Check-mated by a grandmaster

Year 10’s Rishul Karia is hoping his experience of taking on a chess grandmaster will help him to improve his own game.

The 14-year-old went up against five-time World Chess Champion, Viswanathan Anand, in the Super Rapidplay Open at the London Chess Classic at Olympia. Anand, who was undisputed World Champion from 2007-2013, is currently ranked sixth in the world.

And although he lost, Rishul relished the opportunity: “It was an amazing experience, even though I don’t think I played very well,” he told the Barnet and Potters Bar Times. It was really interesting to see how a grandmaster thinks; I learned a great deal from playing against him and he had a chat with me afterwards to help me.”

The first round of the competition gave young people the opportunity to take on one of 30 grandmasters, many of whom took the time to encourage their opponents.

“He told me that I could have tried a trick to keep the game going, rather than lose straight away,” said Rishul. “He thought I could have got into the game a bit more; but there was a bit of pressure and I made a mistake.”

Rishul was introduced to chess by his father and has been playing for 10 years. “I love the tactical thinking it involves. I’m glad I had a go and want to keep getting better; maybe one day I could be a grandmaster.”

He has represented the School regularly in both regional and national competitions, and was part of the U12 team which won the National Schools’ Chess Championships in Somerset.

The London Classic is staged by Chess in Schools and Communities, a registered charity whose mission is to increase children’s educational attainment and foster their social development by teaching chess in state primary schools and inner city communities.