Saturday, July 7, 2012

Ananya Gupta: Rising Chess Star in India


Eight-year-old making rapid strides in chess

Published: Saturday, Jul 7, 2012, 7:43 IST
By Namita Handa | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Ananya Gupta is just like any other eight-year-old, who spends most of her morning in school, afternoon finishing her homework and in playing a sport in the evening. But unlike other girls of her age, she has already written herself into history by excelling in a cerebral sport, chess.

She has an outstanding Elo rating of 1431, making her the highest ranked chess girl in Mumbai among eight-year olds, second in Maharashtra, and fourth in India. The FIDE (world chess body) released the official rating list on July 1 2012 on

Ananya took to the game when she was just four. “I would go to my friends’ house where we had chess classes. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to pursue it seriously,” said the student of DY Patil School.

Soon, she was being coached by South Mumbai Chess Academy’s senior trainer, G Nagesh. She is already participating in active chess tourneys across the country. “Last month, I played in the first PP Savani Fide International Rating Chess Tournament in Surat where I had defeated two rated players. I was also awarded the best in the U-8 category,” said Ananya.

Now, she is participating in the Maharashtra State U-11 Chess Championship in Nagpur. Ananya surprised the top-seed Aashna Gajaria of Mumbai, beating her in 37 moves in round three.

Chess, she says, runs in the family. “My father would also play chess during his childhood,” Ananya said. What is more, her father has never beaten her in chess, she reveals proudly. “I’m much better than him,” she chuckled, adding that aggression is in her style.“I always like to attack. Chess is a mind game. Moves are the only way to scare your opponents.”

For now, she’s eager to maintain her chess rating. “I must ensure I hold on to my rating,” said the eight-year-old.

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