He maybe the lowest-rated in the six-player field, but Parimarjan Negi is determined not to get flustered. Participating in the AICF-AAI Cup, a category 18 chess meet for grandmasters to be played in a double round robin format, the local player is excited."The key will be the start," says the bespectacled youngster. "I have to start strong. Then, it will become easier to dominate."
After a great start this season when he became the youngest Asian individual champion in May, things haven't really turned out the way Negi had predicted. His aim was to breach 2700 ELO rating points mark. The ratings denote the strength of a player. A few of the very best in the world are rated around 2800. Unfortunately for
Negi, in the following months he lost points and is currently at 2638. “It has been disappointing since the World Chess Olympiad. I have been struggling in the second half of the season. In some tournaments, I was unable to convert a winning situation while in some, especially in China, I simply collapsed," the 19-year-old explains.
Does the fact that the other five in the event are higher rated, bother him? “Ratings have never intimidated me. I usually play better against higher ranked players,” he says confidently.