Sahaj Grover is India’s Youngest International Master

Norm and points earned at Le Touquet International Open Chess tournament

Former U10 world champion Sahaj Grover became India’s youngest International Master, winning the final round game against the higher-rated Nicolas Clery to finish fifth in the Le Touquet International Open Chess tournament.

Sahaj was the cynosure of all eyes in a strong field comprising seven Grandmasters and eight International Masters. The class IX student started with two wins, including a spectacular effort against Grandmaster Vyacheslav Ikonnikov of Russia and five draws and a couple of more wins later, he assured himself of his sixth International Master norm which was inconsequential.

Though just 2288 as per ELO ratings of September 2009, Sahaj gained the required points to scale his rating well past the 2400 mark.

It was an easy ride for Sahaj after he won against Ikonikkov in the second round, which also got him the award for the best game of the day. A spate of draws followed, including one against eventual champion IM Jean Noel Riff, and in the last two rounds the 14-year old was in his element once again as he tormented Frenchman Christan Kieffer in the penultimate round and cruised past Nicolas Clery – ranked 86 points higher than him in current FIDE list – in his final effort.

“It was a good tournament for me as I went unbeaten and got my second best result ever after the GM norm in Kolkata,” Sahaj said after winning the last round.

Full article on The Times of India. Thanks to Jagdish Dube.