The World's second youngest chess Grand Master (GM) D. Gukesh said on Friday that he aspires to defeat five-time World champion GM Viswanathan Anand - and also to become the youngest World chess champion. However, the 12-year-old is not throwing any open challenge to World No.8 Anand.
When queried whom he will like to play and defeat, the soft spoken Gukesh picked his idol, Anand.
"I would like to play Anand and it would be nice if I am able to defeat him," Gukesh said.
Anand and late World Champion Bobby Fischer are his favourite players.
"His playing style is not like that of Fischer. But one can see traces of Fischer in his games," Gukesh's coach GM Vishnu Prasanna said.
Queried about his target, Gukesh said he would like to become the youngest World Chess Champion.
The record for the youngest male World Chess Champion is currently held by Russiaâ€™s Garry Kasparov who achieved the feat back in 1985 at the age of 22 years, six months and 27 days. Norwayâ€™s Magnus Carlsen, who is the current World Champion, is the second youngest to achieve the coveted title aged 22 years, 11 months and 23 days.
Prasanna does not agree with the view that Gukesh should take a break so that he can get over the feeling of becoming the world's second youngest chess GM.
Gukesh will be playing in the Gibraltar Masters soon. A gap of one month from playing serious tournaments perhaps is what is possible," Prasanna said.
Gukesh, who is studying in seventh standard at Velammal Vidyalaya School, will also soon play in the Aeroflot Open Chess tournament in Moscow.
To a question on whether Gukesh would be a marked player in tournaments, Prasanna said once he reaches the Elo rating of 2,650 points, then stronger opponents would take him very seriously.
"Gukesh should be unpredictable with his opening moves and also should not lose his passion for the game so as to break the 2,650 point hurdle and go forward," Prasanna added.
The new star in the Indian chess horizon is sponsored by city-based Rs 100 crore ver Microsense Pvt Ltd, a major in providing wi-fi connectivity in Indian hotels.
The company has sponsored GMs like Arvind Chidambaram, B. Adhiban and P.Harikrishna apart from Gukesh. Microsense has also sponsored World Under-12 Girls Champion Divya Deshmukh, Leon Mendonca and Pranesh.
"Commercially Microsense does not gain any mileage sponsoring chess players. I am a chess player. And for the love of the game and also to help out promising talent, we are sponsoring young chess players. Now that Gukesh has become a GM, we have to chalk out a plan for supporting him over a longer period of time," S. Kailasanathan, the company's Managing Director told IANS.
In 1972, Kailasanathan was the Tamil Nadu champion and he has also played for West Bengal and Delhi during his younger days.
"Our focus is only on young talent who lack money to progress further and not on players who have already made a mark. Such players may be employed and would also get some appearance fee for playing in tournaments and also win prizes," Kailasanathan added.
He said the company spends about Rs.30 lakh per year on sponsoring chess players and this may go up in the coming years.
(Venkatachari Jagannathann can be contacted at email@example.com)