Grand Master Chess Camp at Guntur
In a first for chess in the state, the Government of Andhra Pradesh came forward and took an initiative to conduct a training camp for some of the best players from Andhra Pradesh. The camp, conducted from June 11 to 17, and was a grand success and we must laud the AP State Government, Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) and the Andhra Pradesh Chess Association (APCA) for taking such a step to ensure that the sport gets some much-needed attention.
One of the players, S Ravi Teja stated, “In the past, we only used to get such training camps from private organizations or the All India Chess Federation (AICF). This is the first-ever training camp conducted by the State Government, and we hope to participate in more such camps in the future.” SAAP, along with APCA, conducted this event at Hotel V Royal Park, Guntur.
Grandmaster (GM) Amonatov Farrukh from Tajikistan was the coach chosen by the latter to work with players. He is the first-ever GM from Tajikistan and is still the only one two and a half decades later. The APCA wanted all ten of the state’s International Masters (IMs) to take part, but since three were busy playing events outside the country, the remaining seven players were asked to attend the camp and train under Farrukh.
The players were extremely satisfied and grateful to be a part of this camp. One of the players, CRG Krishna said, “I am fortunate for being one of the seven selected players from Andhra Pradesh to participate in this camp.”
As is expected, in the beginning, the players were intimidated and felt shy when meeting a player of the stature of Farrukh. But once they started their training classes, they were drawn by the GMs friendly nature and his interaction with each and every student.
Farrukh taught them the Russian way of playing, which is completely different from the Indian style. This was something new to the players in the beginning, but they later realized this was the right way to become a top player. The players learned how to play chess in a simple way, rather than complicating things.
Sometimes, when players go up against legendary names, they lose confidence, concentration and at times panic, thus disregarding time management. GM Farrukh helped them understand and deal with such tough challenges. This has made them confident enough to face any obstacle in the future. Farrukh even ingrained in these players the motto of “No Fear, No Fear” throughout the camp.
One of the international players, Krishna Teja, stated, “We learned new strategies and new working patterns from Farrukh sir.”
They also learned about time management and concentrated on the more technical aspects of the game. While it remains to be seen how much these players have improved under the 40-year- old player-turned-coach, these are good times for chess. Thanks to the efforts of the AP State Government, Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) and the Andhra Pradesh Chess Association (APCA), good performances at future events will only ensure that players get more exposure.