Nihal Sarin becomes country’s 53rd Grandmaster

Having already reached the stipulated rating of 2500, Sarin has now met the requirements to be a Grandmaster.

Nihal Sarin’s minimum rating performance of 2626 was enough to ensure the title-winning norm.   -  Special Arrangement

Nihal Sarin became India’s 53rd Grandmaster after attaining his third and final GM-norm in the Abu Dhabi Masters on Tuesday.

Having already reached the stipulated rating of 2500, Sarin has now met the requirements to be a Grandmaster.

In the eighth round of the premier event, the 14-year-old drew in 21 moves with Uzbekistan’s International Master Temur Kuybokarov to reach 5.5 points and seal the norm.

Though he went on to lose the final round to second seeded Hungarian GM Richard Rapport on Wednesday, Sarin’s minimum rating performance of 2626 was enough to ensure the title-winning norm.

Five-time World champion Viswanathan Anand took to twitter and wrote, “Congrats and welcome to @NihalSarin. The boys are on a roll!”

It may be recalled that in June, R. Praggnanandhaa become the second youngest GM on the all-time list. Sarin also become Kerala's third Grandmaster, following G. N. Gopal and S. L. Narayanan.

During the course of his fine run, Sarin, rated 2556, defeated compatriots Niranjan Navalgund, Chinmay Kulkarni and Australian IM Junta Ikeda in the early rounds.

His stellar performance came in the fifth round when he held third seeded Georgian GM Ivan Cheparinov (rated 2718). He upstaged Romanian GM Mirea-Emilian Parligras (2645) and drew the next two rounds. The performance has helped him gain nine rating points.

Sarin made his first norm in the TV2 Fagernes GM International Open in Fagernes, Norway, in April last year.

The Thrissur boy gained his second GM norm in March this year, during the Reykjavik Open where he made the grade with two rounds to spare.