Nihal Sarin targets 2600 in Malmo

India's number 2, P. Harikrishna, England's Gawain Jones, Croatia's Ivan Saric and Iran's Parham Maghsoodloo will also be in contention for the title in Sweden.

Nihal Sarin

Chess Grandmaster Nihal Sarin is one of the youngest grandmasters in chess history and will look for honours in the Sigeman tournament in Sweden.   -  K.K. Mustafah

Fourteen-year-old Grandmaster Nihal Sarin is training his sight to become the youngest Indian to break the 2600 rating barrier from the TePe Sigeman & Co International tournament, beginning here on Friday.

Nihal goes into the tournament with a live rating of 2598, hoping to break the Indian record set by Parimarjan Negi almost a decade back in 2009.

Negi had then become the youngest Indian to have broken the barrier, at the age of 15 years 11 months.

Crossing the mark will make Nihal currently the youngest player in the world to do so.

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Speaking about his expectations, Nihal said, “Right now, they are not based on my results. I just want to play as well as I can and try and win as many games as I can.”

When asked how he would want to ensure that he will play good games, Nihal said consistency is the key.

“It is about making good moves throughout the game, and then doing it game after game," he added.

The tournament will have eight players with an average rating of 2663, making it a Category 17 tournament, according to FIDE.

The field is led by the India No. 2 GM Pentala Harikrishna.

Having just finished second in the Shenzen Masters, Harikrishna will be a front runner for the title here having recovered from a patchy stretch that he suffered recently.

Going into the Sigeman tournament, the Indian Super Grandmaster will look forward to break free from the mixed yet strong field.

GM Gawain Jones of England and GM Ivan Saric of Croatia and Parham Maghsoodloo of Iran are three players who could possibly give Harikrishna a close fight.

Other players include Swedish duo of GM Nils Grandelius and GM Tiger Hillarp Persson, GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu of Germany besides Nihal Sarin.

Harikrishna will open his campaign against Persson while Nihal is set to meet Saric in the opener.


Pairings round 1:

P Harikrishna (Ind) vs Tiger Hillarp Persson (Swe); Nihal Sarin (Ind) vs Parham Maghsoodloo (Iri) vs Gawain Jones (Eng); Nils Grandelius (Swe) vs Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (Ger).


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