Chess in India
The scene of Chess in India is rapidly spreading as a number of youngsters from India are getting renowned on an international level for their talents in chess. The country is coming forward with a growing number of international chess grandmasters and is becoming as what some might say ‘a Chess Powerhouse’. As the number of young players gaining interest in the game are increasing, the domestic tournaments are witnessing some healthy competitions and the overall scene of chess is swiftly rising.
India has been ranked No.5 among the world’s top chess-playing countries. During the last 15 years, the game of Chess has been attracting the interest of a very large number of young players and has become popular with hundreds of thousands of people who have started to study and playing chess. A number of tournaments are also being held on domestic and national levels both. But why is all this happening? Perhaps its due to the major publicity and success Viswanathan Anand brought with his world championships of which we speak more about on his own page (rightly so!), but Chess is a game with a lot of moves out of which you have to choose the right one to make, Chess teaches patience and concentrating on the main aim. Chess also helps you to be patient in your life, concentrate on your aims and always make the best move to make it big in our lives.
Chess has great educational value as well, that is why many Indian parents encourage their children to play chess and study it. Indian parents are known to be hugely concerned about their children’s studies and learning, and they see chess a healthy addition to their learning. It is generally perceived that playing chess improves your learning abilities and aid you with your studies too. It greatly helps you with logical reasoning, mathematics, physics and decision making. There are a number of surveys which prove that chess players are better at mathematic rather than those who don’t play chess.
Another reason for the popularity of chess in India is that it is widely believed that the game of chess began in India. "I think we Indians have some kind of a knack for the game, maybe it's because it originated here," says Manuel Aaron, India's first international chess master, who is currently writing a book on the history of Chess.
It was not an ordinary people's game, it was a game to train people in the art of warfare. The pieces were elephants, horses, camels and foot soldiers, symbols of the army.
Manuel Aaron, India's first international chess master.
Thipsay, another chess grandmaster, runs chess coaching workshops in India, he still works in banking and he says that more needs to be done to encourage the people of India to take up the game and take it to the top level.
Today chess is attracting more money and corporate sponsorship, but it is still difficult to make a full-time living from playing the game.
Pravin Thipsay, Chess Grandmaster