Viswanathan Anand has been inspiring a steady rise of the Indian chess on the international stage since his debut into the game in the 1980s. Be it be
Viswanathan Anand has been inspiring a steady rise of the Indian chess on the international stage since his debut into the game in the 1980s. Be it being termed as the Lighting Kid due to his fast moves, being the first grandmaster of the country to becoming the only champion of India, every Indian Chess Player wants to cross those benchmarks.
A native of Chennai, the fifty-one-year-old Chess maestro has now decided to help his motherland nurture its “The Next Anand”. Being a legend in this game who has won the world championship in Chess five times across three different formats, Anand has seen a lot of young talented players in his lifetime, but none could match the Phoenix in him when it came to Chess. It was on Monday that Anand in collaboration with West Bridge Capital finally announced the launch of his chess academy. West Bridge Capital is an investment firm whose prime focus is the businesses in India. The Chess maestro was elated while launching his chess academy – West Bridge Anand Chess Academy (WACA). He also said that opening a chess academy has been his cherished dream for a long time for nurturing the potential that the Indian youth has for chess. Anand further in his tweet stated that the programme offered by WACA will be a fellowship programme whose main aim will be to take the most talented junior chess prodigies of the country to new heights. He tagged his tweet with a hashtag #TheNextAnand.
Anand has been a part of many chess training programmes for chess prodigies in the past wherein he conducted sessions and seminars for budding chess players in his hometown and would train hard with them before crucial tournaments. With the commencement of West Bridge Anand Chess Academy, it is being said that Anand will now be more invested in the whole process. Anand further elaborated that he would be making sure to monitor each and every students’ progress very closely not only as a person but also as a player.
15-year-old R Praggnanandhaa, Nihal Sarin (16), Raunak Sadhwani (15), D Gukesh (14) and Praggnanandhaas’ sister R Vaishali (19) are among the new WACA trainees that constitute the new batch and have been granted the WACA fellowship. These students come in the list of top ten chess prodigies of India. According to the fellowship, candidates who show potential in Chess to be the Next Anand will be selected by a panel annually and will be then mentored by Anand himself for one whole year. According to a press release, Anand said that WACA aims to provide a healthy and constructive environment to facilitate mentorship to the chess players and polish their skills. It is through this that WACA strives to promote this Indian sport of intellect in the country and pass the baton to the Next Anand and hence produce more world-class champions for India. The mentorship activities will be held online due to the ongoing pandemic as the Coronavirus still poses a threat to the lives of children.