M.S. Thej Kumar is doing all the right things to become a Grandmaster

Mysore’s M.S. Thej Kumar, IM (International Master) has made rapid strides towards his goal of becoming a Grand master.

He is the highest ranked player in Karnataka. With an ELO rating of 2452, he needs 48 more points to get his Grand Master title. Ranked 35th in the country and 1573 in the world, this South Western Railway employee has been a consistent performer.

Triple Grand Master Norm holder, and seeded 20th in the tournament, Thej's eight move draw with GM Deepan Chakravarthy was enough to give him his maiden National B chess title when he clinched the coveted trophy at Bhopal with 10.5 points from 13 rounds.

He became the first Karnataka player to win the National B chess title. He has wins against OP Yadhav, Rohan Ahuja, Abhishek Das, WGM Padmini Rout, Vishnu Prasanna, IM Ashwin Jayaram, IM Swayms Mishra, IM K Ratnakaran.

He drew with GM G B Prakash, GM S P Sethuraman, IM Akshat Khamparia, IM Debashish Das and GM Deepan Chakravarthy. He gained 30.5 ELO points with his performance in this tournament.

A superior tie-break score earned this hard working International Master from Mysore win the title after Ashwin Jayaram matched his winning tally.

With this win, Thej also qualified for the National A Championships scheduled to be held at Jalgaon, Maharashtra in December 2013. Significantly, the top four seeds, Deep Sengupta, B Adhiban, M R Lalith Babu and S P Sethuraman failed to make the top 9 bracket.

“I want to play in as many tournaments as possible so that I can achieve the target. I am grateful to my employers, the State Government and my sponsors,” says this soft spoken chess champ from Mysore.

With support from Yashasvi Shankar of Saanvi technologies, USA and www.mysoresport.com, and the airfare being paid by the Government of Karnataka, Thej has been able to participate in several international tournaments.

He recently played in the Montepellier International chess tournament in France during July 2013, where he finished third.

He also represented South Western Railways in the 66th Inter-Railway chess championship at Hubli in October 2013 and helped his team secure the runner-up spot.

Although Thej was awarded the IM title in 2009 by FIDE, he first shot into prominence at the National 'B' chess championship in Aurangabad in 2011, where he finished second. He followed that with good performances at the Rajiv Gandhi All-India Open Chess tournament at Delhi and in the 32nd National team championships in Goa.

In 2010, he also finished second in the National B tournament held at Bhiwani and in the 2009 National B tournament held in Goa he finished fourth.

Thej — a post-graduate from Mysore University — has represented his University at the all-India inter-university championships and won a silver medal.

He lives in Mysore with his wife, M K Jayashree, and coaches upcoming players at the Mysore Professional Chess Academy. His success on the National and International scene will provide huge encouragement to the chess fraternity in India, and Karnataka in particular.

Keywords: M.S. Thej Kumar