The 16-year-old Grandmaster Rameshbabu Pragganandhaa has made India proud by defeating the five-time World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen. Praggnanandhaa’s coach GM RB Ramesh however, looks at this victory from another perspective, saying that if India wants to see this kind of achievement from the other young chess players, the country will have to provide good coaching infrastructure to them.
Speaking exclusively to IANS, the winner of the 2002 British Championship and the 2007 Commonwealth Championship, Ramesh, popularly known as the ‘Super Coach’ added that India “needs many good and performing coaches which can help the children grow faster”.
“Our population is huge and we need more coaches in the field which we don’t have right now. The demands are so high that we need many good and performing coaches who can help the children grow faster. Earlier, we did not have a chess coaching culture in India, so even for me when I wanted to improve my game, there were no coaches around,” he told IANS.
Ramesh said when champions like Viswanathan Anand or Pragganandhaa shot to fame, a silent wave of players come to the game which common pe’ple don’t understand.
“When Pragga defeated Carlsen a few days ago, I got a lot of inquiry from the parents and they all wanted to put their kids on chess. When I was a young player I came to chess. I started chess at the age of 12. That is when Anand became a Grandmaster. When I read in the newspaper and saw that Anand became a Grandmaster, I thought, ‘I should also play chess like Anand’,” he said.
“When champions are made it encourages a lot of children. 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 which 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 along with his wife WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy are the official curriculum masters for HobSpace, a global platform for kids to learn and play chess.
Asked how he feels after his prodigy defeated one of the greats in the sport, World Champion Carlsen, he said, “I am proud to see my student beating one of the strongest players in chess history, it is a matter of pride and inspiration to youngsters who aspire to be champions in chess. This stunning victory is the result of immense training and dedication that went in by Praggnanandhaa. It is a huge moment for the nation.”