Candidate Master (2014); FIDE Master (2015); International Master (2017); World U10 Champion (2014). At the 2016 WYCC (U12 cadet's section), Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, Andrew Z Hong and Vincent Keymer and he all tied (behind Nikhil Kumar who won) with scores of 8.5/11. He scored 5.5 points in seven played games at the WYCO(2) in 2017.
Equal first (silver on tiebreak behind Mahammad Muradli) at the World U12 Championship 2015 in Halkidiki, with a score of 9/11.
n February 2016, Nihal played his first International Open outside India — the prestigious Cappelle la Grande Open — and registered his first International Master norm. In the process, he defeated a grandmaster for the first time in his career.
In Hasselbacken Open 2016 held at the turn of April in Stockholm, Nihal beat Lithuanian grandmaster Eduardas Rozentalis. The database website Chess-DB dubbed this performance as the ‘Game of the Day' on 8 May 2016.
At the Sunway Sitges Open 2016, Nihal registered his second International Master norm by scoring 5½/9. His third International Norm was registered in the Aeroflot B Open 2017 held in February, where Nihal scored 5½/9 as well, performing at 2539, to cross the 2400-mark and become an International Master.
At the TV2 Fagernes International 2017, Nihal tied for the second place to finish with 6.0/9. He was fourth on the tiebreak and stayed undefeated throughout the tournament. In the process, he scored his maiden Grand Master norm. In 2017, Nihal increased his rating by 192 elo points to cross 2500 in rating.
At Reykjavik Open 2018 held in March, Nihal scored 6.0/9 with a rating performance of 2668 to score his second GM norm. The average rating of his opponents was 2543. He scored wins against grandmasters Ahmed Adly and Elshan Moradiabadi and drew with Richard Rapport, Gata Kamsky and Mustafa Yilmaz.
Nihal made his debut at the Isbank Turkish Super League in July 2018, leading the team Genc Akademisyenler on the first board. He scored 6.0/12 against an opposition made up of an average rating of 2590.
At the Abu Dhabi Masters 2018 held in August, Nihal tallied 5½/9 with a rating performance of 2626 to secure his third GM norm. He became the 53rd grandmaster of India and the twelfth youngest in history at the time.
Nihal made his debut in a super-tournament by competing in the TATA Steel Rapid Championship 2018. Starting as the last seed, Nihal scored 3.0/9, with draws against Viswanathan Anand, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Sergey Karjakin, Pentala Harikrishna, Vidit Gujrathi, and Surya Shekhar Ganguly, losing only three games to Hikaru Nakamura, Levon Aronian, and Wesley So. The event marked Nihal's first game against the legendary five-time world champion Anand who graciously commented after the game, "Going by the evidence so far, I would not rule it out (Nihal becoming a world champion in future). It's a long journey forward. At the end, he is just 14. I felt that he would really struggle in this tournament and he would be a bit out of place. It seemed the opposite. He seemed quite comfortable here. Not fully there, but he's a huge talent what I've seen of him." Anand was quoted as saying by PTI.
Nihal ended 2018 with a spectacular performance at the World Blitz Championship in Saint Petersburg, Russia where he scored 13½/21 with a rating performance of 2777, taking the 11th place on tiebreak.
In the 2019 TePe Sigeman & Co. Masters tournament held in Malmo, Sweden, Nihal scored a solid 3.0/7 and finished 6th place to cross the 2600 Elo mark in rating. He was the third youngest player in history and the youngest Indian to do so at the time. At the 2019 French Team Chess Championship, Nihal scored 6.0/11 on the first board and helped Mulhouse Philidor finish a historic third place. In 2019, aged 15, Nihal had become the youngest Indian to play in the World Cup 2019 where he managed to reach the second round after beating Peruvian Jorge Cori 2–0 in the first round. In the second round, Nihal managed to beat Azeri GM Eltaj Safarli in what the World Champion described as 'a perfect game'.5 Nihal lost the second round and the tiebreakers to crash out of the tournament.
In January 2020, Nihal made his debut in the TATA Steel Challengers tournament and scored 7.0/13 to share the sixth spot. Nihal was an integral part of the Indian Chess Team that won the FIDE Online Chess Olympiad 2020.
After the Online Chess Olympiad 2020, Nihal's spectacular run of wins continued with him winning the Junior Speed Chess Championship (JSCC) conducted by Chess.com. Just a few weeks later he went to win the Capechecs Online Trophy on October 25, 2020. He also helped the Indian team win the silver medal at the Asian Teams Online Championship 2020. On December 10, Nihal registered his third successful win by defeating Arjun Erigaisi in the finals of the Super Juniors Cup organized by Chessbase India His fourth tournament win for the year 2020 came after he defeated GM Shant Sargsyan of Armenia in the finals of the World Youth Chess Championship 2020 held online and organized by FIDE.43 He was crowned under-18 World Youth Chess Champion on 22 December 2020, and won the Gazprom Brilliancy Prize for his game against IM Francesco Sonis.
In April 2021, Nihal participated in the Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour, becoming one of 19 young chess players who were selected to receive training sessions from Judit Polgár and Vladimir Kramnik as well as participating in a number of head-to-head games against various grandmasters. On April 19, 2021, the 19 participants faced off against current world champion Magnus Carlsen in a Blitz format with 3 minutes being allotted per move with no time increment. Nihal was among two of the 19 participants who were able to defeat Carlsen in the event while one other player was able to hold him to a draw. This game marked Nihal's first victory against the world champion in an official event. Nihal had previously beaten Carlsen in an unofficial online Blitz game on May 27, 2020, prompting the world champion to remark that Nihal was "one of the young guns" and "one of the better blitz players around".
In June 2021, playing the Silver Lake Open in Serbia, his first over the board tournament since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, Nihal Scored 8.0/9 with a 2807 Rating Performance to comfortably take first place. In July 2021, Nihal won his second consecutive tournament by winning the Serbia Open Masters in Belgrade with 7.5/9 and a rating performance of 2786.
In October 2021, Nihal defeated Raunak Sadhwani 17.5 - 10.5 to win the Junior Speed Chess Championship organized by chess.com.
References / Sources
http://www.e2e4.ge/ (2016 U 12 Cadet's), (2) http://www.chess-results.com/tnr319... (played for India's green team here), Wikipedia article: Nihal Sarin