The stars of the Indian Chess team which historically won a Bronze medal in the Tromso Olympiad in Norway two days back, were given a rousing welcome at the Chennai airport by the chess fraternity. All the three were seen proudly flashing their medals.
The two key players from the Indian team, Krishnan Sasikiran and S P Sethuraman as well as the coach of the team, Grandmaster R B Ramesh arrived by the Qatar Airways flight at 3.00 AM today, and showed no signs of jet lag.
Sasikiran, who also won the silver medal for his stellar performance on Board 3, explained that great team spirit and the camadiere was the main reason for this historic triumph. He also said that the support from all quarters, starting from the Chess Federation, his family, friends and all had inspired the team to bring out this outstanding performance.
Sasi also told the press that the team had gathered together almost a month back and the strategies as to the Board Order, etc. were discussed in detail and worked out. “We all were able to execute the plan to perfection” opined Sasi, who was also all praise for the Coach GM R B Ramesh. “Ramesh Sir was always there with his pearls of wisdom and experience and made us adapt quickly to the different circumstances during the Olympiad” said Sasi.
“Each sport needs a role model for the players to grow and we already have one in Vishy Anand. Now the path breaking performance of this young Indian team, with almost all the players in their 20s, should definitely inspire the chess players and give a self-belief to emulate this performance” said Ramesh.
About the mood in Norway, Ramesh said “Though initially we were looked down by the officials and press in Norway just as some participants from India, our podium finish has made them blush and were equivocal in their praise about our performance and our country” added Ramesh.
The other star from the event, S P Sethuraman attributed the success of the team to the excellent team spirit. Sethuraman was India’s best performer in rating terms, playing at 2757.
The excellent camadiere amongst the team and players can be gauged from the fact that though Adhiban, who was an integral part of the team chose to play two major tournaments in Spain and did not arrive at the airport, his father was in the airport to greet the other players and the coach.
The trio was given a warm reception at the airport by V Hariharan, Honorary Secretary, AICF and B Murugavel, Vice-President, TNSCA. Shawls and garlands were presented to the trio. Also present on the occasion were various other officials like Muthukumar, Joint Secretary, TNSCA, K Thirukkalathy, Asst. Treasurer, TNSCA, K Gopalakrishnan, former Treasurer, K Ganesan, Secretary, Chennai District Chess Association, WGM Aarthie Ramaswamy, Sakthi Prabhakar, International Arbiter S Paul Arokiaraj, Dhanasekaran, N K Nandakumar. The officials were also joined by the proud parents of Sasikiran, the parents and grandparents of Sethuraman, who were eagerly distributing sweets to the gathering.