Nihal Sarin, on Wednesday, became India’s 53rd Grandmaster after a draw against Uzbekistan’s Temur Kuybokarov in the eighth round of the Abu Dhabi Masters chess.
Nihal, 14, is third Grandmaster from Kerala after GN Gopal and SL Narayanan. He currently has an ELO rating of 2556.
Nihal closed in on his final Grandmaster norm on Monday after settling for a draw with Romanian Grandmaster Constantin Lupulescu in the seventh round.
The draw, in 21 moves, took Nihal’s tally to 5.5 points. His average rating of opponents is 2545, for which 5.5/9 is enough for a GM norm.
The 14-year-old just needs Hungarian GM Richard Rapport (Elo rating 2719) to turn up in the ninth and last round, and he will officially become India’s 53rd GM even if he loses the match.
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Ukraine’s Anton Korobov, with seven points, is leading the table with just one more round to go.
A draw against Chinese Grandmaster Wang Hao kept Aravindh Chithambaram in contention for the podium finish. Aravindh has six points after eight rounds. Debashis Das also has six points after a victory against Mads Andersen of Denmark.