PANJIM: Gifted chess player and coach known in chess circles for his aggressive and intimidating style of play, Adv Purushottam alias Shyam Kantak, age 57 years, passed away on September 15 and was cremated on September 16, after a lengthy battle with Cancer.
Kantak holds the distinction of being the only Goan to win State Championship in Junior, Senior and Veterans categories.
Kantak, a resident of Borda, Margao who together with his wife Geeta, ran the "Brain Power Goa Chess Academy", was diagnosed with cancer in 2013 but kept playing chess till his last breath. Incredibly, he stood 4th last year at the "All Goa State FIDE Rating Chess Selection Tournament", and was among the selected players for the National chess Championship.
"It is sad news for Goan chess. Always used to participate in our events. I knew him from 80s and he was very strong player who fought till the very end. Pray for peace to his departed soul and strength to Mrs Kantak in this grief and great loss. She gave all her support to him and for his happiness she herself got involved in chess. Om Shanti", stated Kishor Bandekar, Secretary - Goa Chess Association in his condolence message.
"Like his idol the great Kasparov, he played the game just like the maestro - full of risks, innovations, sacrifices and the deep intense passions.He was born to play chess and lived his life playing chess.", said Sandeep Heble, Chess Promoter and a member of Tiswadi Taluka Chess Association.
Young rated chess player Niraj Saripalli, who has won several chess titles, shared some of his memories. "I am sure a lot of the younger players knew they had a tough task lying ahead when they were paired against him and there was always something to learn. I personally lost a couple of championships because of his mighty attacks but it was always a learning curve. An evergreen personality and a true entertainer on the chess board who will be missed dearly", wrote Niraj on his social wall.
Adv Purushottam Kantak is the grandson of Goa's legendary Post Padmashree Bakibab Borkar. He is survived by his wife Geeta.