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Pune’s top chess coach on why city should follow the Chennai pattern in chess training

In an interview with Ashish Phadnis, FIDE trainer and one of Pune’s best chess coaches, Jayant Gokhle speaks about the necessity of having rated tournaments.

pune Updated: Nov 27, 2017 15:09 IST
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,FIDE,city
FIDE trainer Jayant Gokhle says that Pune must follow the Chennai pattern in an attempt to create a wider base of chess players. (HT PHOTO)

The fide trainer Jayant Gokhle is amongst top chess coaches in Pune. His wards GM Abhimanyu Puranik and WIM Akanksha Hagawane are doing wonders at the international level and he has been the active member in promoting chess through his Every Sunday Rapid Chess Tournament series for the last several years.

The coach says that Pune must follow the Chennai pattern in an attempt to create a wider base of chess players.

In an interview with Ashish Phadnis, the coach speaks about the necessity of having rated tournaments. Excerpts.

How do you see the chess scenario in Pune?

Quite an alarming situation, I feel. Though we have few GMs and WGMs, the number of rated players is very less compared to other cities. As per my record, currently, we have hardly 200 rated players in Pune, out of which only 50-60 are active, with less than five players who are above 2300 rating. We must have at least 1000 rated players, then only we can aim to create more IMs and GMs in future.

What should be done to improve the number of rated players?

We need to follow the Chennai pattern. I have been studying their style closely. They organise rated tournament every month, every 15 days and this has been running over for few years. As a result, we see a large number of Tamil Nadu players in every national, international tournament. They have a wider base of players and the regular practice of playing in rated tournaments, make their players fierce warriors.

Does having more rated tournaments in Pune a solution?

Of course, Pune must have more and more rated tournaments like the Pune Chess Festival, which is undergoing at Balewadi. For under-age players like U-8, U-10, it’s not always possible to participate in outstation tournaments, as their parents can’t afford or can’t manage from their daily works. So, it’s our duty to give them the opportunity to play in rated tournaments in their hometown. This will boost their confidence and those who will show promising results, will definitely go for bigger tournaments. But we must have a rated tournament every month.

Do we have such plans for the future?

We have already started working towards it. I have started the concept of ‘Rating Tournament’ (a championship) in 2009 with the sponsorship from PN Gadgil (PNG), it was a novel concept, and now we are running the tournament from past three years in-a-row. I am already working on a plan to have a rated tournament every month and is simultaneously having talks with the association for the same. I would reveal the details soon. But this series will definitely help the local players.

First Published: Nov 27, 2017 15:09 IST