Calcutta: Grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly is confident of retaining the individual title of the World Team Chess Championship, which begins at Ningbo, in China, from July 15.
“After coming back from Asian Individual Championship in May, I prepared for two months. I am working hard with my seconds (Arghyadeep Das and Bitan Banerjee). I even had a few physical training sessions with Kuntal Roy. I am in good shape to retain my crown,” Surya Sekhar said on Wednesday.
Surya Sekhar said he would like to see the Indian team, last year’s third-placed, finishing on top too. Along with Surya Sekhar, Parimarjan Negi, Krishnan Sasikiran, GR Narayanan and Pentala Harikrishna, will lead the Indian challenge in the 12-day meet.
“Being seeded ninth in the 10-team tournament, we will start as underdogs. There’s no doubt about that. But we are a young and motivated side and we have nothing to lose. So we will be looking for some upset wins, ” Surya Sekhar said.
Unlike last year, the Indian team do not have any camp before the tournament. But Surya Sekhar does not think that it will act as a deterrent. “Negi and Sasi were busy playing in New Delhi, while Hari was in the United States. So we have decided to go to Ningbo five days prior, get ourselves acclimatised and plan our strategies,” Surya Sekhar, who leaves for China on Sunday, signed off.