Sidhant Rana - the 7-year-old-boy who works on chess 10 hours a day
Sidhant Rana lives in Faridabad. He is just 7 years old but has been the Haryana state champion in under-8, under-10 and under-12 age categories. He is also the current national schools under-7 champion and has now won the gold medal at the Asian schools under-7 in classical and rapid section. He also won the silver in blitz. There is no doubt that this boy is going to make the country proud on numerous occasions in the years to come. What is even more impressive is that the boy loves chess and practices more than 10 hours each day! It's amazing how he does it. Check out this article to know more about this young talent.
The 7-year-old Faridabad fury
IM Sagar Shah (SS): I'm joined here today by a very young talent, Sidhant Rana! Hello Sidhant, where are you from?
Sidhant Rana (SR): Hello sir! I am from Faridabad.
SS: You recently achieved something very spectacular, you won the Under-7 gold medal in Sri Lanka at the Asian Schools Chess Championship. You won the gold medal in Classical and Rapid, and a silver in Blitz! How happy are you with this performance?
SR: I'm very happy sir!
SS: Sidhant, tell us a bit about yourself. Which school do you go to?
SR: I study in 2nd grade, my school's name is Modern Delhi Public School.
SS: When did you start playing chess, and who was your first trainer?
SR: My first trainer was Sunil Sharma sir, and then Nasir Waaji sir joined.
SS: Do your parents play chess as well? Who taught you the first moves?
SR: No, they don't really play chess. I started playing with my cousins, and then they said I have interest in chess. I was 4.5 years old at the time.
SS: What is it about chess that you like a lot - solving, practicing, playing?
SR: I enjoy playing chess tournaments a lot.
SS: Apart from this Asian Schools Championship, you also won the National Schools Under-7. Any other performances which you are very proud of?
SR: I also won the Haryana State Under-8 and Under-10 championships.
SS: We also have your dad Mr. Raman here! How do you feel about Sidhant winning 2 golds and 1 silver?
Raman: He worked very hard, I was a 100% confident he will win! When he was 5.5 years old, his Rapid rating was already 1156. When he was 6 years old, he was already Haryana State Under-8, Under-10 and Under-12 Champion.
SS: How did he learn chess so quickly? Generally at the age of 5-6, kids are just starting out chess. But here he is, having a rating. What was it you felt that was special about him?
Raman: Whatever he does, he gives his 100%. Before the pandemic, he was playing Badminton and doing very well in Badminton. During the pandemic, when there was no chance to play outside, he started playing chess. At that time, he was spending almost 11 hours a day in chess. Even at 11 in the night, he gave a call to Sunil sir and would do puzzles with his coach. In 1 year, he played around 10,000 online games in lichess and chess.com!
SS: Where does this love for chess come from? Because neither you or your wife play chess.
Raman: No no, chess is not our game [smiles]. See, we are from Haryana, it's difficult to even find a chess player there. I don't know how he got it, maybe it's a god-gifted thing!
SS: That's amazing! Sidhant, do you have a favorite player, anyone you love in the world of chess?
SR: Yes, Viswanathan Anand and Mikhail Tal.
SS: That's amazing! Have you met him?
Raman: We met him in Chennai during the Olympiad. Actually he came to Radisson Blue for lunch with some other Grandmasters, and we were also having lunch at Radisson blue.
SS: You mentioned you like Mikhail Tal, so you must be an attacking player?
SR: Yes, I am an attacking player!
SS: Okay! Let's have a look at two of your games.
Sidhant Rana (1188) - A Perera, Asian School Chess Championship 2022 Under-7
Iman Nabiyev (1254) - Sidhant Rana (1188), Asian School Chess Championship 2022 Under-7
SS: Sidhant, what exactly do you do in your 10 hours of practicing?
SR: My practicing partner, Mrityunjay Kumar sir comes and plays with me.
SS: Do you read any books, Sidhant?
SR: Yes sir! Right now I am reading Grandmaster RB Ramesh's Book " Improve your chess calculation." I sometimes solve puzzles from this book.
SS: Now, I'll give you a position to solve! This is a chess composition by Troitsky, taken from Dvoretsky's endgame manual.
SS: Tomorrow you don't have school, so what will you do the whole day tomorrow?
SR: I wake up at 8 AM in the morning. After that, I brush and play some chess games on my phone. Then, my practicing partner Mrityunjay Kumar sir comes at 9 AM. I have my breakfast while practicing only. We practice for 5 hours, till 2 PM. In between I have my lunch, and also take a 5-minute break.
SS: After your playing partner goes home at 5 PM, then what do you do?
SR: I go downstairs and watch some TV until 3 PM. Then my other practicing partner Mr. Avinya Mohan Singh comes.
SS: Do you have a favorite program on TV which you watch?
SR: Yes sir, I watch videos of GTA V on the TV.
SS: Okay, and what do you do after that?
SR: From 3-4 PM I have my chess class, then I go do my school studies. Then from 8 PM, again I have chess session online till 10 PM.
SS: You know Sidhant, after listening to your chess schedule I'm truly impressed that you work so hard on chess. Do you feel tired, or do you enjoy?
SR: I enjoy, I never feel tired!
SS: What's your aim in chess?
SR: I want to become the World Champion!
SS: Sidhant, it was wonderful meeting you! Thank you and Good luck.
SR: Thank you sir!