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TN's chess champion Pranav joins select club

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By Venkatachari Jagannathan

Chennai, April 4 (IANS) Fourteen-year-old V. Pranav joined the select list of players in Tamil Nadu who have successfully defended their state chess title in successive tournaments.

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He joins the select group of players like International Masters (IM) Manuel Aaron, R. Ravisekhar, and K. Murugan, in the strong chess-playing state, who retained the state chess title in successive tourneys.

A couple of days back, Pranav won the Tamil Nadu State Open FIDE Rated Chess Championship Tournament-2021, held at Tirunelveli district, winning all the nine games.

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He did this in style with 100 per cent score in the state championship.

The teenager had won the state title in 2019, scoring eight points out of nine. Last year owing to Covid-19 pandemic, the state chess championship was not held.

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“After a year of playing and practicing chess on the computer, I found it bit different to play a tournament over the board. I was bit tense during the first three rounds. After the third round, it was normal,” Pranav told IANS.

Though he had practiced on the chess board at his home here, the migration of screen chess to board chess was a tense affair initially.

Even though a draw was sufficient to retain the title when he sat to play the last round, the Class 10 student of Velammal Vidyalaya finished the championship with a flourish.

“I had confidence in winning the game,” Pranav, who was coached by K. Visweswaran, said.

“Pranav is an attacking player. His moves are sharp as well as tactical,” Visweswaran, who has also coached Grandmasters (GM) like B. Adhiban, P.Iniyan, G.Akash and others, said.

Earlier Pranav had won the bronze medal in the World Under-10 in 2016 and the National Under-9 title in 2015.

One of the high points in his career was defeating GM Salem Saleh who was then had a rating of 2652 points at the Dubai Open couple of years back.

“Pranav started playing chess when he was six-and-half years old. He is the first chess player in our family,” the chess champ’s father, M. Venkatesh, who works with a software company, told IANS.

For the past two years, the city-based Microsense Group has been sponsoring Pranav.

The group is promoted by S. Kailasanathan, who himself is a former Tamil Nadu State Chess Champion.

With two IM norms under his belt, Pranav, with a FIDE rating of 2366 points, needs one more to get the IM title and the next step will be the GM title.

However, Pranav has to wait for that as the All India Chess Federation (AICF) has postponed the Senior National Chess Championship to be held at Kanpur indefinitely.

The Senior National Chess Championship was scheduled from April 13-20 but the Kanpur District Magistrate has not granted permission to hold the championship as the Uttar Pradesh government has put restrictions on mass gatherings, AICF had said last month.

(Venkatachari Jagannathan can be contacted at v.jagannathan@ians.in)



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