Before he gets set to celebrate his 10th birthday in November this year, Master Pranav Anand couldn’t have asked for a better birthday gift than this.
This nine-year-old Bengaluru boy has just returned from Europe after reaching World No 1 ranking in U-10 players (as per the ratings published in September 2016).
He accomplished this after completing a successful string of chess tournaments in Czech Republic and Austria.
“I’ve just returned to Bengaluru after amassing more ELO points to my earlier FIDE rating — the measure of a chess player’s strength at a given time. My current rating (ELO 2230) as indicated at the World Chess Federation (FIDE) website takes me to the very top in my age category of Under-10 in India and Asia, and to the top rungs worldwide. I participated at the Czech Open, Summer Prague Open and Vienna Open over a span of 34 days in July and August this year,” states the student of Frank Anthony Public School.
Pranav started learning chess when he was only six.
“My father Anand Ananthanarayanan taught me the basics of chess. Over time, after playing in local tournaments, I realised that I loved the game and soon started playing rated, state and national level tournaments and open tournaments. I liked the excitement of solving tactical problems in chess in the initial years, as I would spend hours together solving them after my school hours. I won two times State Championship titles Under 9 and Under 11 consecutive years. Also, I have won two times State Schools Championship.”
Talking of his experience, on his recent Euro tour, the young boy with dreams in his eyes, shares, “There were lots of experienced players. Some games in the European tour went on for more than five hours, where it was tough to win over experienced players. Besides my rating, I also won a couple of chess DVDs in the Prague open. In the Czech Open at Pardubice, Czech Republic, I faced strong opposition. I also played at the Summer Prague International Open at Prague, Czech Republic. The last tournament at the Vienna Open Austria enabled me to be eligible to apply for a Candidate Master title (CM) in Chess for crossing 2200 ELO mark. My dad learnt to cook and made good food for me, so that I didn’t miss home much.”
Besides his sheer dedication and hard work, Pranav also owes it to his earliest coach L Seshadri from Mysore and Hanumantha Rajanna of the UKCA, who guided him to Jayaram Ramanna of the Chess Shoots Academy in Bengaluru. He is also thankful to his mother Aparna Anand, Raja Ravi Sekhar, Venkatachalam Saravanan, Vishal Sareen (one of the top trainers in India) for higher level training and Sameer Ghotane, his practice partner....