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Pressure, opening moves worry Sasi

The most hopefull man is out form the Commonwealth Chess, the man GM K Sasikiran told to Parishmita Gogoi, why.

india Updated: Dec 07, 2007 21:34 IST
Parishmita Gogoi

Something eventful seems to happen at the ongoing Parsvnath Commonwealth chess championship at the Siri Fort everyday. On Thursday, as the participants began the sixth round of the championship, in walked GM K Sasikiran, much to the joy of most of the chess-loving crowd present.

"I am a chess fan so I have to be here," said Sasikiran modestly. The Grandmaster is just back from Khanty Mansiysk in Russia, where he became the first Indian to reach the fourth round of the World Cup. He drew with former world champion Ukraine's Ruslan Ponomariov in the second game to crash out of the tournament.

Talking about his experience at the World Cup, Sasikiran said, "The first match was very difficult. It took me some time to settle. Even my second match was not so easy. I was not able to make any headway with white pieces. It cost me a lot."

"Moreover, I have not been so lucky with white pieces. But of all the three formats of the game, I was clearly better in Blitz because of the one week training I had with Lev Psakhis in Moscow prior to the World Cup," Sasikiran he added. Psakhis is the former coach of Hungarian women's chess star Judit Polgar.

Sasikiran also felt that he didn't get much time to prepare for the World Cup. "I was involved in a number of tournaments one after the other all through, because of which I didn't get much time for preparation. For a tournament of this level, one needs at least a month's preparation," he said. The climatic conditions at Khanty Mansiysk also played spoilsport. "The temperature varied from -25 to -45 degree Celsius. At such cold places it becomes very difficult to sleep and many players even complained of it," said Sasikiran.

However, the Grandmaster didn't want to blame the weather for his defeat. Instead, he talked about improving drastically in certain areas where he felt he lacked. "I have to improve a lot, including my openings. I should do a proper study of openings. Moreover, I should learn to handle pressure when I am in a really good position. Also I have to memorise the variations. Some psychological problems have to be sorted out too," said Sasikiran with a smile.

The Chennai boy feels that the M-Tel Masters 2007 was very helpful in preparing him for the World Cup. "M-Tel Masters was one of the high points of my career as it gave me the confidence to play against the top players at the World Cup," Sasikiran said.

The Grandmaster, who is to tie the knot in January next year, is looking forward to 2008. "I have seen that many Indian chess players have done well after tying the knot. Hopefully, I too will excel and improve on my ratings after marriage," quipped Sasikiran who currently has an EL rating of 2661. He also plans to play more against higher rated players like P. Harikrishna to improve his game.