Ganguly to train with former World No 3

Plans to work with Shirov on openings and end game
SAI to sponsor 30-day stint in Latvia
Anupama Bagri

Kolkata, July 14: For the first time since entering into the big league, GM Surya Shekhar Ganguly will be seeking tips from a fellow professional to iron out weaknesses in his game.
And, his first “trainer” in 14 years will be none other than former World No 3 Alexei Shirov.

Talking to Newsline, the three-time national champion said: “I haven’t had a personal coach or a trainer in the past 14 years. Although there were occasions when I wanted to seek help from world-class players, funds continued to be the main problem. But now, with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) sponsoring my month-long stint with Shirov in Latvia, I’m looking forward to working with the legend.” The Spaniard is currently ranked 15th in the world.

Having returned to the city last Sunday after a “good performance” at the World Open in Philadelphia, Ganguly said that playing against some of the biggest names in business helped him identify the areas to work on. “I feel I should’ve crossed the 2600 mark long before. I haven’t been performing to my potential. Even in Philadelphia, I had my chances against a few Super GMs, but came up short. The experience of playing this high-profile event has made me realise that I need to work on my openings and end game. And, I will be working with Shirov on these aspects,” explained Ganguly. The Kolkata GM’s current Elo rating is 2567.

So when did he approach Shirov? “Last year when I drew our match at the Canadian Open, he was impressed with my game. We again met at the Gibraltar event earlier this year. That’s when we sat and analysed my game. So, now when I needed to iron out a few things, I approached him. I’m leaving for Latvia this Sunday,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ganguly’s friend and fellow GM Sandipan Chanda is also planning to go to Latvia to train with Jaan Ehlvest for a month.
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