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Sarin Nihal
Photo credit: 
Number of games in database: 509
Years covered: 2014 to 2022
Last FIDE rating: 2620 (2418 rapid, 2657 blitz)

Overall record: +119 -56 =150 (59.7%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 184 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Queen's Pawn Game (44) 
    D02 A45 A46 D00 E00
 Reti System (19) 
    A06 A04
 Queen's Gambit Declined (18) 
    D37 D39 D35 D38 D30
 King's Indian (14) 
    E94 E97 E73 E71 E63
 Sicilian (13) 
    B92 B90 B40 B27 B32
 English (11) 
    A14 A15 A10 A13 A18
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (33) 
    B90 B33 B47 B48 B30
 Ruy Lopez (23) 
    C78 C84 C67 C65 C70
 Queen's Gambit Declined (18) 
    D39 D37 D31 D38 D35
 Queen's Pawn Game (16) 
    D02 A45 E10 A41 A40
 Caro-Kann (14) 
    B10 B12 B18 B13
 Catalan (12) 
    E04 E06
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Nihal vs Vachier-Lagrave, 2020 1-0
   Nihal vs Nikolozi Kacharava, 2021 1/2-1/2
   Nihal vs E Safarli, 2019 1-0
   Nihal vs Vachier-Lagrave, 2020 1-0
   Nihal vs B Adler, 2016 1-0
   Vachier-Lagrave vs Nihal, 2020 0-1
   Jobava vs Nihal, 2019 1/2-1/2
   Nihal vs Caruana, 2021 1/2-1/2
   Nihal vs A Ssegwanyi, 2021 1/2-1/2
   Guenther Huber-Delle vs Nihal, 2017 0-1

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Cappelle-La-Grande Open (2022) Speed Chess (2020)
   Sunway Sitges Open (2021)
   Sunway Sitges Open (2019)
   Rilton Cup 2017/18 (2017)
   Sharjah Masters (2019)
   World Cadets U12 (2016)
   Sunway Sitges Open (2018)
   Reykjavik Open (2018)
   Isle of Man Masters (2018)
   Isle of Man Masters (2017)
   MetLife Warsaw Najdorf Chess Festival (2017)
   Lindores Abbey Tal Mem (2021)
   Hasselbacken Open (2016)
   PRO League Group Stage (2019)

   🏆 44th Olympiad
   Nihal vs Bluebaum (Aug-09-22) 1-0
   N Yakubboev vs Nihal (Aug-08-22) 1/2-1/2
   R Mamedov vs Nihal (Aug-07-22) 1/2-1/2
   Nihal vs Aronian (Aug-06-22) 1/2-1/2
   Nihal vs Quesada Perez (Aug-05-22) 1-0

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Sarin Nihal
Search Google for Sarin Nihal
FIDE player card for Sarin Nihal

(born Jul-13-2004, 18 years old) India

[what is this?]

Grandmaster (2018).

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 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

References / Sources (2016 U 12 Cadet's), (2) (played for India's green team here), Wikipedia article: Nihal Sarin

Last updated: 2021-12-11 19:49:09

 page 1 of 22; games 1-25 of 534  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Nihal vs J Westerberg 1-0162014World Junior ChampionshipE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
2. T Kriebel vs Nihal ½-½652014World Junior ChampionshipC01 French, Exchange
3. Nihal vs B Csonka  ½-½442014World Junior ChampionshipD86 Grunfeld, Exchange
4. S Gagare vs Nihal  1-0252014World Junior ChampionshipA36 English
5. Nihal vs B Ider  0-1462014World Junior ChampionshipE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
6. P Patil vs Nihal  ½-½372014World Junior ChampionshipB22 Sicilian, Alapin
7. Nihal vs U Nasanjargal  0-1272014World Junior ChampionshipD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
8. G Kumar vs Nihal  ½-½352014World Junior ChampionshipC05 French, Tarrasch
9. Nihal vs Y Grahesh  1-0572014World Junior ChampionshipA43 Old Benoni
10. M Sidhant vs Nihal  ½-½902014World Junior ChampionshipD78 Neo-Grunfeld, 6.O-O c6
11. Nihal vs N Cabarkapa  0-1532014World Junior ChampionshipE94 King's Indian, Orthodox
12. Atharva Godbole vs Nihal  ½-½262014World Junior ChampionshipC02 French, Advance
13. Nihal vs Minul Sanjula Doluweera  0-1352014World Junior ChampionshipD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
14. Staffan Thomasson vs Nihal  0-1342016Hasselbacken OpenA00 Uncommon Opening
15. Nihal vs G Luna  1-0442016Hasselbacken OpenE11 Bogo-Indian Defense
16. S Mareco vs Nihal  1-0602016Hasselbacken OpenA33 English, Symmetrical
17. Nihal vs B Adler 1-0122016Hasselbacken OpenD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
18. D Ronneland vs Nihal  1-0622016Hasselbacken OpenE92 King's Indian
19. Nihal vs M Wecker  1-0472016Hasselbacken OpenD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
20. J Lundvik vs Nihal  ½-½352016Hasselbacken OpenE64 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav System
21. Nihal vs A Brzezinski 1-0292016Hasselbacken OpenA70 Benoni, Classical with 7.Nf3
22. Rozentalis vs Nihal 0-1632016Hasselbacken OpenB53 Sicilian
23. Romanishin vs Nihal  1-065201635th Zalakaros OpenA49 King's Indian, Fianchetto without c4
24. Szymon Palucha vs Nihal  0-1572016World Junior ChampionshipB90 Sicilian, Najdorf
25. Nihal vs Yinglun Xu  ½-½392016World Junior ChampionshipD58 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tartakower (Makagonov-Bondarevsky) Syst
 page 1 of 22; games 1-25 of 534  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Nihal wins | Nihal loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-20-14  fisayo123: So does he have the FM title now?
Premium Chessgames Member
Nov-06-15  BIDMONFA: Sarin Nihal

