She just returned home with her first medal at the Chess Olympiad. Since her initial days she always wanted to play for the country and win a medal at the Olympiad. She finally achieved and not only that, she also helped the Indian women’s team finish to best ever fourth position in the tournament held at Istanbul Turkey.
Tania Sachdev, winner of the Asian Chess Championship and a recipient of the Arjuna award, spoke to Indian Sports News during a felicitation function in New Delhi on her feat at the Olympiad. Excerpts:
ISN: Congratulations on your bronze medal. How much does this achievement mean to you?
Tania: Thank you. Ever since I started playing chess, I always wanted to play for the country and winning a bronze at the Olympiad is a great feeling. This achievement certainly stands alongside my win at the Asian Chess Championship.
ISN: Without Koneru Humpy in the team, you were the senior most member of the team. How much pressure did you have on you?
Tania: Frankly speaking I did not take any pressure on me. Every member of the team knew what they had to do and was totally focused on the game. We exceeded all expectations by finishing fourth and I have with it.
ISN: How much was Humpy missed by the team?
Tania: Yes we did miss Humpy in the tournament. I mean, to have someone like her in the team is always very encouraging and I am feel that we could have finished in top three had she been part of the sport.
ISN: How much do you think chess is recognized in the country?
Tania: The situation has improved a lot in the country. Earlier very few people knew about the game but then now it is being reported in the media and people have started recognizing it. People are aware of us now but then having said that it still has not reached the level it should have. It is on the course and will take time but I am confident it will reach be able to be at the same level with other popular sports in the country.
ISN: What would you say about AICF as a sports body?
Tania: They are doing a wonderful job. I mean they are very professional and the number of tournaments they organize every year helps the sport a great deal. We do not have to go hunting for international tournaments abroad and it is all due to them. The players get so much exposure and everyone is getting more platforms to make it big.
ISN: How much support do you get from the government?
Tania: We do have their support but then somehow I think that they do not match-up to the hard work we put in and our achievements. I feel that they should do a bit more for the cause of chess.
By Samikshan Dutta Choudhury
Indian Sports News Network
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