We must provide top level training to our chess players, says Pragganandhaa coach RB Ramesh
By Ishwar Nath Jha
New Delhi, March 1 (IANS): 16-year-old grandmaster Rameshbabu Pragganandhaa made India proud by defeating five-time world chess champion Magnus Carlsen. However, Praggnanandhaa’s coach, GM RB Ramesh, looks at this victory from another angle, saying that if India wants to see this kind of achievement from other young chess players, the country will have to provide them with good training infrastructure.
Speaking exclusively to IANS, the winner of the 2002 British Championship and 2007 Commonwealth Championship, Ramesh, popularly known as the ‘Super Coach’, added that India “needs many successful coaches who can help children to grow faster”.
“Our population is huge and we need more coaches on the pitch than we don’t have right now. The demands are so high that we need many good and successful coaches who can help kids grow bigger. We didn’t have a chess coaching culture in India before, so even for me when I wanted to improve my game, there were no coaches around,” he told IANS.
Ramesh said that when champions like Viswanathan Anand or Pragganandhaa become famous, a silent wave of players comes to the game that the average person doesn’t understand.
“When Pragga beat Carlsen a few days ago, I got a lot of requests from parents and they all wanted to put their kids in chess. When I was a young player, I came to chess. I started chess at the age of 12. That’s when Anand became a grandmaster. When I read in the newspaper and saw that Anand had become a grandmaster, I thought “I should also play chess like Anand,” he said.
“When champions are created, it encourages a lot of kids. They will all need experts and they will come to the game. And it’s like a silent wave of players coming to the game that people don’t understand.”
Ramesh started Chess Gurukul, Chess Academy in Chennai to train young players in 2008. Since then Chess Gurukul has produced many international chess champions including Bharath Subramaniyam who became an international master in 2019 at the age of 11 years and 8 months.
Ramesh and his wife WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy are the official Curriculum Masters for HobSpace, a global platform for children to learn and play chess.
When asked how he felt after his prodigy defeated one of the sport’s greats, world champion Carlsen, he said: “I’m proud to see my student beat one of the greatest players. strongest in the history of chess, it is a matter of pride and inspiration for young people who aspire to be chess champions. This superb victory is the result of Praggnanandhaa’s immense training and dedication. C It’s a great moment for the nation.”