Express News Service
CHENNAI: R Vaishali is thrilled to be part of the Indian chess Olympiad team. Currently, at the AICF camp, the youngster is keen to play against Chinese players at the Olympiad. Vaishali recently triumphed at the Fischer Memorial Heraklion GM Norm tournament in Heraklion, Greece. Thanks to a better tie-break, the Indian pipped Yoav Milikow (both 7/9) for the title. This victory helped Vaishali make her second GM norm. Vaishali gained 21.4 rating points for her success.
“It is great to be part of the Indian team for the Olympiad. This will be my first over the board Olympiad. I am very excited to be part of the team and eager to play,” said Vaishali. “It is also great to have my brother Praggu (Praggnanandhaa) in the Indian team. It’s a proud moment for our family as we do not often see a brother and sister being part of an international side that too an Olympiad,” added the 20-year old.
Five-time world champion Vishy Anand and Boris Gelfand are the mentors while GM Abhijit Kunte is the coach of the Women’s team. The AICF had held the camp much in advance so that the players could train well and get to know the players well before the premier event.
“I am looking forward to improving my game in the camp. My aim is to be a universal player and get stronger. The atmosphere at the camp is awesome! Thanks to AICF for organizing this training camp. It’s also nice to be with the team ,” said Vaishali.
At the camp, all the players stayed at the hotel and had training sessions from morning to evening with a break for lunch. The camp provided the players an opportunity to prepare as a team. “We had fruitful training sessions. The camp helped us to bond. Yes, we all will definitely get a lot closer, thanks to AICF. I am close to Bhakti Kulkarni, she is my good friend, we have stayed together many times at tournaments ,” revealed Vaishali.
Vaishali cherishes the 2nd GM norm she made in Greece recently. She is thrilled to learn from her role model Vishy Anand and Boris Gelfand. “It is great to have Anand sir and Boris as mentors. It’s so amazing. They shared their thought process like how they think, how they took certain decisions over the board. Their inputs were very handy. The camp is going great! I am enjoying and learning very much,” said an elated Vaishali.
The top players in the world will be seen in action in Chennai in the Olympiad. It will give a chance to all the chess players in the country to see the best in the business from close quarters. “Chess Olympiad will be a big advantage for the game in India. To bring a tournament like Olympiad to Chennai, India is just fantastic. Seeing the top players play here will definitely inspire and motivate our Indian youngsters,” signed off Vaishali.