Nihal Sarin

One from the new generation of teen champions who has played his part in giving India a new identity as a growing chess power. Nihal is part of the pack that includes Arjun Erigaisi, D. Gukesh, R. Praggnanandhaa, Raunak Sadhwani and few more who have made the chess world sit up and take notice of the quality of talent produced in India in the past few years. Nihal, like the few named above, did not take long to complete the stipulations required to become a Grandmaster and continued to make steady progress. As Anand once mentioned, “someone told me that when I play practice games with these youngsters, I am actually playing some very tough opposition.” That’s some tribute from the legend to the high quality of chess these talents produce so regularly. In the 2018 Tata Steel rapid event in Kolkata, Nihal made heads turn when he drew with Viswanathan Anand, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Sergey Karjakin, P. Harikrishna, Vidit Gujrathi and Surya Shekhar Ganguly. As Anand later said, “He’s a huge talent from what I’ve seen of him.” Rated 2651, Nihal is already among the top-100 and all set to take giant strides in emulating the path laid down by Gukesh and Arjun. He has the game and the temperament to scale greater heights. Given his focus, he could well bring out something special during the Olympiad. Moreover, the composition of the team is such that four teen-members are sure to feed off each other’s energy and enthusiasm. Clearly,Nihal is part of a team that most chess lovers are looking at, with anticipation of some sensational results.
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