Magnus Carlsen got there at 15 years and two months. Now, at 14 years and 10 months, Indian chess prodigy, Grandmaster Nihal Sarin has crossed 2600 Elo in the live rating list, becoming the youngest-ever Indian and second-youngest in history to do so.
Sarin has gone past the previous Indian record held by Parimarjan Negi, who touched 2600 Elo at 15 years and 11 months, by a year. The youngest player in history to cross 2600 is Wei Yi at 14 years, 4 months and 30 days.
"I'm obviously happy. But I understand that more work is to be done," Sarin told ESPN. "I have observed that there are certain things on the board the top players are able to do consistently well. I should improve a lot more."
Elo rating system in chess is a method used to demonstrate relative skills and strength of players. In 2014, Carlsen became the highest-rated player in the history of chess when he attained an Elo of 2882.
Sarin went into the eight-player Sigeman & Co Tournament in Malmo, Sweden with a rating of 2598, and two draws in the first two rounds -- against GM Ivan Saric and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu -- helped him win a point each and cross the 2600 mark.
Introduced to chess by his grandfather when he was seven to rein in his restless, boyish energy, Nihal went on to win the Asian U-10 rapid and blitz titles. He also took home the World U-10 blitz title and was crowned U-10 Classical World champion in September 2014. He turned International Master at 12 years and 8 months, the same age at which Carlsen also achieved the feat, becoming the third-youngest in the world then to do so.
In August 2018, Sarin turned Grandmaster after winning his third norm at the Abu Dhabi Masters with 5.5 points from nine matches with a round to spare.