Cameroon contingent terms Gurukul visit an enriching experience

The players from Cameroon, an African nation where chess is yet to bloom, wanted to make the most of the ‘off day’ and took “inspiration” from Chess Gurukul.
Cameroon contingent terms Gurukul visit an enriching experience
RB Ramesh Twitter

CHENNAI: While many teams chose to explore Mahabalipuram and Chennai on the 44th Olympiad’s ‘rest day’ – Thursday – the Cameroon contingent opted to visit Chess Gurukul, the leading academy in the city that is home to a number of Indian Grandmasters.

The players from Cameroon, an African nation where chess is yet to bloom, wanted to make the most of the ‘off day’ and took “inspiration” from Chess Gurukul. For the uninitiated, the academy, situated at T Nagar, was founded by Grandmaster RB Ramesh – the coach of the India Open ‘B’ team at the ongoing Olympiad – and his wife Aarthie Ramaswamy, a Woman GM, in 2008.

“We always wanted to see how people in other areas of the world are developing chess. We know that India is a force to reckon with in the chess world. So, on Thursday, we decided to turn our attention towards the academy. For the first time, we went to a ‘real’ chess club. Visiting the academy was an enriching experience,” Cameroon Open team member Ebosse Kingue Victor Patrick, a FIDE Master, told DT Next on Sunday.

“We went there to see how they (those who run the academy) manage the organisation. We learnt how the administration is done – how they operate. We went there to get inspired,” said Ebosse, who is competing at the Olympiad for the third time.

“We could not meet Ramesh. We met his wife. She showed a lot of warmth and clicked some nice pictures of ours. While we were there, we saw a lot of parents bring their kids to the academy. It was beautiful to watch,” Ebosse added. Meanwhile, Aarthie said that the Cameroon players were enthusiastic to know the Chess Gurukul’s “training procedure”.

“They had a look at our classrooms and library. They wanted to know how we train our students, the number of coaches we have etc. They asked me all sorts of questions,” Aarthie said.

“The whole team (group) had come. It was nice of them to have taken an auto (autos) and come all the way from Mahabalipuram.”

Positively influenced by the Indian chess scene, Ebosse’s teammate Amba Oyon Marius Claude stressed that Cameroon must look at nurturing youngsters. “In our country, chess is still in its developmental stage. We need to focus on children. We do not have many children who play chess. Most of them are adults,” explained Amba, an International Master.

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