NIHAL, Sarin

Jun-03-16  fisayo123: This kid is a just as talented as Praggnanandhaa. He has such a pure and defined style for someone so young. Watch out for him.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: He is one year older than Praggnanandhaa and is about equally rated (and always was, apparently). So, there is a one year lag. But at this age it can matter nothing, we all remember how the Carlsen-Karjakin comparison developed over time :D
Mar-24-17  PhilFeeley: New notable game:

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Nihal Sarin, 11, is one of India’s brightest young stars. In this game, he displays an intuitive sense that it usually takes many years to develop.

Nihal Sarin is 11 years old and one of the biggest young talents in Indian chess. ... In the Hasselbacken Open in Sweden in early May, he scored a nice win over grandmaseter Eduardas Rozentalis of Lithuania Rozentalis vs Sarin Nihal, 2016 , but I was even more impressed by the following game against Adam Brzezinski of Sweden. Sarin Nihal vs A Brzezinski, 2016 Though both players missed some tactical tricks near the end, Sarin showed a great intuitive feel for the initiative.


Jun-21-17  todicav23: He is almost 13 years old and his elo is 2454. At 12.5 years old Judith Polgar was 2555 (in top 50 in the world at the time) and that was in 1989!

Don't get wrong, his achievements are very impressive. But he still needs to work very hard to get to the top.

Jul-02-17  fisayo123: <todicav23> Bit of a nonsensical kibitz. What was Carlsen's rating at the same age? I'm not sure it was above 2400. So your post makes no sense.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Tabanus: Good result at Northern Lights Open 2017 in Iceland (, but no GM norm.
Dec-04-17  Mirovsk: <fisayo123> at 12 years and 10 months Carlsen elo was 2450.... see <>
Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: In-depth analysis of this <2017 London Chess Classic Open> games: (in German) <, but no GM norm>, again.
Dec-20-17  todicav23: <fisayo123: <todicav23> Bit of a nonsensical kibitz. What was Carlsen's rating at the same age? I'm not sure it was above 2400. So your post makes no sense.>

How exactly does it not make sense? At 12.5 years old Judith Polgar was 2555. This is just a fact. And to get to the top you need to work very hard.

Dec-21-17  Chess Is More: <todicav23> It was a good post. Not nonsensical at all in my opinion. This kid's still got quite a long way to go, that's for sure.
Dec-21-17  Chess Is More: By the way, Carlsen's rating at age 13 was around 2500.
Aug-23-18  siamesedream:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Dionysius1: Nihal's a GM as of last Autumn. I don't know if someone specific looks after his bio but...
Jan-18-19  gokusano: Rating is unreliable when some specific variants are involve. Anyway, ratings of top players and soon to be top players are almost close to being equal in their same age level of development. It is their ascend to the top which will give us kibitzers some satisfaction. And there are many promising youngsters from USA, India, Iran, China, and Russia who are about to challenge those elite of today.
May-05-19  Nisjesram: <The youngest chess player to have crossed 2600 is John Burke from USA. But somehow his achievement cannot really be taken seriously as he jumped from 2258 in July 2015 to 2603 in August 2015 with a k-factor of 40. The actual youngest player in the history of the game to have crossed 2600 is Wei Yi who did it at the age of 14 years, 4 months and 30 days. Nihal Sarin is the second youngest player to have crossed 2600 at the age of 14 years and 10 months>


Sep-11-19  mckmac: Nihal Sarin playing well at the FIDE World Cup. His reported 100k per year sponsorship by an organic milk company is great news for him.

May-14-21  Whitehat1963: Unfortunate name that probably got him an FBI file.
Premium Chessgames Member
  harrylime: with Firouzia carlsen's main threats .
Jul-08-21  Albertan: Serbia Open:Kovalenko and Nihal in the lead:
Jul-09-21  Albertan: Nihal Sarin wins the Serbia chess open:

Jul-13-21  Albertan: Sarin wins back-to-back tournaments,enters top 100:

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