Grand Chess Tour: Giri, Hari regale chess-playing children

Anish Giri and P. Hari Krishna spoke at an interaction ahead of the Tata Steel Chess India Tour-Rapid and Blitz in Kolkata.

Grandmasters Anish Giri (L) and Pentala Harikrishna speaking during an interaction with budding chess players in Kolkata.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

More often than not, the staid ways of chess players lead to the impression of them being introvert to the extent of boring. Contrary to this image, many chess players are very social, armed with a fine sense of humour.

For decades, Viswanathan Anand is known for his way with words. But from the current generation, Anish Giri carries the reputation of being deadpan as he readily unleashes witty lines.

The world No. 5 gave ample evidence of his dry humour in the company of P. Hari Krishna when they met chess-playing children from the Alekhine Chess Club on Wednesday evening.

Giri, of Nepalese-origin representing the Netherlands, set the ball rolling with his very first response. Asked how hard did he work on his chess, the bespectacled player kept his response real short by saying, “Very hard!” This triggered off a round of laughter that soon became the norm for the rest of the evening.

The players, prodigies in their time, took jibes at each other, all in good fun, as they shared their wisdom with the children. All through the session, the duo kept their answers short and simple, laced with humour.

Overall, Hari underlined the importance of enjoying the process of training. “If you are enjoying spending time over the board, you are sure to get better.”

On the question of dealing the defeats, Hari said, “As you become stronger, it becomes increasingly difficult to deal with defeats. It is far more difficult than what it is at your level at the moment. One has to analyse the mistakes made and learn from them.”

Giri, on his part, touched upon the significance of clarity when deciding to take up chess professionally. “If you are serious about being a professional chess player, do know what your parents think and what their expectations are from you.”