Tania (centre) at play



Tania is an Asian under-12 champion (twice - 1997, 1998) and has also been placed 7th in the world championship level, apart from the many tournaments she has won. She has recently become the first IWM (International Woman Master) from New Delhi.


J.V. Ravichandran, who writes Letter from India and a column under Internet and New Media, for South Asian Outlook e-Monthly, introduces Tania as one of the sensations of G. B. Joshi, a coach in Delhi, and old acquaintance of his who has "created more name for himself as a coach than perhaps, as a player. Of course as a player, too, he was quite a handful but as a coach he has really flowered to produce one of the brightest stars of Delhi, Tania."


Here is an interview with Tania held via email by J. V. Ravichandran.  


Q. Which school, which class are you in and how do you tackle school pressures ? Or, are you exempted from the normal education requirements ?


A. I am from Modern school, Vasant Vihar. I am studying in class 11th now. My school is really very helpful as they let me miss my exams, classes, lectures and assignments. My principal, Mrs. Malhotra and all the other teachers are very encouraging and co-operative. Thus, I am able to totally concentrate on the game without any pressure of studying.

Q. Who is your idol ?


A. My idol......hmmmmmm......I guess it would have to be Vishwanathan Anand. I admire him not only for his great style of play but also for the fact that he is such a wonderful person and is not at all snobbish and yet he is such a great player!!!

Q. You have got a one-nine game GM (Grand Master) norm, Tania. How many more do you require to become a WGM (Woman Grand Master)?


A. I require 2 more WGM norms to complete the title.

Q. Who is your chief competitor?


A. In India there is a lot of competition. Thus, I wouldn’t say any particular name. I think all of them are really strong especially players from the south.

Q. What is your opinion of your contemporary chess players (Delhi) ?


A. Chess in Delhi has only recently picked up. In Delhi there are mainly senior players .....many of them in fact. However there are very few in the age group but now, the DCA (Delhi Chess Association) is making much effort to improve this and things have been improving a few yrs back there would be only 15 children participating in an age group tournament. However, today there are more than 50. But there are many strong senior players in Delhi who are known players.

Q. What is your ambition in chess ?


A. I want to become a WGM as soon as I can. Once I am a WGM I will be able to play many tournaments as official entry. Only after I become a WGM will I set further goals for myself.

Q. How strong are you in a Open GM (including men) tournament ?


A. In an open tournament I cannot answer that question as right now the reason why I play open tournaments is to get my norm and gain more experience and not for ranking.

Q. How has your association been with Hughes ?


A. It is only because of the support offered by Hughes that I have reached here. They are very, very encouraging and support me completely. They cover all expenses related to the game. For the growth of chess in India it is very important for more sponsors like Hughes to come forward. There is so much talent in India but due to financial problems it goes waste.

Q. Delhi is the most idle region where chess is concerned. There has not been any worthwhile open tournament or any category tournaments held in Delhi in the last decade except, perhaps, the NIIT open and the ET&T, which have been held in this century. What should be done to improve the playing environment in Delhi and how many tournaments should be held in Delhi in a year to maintain healthy playing conditions for Delhi chess players ?


A. It is very true that there is not much chess happening in Delhi. However, things are changing for the better.....thanx to the new DCA committee more tournaments are being held and more media exposure is being given. Ideally speaking Delhi should hold at least 4 to 5 important tournaments for the growth of game.

Q. What are your hobbies ?


A. I have many, many hobbies but if I had to name things I love doing most it would be dancing and listening to music and reading books and of course playing with my dogs and going out with friends for a movie or just going out with them and troubling my brother sisters and ........yeah I guess these are my favourite!!!!!!




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