SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
COMBINING BEAUTY, CHARM AND INTELLIGENCEhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tania_Sachdev
Tania Sachdev (born August 20, 1986 in Delhi) is an Indian chess player, who holds the titles of International Master and Woman Grandmaster.
Tania was introduced to the game by her mother Anju in a bid to channel her restless energy into something constructive. Tania soon developed a liking for the game and, realising she was good, her parents decided to provide her with professional training. A Viswanathan Anand fan, Tania became the eighth Indian Woman Grandmaster. Tania won her first international title when she was just eight. She has already won the World and Asian junior titles. Her current Elo rating is 2435 (January 2009); her peak rating is 2432 (July 2008) so far. In 2008 she topped the Asian Chess Championship with 6½ points out of nine rounds.
On the move!
When it comes to cooking, Tania Sachdev says it’s the thought that counts!
As Tania Sachdev enters the Bonsai restaurant in Connaught Place, all eyes turn towards the chess diva. Some of the staff members mumble, is she a model? No fault of theirs. The youngster carries herself so gracefully that anybody could be in two minds. “Chess is a mental game but a healthy mind needs a healthy body. I work out a lot, which some of my mates don’t. They believe in meditation. I also do, but not much. I was a hyperactive child and still love to do different things in my spare time,”
Having grown up in Hauz Khas, Tania says she doesn’t dine much in the Connaught Place area. It is more of a shopping destination for her. So the open space at the Oriental cuisine restaurant comes as a surprise to her. She declares her love for prawns. “There is nothing like the luxury of home-cooked food like rajma-chawal, but when I go out I love to try Italian and Oriental cuisine.”
She starts with Bonsai laksha soup and recalls her adventures in the kitchen. “I grew up in a house where women don’t cook much. We always had a cook. Once I visited my brother in Singapore and tried to impress him by cooking rajma. It turned out to be a disaster as there was no connection between the rajma and the curry. But I didn’t feel sorry, because it’s the thought that counts!”
As the stir fried prawn with sauté vegetables makes an appearance, Tania is delighted. “I don’t share my food!” Well, one is in no mood to enter her territory and is quite satisfied with young lotus stem salad.
A graduate in English, Tania loves to watch films in her free time. Once upon a time Salman Khan was her favourite. “It was during his Andaz Apna Apna days. My favourites keep changing After Wake Up Sid, I am all for Ranbir Kapoor.” She can’t stand the country’s fascination for cricket and watches the game only for Dhoni. “I like the way he handles pressure. It is a lesson for every sportsperson.”
Does she have ambitions in the glamour world? “Not at all. I am called to walk the ramp or a panel discussion just because I am doing fine on the chess circuit. I also associate myself with shows where some part of the income is meant for charity. Like Sanjana Jon’s fashion show, where the proceeds went to HIV patients.”
Her figure doesn’t suggest it, but Tania has a fascination for desserts. “I can’t resist chocolate preparations.”
In fact she loves to celebrate her victories with the calorie-rich stuff. “I can’t forget the experience in France when I caused an upset in a tournament. I had blueberry cheese cake. After that I had it every day and achieved some amazing results.”
AN INTERVIEW WITH TANIA (CHESSDOM 2009)
International Master and Woman Grandmaster from India
Tania Sachdev is a young International Master and Woman Grandmaster from India. She studied English Literature with Political Science and Psychology at the Delhi University and graduated in 2008. She was Asian U14, Junior and Senior Champion, and won the national Indian Women Championship in 2006 and 2007, also being a runner up in 2008. She is also holding bronze medal from the World U12 Championship.
After being asked about her career status, Tania commented: “I am currently playing chess full time. I would like to try my hand at presenting programmes on the television at some later time. My forthcoming events are the Asian Zonals and Women’s World Team Championship and the Asian Indoor Games in Vietnam. These are all events where I would be representing India.”
She also kindly agreed to answer more questions in an interview for Chessdom.com.
Chessdom: This year you were very active in tournaments in Asia and Europe. How do you evaluate your results?
