India’s young chess ‘Grandmasters’ : A bright future ahead?


India is ranked fifth in the FIDE list. The game has really grown in the last few years. A lot of indian players are winning many open tournaments all over the world . We have had more new grandmasters in 2018 than in any other past year. Recently, Bengal Chess Association  organised  National Team Chess Championship 2019.

Talking about the present scenario of indian women in chess , Woman Grandmaster Mary Ann Gomes  says,”There was some amount of stagnancy for sometime  but fortunately we started to have new crop of promising and talented players such as Divya Deshmukh,  M. Mahalakshmi , Monnisha G K etc.” While Woman Grandmaster and former world junior girls’ champion Soumya Swaminathan feels  “India ranks #5 in  chess.There is lot of scope for improvement. We can be more better.There are not enough talents coming up in Women chess. ”

GM Murali Karthikeyan  says “ During our time there was  less access to information and  training opportunities.These days there are so much resources out there, many coaches available and improvement  in technology. Top players are offered permanent government jobs that bring a sense of security and stability. So many want to pursue a career in chess. “

The tournaments in India has significantly increased in the last few years.  Talking about the importance of tournaments , Soumya Swaminathan  says  “There are many players in a tournament and playing against different players is important. To improve ratings, one has to participate in stronger tournaments abroad.”

However, in India, owing to social reasons, fewer girls play  chess professionally. Many parents don’t allow girls to travel and participate in various tournaments.  However ,From her personal experience Mary feels parents are becoming more open minded. “Their mindset about travelling has changed. They have started to believe sports an alternative career option. Parents are realizing that coaching is also an option.”India is yet to have a chess league. Mary feels League would help  in generating interest in the youth.  Soumya feels it would take the sport to the next level.