There is still room for improvement in Praggnanandhaa's game, says coach Ramesh
Improving his time management skills is one of the areas where the teenager will have to work on, said his coach R B Ramesh.
Aggression is one of the strengths of India's chess sensation R Praggnanandhaa but improving his time management skills is one of the areas where the teenager will have to work on, said his coach R B Ramesh.
The 16-year-old Praggnanandhaa last month created a flutter with his stunning win over world champion Magnus Carlsen in the eighth round of Airthings Masters online tournament. Ramesh, who has trained numerous GMs and national champions, said he is delighted by the feat of Praggnanandhaa but cautioned that there are still a lot of areas where his ward needs to work on. "Probably there are many areas where he is very strong in, but in areas where he is already doing well, he has to do even better. Maybe time management is one area where he can improve," he told PTI in an interaction.
Asked if the teenaged GM from Chennai needs to tone down on his aggression, Ramesh said, "I don't think so. That is one of his strengths. But, he must also learn every aspect of the game, not just aggression..." Praggnanandhaa, who had become an International Master at the tender age of 10 years and nine months in 2016, notched up the biggest win of his career by upstaging Carlsen, a feat achieved by only two Indians so far -- former world champion Viswanathan Anand and P Harikrishna.
"It was a very proud moment for me (as coach). The win would definitely have boosted his confidence, because if he can beat the world champ, there is a good chance that he can beat the other players too," Ramesh said. Ramesh also said he was looking forward to Praggnanandhaa and Carlsen going at each other in other online events lined up in the months to come. Indian players have not been able to make it big in the senior level but Ramesh feels there were many players now in the country who could possibly break the trend.
"Not many strong tournaments are happening in India these days, so most of the strong players rarely play in India. If players get the opportunity to play strong events in India, they can play at home and improve their rating. Travelling abroad means a lot of expenses and not many can afford it for a long time," he said. "Not just Pragg, there are many players among the juniors who can break this trend..," said Ramesh, who along with his wife Aarthie, a Woman Grandmaster, are the official curriculum masters for HobSpace, a global platform for children to learn and play chess.
Talking about the help provided by five-time world champion Anand, Ramesh said: "Anand started his academy (Westbridge Anand Chess Academy) in January 2021 and Pragg along with other strong players like Nihal Sarin, Gukesh and few others are part of WACA. "Anand himself has been interacting with all these players and has been working with them. He plays games with them and gives suggestions.
"He (Anand) has also hired three other very good coaches to work with these players and Praggnanandhaa is showing good improvement. All the students of WACA are doing pretty well."