Mumbai: Chess is, a sport where the intellect, speed and patience are all that matters to establish oneself as a talented player. Perhaps these are quite big words to digest for an eight year-old, but Kush Bhagat, has already pulled off some stunning feats in the sport and has become a powerful force to be reckoned with.
Age is definitely not an issue in chess, where the brainpower and the mental toughness is all that is required. Many wouldn't expect these things to come from an eight-year old, but Kush Bhagat from the SMCA has defied age and all other odds to beat his opponents with ease.
The legendary Indian chessmaster Vishwanath Anand who is perhaps the greatest player of the game that the country has produced learnt the sport at the age of six through his mother and it took him eight long years to achieve national level success. But at the tender age of eight, Bhagat is making a name for himself and is definitely moving in the right direction.
In the recently concluded International FIDE rating event in Barcelona, the eight-year old Indian from the American school has played with dominance by registering massive victories over big players and increasing his ELO ratings by a huge 170 points.
Despite missing out on the first two rounds, Kush came back hard and strong to score 5.5 points out of seven rounds for a ninth place finish at the end of the campaign.
What's even more baffling is the fact that the kid with a strong defense remained undefeated throughout the tournament and can pull off complex moves with ease and where many of his age take up three and half hours, an hour is enough for the wonderkid to finish off games. Truly incredible!
In his journey from the U-7 World Blitz Championship in open category to becoming a triple gold medallist in the Western Youth Championship, the young Bhagat has proved his mettle in beating anyone in any format of the game.
At this young age, he has the capability of beating accomplished players with relative ease and is also comfortable with contesting in higher age categories.
While all this achievement at just eight is indeed jaw-dropping, the future seems inevitably bright for the prodigious talent and we can all hope that he can record more giant-slaying victories going ahead into his career.
Truly, age doesn't matter if the passion and fire is there in the heart. Kush Bhagat definitely has the both of them in good amount.
At such a young age he has shown immense maturity and toughness to come this far. If things continue, then the U-7 Maharashtra State Champion could well be the next big thing in Indian, perhaps world chess.