Chess is synonymous with Viswanathan Anand in India but eight-year-old Commonwealth under-10 champion Aryan Chopra prefers to look elsewhere for inspiration and considers Norwegian prodigy Magnus Carlsen as his idol.
The Delhi-based player, who aspires to become a Grandmaster as quickly as he can, looks upto the 18-year-old Carlsen, who is the third youngest GM in the history of the game and is currently world number one.
In fact, Aryan considers Carlsen "the Super Grandmaster." "I idolise Carlsen. He rose from a humble background and fought against all difficulties to be an achiever at a very young age," he said.
Interestingly, Carlsen was in Anand's team when the Indian veteran beat Bulgaria's Veselin Topalov to retain the World title earlier this month. Aryan's triumph in Commonwealth Championships came just a few days after Anand's win over Topalov.
The youngster's mother said Aryan put in upto eight hours of practice everyday to clinch the gold medal. "It was a continuous process. After March, he started preparing for the game. For two months, six to eight hours of practice everyday was part of his preparation for the big day," the eight-year-old's mother Mamta Chopra told PTI.
After clinching the gold medal in the under-10 category, the little champion's next target is the coveted Grandmaster norm. A minimum of 2,600 Elo points are needed to attain the Grandmaster norm. National and international tournaments scheduled for this year are on his radar too.
The child prodigy also wants to be a world champion and he wants to keep the title for as long as possible. When asked about his style on the board, Aryan said, "I play tactical and attacking games." Aryan's tryst with the 64 square board began two years ago when his family friends introduced him to Chess. The child has developed an interest in the game over these two years, informed his mother.
"Since the age of six, he had a knack for the sport. He was curious about the game. He used to sit with the chessboard and move the pieces," Mamta said. Aryan Chopra won the gold in the under-10 category. Y Grahesh and Nitish Belurkar were the silver and bronze medallists respectively.