CHENNAI: Two decades ago, getting a job in a bank or a petroleum company was the dream of every chess player. But times have changed and those who got into Petroleum Sports Control Board a decade ago have now begun to leave their jobs to start their own enterprises. Grandmaster R B Ramesh’s life is a case in point.
The Chennai-based player worked with Indian Oil Corporation till three years ago. At the age of 32, he decided to leave IOC and start his own chess academy in Chennai. Any regrets? “Not at all,” says Ramesh.
“I should have left eight years ago. This is so satisfying.” Chess Gurukul in T Nagar took wings in no time and today Ramesh’s students are everywhere–not only in India, but also in the US, South Africa and Cyprus. When he agreed to be a part of the 50th world junior chess championship as a commentator, Ramesh had good reason. He could witness and comment on the games played by those coached by him. There are at least 25 players in the current edition who are training with Ramesh directly or indirectly (online). The Chennai GM has his hands full. Hundreds of students are enrolled in his academy where his wife, Woman Grandmaster Aarthie Ramesh, is the manager.
“My day begins at 5 in the morning and till 7am, I hold online coaching sessions for US players. From 9am to 1pm, I train students at the academy. Though my assistants supervise the beginner and intermediate batches, I make sure each student also receives a fair share of my attention,” says Ramesh. Not many can boast of a success story that seamlessly combines passion and profession. Ramesh is a shining example of how careers of a player and coach can be interwoven bringing to the fore the best in a Grandmaster.