'Sasi will get an insight into how champions are made'

The son's come a long way from when S Krishnan would accompany a pudgy young boy called Krishnan Sasikiran to chess tournaments across India. Sasikiran or Sasi as he is called in the top echelons of world chess is assisting Viswanathan Anand defend his world chess title.

It's a first for Sasikiran and Krishnan's honoured but didn't let it come in the way of an objective assessment of the situation.

"Sasi's performance in 2012 could have been better and I think he will enormously benefit from this experience," Krishan told HT on Wednesday. "It is not just about being in close contact with a world champion. There are three other accomplished GMs he is working closely with for a long time to help Anand," said Krishnan.

"Sasi is not a genius like Anand but a product of hard work. He has breached the 2700 Elo rating barrier too, so I am satisfied where his career has taken him. Of course, he would think differently. If there is any regret, it is that I didn't introduce him to serious chess earlier than at 10. I think we lost three crucial years."

Like most famous players, it was Krishnan, a banker, who initiated Sasi into the sport. "When he developed an interest, I would get my friends to play with him. His graph really took off when at 13 he represented India at an U-16 event in Qatar. At 18, I stopped his studies to focus fully on chess."

Now 32, Sasi became a GM in 2000 and in 2007, he became the only Indian after Anand to breach the 2700-mark. In 2008, he comfortably won a category 16 tournament to take his rating to 2795. But his last title came in 2011, the year in which he lost the semifinals of the Corsica Masters rapid meet to eventual winner Anand.


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