Friday, May 23, 2008

An Interview with WIM Padmini Rout

Orissa chess champion Padmini Rout aims to become a Grand Master KalingaTimes Correspondent Bhubaneswar, May 23: Chess prodigy Padmini Rout needs no introduction. After becoming the youngest player from Orissa to earn the WIM title she has been nominated for the coveted Biju Patnaik Sports Award which would be presented to her later this year. At 14 she has earned name, fame and money, practically everything that children her age can dream of. She spoke to in an exclusive interview: KT: What it feels to be the youngest WIM of Orissa? Padmini: It's a great feeling indeed. More so because very few from Orissa have earned the IM title. Being the youngest makes it all the more special. KT: You have been nominated for the Biju Patnaik Sports Award this year. How do you feel? Padmini: Receiving the highest sports award of the state will certainly be a matter of pride and great satisfaction. Awards act as morale booster and I'm sure this will encourage me to perform better and better in my chosen field. KT: Who have been your toughest competitors? Padmini: I have played against many but I think in my category I am quite strong. As it is, I treat all my opponents as rivals. KT: Which was your first international title? Padmini: It was the Asian championship in 2005 at New Delhi . KT: Do you think chess players of Orissa are getting the right kind of atmosphere and facilities here? Padmini: We don't have the state-of-the-art facilities compared to other states. For the beginners they may be alright but when it comes to professional coaching, Orissa lags behind as we do not have any Grand Masters here. A lot depends on self practice. I depend on my own computer and books for the practice. KT: Is sponsorship a big problem here? Padmini: Sponsorship is a great problem. It is difficult to find a sponsor in Orissa whereas in other states you get sponsorships rather easily. Getting a good sponsor in our state is difficult even after one performs well and wins major titles. KT: Who are the players you idolize? Padmini: My ideal player is Mikhail Tal. I also like Garry Kasprov. Among Indians I like Viswanathan Anand and Sasikaran. KT: Does chess affect your studies? Ho do you balance studies and chess? Padmini: No it hardly affects my studies. I study hard at the time of exams. My school also supports me very much. KT: What are your next big championships? Padmini: National Women's B at Calicut in June and Asian championship in July. KT: When can we expect Padmini Rout to become a Grand Master? Padmini: Within three years, hopefully.

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