Can you share your first memory in chess?
I’m blessed to be born into a family with a chess culture. My uncle and coach Kesha Ranjan Pradhan is the former state champion and has represented Odisha in many national challengers. I was introduced to chess at a very tender age of 6. I was a naughty kid and liked to roam around breaking stuff and creating a mess in the house. At first, chess was taught to me as a measure of confining me into the 64 squares sitting in one place. Now, because of chess I’m exploring the limitless possibilities of life.
Why do you like the game so much and who is your inspiration?
It is a difficult question. I like chess because you can learn chess and never stop learning. I like it because it teaches you to discover the boundless options the life presents you with the limited resources. I like chess because it has so much in common with life. It is now an integral part of my life. 'Vishy Anand' and 'Capablanca' are my inspirations in chess. 'Dr. APJ Kalam' is someone I really admire.
How do you practice?
Of course, there are constraints in utilizing the technology to its full use, but yeah, I play online, analyze games using a computer, practice with my brother Soundarya, and read books with the help of my father or uncle.
What are your favourite memories in chess?
Chess has given me many great memories which I will cherish for the rest of my life. It’s difficult to single out. However, flying down to Montenegro for my first ever tournament abroad, and winning the Kolkata FIDE Blind Open would rank highest in the list.
What are your future goals?
Well, I’d like to complete Chartered Accountancy(CA) by 2021 and become an International Master(IM) in chess in the future.
What tournaments are you participating in next?
I’ll be taking part in the PARA Asian games in Jakarta in October. I’m not looking too far ahead.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Well, apart from studying and chess, I write poems and articles, sing and record music, play the keyboard, and spend time with my friends and family.
How do you think that Projects like 'Checkmate' can grow?
You’ve taken an wonderful initiative to reach out to blind chess players. This will immensely benefit the visually impaired chess fraternity in the country. With the inclusion of chess in events like the Para games, we need more and more players coming in everyday and Project Checkmate is going to play a great role in that.
Why do you think that it is important to play chess for the visually challenged? Can you share some advice for upcoming players and for sports players in general?
Not just for the visually challenged, chess is important for everyone. A recent study, as quoted by honorable PM 'Modi ji' in his 'Man Ki Baat speech', shows that students playing chess excel more in their education. Chess is important for the visually challenged people because it is the only game where a blind player can compete at par with a sighted person. It makes you stronger as a person and gives a new perspective on life.
I’d just say work hard and believe in yourself, but never be complacent. Never stop learning for there is so much more to learn.
Thank you Prachurya for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us. Project Checkmate wishes you the best for your future in chess and academics.
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