Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s chess player Padmini Rout sported a saree at the closing ceremony of 44th Iwasa National Premier Women’s Chess Championship. She was seen with a wide winning smile and the champions trophy in her hand, adding yet another feather in her cap.
“It was for the first time that I wore a saree. All the players were given sarees to choose from. I couldn’t decide and instead asked the organizers to pick one for me,” she said.
A reluctant Padmini agreed to wear a saree after pondering over it for a long time. “Earlier, I had bought a saree to wear during a tournament, but somehow it didn’t happen. When I got the opportunity this time, I wasn’t very sure of it in the beginning. I ended up wearing this elegant purple saree and it felt amazing!” she continued.
Sound health is essential for the mind to work efficiently. And this is what the 23-year-old chess player believes in, too. She plays badminton and table tennis at leisure. “I make it a point to do yoga every morning. Swimming is one of my favorite exercises too. I think everyone must play some sport; it makes you healthier – physically and mentally,” Padmini said. Trekking is one of her lesser known interests.
Aronian for inspiration
Levon Aronian, an Armenian chess Grandmaster, and India’s Viswanathan Anand are the ones Padmini looks up to. “I read their interviews and follow them. Recently, Aronian said in an interview that it is good to remind yourself sometimes that you’re not the best player, which I absolutely loved. His words are inspiring. Besides, I love the calmness with which Vishwanathan plays,” she said.
Groundwork and training – a necessity
Woman Chess Grandmaster, Padmini believes preparation and training on a regular basis are extremely important. Apart from practising the game, she also reads chess books. Speaking about the difficulty in finding a partner for playing the game, she said, “I have to find personal ways of training myself because I can’t really find someone to play with. For that matter, I often practise it with my father. Most times, I watch live chess games to carefully analyse the moves.”
Miles to go…
Even after having played 278 games and winning a good number of tournaments, young chess player says she has a long way to go. “There’s so much more I have to do. This is just the beginning of my life. I, honestly, have no plans further than to continue honing my skills in chess,” she said. Support of her parents and love from Odisha have been the greatest strengths throughout.