Asian champ Vaishali sets her sight at Grand Master title

first_imgBy C Shyam Sundar Chennai, May 24 (PTI) A gold at the Asian blitz chess championship boosting her confidence, Indias R Vaishali now wants to put her best foot forward at the upcoming events at Russia and achieve the Woman Grand Master title soon. After struggling with her form for a while, Vaishali bounced back strongly by winning the gold in the Asian Blitz Championship and a bronze in the Classical format at Chengdu, China recently. “I am pleased with my current form. I played well, both in the Classical and blitz format in the Asian championship. The victory (in the Blitz) will give me a lot of confidence especially after recording seven games in the nine-round event,” the 16-year-old, who aims to become the world champion, told PTI. Asked if she had done any specific preparation for the tournament in Chengdu, Vaishali said, “I didnt train specifically for this event. I wanted to play good chess as there were some leading names in the fray, including from our own country.” Vaishali, who has previously won the world under-12 and 14 titles, acknowledged the role played by her coach R B Ramesh, a Grand Master, who runs an academy here. “Earlier, we used to train at Bloom Chess Academy under the guidance of Thiyagarajan (sir). From 2014, we (me and my brother Praggnanandhaa) have come under the wings of Ramesh Sir. He has been a great motivator and has helped us improve our game,” she said. Vaishali said she is looking forward to doing well at the upcoming events at Russia and the World Junior championship to be held in Italy. “I didnt play tournaments for some months as I was preparing for the exams. Now, I hope to play continuously and improve my ELO rating (currently 2272),” said Vaishali, who gained 40 points with her performance at Chengdu.advertisementTalking about how she was drawn to the sport, Vaishali said: “I used to watch lot of cartoons when I was six years or so. My parents wanted to wean me away from being glued to the television set and enrolled me in chess and drawing classes. “Later, when I played my first tournament I got a prize for being the youngest player, which sort of aroused my interest in the game. Subsequently, after giving up drawing classes, I continued to train in chess.”Her coach Ramesh, who accompanied the Indian contingent to China, said the win will give Vaishali a lot of confidence to play against tougher opponents.”She had been going a tough time in the last 10 months or so, losing rating points here and there in many tournaments. This is a good break for her at the international level and will give her a lot of self-confidence and help her do well against quality opposition,” he said. PTI SS ATK ATKlast_img

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