Surya and Arya's triumph in the 20th Bangkok Chess Club Open 2022
Surya Ganguly's peak rating has been as high as 2676. Currently his Elo has slid down to 2589. But as they say form is temporary and class is permanent. The experienced GM from West Bengal won the 20th Bangkok Chess Club Open 2022 with a score of 7.5/9 ahead of strong players like Aryan Tari, Hrant Melkumyan, Nigel Short and many more! IM Sagar Shah conducted an interview with the Bengal tiger, where they talk about Surya's whole experience in the tournament, the beautiful moments with her daughter Arya, and his passion for Wildlife. They also have an in-depth discussion about Surya's must-win final round game against young and talented Australian Grandmaster Bobby Cheng. Photo: Surya Sekhar Ganguly's Facebook page.
The Royal Bengal Tiger is back!
Losing a game in a 9-round tournament usually means the end of hope for winning a Swiss event, especially with such strong competition like the Bangkok Open 2022. But Surya Sekhar Ganguly, the 2nd ever Grandmaster from West Bengal, has proved this wrong! After losing his 5th round game against Polish Grandmaster Klekowski Maciej, Surya struck back with 4 consecutive wins in the final 4 rounds!
Facing a must-win situation, Surya played uncompromising chess and won the final round in beautiful fashion. Thus, he won the tournament with 7.5/9! This was Surya's first tournament victory while travelling with her 2-year-old daughter Arya. Arya even joined Surya in the Podium!
Surya on Arya, his 2-year old trainer
On Arya in the podium with her
"Arya is fond of many things, and one of them is stairs. She really enjoys climbing the up and down the stairs. In the dais, there were stairs. She immediately wanted to go there, and anyway I had this idea that I wanted to be with her in the dais when I take the trophy. She actually walked with me all the way, took the stairs, and then this trophy was 4 kilos, so in the one hand I'm having 4 kilos of trophy, and in the other hand there was Arya - so I was doing my own gym there [smiles]. It was such a good feeling to have Arya with me. I told you, she is my biggest teacher. I played the Sharjah Masters while she was with me, and the event did not go well. I was not at all happy, I really wanted to win a tournament with her, and to play well. This time it worked!"
The impact of Arya's presence in Surya's performance
"There are pros and cons, of course I cannot say that I sit down and prepare for 2 hours. My maximum preparation time would be 1 hour at a very high scale. Usually, I'll be done within half an hour to 40 minutes for an entire game. But the best part was, if something goes wrong, Arya takes it away instantly. For example, after I lost my 5th round game, I think if I was alone it would take more time to recover, to get a good sleep and so on. But with Arya being there, it is just instantly over. You enter the room, and you cannot possibly think about your game. So, that helped a lot and in general I keep saying that she is my best teacher. I learn from her on a day-to-day basis. The way she looks at life, you know, I cannot possibly imagine. For me, as a parent, the only thing I want to provide her is expose her to travel, and get her close to nature. I think that's the only thing that I can basically give her.
If I can choose, I would bring Arya to every single tournament. But of course, I would also like to have at least a place where I can prepare where she's not seeing me. Sometimes it's not just about me, but also when I am preparing she is unable to sleep, because the room is not dark. It's not possible to manage every time, but as and when it is possible, I'll do that."
Full Interview with IM Sagar Shah (with timestamps)
0:00 - Welcome and Congratulations, Surya!
0:12 - Surya's daughter Arya in the podium! How do you feel about this moment?
1:45 - A commendable performance the Bangkok Open 2022 - even after losing a game, you managed to win the event with 4 consecutive wins in the end!
2:48 - Adventures in the Bangkok Jungle Safari!
11:12 - What was your main aim in this event, and how was your mental state? Did Arya being there help you?
14:08 - About Surya's final round opponent, Bobby Cheng, and his approach in a must-win situation
17:54 - Surya Sekhar Ganguly vs Bobby Cheng, Bangkok Open 2022 Final round deep analysis by Surya and Sagar
45:57 - The differences between checking games with computer and analyzing yourself
46:54 - Surya is in St. Louis right now for the Fall Chess Classic 2022! Are you feeling a bit sad that right now your family is not with you?
48:05 - What are your expectations in this closed round-robin event?
48:54 - Who's your favorite in the Deathmatch 2.0 between Arjun Erigaisi and Gukesh D?
49:47 - What would you say is the difference in style between the play of these 2 youngsters?
50:45 - Even though Gukesh and Arjun will beat him in Chess, Surya can defeat both of them in any other sport!
51:27 - It'll be a very exciting match, because both players are evolving
52:40 - It's very difficult to say no to someone who says "Give my anytime in 24 hours!"
53:32 - Thank you and congratulations!
Top players congratulate Surya on his performance
GM Srinath Narayanan:
IM Irina Bulmaga:
GM D Gukesh:
IM V Saravanan: