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Meet Elaine George: Miramar’s rising star

13th September 2018, 07:09 Hrs

JOEL ANDRADE   

Panaji   

Miramar-based Elaine George’s introduction to chess came at the age of eight, when she was at her cousin’s birthday. “My cousins were playing chess while I stared at them for a couple of hours, as they wouldn’t entertain me during the entire game. Their concentration level was 100%. I wanted to become like them,” Elaine said with a smile on her face.   

 “After that game, they taught me how to move each piece. As soon as I reached home, with the help of my mother, I watched videos on YouTube. And this, was the start of a new chapter in my life,” Elaine exclaimed.   

 Watching videos online has become a daily routine for Elaine and it has been a couple of years now since she started going for classes to hone her skills. “ I watch videos online and joined the beginners programme at DBO. After about six months, I shifted base to a Caranzalem-based academy under the tutelage of Wilson Cruz,” Elaine said.   

 “After my classes, I used to play online games against unknown players which gave me the much needed exposure,” she added.   

India’s first grandmaster Viswanathan Anand and R Praggnanandhaa, who is India’s youngest grand master at the age of 12 years, 10 months and 13 days, are Elaine’s role models. “I look up to Vishy and Praggnanandhaa and want to become like them. If a fellow Indian can achieve so much at the age of 12 years, why can’t I at 16? I am ready to put in the hard work,” Elaine reasoned.   

 With a State level medal to her credit, Elaine has got the much needed confidence to go ahead in the sport. “I have participated in a handful of tournaments now and also won the U-17 inter-school competition representing Our Lady of Rosary Dona Paula this year. This medal has given a boost to my confidence and I intend to pursue this sport in the long run,” the 8th standard student said.   

 Elaine’s immediate goal is to become the State champion by 2020. “ I practice for about an hour a day besides watching videos. By November, I plan to rejoin my classes and dedicate 4 hours to chess daily. My goal is to be a State champion by 2020. Hopefully, my hard work will pay off,” Elaine stated confidently.