She bagged Gold at the School Games Federation of India (SGFI), Chess Tournament held in Kolkata recently. With a heart full of dreams and eyes full of life, 13-year-old Miracle Panda of Bhubaneswar is determined to make India and Odisha proud and be a chess grandmaster.

In a conversation with Miracle Panda as interesting as her name. Miracle shares her dreams, aspirations and more.

Excerpts

Q. First of all, congratulations for bagging gold medal in the School Games Federation of India at Kolkata. But tell us, who got you into chess, right at the beginning?

I started at the age of six years. My parents motivated me to play chess and I’m playing it.

Q. Did you join any club, to develop and sharpen your talent?

I learn the chess landscape from my coach – Priyabrata Samanta Singh, but I have not yet joined any club.

Q. What will you prefer to practice – on board or desktop?

Mostly I prefer to practice on chess board with my coach.

Q. How can you manage your studies and chess simultaneously?

Yes, I go to school. As a player I frequently visit many States but I never neglect my studies. I don’t yet have a regular routine for chess study. People used to say that chess players have sharp mind. Wherever children of my age take five hours to study, I take only 2-3 hours to complete it. You will be astonished to know that I complete my homework or other school assignments at the leisure during the chess tours.

Q. How do your friends and teachers react on your success?

At my school my classmates are so helpful and always do appreciate my achievements. I find a familiar environment where my school teachers also support me. They also grant me leave when I need during playing chess.

Q. What is your greatest achievement till now?

As I said earlier I started my journey when I was six-years-old. Gradually, time passed and I started to achieve success in my life. My first achievement was when I got a chance to play Under-7 State level chess championships in Odisha. It helped me to boost my confidence at first. After that I got selected in National level chess championships Under-7 categories in Pune. I was very happy when I secured 10th position in national level. That was my first ever curiosity.

Q. Your unbelievable moment in chess match?

My unbelievable moment was when I participated in the 12th KIIT International Chess Festival, 2019 and was able to bag the runners up trophy with Rs 40,000 cash prize. That was really very unbelievable moment for me.

Q. Who is your inspiration as a chess player?

Magnus Carlsen from Norway is my great inspiration. I admire Harika Dronavalli who has won three bronze medals in the Women’s World Chess Championship, in 2012, 2015 and 2017.

Q. Have you met Viswanathan Anand? If no, then what will you ask to him on your first meet?

No, I never got a chance to meet with this legend. But at least once in my life I would like to meet him. I will love to have a game with him too.That will be a moment of honor for me.

Q. Your hobbies?

I love to study a lot. That keeps my mind fresh all the time. After this I have interest on painting, singing and dancing too.

Q. Chess apart, what do you want to be?

I never ever fall apart from chess. But I want to be a space scientist. After my 12th I will go for an entrance test in NISER. That’s what I’m aiming about. But I want to assure you  that I will continue playing chess too.