Praggnanandhaa and Vaishali will limit the number of tournaments they play in before the Candidates tournament

R Praggnanandhaa and R Vaishali will undergo training in preparation for the Candidates event next year

R Praggnanandhaa and R Vaishali, the dynamic brother-sister duo, are gearing up for the upcoming Candidates event next year with a well-thought-out plan. The Chess Gurukul in Chennai’s T-Nagar has transformed into their training hub, orchestrating multiple camps that meticulously focus on each opponent. The siblings are dividing their efforts, working with separate teams, each equipped with seconds to gather and share vital information about their adversaries. In a strategic move, they have decided to limit their tournament appearances leading up to April, directing their attention towards studying the seven opponents they will face in Toronto, Canada.

Under the watchful guidance of coach RB Ramesh, who has been with them since their early years, the siblings are adopting a dedicated approach to their preparations. The Chess Gurukul in T-Nagar serves as their preparation center, but even in their quiet neighborhood of Paadi, the focus remains on the crucial event in April. Ramesh, while remaining discreet about the specifics, revealed glimpses of the extensive work taking place behind the scenes. “We cannot discuss too much in the public eye. But we are putting out a team for both players, and we have already had one camp for them, and there will be more to follow. They will also be playing in tournaments from time to time,” said Ramesh.

With the anticipation of facing China’s Ding Liren and Ju Wenjun in the World Chess Championship, the decision regarding Ramesh’s physical presence in Canada alongside the siblings is still under consideration. Ramesh expressed the need to determine the best way for him to assist, considering the 12-hour time difference between India and Canada.

Balancing tournament participation and preparation is a key aspect of their strategy. Despite the need to focus on training camps, the duo is set to feature in the World Rapid and Blitz tournament in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Ramesh emphasized the importance of finding a scheduling balance, ensuring that they do not miss out on financial gains while preparing for their future travels.

While R Praggnanandhaa has been in the spotlight for the past few years, R Vaishali’s recent achievements have also garnered attention. Ramesh credited her progress to the collaborative efforts with GM Sandipan Chanda, highlighting her newfound confidence and secure identity. Speaking of Vaishali, he mentioned her positive mindset and recent accomplishments, including crossing the 2500 rating barrier.

Ramesh praised Praggnanandhaa’s evolution as a chess player, emphasizing the teenager’s remarkable memory and strategic improvements. He pointed out that Praggnanandhaa has transformed his earlier weaknesses, particularly in openings, into strengths. Ramesh commended Praggnanandhaa’s comprehensive opening repertoire, defensive skills, and overall growth, declaring him a complete player.

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