Bangalore, November 26: When Viswanathan Anand’s long reign as world chess champion ended on Friday, 13-year-old Aditya Dinesh Oke was hugely disappointed. “He is such an inspiration to me. It was watching him that got me to take up chess seriously,” says Aditya, a class 8 student of JSS Public School in HBR Layout.
However, “winning and losing are part of any sport,” he adds with much maturity.
Aditya started playing chess when he was in class 3. “I got a chessboard as a Christmas gift from my father when I was eight. And by the time I was in class 5, I was seriously interested.” A family friend taught him the nuances of the game.
Then studying at a school in Thane, Maharashtra, he was encouraged to participate in local tournaments. The prizes came tumbling in. “[This] motivated me to pursue chess seriously. I was determined get a FIDE (Fédération Internationale des Échecs or the World Chess Federation) rating,” he says.
Today, the young champ is indeed a FIDE-rated chess player; he received the rating last December at a competition in Sangli, Maharashtra, where he finished with 5.5 points.
It has taken much hard work and perseverance for Aditya to achieve his goal. And, his father decided to shift to Bangalore to give new direction to his son’s chess career. “My father, while looking for a new job, always had my interests in mind. Now, here in Bangalore, I am getting the best of both worlds, with a good school and an excellent chess coach,” he says.
Aditya’s immediate plan is to improve his ratings and eventually, become a Grandmaster.
Explaining his game strategies, Aditya says: “My strengths are opening and middle game. I would like to get an aggressive position with different opening strategies. Endgame is what I am currently improving on. But I usually try to win it out in the middle game and avoid endgame.”
He practises online for an hour every day and on Sundays, he spends half-a-day with his coach. “He plays with me and helps me to gain experience and confidence,” he adds. “I cannot imagine my life without chess.”