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"The atmosphere in Mumbai is not congenial to produce another GM"

by Jitendra Choudhary - 08/01/2017

Grandmaster Pravin Thipsay, the only GM that the city of Mumbai has ever produced, was in Delhi for a coaching camp from the 3rd to the 6th of January 2017. This is the fourth consecutive year that Thipsay has visited the capital to pass on his knowledge to the talented youngsters. Jitendra Choudhary went to the camp and was able to ask Pravin a few questions. The interview was short, but has crucial points, most important being why isn't the city producing another grandmaster and who he think will be the next Vishy Anand.

GM Pravin Thipsay was in Delhi at the Genius Chess Academy to train young and talented kids of the city. The camp was bifurcated into three groups. The rated group from 10.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m., two unrated batches from 2.00 to 4.00 p.m. and 5.00 to 7.00 p.m. The fees for the camp were Rs.4,000 per participant.

A demo board for viewing and chess sets to setup the positions

Rapt with attention. These young kids are learning something that would create an extremely strong base.

The legend in action. Pravin Thipsay likes to look at Classics. According to him there were players like Greco, Falkbeer, Philidor and many others before Morphy who have been ignored by chess literature.

That's the position on the demo board. Let's see if you can get it right. Black to play and win. Only one move does!
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "New game"]
[Black "?"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3k4/pp3pp1/2pp4/2b2q1P/2B5/NP1p4/P1PP2P1/R1BQ3K b - - 0 1"]
[PlyCount "11"]
{[#]} 1... Qe4 $1 {Not only threatening Qh4+ but also pinning the g-pawn.} (
1... Qf2 {Doesn't really work because of} 2. g3 Qxg3 3. Qf1 Qh4+ 4. Kg2 {
And there is no way to mate the White king.}) 2. Qf3 Qh4+ {The queen and
bishop team up to launch a mating attack.} 3. Qh3 Qe1+ 4. Kh2 Bg1+ 5. Kh1 Bf2+
6. Kh2 Qg1# *

I made the smart move of visiting the camp and spending some time with GM Thipsay

Interview with GM Pravin Thipsay

1. This is the fourth consecutive year that you have been having the camp. How was your experience of working with these kids?

PT: Every year there is a new batch of students. I think this is a good idea, because you are giving exposure to maximum number of talented children from Delhi. The students and parents are very enthusiastic. The aim of the camp was to get the thinking process started. Right now they think abruptly. I wanted to start making them work methodically and show them the right path. When I come back after a year I see that the children of the previous camp have already shown improvement thanks to the direction that they have received.


2. A question related to Mumbai. After you there hasn't been any grandmaster in the city. What is the reason behind it?

PT: I think the atmosphere is not very congenial, in the sense that there are more rapid and blitz tournaments than classical. The expertise in Rapid and Blitz is not the expertise to win the game. It's the expertise of your reflexes and spotting opponent's mistakes. Sometimes the games also end with illegal moves. When you are playing this type of game the approach itself is wrong. Mumbai chess suffers from this faulty approach and this creates hassles in the improvement of planning and thinking and playing at National level. This has to change. The emphasis should be on more classical events than rapid and blitz. However, the mindset of the organizers as well as the parents has to change.


3. Who do you think will take place of Vishy Anand in India?

PT: It looks very difficult to see another Anand. To win five World titles is extremely difficult for anyone in the current lot. The players who are doing well right now are Harikrishna, Vidit Gujrathi. I am also expecting good results from Adhiban, Murali Karthikeyan. Parimarjan Negi was a bright hope but I don't think he will be coming back to chess. Well I guess, Vidit will go a long way.

Full video

Here's the 3 minute 38 second video of Pravin Thipsay speaking about the camp, chess in Mumbai and next Vishy Anand

About the author

Jitendra Choudhary is a chess trainer in Delhi. He is from Madhya Pradesh, but shifted to Delhi to pursue his passion related to chess. He currently teaches students, works as an arbiter and would like to dedicate more time to being a chess journalist.

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