All of six, Dev Shah of Dhirubhai Ambani International (BKC) won hearts with a third place finish against boys much bigger than him, in the U-10 category of the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) inter-school chess tournament at IES Raja Shivaji Vidyasankul in Dadar yesterday.
Faiz Khan of Marble Arch School (Oshiwara) won the gold medal, while U-9 Maharashtra champion Ruhaan Mahendru finished second. Dev, a Class I student, won a gold and a silver medal in the U-7 category at the 9th Asian Schools chess championships at Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka in September.
The student of the South Mumbai Chess Academy will represent India in the prestigious World Schools Chess Championship to be conducted by the World Chess Federation at Lima, Peru in April next year.
Ranked second in the state in his age group, with a FIDE rating of 1466, Dev is aiming to emulate and probably even better what his idol World No 1 Magnus Carlsen has achieved.
“Carlsen became a Grand Master at the age of 13. I want to become GM by 11,” said Dev, who began playing chess at four-and-a-half.
Carlsen is scheduled to play India’s Viswanathan Anand in the World Chess Championship title round in Chennai next month. And Dev’s choice is crystal clear. “I will support Carlsen,” he said.
Other results: Final: G-U-10: 1. Jiya Shah (Gopi Birla), 2. Ananya Gupta (D Y Patil), 3. Piya Saxena (Dhirubhai Ambani International); B-U-14: 1. Rahul Shukla (Bombay Scottish), 2. Saumya Parekh (VIBGYOR), 3. Harsh Solanki (Children Welfare Centre High School)