Rathanvel VS

The 22-year-old International Chess Master V S Rathanvel, started playing chess at the age of seven. He won his first match in a local tournament in Coimbatore and since then has participated in various national and international championships. He was a grandmaster at the age of 10 years old. According to the International Chess Federation, he stands at 1025 world rank. He has won the R Hanumantha Memorial Cup All India Open Rapid and Blitz Rating 2021.

How did you venture into the online gaming space?
I started playing chess at the age of seven. I was a grandmaster at the age of 10-years old and was ranked third in the world under-10 category in 2011. I ventured into the online gaming space through various online chess tournaments online. During the pandemic, since physical chess tournaments were not taking place, I switched to online chess.
Does playing online games form part of your daily life? Is it a part of your livelihood?
Chess became a passion from a hobby very early on. And right now, it is a part of my livelihood. I play various chess tournaments and that becomes a source of income for me.
What are your educational qualifications?
I graduated from 12th grade and am currently pursuing an undergraduate degree. I plan to finish my education soon.
Since when have you been playing online games?
I have been playing online games since 2009 which is almost 14 years now.
What skills are required to succeed in an online gaming tournament?
I have played the game of chess both in real life and online. The experience has taught me that to win at chess one only requires strength to push through the hurdles. It is a mental game, and the format of physical or online does not matter.
Do you think the government supports professional online gamers and would you like more support?
I believe that certain formats of online games get support as they already fall under some national sports federation, whereas some do not. So this requires a case by case study.
What do you think about addiction and dependency on online gaming?
I believe that it depends on the situation. It can depend on a variety of factors, such as the individual’s personal circumstances, the type of game they are playing, and their level of engagement with the game. Some may be more susceptible to addiction than others. It depends on the individual’s ability to regulate their gaming habits and engage in other activities.
What are your biggest concerns while playing a game online?
My biggest concern while playing a game online is fairplay. One of the biggest concerns when playing online games is if a game is being played by the rules. Cheating and hacking must be prevented. Ensuring fair play is essential for creating a positive gaming experience for everyone. Currently there are no mandatory rules prescribed that will ensure safety of online players. Some well-known platforms do provide players with safety and assurance by procuring a no-bot certificate or ensuring there is no cheating – but they are far and few in number. It must be ensured that all gaming formats apply the same.
If there is one thing about the online gaming industry you can convey to the government, what would it be?
In my opinion, the government should encourage players in India by conducting various online tournaments which may also encourage participation of online players in India. We are a huge population, but even the remotest parts receive internet, some players may not have the wherewithal to appear physically in different parts of the world – but conducting tournaments online ensures participation from all.

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