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Tiny hands, big moves

Playing with white, Aryan, who had lost his previous matches, started the game with E4, an E Regular opening popularly known as King pawn opening, reports Anupma Tripathi.

other Updated: Jan 15, 2008 23:03 IST
Anupma Tripathi

THE SIGHT of some 200 players in competition greets the eye as one enters the arena. You see a boy concentrating on his game and promptly noting down the moves. His sincerity is enough to arouse your curiosity. Delving deeper throws up another fact - the boy in question is the youngest at the Parsvanath chess tournament.

Meet Aryan Bhatia, a six-and-a-half-year-old, who beat his opponent, a Pakistani, almost thrice his age in the fifth round at the Modern School, Barakhamba Road, on Tuesday.

Playing with white, Aryan, who had lost his previous matches, started the game with E4, an E Regular opening popularly known as King pawn opening. In reply, Khan Haroon Aziz moved nc6 (knight to c6) that allowed Aryan to capture his pawn and the move shaped his victory.

Though Aryan made quite a few mistakes after the good opening, he came back strongly in the middlegame and one could see Aziz wiping his brow as he got stuck.

Aziz was full of praise for his tiny opponent. "He played very well. I wonder what he is doing on the backbench. India has never had a dearth of talent," said the unrated Pakistani.

"Aryan checkmated my king and took charge of the central position which allowed me very room to move my pieces," he continued.

Aryan, who has participated in the Delhi state u-7 championship, revealed he is yet to win a tournament. "I've won games and need to improve on my endgame," he said.

A student of Venkateshwara International School in Dwarka, Aryan makes it a point to be present whenever a tournament comes to town.

Said the senior Bhatia, "We take him to all tournaments in the city and he enjoys watching the action."

Asked to spell out his ambition, Aryan had a ready answer, "I want to be like Anand."

Ehsan plays out draw

In another match, top seed Ghaem Maghami Ehsaan of Iran drew with GM Safin Shukhrat of Uzbekistan. "I think I was a bit tired after playing two back-to-back rounds. I did not give my 100 per cent and need to improve on this front."