Why Sagar Shah Deserves the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Sports Journalism Award

Sagar Shah's immense contributions to chess journalism and the sport itself make him a standout candidate for the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Sports Journalism Award. His unwavering commitment to covering every aspect of chess, supporting underprivileged players, and popularizing the game in India and beyond are just a few reasons why he deserves this prestigious accolade.

OPINIONSPORTS

Aryan Sharma

6/11/20242 min read

In the realm of chess, few figures have left as indelible a mark as Sagar Shah. As a journalist, commentator, and co-founder of ChessBase India, Shah has revolutionized the landscape of chess journalism in India and beyond. His dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to the sport make him a deserving candidate for the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Sports Journalism Award.

A Decade of Dedication

For nearly a decade, Sagar Shah has been the heartbeat of chess journalism in India. His journey, which began with a love for the game, has seen him traverse the globe, covering world championships in prestigious venues as well as humble tournaments in slums. His comprehensive coverage ensures that chess enthusiasts are informed about every significant event in the chess world, from grand international tournaments to local competitions.

Championing the Underdogs

One of Shah's most commendable qualities is his relentless support for underprivileged players. Through ChessBase India, he has facilitated numerous donations, enabling talented but financially constrained players to receive training and participate in open chess tournaments. His efforts have provided a platform for these players to showcase their talents, often altering the trajectory of their lives.

Popularizing Chess in India

Sagar Shah's influence extends beyond journalism; he is a pivotal figure in popularizing chess in India. Before Shah's efforts, chess news and analysis were limited and often inaccessible. Today, ChessBase India is the go-to source for chess news for millions of Indians. Shah's engaging commentary, insightful analysis, and educational content have made chess accessible and exciting to a broader audience.

Supporting Future Grandmasters

Shah's foresight and support have been instrumental in nurturing some of India's brightest chess talents. Players like Arjun Erigaisi, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, and Gukesh D, who are now among the world's strongest, received early support and coverage from Shah. His post-match analyses and interviews with these young prodigies provided them not only with visibility but also with valuable feedback and encouragement.

Commitment to Comprehensive Coverage

Unlike many journalists who focus solely on high-profile events, Sagar Shah ensures that every player and tournament, regardless of scale, receives attention. His YouTube channel is filled with videos of unknown and unrecognized players, highlighting his commitment to the sport rather than to mere view counts. This dedication to giving every player a platform is a testament to his journalistic integrity.

Global Recognition

Sagar Shah is not just a national treasure but a globally recognized chess journalist. His work has earned him respect and admiration from the international chess community. His insightful reporting, coupled with his genuine love for the game, has set a standard for chess journalism worldwide.

Sagar Shah's immense contributions to chess journalism and the sport itself make him a standout candidate for the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Sports Journalism Award. His unwavering commitment to covering every aspect of chess, supporting underprivileged players, and popularizing the game in India and beyond are just a few reasons why he deserves this prestigious accolade. As a fan and admirer of Shah's work, it is clear that his passion and dedication to chess journalism have profoundly impacted the chess community, making him a true champion of the sport.