11-year-old GM hopeful checks the boxes with Anand

Bharath Subramaniyam had a two-hour session, analysing games with Anand and Praggnanandhaa.

Bharath Subramaniyam with Viswanathan Anand.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Bharath Subramaniyam (11), who has met the criteria to become an International Master (IM) and is the youngest among the present International Masters in the World, visited India chess legend Viswanathan Anand on Thursday and "discussed games".

He had a two-hour session, analysing games with Anand and Praggnanandhaa.

Bharath, over phone, said he's visited Anand for the second time, "The first time was after I had won the (u-8 open) gold in the 2015 World youth championship in Greece." He said his goal now is to become the Grand Master (GM) and then to become the World champion.

He has the chance to become the World's youngest GM - the record (12 years, 7 months) currently belongs to Sergey Karjakin of Ukraine. He said he's aware of it, but doesn't consciously aim or focus on it as it will put him under pressure.

"I know he's got some time. Hopefully, he'll make it," said Anand.

He added: "From the games we saw, I thought he extricated himself from difficult positions very resourcefully. And I thought his level was quite good. I mean, we were discussing stuff and he was pointing out interesting things. So, I thought he was very strong for his age."

Bharath's coach R.B. Ramesh also highlighted his ward's ability to get out of difficult positions. "He will not give up easily," Ramesh said.

Bharath said: "Most players give up when in such positions, thinking the opponent will win easily. But I keep at it until the last move before checkmate, waiting for my opponent to blunder."

(from left) Praggnanandhaa's mother, Bharath Subramaniyam's mother, Praggnanandhaa, Bharath Subramaniyam with Viswanathan Anand (standing behind)

 

Ramesh said Bharath's big weakness is his "time management". "He tends to overthink and take a lot of time making moves."

Bharath said he's been working on it, by practising with a time limit for a move. He added that Anand is his role model. "I've read about his hard work and sacrifices to become the GM and the World champion. And I'm heavily inspired by that."

He said he would like to play Magnus Carlsen.

Anand, when referred to his tradition of having young Indian chess players come over to his home and having an interactive session, said: "I’ve actually done this for many years; more than ten years, I think. It’s just that I’m open to the idea and if it’s possible and my schedule works, then I’m happy to do it. He (Bharath on Thursday) showed me some games from the recent tournaments and we analysed them. I enjoyed it as well. You get to even look at things that you might not yourself think to look at.

"So, yeah, it was nice. Sometime they come with problems that they need solutions for. Or, they just want to show a recent game, I ask them what happened and get their impressions, and then I might make an observation. It’s not very structured but the main idea is that they feel comfortable visiting and we take it from there. I just sit with them and each one is quite different."