16-yr-old Rahul Gurung holds former Russian champ to a draw Teen also wins in his category at Kathma

Gangtok, 23 Apr:

Sixteen-year-old Rahul Gurung has achieved what chess-players his age, and of his brief experience, can only dream of – holding an experienced Grand Master to a draw in a tournament setting. Rahul cannot stop beaming about this dream encounter when he former Russian champion, experienced Grand Master Sergey Volkov, to a draw in Round-2 of the Kathmandu Open Grand Master Chess Championship 2018 held from 12 to 17 April in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Rahul Gurung hails from Lumsey in East Sikkim and is currently the North-East champion.

Addressing a press conference here today, Rahul expressed immense happiness on playing a draw against such an experienced GM.

“This tournament is really special for me as I got to not only play against a Grand Master for the first time in my chess career, but also managed to hold him to a draw. The appreciation received on this achievement in the tournament has boosted my confidence to practice even harder for future competitions,” he shares.

A two-member team of Sikkim Chess Association comprising of Rahul and Thendup Tamang had participated in this prestigious tournament. They were accompanied by SCA general secretary, Mahendra Dhakal, as the team manager. The tournament had the participation of 216 players from 20 countries.

Mr Dhakal informs that Rahul was in fact in a winning position but due to time constraints, the game finally ended in a draw.

“Grand Master Sergey Volkov was the top-seeded player in the tournament and to hold him to a draw is really a big achievement for Rahul. Now, everyone is looking at the State with the hope that it will produce International Masters in the near future,” he said.

Rahul also became the champion in his category of 1700 to 2000 rating of the tournament and also improved his rating by 55 to increase his rating to 2020.

Rahul has been practicing hard to become the first International Master from the north-east region. Rahul aims to achieve this over the next two years.