Ritish Kannan, 14 years

What began as a board game at home with his mom, soon became a passion. In 2015, then10-year-old Ritish Kannan was titled ‘The King of Basel’. Now 14, he’s won over 40 cups and medals. Ritish recently won the title ‘Winner of the Aargau Chess for U13’and even received the Olympic talent card for the year 2019. Ritish shares the story of his passion.

I am 14 years old, studying in class 8 at Bezirksschule(Gymnasium). I started playing chess when I was 9 years old. I was bored at that time and I hardly watch TV. Then I asked my Amma (Mom) to play a board game, which is different and interesting. She introduced the pieces in Chess, and I was fascinated. I started playing with her. Soon, I wanted to learn more, so I joined the Döttingen-Klignau club. Then it was like a hobby and I started to learn openings and played in the tournaments. I lost so many games, but I learned from my mistakes and gave a tough competition after 6 months of training.

I realised that I had become more concentrated and focused about my moves and games. The first major milestone was when I became ‘The King of Basel’ in 2015. I was 10 years old. After that, I qualified in the Swiss chess finals, which is again very tough to enter. There are 4 qualifications rounds and only top 16 players would be selected, so it’s very tough and it’s fun as well.

Photograph of Ritish

I have a lot of friends all over Switzerland and I am always excited to meet them during the tournaments. I have a lot of friends from different nationalities and we all have fun.

I get upset when I lose the long game but after 5 minutes, I become normal and analyze the games with the trainers.

I represent Switzerland when I play in France, Italy, Germany and in India. I enjoyed playing in Karlsruhe, Germany. There I met the Chess legends including Magnus Carlsen, Vish Anand and other top players.

Chess is really motivating me to think ahead about the moves and it applies in my life as well. I train myself online and I play and watch lots of videos about chess and especially the Grandmasters games.

I also play football with my friends and in the Würenlingen club.

So far, I have won over 40 cups and lots of medals. Last year, I was awarded as the winner of the Aargau Chess for U13. I received the Olympic talent card for the year 2019 as well. I would like to conclude that Chess is an ocean and I would like to swim more and more, and it gives me pleasure. In the future, I would like to become a doctor but I won’t forget chess 😊

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