Tania Sachdev: I have played five tournaments in Europe so far this year. Gibraltar was not so good for me but Pfalz, Montcada and San Sebastian were good. I gained some rating points in these tournaments. I have just been awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award which is a high honour and recognition given to a Sportsperson for consistence performance over the last three years. The Award is given by the President of India.
Chessdom: You were Asia Chess Champion in 2008. What are your ambitions in the future?
Tania Sachdev: Yes I did win the Asian women’s championship and this was a very precious title for me. I have one GM norm and would like to complete my title as soon as I can. I look forward for a medal for the Indian team at the chess Olympiad and that would be a dream come true.
Chessdom: How do you see the current situation in the chess world?
Tania Sachdev: Well lots is happening around the world in chess, good playing opportunities. Women’s chess seems to be gaining with more women’s closed events being organised. But i just hope that the format for the men world championship gets clarified as we get to see such high level chess in the cycle tournaments but there is always confusion and its forever changing! But besides that, I think chess is gaining a lot of popularity over the world.
Chessdom: As one of the top female players, do you have enough opportunities to play in high rated competitions?
Tania Sachdev: As a woman player I wish more closed women events were organised with a good prize fund. The tournament at San Sebastian, which was an all women closed event, was quite interesting with excellent arrangements. Well I do play in strong open events but there is not much opportunity to play in strong closed events.
Chessdom: Are you familiar with activities of the FIDE Commission for Women’s Chess? What are the main challenges for female players? Do you have any suggestions on how to improve the position of women in chess?
Tania Sachdev: Yes, I am aware of the FIDE commission for Women’s chess and the good suggestions put forward by Alexandra Kosteniuk in her May 7th 2009 letter. Allocation of a budget for organising specialised women tournaments in the form of closed and open events with proper coverage and good publicity. The prize fund of women tournaments at Zonal, Continental and World level should be increased. Even in open tournaments the 1st prize in women section is very small. It is for this reason that very few women players participate and take up chess seriously.
Chessdom: Indian national teams are already very strong. When do you expect to challenge the world’s leading nations for Olympiad medals?
Tania Sachdev: Yes, we have a strong Men’s team and a good Women’s team. I hope our teams can win a medal in the next Olympiad
Chessdom: What has got you attracted to chess and how would you best define your playing style?
Tania Sachdev: Chess has always been very fascinating for me. I think when you play chess it opens up so many other facets of your personality which one is not aware of. Logical thought process while handling a position in chess and dealing with a complicated situation in real life is so comparable.
The ability to accept and deal with good and bad situation on the board and in your day to day life. Above all the interaction with so many people from different countries and visiting beautiful cities all over the world. I just love it all.
Well there was a time when I loved to play very aggressive and would be very bored in a positional setup. Now it seems to have reversed. I enjoy positional games and interesting endings. I think I am now more positional.
Chessdom: Who are you working with and how do you prepare for competitions?
Tania Sachdev: I am working currently with IM Vishal Sareen and with GM Ubilava sometimes. Well before a competition I work with my Indian trainer on seeing games and positions. With my GM trainer I work on specific openings and whatever I feel is my problem area.
Chessdom: Can you single out your most memorable game?
Tania Sachdev: There are many good games which one has played in the past but I always feel my most memorable one has still to come.
Sachdev T. – Ghader P.
World Junior Championship
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. cb a6 5. b6 e6 6. Nc3 Nxd5 7. Nxd5 ed 8. Qxd5 Nc6 9. Nf3 Rb8 10. e4 Be7 11. Bc4 O-O 12. O-O Rxb6 13. b3 Bb7 14. Qd2 Bf6 15. Bb2 Bxb2 16. Qxb2 Na5 17. Bd5 Bxd5 18. ed Rb4 19. Qc3 d6 20. Rfe1 Qb6 21. Re7 c4 22. Ng5 cb
23. Ne6 Rg4 24. Nxf8 b2 25. Rb1 Rc4
26. Re8 f6 27. Qe1 Qd8 28. Qe6 [1:0]
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS