#101 – Nurturing India’s Brightest Chess Talents | Ramesh RB

In its original form, Chess originated in the 6th century in India. However, India produced its first International Master only in 1961. In 1997, India had only 3 Grandmasters. This number has risen to 87 (including 20 Women GMs) thanks to the stellar work of organisations such as Chess Gurukul.

In this episode, we talk to Ramesh RB (Grandmaster & Founder – Chess Gurukul) about India’s chess ecosystem, the approach Chess Gurukul takes when it comes to nurturing young talent, some of the key players from Chess Gurukul (including the second youngest Grandmaster ever Praggnanandhaa) and how the government and private sector can help build India’s chess ecosystem. We also talk to Ramesh about his role as official commentator in the 2013 Chess World Championship Match.

We round off by talking about women’s chess and listen to Ramesh share his outlook on Indian chess and what can be done to make Chess more spectator friendly.

This podcast is also available on all leading podcast platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify and more.

00:00 – Introduction
02:23 – Does chess have the right ecosystem in India?
05:49 – How to create acceptance for chess as a sport
09:43 – What attracts new players to chess?
16:00 – Has recognition for chess players changed over the years?
17:25 – Chess Gurukul – The experience since 2008
21:40 – Key players that have emerged from Chess Gurukul
25:07 – Experience of commentating on Vishwanathan Anand vs. Magnus Carlsen in 2013
27:56 – Chess infrastructure in India
31:30 – Does chess as a sport get enough support from the private sector?
32:35 – How can the private sector help apart from arranging tournaments?
34:20 – Ramesh’s personal journey of shaping India’s chess dominance through Chess Gurukul
37:30 – Future of chess worldwide
40:00 – Queen’s Gambit – The state of women’s chess in India
42:38 – How can chess be made spectator friendly?
46:22 – Conclusion

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