Thumbnail photo by Maria Emelianova/ Chess.com
London Chess Classic has been traditionally creating a wonderful chess environment for players, it is a perfect platform for young and upcoming talents. There are simultaneous exhibitions, Grandmaster lectures and of course world’s top class players contending in Grand Chess Tour. It’s always an honour to play next to the elite.
Nihal started the London Chess Classic FIDE Open on a good note. Here are few pictures showcasing the environment.
The FIDE Open was a pretty strong tournament, Nihal started off as a 22nd seeded player.
First four rounds ended in little “Taz’s” favour.
The fourth game kept him in hooks as he was paired against top-seeded player—GM Hrant Melkumyan. Hrant showed his strength and class to take home the point. Nevertheless, playing the game proved to be a valuable experience.
The sixth round game was against compatriot Raja Harshit. Nihal fared well with white.
The second GM norm is so close yet so far. At the end of sixth round, he needed 2 points to score the norm but luck has not been in his favour. The seventh and eight rounds were tough and at the same time crucial. All three games ended in a draw. Nonetheless, these are his favourite games of the tournament.
On a positive note, the European trip ended with the thirteen-year-old collecting a bunch of rating points. His live rating is 2517!
Nihal is back in India. He is currently playing the World Youth U16 Olympiad— his second tournament on home soil this year, the previous one was ChessMine Rapid & Blitz in August. His teammates are Praggnananadhaa, Aryan Chopra, Vaishali and Iniyan.