Srinath: Chess Olympiad champions also deserve recognition

“I was confident that we could go all the way and win the title as the team that ticked all the boxes,” said non-playing captain N. Srinath.

N. Srinath's contribution as the non-playing captain of the victorious Indian team at the online Chess Olympiad has justly been noticed.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

He first made headlines in 2005 when he won the world under-12 chess championship. N. Srinath may not have quite lived up to the promise he showed as a player, and he chose to focus on coaching instead.

These past few days have seen Srinath in the news again. His contribution as the non-playing captain of the victorious Indian team at the online Chess Olympiad has justly been noticed.

He was coach, manager, data analyst and facilitator of the players’ Internet connections all rolled into one. He is delighted that his efforts have not gone in vain as India became the joint champion on Sunday.

READ| India’s growing depth on display at Olympiad

“I was confident that we could go all the way and win the title as the team that ticked all the boxes,” Srinath told Sportstar over phone from Chennai on Wednesday.

As coach, Srinath worked more with the juniors in the team. “When it came to choosing which players would play in which round on which board, the playing captain Vidit Gujrathi and I took the decisions mostly,” he said. “We also had discussions with seniors like Viswanathan Anand and Koneru Humpy.”

READ| Anand: ‘Winning Olympiad gold is a very, very magical moment’

Srinath is happy that the victory at the Olympiad has caught the imagination of the public the way chess never did in the past, despite the several great feats Indian players have registered over the last couple of decades. The Olympiad trended on Twitter, where among those to congratulate the team were India’s Prime Minister and President, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra.

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