A New Face of Indian Chess – Tania Sachdev

The word sports inculcate in our minds, the image of a well-toned body, sweating it out in a huge ground. Rarely do we think of a sport not involving the body, but the mind. Known as the unseen sport, defined as a recreational and competitive game played between two players, Chess is undoubtedly, the most interesting brain game of all times.


In India, chess is synonymous with Vishwanathan Anand. However, the times are changing, and so are the faces and names. India’s present day chess scenario is full of young talents making it big internationally; and the leader of this young brigade is a player whose name does not need an introduction, Tania Sachdev.


Born on August 20, 1986, this young lady had always been restless as a child. Her mother, in order to channel her restless energy into something positive, induced her into this mind game. Soon she developed an interest in the game and thereafter, her parents provided her with professional training. She won her first international title, Commonwealth Chess Title (Girls Under-8) at Dundee in 1993, at the age of 8. At that time, she had already won the Asia junior titles.


Her role model is none other than the World Champion himself, Vishwanathan Anand. She has single-handedly kept the Indian flag flying high in the international sky when it comes to women sportspersons. She has proved that mind games are not only for men, and loves beating the man at his own game.


She has played almost 133 games from 1997 to 2008, and her overall winning percentage is more than 50%. She has been consistently in good form for the last few seasons as hasn’t lost any of her recent games, after winning Women’s championship in 2007, and she is the only player to have registered such a win. She was also crowned Asia’s Women Chess Champion in 2007. Tania is India’s eighth Woman Grandmaster. She achieved this norm by scoring 50% in the First Saturday of the Grandmaster tournament, which had 11 men players, apart from her.


Hailing from Delhi, she has managed to shift the focus towards North in this South dominated game. Though she has achieved stardom at a very early stage of life, she does not deter from working hard. Mentioning chess as the only love in her life, she aims to receive the International Masters norm. Her talent is considered as one of the biggest chess talents in the world of women’s chess.


After Vishwanathan Anand being declared the undisputed World Chess Champion for the third consecutive time, it’s time for Indians to look up to a new talent on the block, who will meet all their expectations and create new records. Tania Sachdev is the answer to India’s next Vishwanathan Anand. She is an important part of the chess culture now picking up in India. With all her accomplishments, Tania has given the youngsters a career option that will not only sharpen their minds, but will give them international fame. She has definitely emerged as a new ray of light to brighten India’s already enlightened sports world.


Nidhi Gurnani



[Image source:http://www.chessbase.com/news/2007/sachdev07.jpg]