Saturday, February 20, 2010
Indian girl plans to become a pro
Saturday, February 20, 2010 3:07 AM
By SHELBY LYMAN
Women are hesitant to embrace chess careers.
That could change quickly, as grandmaster Judit Polgar noted recently.
Perhaps she is thinking of Saranya Jayakumar of Chennai, India, the younger-than-14 girls champion of Asia.
Saranya, who trains eight hours a day, sees chess as a means of improving the life of her mother, a street vendor. Saranya works with her at a knickknack stall.
One hopeful sign is the recent sponsorship of Saranya by a state-owned oil company. Indian corporations have been slow to underwrite chess.
Another good sign is the array of chess programs for kids springing up throughout the subcontinent.
Saranya aims to become a grandmaster by age 20, and she already has the right attitude. M.A. Veluyatham, owner of an academy at which she trains, said she "strives for perfection."