Teen’s Target: GM in next 3 years
Express News Service
Last Updated : 18 Aug 2011 09:06:24 AM IST
KOCHI: This 13-year old has given himself three years to become a Grand Master. Those who have watched him closely believe he can do it in two years.
Promising chess talent S L Narayanan enjoyed his time at the SDAT-RAMCO 50th World Junior Chess Championship in Chennai. Having served notice of his capabilities scalping the top seed — GM B S Adhiban — in the second round, the unassuming lad had duly picked up his first International Master norm. Up against players rated much higher, he bagged six points from the first nine rounds, including four victories amidst four draws and a lone setback.
“I want to become a Grand Master in three years’ time,” said Narayanan. “I hope to play in enough tournaments to complete all three norms required to become an IM this year itself.”
Playing competitively since he was in standard three, Narayanan has made rapid strides in the last couple of years. After picking up a host of titles at the sub-junior level, the spotlight was truly thrust upon the quiet Narayanan when he claimed an under-12 silver in the Parsvnath Commonwealth Chess Championship in New Delhi last year. He also finished second in the sub-junior nationals earlier this year.
“Narayanan has the talent to make it big,” endorsed Kerala state champion and experienced campaigner M B Muralidharan.
“He is very relaxed and plays positively. He also has the natural ability to make innovations assessing the position on the board. If he gets the right training, he can become a really strong GM. Given the form he is in, it won’t be a surprise if he becomes a GM by age 15,” Muralidharan said. The Thiruvananthapuram boy’s long-time coach P Sreekumar, a former state champion, conceded that his gifted ward had moved beyond his realm. “He has grown far ahead of what the local coaches can provide,” Sreekumar said. “He needs specialized coaching from now on to realize his true potential.”
For that to happen, the little star — who played the junior worlds without a personal coach — will have to play quite a few GM tournaments in the next couple of years.
There lies the catch for the prodigy’s family. His father Sunil Dutt, having given up his job as a government contractor, has been accompanying his son on tours and confesses sponsorships are the only way forward for his son to achieve his dreams.
“I have been travelling with Narayanan for the last three years. It costs around `2 Lakh per year. In the next one year, it could go up to `5 Lakh as he is scheduled to play in the Asian and World Youth Championships apart from the under-16 Olympiad,” said Dutt, whose wife Lyna works with the LIC.