Chess tournament: P Shyaamnilkhil becomes India's 85th Grandmaster after 12-year-long wait

Chess tournament: P Shyaamnilkhil becomes India's 85th Grandmaster after 12-year-long wait

P Shayaamnikhil, a 31-year-old chess player from Nagarcoil, Tamil Nadu, has been crowned as India's 85th Grandmaster at the Dubai Police Masters chess tournament. Despite several missed opportunities, his perseverance finally paid off as he clinically clinched his third and final Grandmaster norm.


P Shayaamnikhil became India's 85th Grandmaster in the Dubai Police Masters chess tournament.

Completing his third and final GM norm in the just-concluded tournament, Shayaamnikhil who had taken to the sport as an eight-year-old ended his 12-year-wait to clinch the top spot.

The 31-year-old conjured the requisite 2500 ELO rating points, the minimum requirement to be a GM, way back in 2012 with two Grandmaster norms but for the third one, he had to wait for 12 years. He required just one win and eight draws to complete the GM title.

"I started playing at the age of eight, my parents taught me but I could not play any tournament for three years. Winning the under-13 State championship opened up opportunities for me as I could play Asian and age group world championship," recalled Shayaamnikhil who hails from Nagarcoil in Tamil Nadu.

"He shifted his base to Chennai to pursue chess despite coming from a modest background and stayed with me," said his former coach K Visweswaran about Shayaamnikhil who is known as one of the finest talents of his time.

Making his first GM norm in Mumbai Mayors Cup 2011 and the second one during the Indian championship as a 19-year-old, Shayaamnikhil completed the rating requirement in early 2012.

He missed a big chance to score his final norm in the Dubai open in 2012 and then followed a series of missed opportunities led to a long draught in his career.

"It was only in 2017 that I played tournaments in Europe, till then I was trying to play in Vietnam or UAE trying to make the final norm but these places are not so easy as the tournaments are very strong," he said.

The 2022 Commonwealth champion said that he had come here prepared and missed a norm again in a tournament in France just before the Dubai Police Masters.

"I needed a win in the last round but I drew again and missed the norm again," he said, adding, “I wanted to play Chess as enjoyment, I like Mikhail Tal and Garry Kasparov. I would like to dedicate this to my parents, who have waited a long time for this title, my trainer Visweswaran sir also helped a great deal.”

"Now that the title is done, I can play more freely," he concluded.

Edited By: Avantika
Published On: May 13, 2024