Master class: GM Prithu receives advice from Viswanathan Anand

CHENNAI: The last weeks have been memorable for the 64th Grand Master of India. Prithu Gupta . The GM based in Delhi was part of Vladimir Kramnik-Microsense Chess India's program that saw the former world champion train six of the country's young weapons in Switzerland from August 14 to 25. On Tuesday morning, Prithu had the opportunity to meet his idol: Viswanathan Anand - in the latter's residence here. The interaction between the first GM of India and its number 64 continued for approximately two hours.

The two discussed and analyzed their moves, and Anand was impressed with the 15-year-old’s ability to manage his studies and Chess . “I asked Prithu what tournament he will play next. I liked his answer very much when he said that he has to prepare for his exams, which will be later this month. We spoke about his future plans and he is someone who is giving equal importance to Chess and studies and not prioritizing one over the other,” Anand told TOI.

Anand also praised Prithu’s ability to grasp things quickly. “He showed me some of his games. One thing that struck me about Prithu was that his observations are sharp. He seems to absorb the details well and that’s always a healthy sign for any Chess player,” said Anand. The five-time world champion felt a striking similarity in how he and Prithu started their journeys. “His mother (Poonam) accompanying him (to tournaments) is quite similar (to my earlier days),” Anand recalled.

Interestingly, the two could well be pitted against each other for the first time next month at the Isle of Man Chess tournament which is scheduled to take place from October 10 to 21. “I know we may face each other as rivals but I didn’t think too much about it. It will be great to catch up with Prithu during the tournament,” Anand said.

For his part, Prithu was speechless to describe the interaction. “I was waiting for this meeting. I am very grateful to Anand Sir for giving me his precious time. He talked about many technicalities and it will be great to apply some of them in my game, said Prithu, who arrived here from Delhi on Monday night.