Nihal secured the title after he drew against his opponent, Uzbekistan’s Temur Kuybokarov at the Abu Dhabi Masters.

Kerala-born 14-year-old Nihal Sarin becomes Indias 53rd grandmasterTwitter/NihalSarin
news Chess Wednesday, August 15, 2018 - 16:00

Fourteen-year-old Nihal Sarin became India’s 53rd grandmaster after bagging his third GM norm at the Abu Dhabi Masters on Tuesday. He is only the third grandmaster from Kerala after GN Gopal and SL Narayanan.

Nihal secured 5.5 points in a total of nine matches and only needed a draw in the eighth round to get his third norm. In the eighth round, Nihal drew against his opponent, Uzbekistan’s Temur Kuybokarov, thus securing the title for him.

His current ELO rating is 2556 and he is the twelfth youngest grandmaster in chess history.

Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand took to Twitter to congratulate him.

“Congrats and welcome to @NihalSarin ! The boys are on a roll!” tweeted Viswanathan, who became a grandmaster in 1988.

Earlier in June, Chennai-born R Praggnanandhaa secured the title of grandmaster and became India’s 52nd grandmaster. He also became the world’s second-youngest grandmaster with the win.

Earlier this week, Praggnanandhaa’s sister Vaishali became the latest woman grandmaster in India. She got her third and final WGM norm on Sunday at the 8th Riga Technical University (RTU) Open chess tournament, as per a report in the Times of India.

Nihal had shot to fame in 2013 after winning the Under-10 World Youth Blitz Chess Championships held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The next year, he won gold at the World Youth Chess tournament in Durban and the Asian Youth Rapid and Blitz events at Tashkent in Uzbekistan.

In 2015, he came won silver in the Under-12 championship in Porto Carras, Greece. In February 2016, Nihal played his first International Open outside India and registered his first international master norm at the Cappelle la Grande Open by defeating a grandmaster.

Born in Thrissur, Kerala, Nihal learnt the game when he was just five years old and has been playing competitive chess since the age of seven.

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