What do you think makes you a good coach?
I have lots of patience and a happy personality that comforts the kids, so they never hesitate to ask questions. I try my best to explain a concept with practical and interesting examples instead of focussing more on the theoretical part. This generates more interest as the kids can simply associate these concepts with their own experiences and imaginations.
What are your key strengths?
I am a quick learner and self starter. I am able to understand concepts or perform new tasks very quickly and without any hand-holding. I also possess good communication skills.
Why do you love Chess?
I think Chess is the most complete game ever invented by mankind. It tests our ability to think, strategise, imagine and predict the outcome, on every single move. It also involves understanding complex patterns and making key decisions at the right time. It is also one the very few sports where the age of your opponent does not play a major role in your success. With the right amount of practice, even an 8 year old can beat a Master. It's this equality that makes Chess the most universal and the most complete sport.
When/how did you first learn to play?
I started playing Chess when I was eight. One of my cousins who was six at the time, introduced me to the game. He started coaching me and slowly went on to become a national level player! I never got a chance to play any competitions as such, but I have always been closely associated with the game ever since. I used to teach my friends, school kids and family whenever I got a chance.
Why do you enjoy working with kids?
The amount of interest and intrigue kids show towards everything in life, is a treat to witness. Their questions/doubts have so much innocence and purity that sometimes it makes me think twice and sometimes wonder where did that come from! They can easily catch you off guard and also throw in so many surprises every now and then! So, everyday is a novelty when it comes to working with kids and I love that.
How do you think Chess helps kids?
Chess helps kids enhance their memory, problem solving and decision making skills. They understand the concept of winning and losing, striving hard, how to learn and not repeat the past mistakes! They understand that the decisions they make on the board are theirs and theirs alone. They slowly start becoming independent due to this and this in turn helps them to build a strong mental personality.