Marital Status: Unmarried
Age: 18 Years
Hometown: Thrissur, Kerala
|Known for||Being the fourth youngest player to cross the Elo rating mark of 2600 at the age of fourteen in 2019|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters– 161 cm
in meters– 1.61 m
in feet & inches– 5’ 3”
|FIDE rating||2651 (August 2022)|
|Ranking||No. 98 (August 2022)|
• World Blitz Under-10 Championship (2013)
• Asian Youth Under-10 Championship (2014)
• Asian Youth Blitz Chess Championship (2014)
• World Youth Chess Olympiad, individual category (2017)
• FIDE Online Chess Olympiad (2020)
• World Youth Chess Under-12 Championship (2015)
• Asian Teams Online Championship (2020)
|Awards||• 2016: National Child Award For Exceptional Achievement
• 2020: Gazprom Brilliancy Prize
|Date of Birth||13 July 2004 (Tuesday)|
|Age (as of 2022)||18 Years|
|School||Excelsior English School, Kottayam
Devamatha CMI Public School, Thrissur
|Relationships & More|
Father– Sarin Abdulsalam (dermatologist)
Mother– Shijin Ammanam Veetil Ummar (psychiatrist)
|Siblings||Sister– Neha Sarin|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Nihal Sarin
- Nihal Sarin is an Indian chess player and a chess prodigy who is known for being the fourth youngest player to cross the Elo rating mark of 2600 at the age of fourteen in 2019.
- Surprisingly, at the age of three, he was able to recognize the capitals and the flags of 190 countries. He was also able to recite the scientific names of insects and plants.
- When he was in upper kindergarten, he was able to communicate in English fluently. He was six years old when he enrolled in class one. He also knew multiplication tables in class one.
- He used to live in Kottayam before he shifted to Kerala in 2011. Nihal learned chess at the age of six during his vacations. His father introduced him to chess and his grandfather A. A. Ummar taught him the rules of chess. After his summer vacations, he was trained once a week by his school coach Mathew P. Joseph Pottoore.In an interview, he talked about this and said,
After I learnt to play chess from my grandfather, I was lucky to be in a school where chess was taught as a subject. My first successes were the usual ones — win state-level tournaments, national-level events, and world youth medals. Then I began to beat grandmasters. I keep playing as much as possible and I try to win all the games.”
- He played his first tournament at the age of six and had to sit on three chairs to reach the table.
- In 2011, he won the Kerala state championship in the U-7 category, U-9 category twice, U-11 category twice and U-15 category once.
- He became state under-19 runner-up twice, at the age of eight and at the age of ten.
- In 2013, he became the U-9 champion in Chennai.
- In 2014, he received the title of Candidate Master (CM) by FIDE at the World Youth Chess Championship in the Under-10 category.
- In 2015, he was given the title of FIDE Master by the World Chess Federation for crossing the Elo rating of 2300.
- In 2015, he became the runner-up in State Senior Championship and became eligible to represent Kerala in the National Challengers Championship 2015.
- In 2016, he played the first international tournament, Cappelle la Grande Open and registered his first International Master norm.
- On 8 May 2016, his game at the Hasselbacken Open was dubbed as ‘Game of the Day’ by the website Chess-DB.
- In 2016, he registered for his second International Master norm at the Sunway Sitges Open.
- He registered his third International norm in the Aeroflot B Open 2017.
- He remained undefeated in the TV2 Fagernes International 2017 tournament and his ELO rating increased from 2300 to 2500.
- He received his first grandmaster title in Hasselbacken Open in 2016. He received his second grandmaster norm in 2018 at Reykjavik Open.
- In July 2018, he made his debut at the Isbank Turkish Super League.
- In August 2018, he became the 53rd grandmaster of India and the twelfth youngest at the Abu Dhabi Masters tournament.
- In 2018, he competed in TATA Steel Rapid Championship against Viswanathan Anand. After the event, Viswanathan Anand talked about Nihal in an interview and said,
Going by the evidence so far, I would not rule it out (Nihal becoming a world champion in future). It’s a long journey forward. At the end, he is just 14. I felt that he would really struggle in this tournament and he would be a bit out of place. It seemed the opposite. He seemed quite comfortable here. Not fully there, but he’s a huge talent what I’ve seen of him.”
- In 2019, he became the first youngest Indian to play in the World Cup 2019.
- In January 2020, he made his debut in the TATA Steel Challengers tournament. In the same year, he also won the Junior Speed Chess Championship (JSCC), Capechecs Online, Super Juniors Cup and World Youth Chess Championship 2020.
- In December 2020, he was given the title of the under-18 World Youth Chess Champion.
- In 2020, he won the World Online Youth Championships in the Under-18 category.
- In April 2021, he got a chance to receive training sessions from Judit Polgár and Vladimir Kramnik.
- On 19 April 2021, he became one of the two players who defeated world champion, Magnus Carlsen, in a Blitz format
- In June 2021, he stood first in the Silver Lake Open. In July 2021, he won the Serbia Open Masters. In October 2021, he won the Junior Speed Chess Championship.
- Nihal was trained by different coaches, but after receiving training from E.P. Nirmal in 2013 he started winning tournaments. He has received training under Dimitri Komarov, Srinath Narayanan, and Viswanathan Anand.
- He contributes to promoting chess by organizing various exhibitions.
- In 2015, he was a guest competitor in the Malayalam TV quiz show Aswamedham, which aired on Kairali TV.
- In 2018, he contributes Rs. 1, 74,463 as aid to Kerala floods through a live YouTube show.
- He is sponsored by Akshayakalpa, an Indian Organic Milk Company since 2019.
- He raises funds for various charitable causes through YouTube live.
- In an interview, he talked about his experience of the online chess olympiad he attended in 2020 and said,
I did have certain advantages in terms of faster time controls. But my opponents were equally efficient as most of them have some experience playing online. It is all about handling pressure moments consistently. Of course, chances of cheating are higher online but the organisers take precautions to avoid the same. It would be best to constantly improve anti-cheating measures.”