Interview with Tania Sachdev

Whoever says beauty and brains are unlikely to be found in one place, has to take one look at this 24-year old chess prodigy. Holding titles like Woman Grandmaster and International Master, Tania’s talent is obvious when she is playing this brain sport, which doesn’t make her boring at all!

Known as a simple, fun loving girl by her friends from Modern School, Vasant Vihar, she continues to be like any other girl her age. Success hasn’t gone to her head, making modesty one of her biggest virtues.

After defeating many of the successful business men from Tata Steel company, in the simul organized during the management evening, and having a great score at the moment in the C-group” – 6.5 out of 12 games, Tania shows her class once again, making the correct moves, not only on the board, but also in life. One more thing: she has a contagious smile and a particular charm, both making her a great company and a “terrible” opponent when playing against men:)

Here is a part of the interview:

And how exactly is the chess situation in India right now?

It’s improving a lot but, they are working hard to popularize it and finally in India people realized that there are other sports than cricket. But there is still a very long way to go, it’s improving as I said but it’s still going to take a while. For the younger generation, for the children with an age between 8 and 10 for example, things will get better and better and they will have more chances.

Are you still studying?

I finished my studies and now I am playing chess. Also I am working with Air India, but chess is still my profession. They are very flexible, so I can play my tournaments without any problems, I don’t have to go to the office.

Sounds like a dream job! And what exactly do you do?

I am working in the commercial department, so basically I have to overlook the ticketing and at the ground staff. I don’t have to go all the time there, like in any other regular job, I have my time to practice in chess. But when I do go, I am taking part in the commercial activities.

Did this job appeared after you were seen in the indian fashion week?

Actually it came after last year, after I graduated from college. I won a lot of tournaments: asian championship, Indian championship and they wanted me to work with them. They couldn’t offer me the job because I was still studying in University, but after i graduated, I took my chance:)

And what did you study?

English Literature: a lot of Shakespeare:) It was really nice, I like reading, so it worked very well for me.

Can you tell me more about the award you received: Arjuna Award?

It’s one of the biggest recognition for a sportsman in India. We have one sports award which goes to only one person and Anand took it. The Arjuna Award goes to 12 sportsmen, one award for 12 different sports. It’s really prestigious and it comes with a lot of recognition, it was a really big moment for me because after a hard life: with a lot of work and travelling and sacrifices and sufference, you finally get something in return…it means a lot to me.

Here is the full interview by Alina l’Ami.

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