By Venkatachari Jagannathan
The psychological advantage based on world ranking may not be great advantage while playing in the online chess Olympiad, said Grandmaster K. Humpy, ranked No.2 in the women’s category.
Come August 21, the Indian chess team with four players currently ranked in the World top ten in different categories will be taking on their opponents in the first FIDE Online Olympiad 2020.
The Indian players who are ranked in the top ten in the world apart from Humpy are: World No. 9 GM D. Harika in the Women’s category, World No. 8 in the girls category Woman GM R. Vaishali and World No.10 GM Nihal Sarin in the Juniors category.
“The games to be played in the Olympiad are rapid (fast games) requires lots of presence of mind. Like a machine one will make the moves. The world ranking in the classical game format may not be of any psychological advantage,” Humpy told IANS.
“You cannot read anything from the opponent’s body language as in the case of a classical chess game. We have to play three matches every day,” she added.
Humpy is training on her own and practicing playing online chess.
Terming China and Russia as tough teams in the online Olympiad, Humpy said there is nothing special other than playing online chess and having shorter time control on her training regimen.
Though chess has not been affected by Covid-19 lockdown, Humpy says it does have an impact on the game.
“Too much of online chess is also not good. One should not get addicted to online chess,” she added.
On the possibility of winning a board prize she said: “I don’t know whether there is such a prize in the online format.”
On not many women players competing in the open chess tournaments Humpy said: “I have played in several open tournaments. But now I have to choose the kind of tournaments that I have to play. Given that, I choose to play in tournaments where I can represent India.”
Though it is a cerebral game, up to a certain age the game level between male and female are equal. After that, the male players turn stronger, she said.
“There are women players who have competed in the open tournaments against men and made a name for themselves,” she remarked.
She said as per the schedule the pairing for the Indian team in one of four pools are as follows:
Day 1 – 21.8.2020
1) Zimbabwe- India
2) Vietnam- India
3) India- Uzbekistan
Day 2 – 22.8.2020
2) India- Iran
Day 3 – 23.8.2020
According to FIDE, the three best teams will advance to the next stage.
The Indian team for Chess Olympiad:
Men: Viswanathan Anand, Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (Captain), Pentala Harikrishna (Reserve), Arvindh Chithambaram (Reserve)
Women: Koneru Humpy, Dronavalli Harika, Bhakti Kulkarni (Reserve), R. Vaishali (Reserve)
Junior Boys: Nihal Sarin, R. Praggnanandha (Reserve)
Junior Girls: Divya Deshmukh, Vantika Agrawal (Reserve)