Kanpur: Ranked first in India in under-30, 3rd in Asia and 17th in the world, FIDE ranking grandmaster Vantika Agrawal is excited for the Prayagraj and Varanasi leg of the ongoing chess Olympiad torch relay.
The 21st woman grandmaster of India, in a formal chat with TOI, said, “Prayagraj and Varanasi are holy cities, and I have learnt a lot from them. Staying in the two cities will definitely be a good experience.”
India is organizing Chess Olympiad for the first time, and she is a member of the Indian team which will participate in it.
Talking about her preparations, Vantika, who was a gold medal winner in the Chess Olympiad in which India and Russia were the joint winners, said she had already attended two camps and practised hard to perform better. She said that she practices for around six hours and also reads about the game regularly.” She expressed satisfaction over her preparation for the Chess Olympiad.
She is also a trainee of V Anand’s Chess Academy where senior players always give tips to her and other trainees. Vantika, whose current rating is 2,381, had completed her third GM norm last year. She is a student of SRCC College where she is pursuing BCom Honours.
When asked why she was doing a course in commerce and accounting, Vantika said, “Chess covers all aspects of life.” Her mother is a CA who helps her in studies.
Talking about the journey from Meerut to Kanpur, she said that she had joined the relay in Agra and would complete the leg at Varanasi. The journey from Agra to Kanpur was comfortable. Thereafter she would go back to Delhi.