Bhubaneswar: Orissa chess player and Candidate Master (CM), Aparajita Gochhikar has been selected coach of the Indian chess team who will represent the country at the 2017 Asian Youth Chess Championships (U-8, U-10, U-12, U-14, U-16, U-18). The tournament will take place March 31 to April 10 at Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Aparajita will be in charge of the Indian girls who will be taking part in the event.
There are two girls from Orissa who will be participating in the event – Anwesha Mishra and Saina Salonika. Thirty three Indian juniors are taking part in the event. Out of these 33, the Indian government is paying full expenses for six boys, nine girls and the two coaches (boys and girls). While Anwesha’s cost is being paid by the government, Saina will have to take care of her own expenses.
Talking about the upcoming assignment, Aparajita pointed out that at the Asian level the Indian players have always done well. “I am expecting six-seven medals at least,” informed Aparajita here Thursday
Aparajita who received the letter from SAI, Thursday, is the youngest player till date to be selected as the national coach. The winner of a silver and bronze medal in the Women’s and Open categories of the 2016 World Amateur Chess Championships at Halkidiki, Greece also said that she has taken up the assignment of coaching in spite of being an active player as she wants to pursue a career in chess lifelong.
“Definitely, I will continue to play competitive tournaments,” Aparajita informed. “As a player, I have my ambitions of becoming a Grandmaster also. However, I decided to take up the Tashkent assignment simply because I want to pursue a career in coaching once my career ends as an active player. This venture, no doubt will add to my experience,” added Aparajita who also was awarded the ‘National Instructor’ title by FIDE last year.
This year, Aparajita is scheduled to play in three tournaments – the Commonwealth Chess Championships in Chennai, the Mayor’s Cup in Mumbai and the Women’s Challengers at a venue yet to be decided. The petit-looking player who is associated with the KIIT Chess Academy for the development of the sport in Orissa also thanked Achyut Samanta, Founder, KIIT for his constant support.