Friday, October 25, 2013
Das: I was taught chess to help my concentration
Discipline is secret of my success: Debashis Das
TNN | Oct 25, 2013, 12.12 PM IST
BHUBANESHWAR: Chess player Debashis Das, who recently became the first Grand Master from Odisha, tells Anirudha Mishra that hard work, discipline and belief in himself have brought him success. The young GM speaks at length about his passion, regimen and future plans
When did you start taking chess seriously?
As a child, I had poor concentration powers. So, my father Dillip Kumar Das taught me to play chess when I was seven-years-old to help develop my concentration powers. After playing for a year or two, I fell seriously in love with the game and decided to make it my career.
You have trained under several coaches, but who was most helpful to you?
My father taught me the basics and Satya Ranjan Patnaik was my first professional coach. But in recent years, I have learnt a lot from GM RB Ramesh of Tamil Nadu and GM Stelios Halkias of Greece.
How do you plan your game against opponent(s)?
I love to open with 'Sicilian Najdorf' and I am much comfortable with it. But in chess, as in other sports, you have to change your game according to your opponent's strategy.
What is your daily training regimen and how would you rate your success so far?
I stay alone in Bhubaneswar, away from my parents and follow a strict regimen, which includes running at least 6 kilometres a day, practising chess and cooking my food. I have small friends' circle and consciously stay away from girls. As far as achievements go, becoming the first GM from Odisha is very satisfying, but I aspire to be a Super GM. Maintaining Elo points above 2600 is my immediate aim.
Who are your favourite chess players?
Like other Indians, I respect Viswanthan Anand, but personally I am a diehard fan of Russian GM Vladimir Borisovich Kramnik. I am also fond of Indian GMs Krishnan Sasikiran and Abhijeet Gupta.
Who do you think will be the next GM from Odisha?
Swayamsu Satyapragyan bhai is definitely a worthy contender and among the youngsters, Swyams Mishra is a bright prospect.
Playing chess at higher levels is quite expensive. How do manage that?
I am from a humble background. My parents have often taken loans to help me take part in tournaments. Kalinga Institute of Industrial Training founder Achyuta Samant has extended unconditional financial support to me. I owe him a lot.
Apart from the GM title, what are the other feats that have made you happy?
It has been a nice journey since 1995, when I started playing bigger tournaments. Though all wins were satisfying but the memorable ones are my first GM norm in World Junior U-20 Championship (Athens, 2012), 2nd GM norm in 15th Dubai Open (Dubai, 2013), 3rd GM norm in Czech Open (Czech Republic, 2013), and the IM title and runners-up in Guwahati Open (Guwahati, 2009). Even the Ekalavya Award and being ranked No 1 in Odisha since October 2013 have made me very happy.