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IM Raghunandan: "My goal is to become GM this year"

by Srinath Narayanan - 21/07/2017

Karnataka’s rising star IM Raghunandan K.S is the talk of the town. This young lad from Bangalore is making waves in chess circles due to his rapidly improving performances in every tournament. Recently, the government of Karnataka recognized Raghunandan’s talent and awarded him Rs. 35 lakhs. Read this exclusive interview. 

Photo by Amruta Mokal

Karnataka’s rising star IM Raghunandan K.S is the talk of the town.

 

This young lad from Bangalore is making waves in chess circles due to his rapidly improving performances in every tournament. Karnataka has never produced a Grand Master, and while a couple of super talents have come close and might become a GM before this young unassuming lad does, ‘Raghu’, as he is known, is Karnataka’s best bet to produce a chess playing legend.

 

Recently, the government of Karnataka recognized Raghunandan’s talent and awarded him Rs. 35 lakhs.

 

How did you enter chess? Do you remember how it happened?

When I was young I was very restless, always wanting to do or play something, I was asking everybody in the family to play something with me. One day, my grandmother was fed up with my pestering, so she gave a small wooden chess board to my mother to play with me. My mother taught the basics of chess and I was so fascinated with the game and the pieces (especially the Knight and Queen) that I started playing even against guests who entered our house. Then the story began…

 

On an average, how many hours a day do you work on chess? What about physical training?

I work for about 4 to 4 and half hours a day on average on chess in weekends as I also have to keep time for studies. Regarding physical training, I walk daily for about 1 hour.

Visweswaran K is one of the most reputed coaches in India. 

Do you work with a coach/player now?

I am currently working with Visweswaran K of Chennai.

 

How do you feel about the Karnataka’s sports award? What are your next goals?

I am happy that the Karnataka Government is now supporting chess. The cash award I received will help me financially to play tournaments abroad and against stronger opponents. My goal is to become a GM this year.

 

How important is it to play against stronger opponents and quality tournaments? What are your next tournaments?

Playing quality tournaments and against stronger players is probably the most effective way to improve ourselves, you learn a lot from them and rectify your mistakes. My next tournament is ChessMine Rapid and Blitz in Bengaluru, followed by a classical tournament–Abu Dhabi Masters.

 

ChessMine Rapid+Blitz is the strongest ever Rapid and Blitz rating tournament in India. What is your strategy?

I’m playing this tournament to gain experience.

 

Rapid and Blitz games–How have these formats helped you better classical chess?

Helps in time management during Classical games.

 

What positive changes you’ve had experienced in life due to chess? 

Developed patience and a winning attitude.

 

ChessBase India wishes Raghunandan for bright and prosperous future.