LACK OF promotion of chess is responsible for lesser popularity of this game in the country, feels Woman Grandmaster (WGM) Swati Ghate. She arrived here on Monday to participate in the all-India LIC sports festival that began at the Tatya Tope stadium. Talking to the Hindustan Times, WGM Ghate expressed views on various aspects of chess.
The first WGM from Maharashtra, Swati felt that chess is less popular as it has been promoted in four-five states. “States like MP are the best example to cite that chess has failed to attract general masses in the absence of lack of promotion. There is no women participation from MP at the national level at present”, said Swati.
She bemoaned absence of any chess academy at the national level. “We have number of academies at the state level. There should be a academy specially for chess at the national level”, she suggested. However, she lauded the government policy for providing support to the chess players.
Swati does not have any coach. When asked she said that she learned chess mostly by her own. However, she added that coaching plays in important part in improving the game. “Coaching helps in overcoming the shortcomings in the game”, said Swati.
She said chess requires immense concentration and regular practice. It is a mind game. “To excel in this game the important thing is to concentrate while playing”, said Swati.
Swati has to her the credit of defeating players like Koneru Hampi who has recently won gold medal in the Doha Asian Games in December 2006. About the future planning she said that her priority is to become International Master (IM). “I am working hard for the future international events. My objective is to become international master”, she said. She will participate in the international meet to be organised in Gibraltar from January 23.
‘Family should back girls’
SWATI GHATE started playing chess at the age of 11. About participation of girls in chess, she said that there are a number of problems being faced by girls in joining the sport. “I am lucky that family has been supporting me for the game but it is always tough for a girl in excelling in sports due lack of support from family”, said Ghate. “My message is to encourage girls for the game”, she added.