TV9 Sports in conversation with Prithu Gupta, Grandmaster of Gurugram. This player is participating in the ongoing 44th Chess Olympiad in Chennai.
Image Credit source: INSTAGRAM
This is the fourth day of the Chess Olympiad. All eyes are on Randa Seder, an eight-year-old Palestinian girl. World champion Magnus Carlsen has also caught everyone’s attention. Former world champion Viswanathan Anand has also graced the stage as the mentor of the Indian team. The host teams have lived up to the expectation. During the third day of Sunday, all the six Indian teams won their respective matches. TV9 Sports spoke to Gurugram’s Grandmaster Prithu Gupta who is present in the Olympiad these days and is very excited about this mega event.
How was the experience of playing a friendly match with Viswanathan Anand?
I would like to thank Rakesh Kulkarni, Director, Chess.com, for giving me this opportunity. Also I want to thank Anand sir for playing match games with me. It was a fun event just before the start of the Chess Olympiad. It was very interesting to play against someone who I have always considered an inspiration for myself. This event was named Stump the GM. In this we had to give some chess problems to another GM, whoever answered correctly would get one point. The game between Anand sir and me ended in a 5-all tie.
How is the mood in the 44th Chess Olympiad?
If I may say one word, it is extraordinary. I am grateful to All India Chess Federation (AICF) for organizing this wonderful tournament in India. Where it would be hosted was uncertain given the Russo-Ukraine war. And AICF has done a great job in promoting talented players. The game of chess is spreading rapidly not only in Chennai but all over the country. Chess Olympiad is one of the biggest sporting events held in India.
How was your experience at Chess Olympiad Torch Relay?
This was another good initiative taken by AICF. It was a great honor for me to represent an entire city/state and take the torch from Cyber Hub to Shiv Nadar School in Gurugram and meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sports Minister Anurag Thakur.
Tell us about your journey in chess. How did you get started?
I started at the age of nine. It is considered too late for this game. I was concentrating on many sports during that time, like cricket, football, basketball and swimming etc. Then I chose chess and started getting success. Which I can say was something like a pair made in heaven between me and chess. Since then, there have been many ups and downs. I don’t remember losing any ranking points in the first four-and-a-half years of my career. I became International Master in 2017 and then Grandmaster in 2019.
You became a grandmaster in just six years. How did you manage your studies with Chess?
I have always believed that if you want something, you will definitely get it, no matter what the circumstances. Things were not always easy. There came a time when I did not get the expected results. Once due to ill health, I could not play the tournament. But your goal is bigger than you. Also I had a good support system with me.
What are your plans next? Where do you see yourself five years from now?
As far as chess is concerned, I have not been very active for the last two years. In 2019, I played my last competition match. I am currently studying in class 12th and this year I am concentrating on studies. Fitness and powerlifting are my other hobbies. I enjoy these during my break from chess.