The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Surya India’s eighth GM
- chess olympiad l City youngster says he was angry with himself after recent failures

Calcutta: Surya Sekhar Ganguly had been the most consistent among Indian youngsters over recent years.

His first Grandmaster norm came at the Asian Chess Championship here last year, while he collected the second from the previous edition of the National A meet.

His biggest moment came at Bled in Slovenia late on Thursday, where Surya bagged his third and final GM norm after a draw in the 12th round of the Chess Olympiad with Josif Dorfman of France.

“I was angry with myself after squandering opportunities in two recent tournaments,” Surya told The Telegraph from his Bled hotel after realising the most cherished dream of any chess player.

“So after coming here, I ensured that there was no distraction as I wanted to seal the title. I didn’t even call home these days,” said Surya, who will turn 20 in February.

“I have had a good outing here, and lost just one match (against the highly-rated Peter Svidler of Russia) apart from winning four and drawing four.

“Even today, my teammates encouraged me to go for a draw as I was playing with white pieces,” said Surya of his biggest moment in what has been a steadily improving career.

“It’s been a relatively satisfying journey after making my mark on the senior circuit. I had to cope with financial problems, but that didn’t take the sting out of me,” noted the former Goodricke academy pupil, who first announced his promise at The Telegraph Schools’ meet.

Having learnt his early lessons in chess from grandfather Anil Basu Mallik, Surya said the 93-year-old was the first one he thought of after achieving his dream. “Also, I thought of sister Sunita, who is studying medicines in Moscow at the moment. Especially since it was bhaiphonta yesterday,” Surya confessed.

As for the immediate future, Surya said India still had a chance of collecting a medal in Bled, after securing a 2-2 draw with France in the 12th round.

“We need two good wins in the last two rounds and can hope for a medal of some hue after that,” said Surya.

But after the Bled event, Surya said he will be relaxing a bit in the immediate future.

“It has been a hectic time over the recent years. I will certainly try to relax more in the next few tournaments.”

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