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Vishy Anand welcomes Nihal Sarin to the 2600 club!

by Sagar Shah - 03/06/2019

On 1st of June, at the age of 14 years and 10 months Nihal Sarin crossed 2600 on the published FIDE rating list. He became the third youngest player in the history of the game after Wei Yi and John Burke to cross 2600. Currently he is the youngest 2600+ player in the world. Of course this achievement is phenomenal and has lot to do with the consistency with which Nihal is improving as a player. Nihal's rating and results are enough to gauge his humongous talents, but it is always nice to get affirmation of this fact from a five-time World Champion. On 2nd of June, Vishy Anand tweeted, "Nihal has made a lot of progress in the last year. His tenacity and focus is commendable." 

On 1st of June 2019, Nihal Sarin officially breached the 2600 Elo mark by gaining a total of 8 Elo points and moving from 2598 to 2606. He gained two Elo points at the Tepe Sigeman & Co. and six Elo points at the French Top 12 League.

Nihal's profile on FIDE website

Here are some of the important points marked in the above image in red:

1. Nihal's standard rating is 2606. This makes him the youngest 2600 player at this point on the planet! He is the third youngest in the history of the game after Wei Yi and John Burke.

2. Nihal's blitz rating is 2654. This makes him India no.3 in blitz behind Vishy Anand and Vidit Gujrathi. He is ahead of Harikrishna, Adhiban, Ganguly, Sethuraman, Sasikiran on the blitz rating list.

3. He is no.1 in under-16 players in India and no.2 in Asia and the world behind Alireza Firouzja

4. His national ranking in classical chess is already nine. Who knows by 2020, he might well be part of the Indian Olympiad team!

5. His world ranking is 212.

Vishy Anand congratulates Nihal Sarin

Vishy Anand has inspired a generation of chess players in India with his performance. He continues doing that, but now he has also began to motivate the youngsters in different ways.

Recently Vishy has invited young talents to his home and indulged in a some light training with them. Here you can see Gukesh and Praggnanandhaa discussing a position with Vishy in his training room.

After Nihal achieved the feat of 2600, Anand tweeted on the next day:

These words of encouragement coming from a five-time World Champion can do Nihal's confidence a world of good. In fact Anand has already faced Nihal over the board. The duo crossed swords with each other at the Tata Steel Chess Rapid 2019 where the youngster was quite close to getting the better of Anand.

The full video of the Anand vs Nihal Sarin game

Nihal, the speed monster!

Blitz and bullet cannot really be a foolproof measure of a player's talent. However, it is a good basis on which we can judge how good the intuition of a chess player really is. When it comes to shorter formats of the game Nihal Sarin has proved that he is really good at it and this can be seen amply from the videos that were taken when Nihal was visiting the ChessBase office just a fortnight ago in Hamburg.

Blitz chess with Arne Bracker (2201) at the Hamburg ChessBase headquarters
Bullet Chess with GM Srinath Narayanan Part I
Bullet Chess with GM Srinath Narayanan part II

Nihal Sarin is slated to take part in the Asian Continental which begins from 7th of June 2019. A finish in top five will give him an entry into the World Cup. It's going to be a tough field with a lot of experienced players there. It will be interesting to see how Nihal fares.


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