Press Esc to close
Wednesday 04 March 2015
News updated at 8:10 AM IST
Weather
Max: 31.7°C
Min : 16.9°C
In Bengaluru
clear sky

Wise moves of Grandmaster

Last updated: 29 April, 2010
Jackie Pinto

Checkmate

Jonathan Rowson may be a three time British chess champion but he loves everything Indian, including the surge of pride when India wins cricket match against Pakistan

Intense: Johnathan Rowson

Dr Jonathan Rowson wears his impressive chess title of Grandmaster and three time British chess champion lightly. Like the string of degrees he holds from Oxford and Harvard, including a PhD on the concept of wisdom. He is also a widely read author and columnist.

In the City to bond with his Indian in-laws with his wife Siva Thambisetty Ramakrishna (an NLSIU alumnus) and young son Kailash, he talks to Metrolife about his highly successful chess career and other interests.

About the game and his love for it, Jonathan says, “I first learnt chess when I was five from either from my late grandfather Rae, my mother, or one of my uncles. The game has a certain magical quality, and I enjoyed playing for my school until ten. I had begun to read about chess, and then by sheer providence won 250 pounds worth of chess books! I studied them voraciously and that's when I really started to get good. Between 12 and 15 years, the foundations for becoming a Grandmaster were laid. Chess was a welcome escape from growing pains and family complications.”

Jonathan has come a long way since he won those chess books which set him firmly on the path to success. With a 2600 FIDE rating, winning the British Championship, writing three successful books, representing the UK (against China in 2007), he says he achieved what he set out to do and wants to concentrate on fatherhood, writing and academic work while playing good games that he can be proud of.

His biggest ‘wow’ moment was winning the British Championship for the third consecutive year. But how does he deal with losing? “I take time out to analyse the game with my opponent, call my wife Siva, to let off some steam and hear about life outside of chess. I also study the game on the computer to figure out what I did wrong technically and psychologically,” he explains.

He also warns of the dangers of taking mistakes lightly, “In my book ‘Chess for Zebras’, I caution people not to excuse themselves for mistakes easily.” He says one of the most interesting places he has played in was Delhi in 2003.His non chess interests include transcendental meditation, yoga and a leaning towards spirituality. However, superstition and ‘hocus-pocus’ are complete no.

His favourite books and films include Marcel’s Life of Pi and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. “My music tastes vary. When I am working, I like to listen to Hariprasad Chaurasia. I also read and write a lot. And I also like watching cricket, especially Twenty20. I remember watching a televised match in Bangalore where India beat Pakistan. When we won, I felt really proud to be Indian, until I remembered that I wasn’t...” he says.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Ireland's George Dockrell is bowled for 25 runs by South Africa's Morne Morkel to end their Cricket

Ireland's George Dockrell is bowled for 25 runs by South Africa's Morne Morkel to end their Cricket

The debris is being cleared after landslides on Jammu-Srinagar Jammu National Highway

The debris is being cleared after landslides on Jammu-Srinagar Jammu National Highway

Artist staged a play Visa Nirikshaneyelliddaga at the inauguration of Dalita Natakotsava

Artist staged a play Visa Nirikshaneyelliddaga at the inauguration of Dalita Natakotsava

Badly damaged road in Bengaluru

Badly damaged road in Bengaluru

A Zimbabwe farm worker harvests tobacco at a farm ahead of the tobacco selling season starting on We

A Zimbabwe farm worker harvests tobacco at a farm ahead of the tobacco selling season starting on We

Snowfall in Kashmir

Snowfall in Kashmir

Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto ride a carriage as they leave Ho

Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto ride a carriage as they leave Ho

A model presents a creation by French designers Francois Alary and Ophelie Klere as part of their

A model presents a creation by French designers Francois Alary and Ophelie Klere as part of their

A general view of the 85th International Motor Show in Geneva

A general view of the 85th International Motor Show in Geneva

Kenya Wildlife Service rangers burn 15 tonnes of ivory confiscated from smugglers and poachers to ma

Kenya Wildlife Service rangers burn 15 tonnes of ivory confiscated from smugglers and poachers to ma

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523