Anand to Raunak: this is just the beginning, work hard and move on

NAGPUR: From the moment, he started playing Chess , Raunak Sadhwani He dreamed of meeting his hero Viswanathan Anand .

Raunak's dream came true on Thursday when his hero congratulated him on becoming the last Grand Master of the country in Chennai.

I felt very good and happy to be congratulated by my hero Anand Sir. I never expected to share the stage with such a legend, Raunak, who was accompanied by his parents Bharat and Heena Sadhwani , he told TOI.

The first general manager of the city, who is also the youngest in Maharashtra and the 65th in the country to achieve the coveted title, also received a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh during the function organized by Microsense Networks. The 13-year-old also had the opportunity to interact with the first Grand Master of India. In just 10 minutes of interaction with Anand, Raunak was inspired by the words of the former world champion.

Anand duly recalled how he managed to win a draw with the young Raunak during his first game at the International Classification Chess Championship of the Isle of Man last year.

Last month, when Raunak became GM, Anand was playing the same FIDE Great Swiss tournament which concluded on the Isle of Man. Impressed by the progress of this young Indian teacher, the legend took a look at all the games Raunak played. Mr. Anand said he saw all my games on the Isle of Man and was happy with my progress. He said this is just the beginning for me and that I need to work hard and many more titles await me, Raunak said.

He told me to increase my qualification and that I should aspire to be World Champion. Mr. Anand also told me that he will soon call me at his house for an exclusive session with him, Raunak added.

With an aim to nurture, mentor, support and fund Chess talents from India, the Microsense Networks had organised the function. Their vision is also to support Indian Chess players to enter top 10 and 20 of World Chess and further on become world champions.

Anand also congratulated another young Indian GM, Prithu Gupta. The country's first international teacher, Manuel Aaron, shared the stage as a guest of honor during the show.

Raunak will train again under Kramnik

Raunak will be part of a group of up-and-coming Indian Chess players who will train under former world Chess champion Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik in Spain in December. This will be the second coaching camp to be conducted by Kramnik for Indian players after the first one was held in Geneva for six young players.

Raunak was also part of the first Kramnik training camp for young Indians. In Spain, Raunak will join R Praggnanandhaa, D Gukesh, P Iniyan, Prithu Gupta and Leon Mendonca.