Visakhapatnam: City girl emerges as World No.2 in FIDE rating list

Alana Meenakshi Kolagatla

Alana Meenakshi Kolagatla


It’s a matter of immense pride for Alana Meenakshi Kolagatla as she emerged as the top-two in the world in chess under-10 category (girls).

Visakhapatnam: It's a matter of immense pride for Alana Meenakshi Kolagatla as she emerged as the top-two in the world in chess under-10 category (girls).

In the latest rankings released by the International Chess Federation, the 10-year-old girl from the port city could stride forward to get into the top three rankings as per the World FIDE rating list and number one in Asia and India rankings.

After wrapping up her 30-day plus 25-day trip to Europe to take part in the international open chess tournament Schvengine held in Novi Sad, Putnek and Serbia, she says that she is adept in gauging the opponents' weakness and checkmate with ease. "There were Russians, Bosnians and Serbians to compete with. But of all, the Serbians and the Chinese give tough competition," shares the Class V student.

Sharing the moments of happiness, Alana's mother and a researcher Dr Aparna Kolagatla says, "We did not expect Alana to emerge as the top-two in the rankings. It came as a pleasant surprise to us. Thanks to the support system Alana has, without which it would have been very tough for us to encourage her in the world of chess. Family support, hours of training by the coaches and her dedication towards the sport added to her success."

About her studies, Alana says that she manages to score 85-95 percent marks. "Thankfully, I have an aunt (father's sister) Saraswathi who helps me clarify doubts and prepare for the examinations weeks ahead," she explains.

On a regular basis, Alana practices six to eight hours. "But during tournaments, her practice may stretch for even 16 hours. It is her dedication and commitment towards chess that help her to scale heights," observes G Chiranjeevi, primary coach of Alana.

Along with Chiranjeevi, Alana also has a chess partner TV Rao who spends hours practicing with her. "The best part is Alana never gets tired when she decides to beat her opponent. During the Asian Schools – 2018 tournament wherein she has to travel all along Sri Lanka, Delhi and Bengaluru without a break, her undeterred focus aided in bagging six medals, including a classical gold," adds the coach.

After bagging over a dozen medals in various formats and tournaments so far, including international championships, Alana eyes on becoming a WGM (Woman Grand Master) directly next.

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