his mother. Remarkably, he’s been playing chess through it all; but it was just two years ago that he was introduced to professional coaching. The recent tourna coaching. The recent tournament was a personal milestone of sorts, reckons Aadish.

“It was a nice experience to go another country and compete with my counterparts from across the globe. The match was close one,” he says.

For Aadish’s father Ch Venkatesh too, the tourney wasn’t as much about winning as it was a chance for exposure for him. “He did not have any sort of interaction with his peers when he was fighting leukaemia. The only connection he had with the world outside was with his mother, who had to wear gloves and a protective suit whenever she went in. But he prevailed,” recollects the father, as he swells with pride at his little boy’s gumption.

And it’s this spirit that sees him excel in chess tournaments too, says Hanuman Satish, Aadish’s coach. “His reading of the game is immaculate. The more tournaments he plays, the better he will get.”