CHENNAI: Players from different disciplines playing unfamiliar roles and conducting live shows or online programmes is a new trend in India. Cricketers Ravichandran Ashwin, Jemima Rodrigues, Smriti Mandhana, footballer Sunil Chhetri, tennis player Purav Raja... it’s a growing list. Surya Sekhar Ganguly is going to be the latest on it.
The Kolkata-based Grandmaster is launching his YouTube channel (youtube.com/user/Suryachess) on June 20. It will be a mix of serious conversations with renowned chess players, lessons in the game and casual chats.
The man Ganguly assisted during three victorious World Championship campaigns — Viswanathan Anand — will be the first to come to the show. As of now, four half-an-hour sessions with the five-time world champion are lined up.
A former Asian champion, Ganguly is not the first Indian chess player to have his own YouTube channel. But he is driven by the idea of producing something different. "Using my experience and whatever I have learnt, I want to make the interactions instructive. I have seen content on such platforms which is more casual than game-based. Other than a section dedicated to light conversation, I’d like to provide something in depth that people seriously into chess can appreciate."
New to this kind of activities, the 37-year-old is still getting used to the devices and technical matters of producing live shows online. He knows managing this might be tough once he goes back to the regular life of a chess player. As far as generating content to sustain the programme is concerned, Ganguly thinks he has enough to keep it going for about a year.
“Other than cameras and headphones needed for this kind of a programme, I have no investment. And I am not thinking of gaining from the number of views or subscribers either. It’s just the urge to offer something more meaningful than what we generally see. My playing schedule will become a problem when that resumes. But as of now, I am willing to do it and there should be matter to sustain this for some time,” said the player who won the national championship for a record six consecutive times, from 2003-2008.