Published: 04th August 2021
This seven-year-old girl from Bengaluru is a chess champion and she has won several silver and gold medals in competitions
Charvi A from Bengaluru is a seven-year-old who plays chess like a pro. We speak to this champion chess player who's aced the game and inspired many children like her
When you see Charvi Anilkumar playing chess, you will be pretty surprised at how swiftly she conquers the chessboard. Check, checkmate, stalemate, capture, en passant — she's got all the right terms at the tip of her tongue. But if she's only seven, then how long has she been playing the game to perfect it? "When I was five years old, I spent my time at a day care centre. It is there where I was exposed to the game. Many kids there learnt to play just like me. My parents wanted to encourage me so they bought me a chessboard to practice at home. They actually don't know how to play chess, but they learnt it via videos on YouTube and started with me so that I could get better at it," she explains.
Charvi's parents, who are software engineers, took some time to realise how well their child could play, but once they did, they wasted no time and approached International Chess Master Shivananda BS. "Initially, he wasn't ready to teach her because she was only five at the time. But when he played with Charvi, he understood her skill level and that there was ground for improvement. He then agreed to train her. Later, when he got busy, Charvi moved on to training with FIDE Master Gahan MG," explains her father, Anilkumar.
Charvi and her parents haven't kept a count of the number of tournaments she has participated in so far, but she has played at district, state, national and even international levels. Recently, Charvi won the National Schools Chess Championship (Under-7 category), scoring 9 out of 9 in all rounds. She got selected for the Asian Schools Chess Championship and represented India officially. She also secured 18th place in the National Youth and Cadet (Under-10 girls category).
Like every other student, Charvi, who studies in Rashtrotthana Vidya Kendra, attends her online classes and practises chess for two hours every day. She says. "After completing my homework, I practice chess online on a particular software. Sometimes, my father plays with me. So far, I have one silver medal from the Asian Schools Chess Championship in the individual category and a gold medal in the group category. I have also won a gold medal in the National Schools Chess Championship in the Under-7 age category. Next, I will be participating in the World Youth and Cadet Championship Under-10 age category that is happening on August 16."