Capital emerging as new chess coaching hub
NEWDELHI: It is late afternoon and Puneet Jaiswal is explaining to his students — children aged 7 to 12 years — the concepts of ‘isolated pawns’ and ‘pawn islands’ on a wallmounted magnetic chess board. The children are a picture of concentration as they sit at their desks with chessboards laid out before them.
Soon, the theoretical lesson ends and the children get busy pushing the pawns ahead as part of a practice game. Jaiswal sits at his desk, which has a projector and a laptop. A bookshelf next to his desk has dozens of books on chess.
Jaiswal started his academy, Champions Chess Centre, at Delhi’s East Patel
Nagar three years ago with 10 students. Today, it has over 150 students. “Delhi is playing chess like never before,” said Jaiswal, a well- known chess instructor in the capital.
“Parents are realising that chess is a game that teaches many lessons about life such as patience, decision making, foresight. One of the most profound lessons one learns through it is understanding the consequence of one’s actions,” he said.
Chennai has often been called the chess capital of India, what with its vibrant chess culture and the record of producing the maximum number of Indian grandmasters, including former world champion Viswanathan Anand, but Delhi has emerged as a major hub of the board game in the past few years.
The capital city, which until a few years back had only five chess academies, today has over 50, where one can see children and teenagers with bumfluff beards learning to make winning moves. Delhi is also home to six grandmasters .