Nihal Sarin, the 14-year-old international chess player from Kerala, on Tuesday, became India’s 53rd grandmaster after attaining his third and final GM-norm in the Abu Dhabi Masters. Nihal reached the stipulated rating of 2500 to be a grandmaster. Nihal has now become the third Grandmaster from Kerala, following GN Gopal and SL Narayanan.
Nihal became the grandmaster despite losing the ninth and the final round to Richard Rapport of Hungary. During the eighth round, Nihal drew in 21 moves with Temur Kuybokarov from Uzbekistan to reach 5.5 points and attain the norm.
During Abu Dhabi Masters, Nihal defeated fellow Indians Niranjan Navalgund, Chinmay Kulkarni and Australian IM Junta Ikeda in the initial rounds. In the subsequent rounds, he performed brilliantly against Georgian GM Ivan Cheparinov and Romanian GM Mirea-Emilian Parligras. Nihal has now 2556 rating points.