Category: school

Runavik: Nihal’s day out







Nihal’s first ever trip to the Faroe Islands was a memorable one in every sense. He was treated like a player of repute, with utmost love and care. And this is a perfect platform to express gratitude to the sponsors who made Nihal’s play possible — Runavik Municipality, the Faroese Chess Federation, and Jolly Cola.

They say that quality always trumps quantity. The Faroe Islands is a nation of 50,000 odd people in total. But the warmth of the people is just unmatchable.

Nihal with the Mayor of Runavik, Tórbjørn Jacobsen. Mr. Jacobsen is a big fan of chess, former captain and member of parliament, former minister and now mayor.
Nihal’s day began at the Glyvra Skuli, which is a part of the Runavik Municipality.
The organizers with Dr. Sarin and GM Srinath N.
The Simultaneous Exhibition begins at Glyvra Skuli which is a primary school with the lower classes (1st to 3rd grade — Faroese primary school has 10 grades).
The crowd begins to converge…
The kids obviously tried their best to match Nihal but it was not to be.
But Nihal surely made some ‘quality’ new fans!
The second stop was Runavikar Skuli which has 4th to 10th grade.
Here, Nihal had a Q/A session with the kids who were very interested to know about India and the life of a chessplayer in general.
Nihal finally moved on to a simul at the Klaksvik Chess Club.
Posing with the participants of the exhibition.
Nihal and Srinath closed the day with a bullet match, that was very close. It ended 2.0-2.0. The total score on the Faroese soil between these two was 7.0-7.0. Nihal and Srinath are playing an informal 102 game match of Blitz+Bullet games. Nihal leads 33.5-27.5.

Once again, we are very thankful to the Runavik Municipality and the Mayor Tórbjørn Jacobsen, and the Faroese Chess Federation led by Mr. Finnbjørn Vang for making Nihal’s trip possible.

It goes without saying that Nihal is eager to be back in the Faroese land next year.

Note: If you would like to host Nihal for a Simultaneous Exhibition or a Tournament, please write to and with your proposal.

How Devamatha CMI Public School is helping Nihal grow

If India has any chances to reach the top in sporting competitions, it needs a revolution. A revolution in the way people think about sports, approach sports, and also what we do for our sportspersons. And this revolution has to start at the entry point itself. In India, more often than not, these entry points are India’s schools.

A school’s responsibility is not limited to teaching its students’ life skills and lessons, nor is it just about coaching the kids. Most schools do that, and that is all. But in reality, if a school really has to make a difference, it has to support the student’s sporting ambitions in every way possible—by making sure that the student is well-funded, by taking special care of the student’s educational needs,  and also maintaining the right social environment around the child. True education is holistic and the child should not miss out on a childhood just because it has to focus on being the best in some sporting or other activity.

Luckily, for Nihal, Devamatha CMI Public School in Thrissur does everything they possibly can, while taking care of his education, etc., to raise him like a proper student, who happens to be good at chess.

Nihal does not need to worry about missing out on classes, or exams. The school is always there to support him and make sure he up to date with the studies by taking special care of him.

After Nihal became in International Master, the school invited him and his parents for a heart-warming felicitation that was attended by the entire school.

Devamatha CMI Public School, Thrissur, where Nihal studies.
Nihal with his teacher and friends. Nihal was felicitated by the authorities in school assembly, cheered by all the students of the institution.
A shy Nihal watching…
Before he is inundated with requests for selfies!
Nihal with (left to right) Devamatha CMI School Principal Rev. Fr. Shaju Edamana, Co-curricular Activities coordinator Mr. O.D. Varkey, Dr. Sarin (Nihal’s father) and Dr. Shijin (Nihal’s mother).
Near the institution building, the school had put up billboards celebrating Nihal’s success!

It was truly a very special moment to be a part of such a warm reception, but more importantly, it is even more special to be a student in such a caring school.

This is how schools in India should be, and this is how India can rise to become a sporting superpower.

Devamatha School Website

School Press Release on Nihal