R. B. Ramesh: We need more tournaments like Tata Steel Chess

Grandmaster R. B. Ramesh, one of the most successful coaches in Indian chess, believes there should be more quality tournaments in India.

R. B. Ramesh...“Why couldn’t more corporate houses be persuaded to sponsor big tournaments?”   -  Debasish Bhaduri

The Tata Steel Chess, into its third edition, is the only world-class tournament India hosts in the mind sport. For a country that boasts of two World champions and some of the most exciting young talents in the game, that is just too few.

Grandmaster R. B. Ramesh, one of the most successful Indian chess coaches of all time, believes there should be more quality tournaments.

“If we want to see our young players progress to the top, they should be given all the support, and they need to play strong in tournaments like this regularly,” he told Sportstar here on Thursday.

“Look at the way Arjun Erigaisi has grabbed the opportunity here.”

Ramesh said some of the young Indians, including his ward R. Praggnanandhaa, are playing in strong events abroad, but they should be able to play at home, too.

“When you have big tournaments like this one in India, more of our youngsters will get exposure, and the media coverage will help the game grow faster,” he said.

“Though Kolkata is the ideal venue for the Tata Steel Chess, I feel it would be great if it could be conducted in other cities as well. Or why couldn’t more corporate houses be persuaded to sponsor big tournaments?”

Anand's helping hand

Ramesh, who has accompanied three of his wards for this tournament (R. Praggnanandhaa, R. Vaishali and Karthikeyan Murali ), feels Viswanathan Anand’s decision to train some of India’s most promising young players is a positive development for chess in the country.

“He is such an inspiring figure for all the kids,” he said. “And he supports the players greatly. I have just had a conversation with his wife Aruna Anand, about the off-the-board preparation Praggnanandhaa needed to travel for the Tata Steel Masters at Wijk aan Zee early next year.”

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