My next aim is to be Super Grandmaster

Sep 13, 2017

 Mysurean MS Thej Kumar is the first chess player from Karnataka to become Grandmaster. He achieved this feat after winning two rounds in the Fomento-all-India FIDE-rated chess tournament held in Goa. Thej is also the country’s 50th Grandmaster. He speaks to us about being Karnataka’s first grandmaster, his next goal, game plans and more.


KARNATAKA’S FIRST GRANDMASTER

It was a proud moment for me and my family. When I started my career at the age of 12, unlike today’s players who start at 5, I never dreamt of becoming a Grandmaster, but my wife, who is also a chess player, encouraged me to become Grandmaster. So, the credit has to go to her for supporting me through my ups and downs. During my initial days, it was my grandmother who helped me to pursue my passion. Back then, the results were not going my way, but I had the self-belief and desire to achieve something in chess, which is paying off now.

NEXT TARGET

I want to qualify for Super Grandmaster, for which I need to get 2,600 points; I am at 2,500 points now. I plan to play more games in the coming days to qualify for Super Grandmaster. The gap between games is equally vital to be up for the challenge.

WHO DO YOU IDOLIZE

When I was growing up, Viswanathan Anand, who is an attacking player, was my idol. Now, I admire Russian Vladimir Kramnik, who is a positional player, since I follow that style.I love his style of play.

DIFFERENT GAME PLAN NEEDED FOR DIFFERENT PLAYERS

I study each player’s strengths and weakness before going into tournaments and plan accordingly and this differs from player to player. Each player has his own strategy; I try to read their game plan, which is a challenge.

RECOVERING FROM LOSSES

Winning and losing is a part of any game. It is tough to recover from losses. I try to unwind myself by spending time with my friends and family members. I do meditation, yoga and go for long walks to keep myself rejuvenated.


DO YOUNG CHESS PLAYERS HAVE AN ADVANTAGE WITH TECHNOLOGY

Everything has gone online now, they play games online, and get online coaching, but the disadvantage is that they won’t play games at a professional level. They won’t read books about chess and autobiographies of famous players to get more insight into the game. It is equally important for upcoming players to know how we behave on and off the board.