In a game filled with tales of child prodigies and in which an Indian is the undisputed world champion, Bihar’s three-year-old Pari Sinha has stolen everyone’s thunder.
Pari (meaning fairy) not only made her debut in a state-level chess competition, but also scored a podium finish by checkmating opponents twice her age.
Daughter of businessman Jay Prakash Sinha, the Patna girl was the youngest player at the recent state open chess championships held at the eastern Bihar town of Kishanganj.
The pre-nursery student, all of three years and two months, finished third in the under-7 age category.
"It’s a record for state chess by way of participation of the youngest ever contestant," said All Bihar Chess Association secretary Arvind Kumar Sinha. "I am writing to the All India Chess Federation to get Pari’s performance ratified as a national record."
Pari’s father, an accomplished state-level chess player, said, "You just can’t believe how well she plays until you have seen her do it."
Pari, however, has learnt the basics of India’s oldest game from her uncle Ved Prakash Sinha, a reputed national player. Ved said, "I am sure a day will come when she will beat me in a tournament."
Now, Pari trains under coach Subendu Chakraborty. Jay said he was acutely conscious of not pressuring her. However, he cannot hide his desire to see his daughter play chess "like (five-time) world champion Viswanathan Anand".