HE IS just nine and bound to a wheelchair much like British physicist Stephen Hawking, who suffers from a debilitating motor neurone disease. Like the Nobel Laureate, Hridayeshwar Singh Bhati of Jaipur is a genius in his own right.
Hridayeshwar suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, akin to motor neurone, that stops the brain from sending signals to the muscles.
His muscles may not respond to his brains commands, but he has channelled his grey matter to better use — that is, inventing a chessboard where six players can play at one go. This has made him the worlds youngest person on a wheelchair to get a patent.
Like all great things happening from a simple event, Hridayeshwars invention germinated on a boring evening in 2010 when he was playing chess with his father Sarowar Singh Bhati — a recipient of the Indira Priyadarshini National Award in mathematics. As they were pouring over their next move, a friend came and asked if he could join in too.
As a regular game of chess allows only two players, an anguished Hridayeshwar decided then and there that he would make a chessboard for “ all my friends” to play simultaneously.
This led to a two- year research and Hridayeshwar came up with 199 inventories for his unique chessboard.
“ But every plan had one drawback or another. I wanted a design that conforms the established rules of the game,” Hridayeshwar, a Class IV student, said.
Finally in 2011, the 200th idea that took six months to design satisfied him. His father assisted him in resolving the geometrical complications.
Subsequently, the design was sent to the Kolkata- based patent controller of the Union government in July 2011. The patent certificate, issued on March 23, 2012, arrived two days ago triggering celebration in the Bhati household.
Hridayeshwars chessboard is circular and a metre in diameter, where half- a- dozen players can play in teams of two or three players each. It has 228 playing squares in place of the 64 in the traditional two- player board.
The colours of the squares are regular — alternate light and dark — and the pieces are divided into six colours set to move in the standard manner.
Every set of pieces is separated by non- playing red rectangles between the respective rooks.
This enables the board to keep the traditional moves intact.
However, the major difference is that pieces are moved in an arched path instead of the traditional straight route. There is a circular area in red at the centre which is straightaway crossed by the pieces in a go.
Hridayeshwar is also convinced that he could make a better chessboard than the one he had patented. “ I have started working on making a board on which 60 players can play,” he said.
Jaipurs champion player Atishay Ajmera, 18, who won gold the 2007- 08 Asian schools chess championship, said Hridayeshwars invention was “ remarkable”.
AND HE EARNED A PATENT TOO
Hridayeshwar Singh Bhati, 9, of Jaipur invents a circular chessboard where six players can play simultaneously
This makes him the worlds youngest person on a wheelchair to get a patent for an invention
He suffers from a disease that stops the brain from sending signals to the muscles
His chessboard has 228 squares instead of 64