Chess prodigy Ajitesh Nair on the cusp of history

By   |  Published: 9th Sep 2020  12:50 amUpdated: 8th Sep 2020  6:59 pm
Ajitesh Nair

Hyderabad: The longest known chess game by moves was played between Nikolic-Arsovic in 1989 which lasted 269 moves that took them 20 hours and 15 minutes. The game eventually ended in a draw. If everything goes well and he gets an official certification, Ajitesh Nair, an 11-year-old chess prodigy, is set to break the record.

He played out a draw against Linden Li in a match that lasted 319 moves during the 48th Annual World Open in the US. Ajitesh, whose FIDE rating is 1864, was part of this marathon match that lasted four hours, during the tournament played between August 7 and 9. Playing in an open category, he finished at a credible 48th position among 122 players with five points from nine rounds that includes three victories and four draws.

Ajitesh, however, said he had offered the draw thrice during the match. “I made some pan sacrifices but could not see a victory. I offered him a draw thrice but he didn’t take it. I claimed the draw through the tournament as the moves were repetitive,” said Ajitesh.

Despite the rating under 2,000, he chose to participate in the open category which consists of GMs and IMs. “My father wanted me to play with top players so I competed in the open category. And finishing 48th out of 122 was pretty good,” added the sixth grade student from Trent Middle School in Texas.

“When he told me about the game, I wanted to know what the longest game in history was. I was shocked to realise that this match was the longest. I wanted to make it official so I approached the US Chess Federation management and wrote an email to the executive committed. He asked me to reach the Guinness Book of Records and Limca Book of Records for the official certification. They will investigate it before granting a certificate,” said Ajitesh’s father Subhash Nair, who migrated from Mumbai to USA.

He further revealed that Ajitesh showed interest in chess at a tender age of six. “He was an introvert and was not open to talking to people. He started playing chess and I saw his keen interest in the game. I then enrolled him at a friend’s chess academy 64 Squares, run by Srinivas Kotaru. At the age of nine, he won the State championship in Texas and was ranked 20th in the US national ranking tournament the next year. I also want to upload the match on YouTube so that people can see,” he revealed.

Speaking about his goal, Ajitesh said, “My dream is to become a Grandmaster and then pursue medicine.”


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