KOZHIKODE: At just the age of 15, Meghna has enjoyed an enviable run in the world of bishops, queens and knights on the checkerboard.
Having undertaken more than five foreign trips for various championships, this chess prodigy is proving to be a promising star.
Meghna secured a creditable fifth place in the Rapid format of the Asian Youth Championship held in New Delhi on November 14.
She was seventh in the classical format and missed the bronze medal by a whisker following her poor tie-break score. Earlier, she had won an individual silver and a crown in the overall points as a team in the Asian School Championship held in Sri Lanka. However, Meghna’s best came in the form of another gold in the Asian Youth Chess Championship held in China in 2010.
“It was the highlight of my career. Not many get the opportunity to get hands on gold in big meets like this. It has helped me improve my confidence to a great extent,” says Meghna, who is a native of Athanikkal.
The tenth standard student of Silver Hills Public School picked up her first chess piece when she was just three. “It was nothing serious. Just for the heck of it,” she says.
But, slowly she struck a chord with the black and white board, beating her chess enthusiast father first. “It was my father who introduced me to the world of chess. He was a good player and found me talented,” says Meghna.
She won her first crown in the district event in 2003 in Kozhikode. Meghna claimed a few other titles at the district and state level meets during that year. In 2007, she moved to Kochi, where she practised under her mentor and coach Ganesh Bhat for a good amount of time.
“It was through his coaching that I learned the very key lessons and moves in chess,” says Meghna, whose world tours also include World School Championships in Greece and Singapore, the Asian Youth Championship in the UAE, and the World Youth Championship in Turkey.
However, she never considers playing chess as her prime objective in life, despite cherishing the dream of becoming a Grand Master for long. Meghna says her studies are equally or more important than playing chess.
“I don’t want to be a professional who sacrifices her studies for the game. Those who are doing it are great and their efforts should be praised. But there is no guarantee that you can be pro, and it will be a gamble if you leave studies behind,” says the chirpy girl who wants to be a doctor while remaining a chess player.