Lalith is inching closer to the Super Grandmaster title - a title which is conferred on those who reach 2600 ELO points
For Grandmaster M.R. Lalith Babu, finishing joint first in the Kolkata GM tourney gave the much-needed fillip to prepare for the future tournaments with more focus.
The city lad, a final year B.Com student of P.B. Siddhartha Arts and Science College, took part in the prestigious Alekhine GM tournament in which 16 GMs from India and 22 GMs from over 10 countries vied for the honour.
“Lalith and Philippines’ Barbosa Oliver garnered 7.5 points each out of nine rounds and in the Buchholz tie-break, the lad from the East pipped Lalith,” said Musunuri Padma, mother of Grandmaster.
Emerging a joint first helped Lalith earn nine ELO points which brought him closer to the Super Grandmaster title - a title which is conferred on those who reach the coveted 2600 mark.
“Lalith, who was 2585, enhanced his rating by 2594 and he requires just another six to become the Super Grandmaster. In India there are nine Super GMs that include Vijayawada’s Koneru Humpy,” says Khasim of Global Chess Academy. Lalith, after the Kolkata assignment will be reaching Mangalore to play an inter-oil companies tourney.
“I lost to Deepan Chakravarthy in the third round and drew with IM Prasanna Raghuram Rao. My hard-fought win against Vidit Gujarathi helped me finish on top,” says Lalith.Fighting against odds
The story of this chess prodigy a curious one for he, against several odds, is pursuing his passion at the highest level. Barring Andhra Cricket Association, which funded him for three trips abroad, others have yet to take him seriously. “After Humpy it is Lalith who reached the heights in chess from Vijayawada. It is the responsibility of the denizens to help him achieve more glory for the city and the country,” feels V.R. Bobba, chief coach at Mustabada Chess Academy.Sharjah-bound
Lalith, after his Mangalore sojourn, will be head for Sharjah to play in the Asian Continental Tourney, a qualifying meet for World Cup and he is eagerly anticipating some philanthropist to help him out. “I am putting my parents to trouble every time I travel abroad for tournaments. If I can get a job in some oil company, I will take care of myself. In fact I am keen on getting a job than extending my name in the mind game, says the desperate 20-year-old chess champ.