A 100 in the Olympiad!

Krishnan Sasikiran is the among the most consistent and hard-working chess players in the country. Known for his meticulous preparations and precise calculations in complex positions, this Chennai-based performer is hugely respected for his single-minded approach to chess.

In Tromso, Norway, Sasikiran proved the backbone of India's first medal-winning performance. Playing on the third board, Sasikiran also received a silver medal for his showing of 7.5 points from 10 games, same as young S. P. Sethuraman on the second board.

Among the `seconds' of Viswanathan Anand during last year's World title match, Sasikiran regained the National title on his return to the Premier championship a month later (in December 2013). A former Asian champion, the 33-year-old is the third on the list of Indian players in the world.

In the recent Olympiad, where he completed 100 games in the biennial event, Sasikiran seldom looked in serious trouble in any of his games.

As part of the team strategy, he played on the third board, allowing lesser-rated youngsters like Parimarjan Negi and Sethuraman to occupy the top two boards.

Of his five victories, the one against Germany's Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (rated 2689) gave India the crucial victory in the 10th round. He signed off by racing past Uzbekistan's Marat Dzhumaev to lay the foundation for India's much-needed big win.

Rakesh Rao