OmanPride: Oman's chess prodigy's unstoppable winning spree

More sports Monday 18/September/2017 19:19 PM
By: Times News Service
OmanPride: Oman's chess prodigy's unstoppable winning spree

‘My main aim is to be a Grandmaster but before that my first aim is the candidate master title,’ said 12-year-old Indian School Wadi Kabir student Jijo Joy, who has already made a name for himself globally in chess. Having discovered his passion for chess at the age of six, he enrolled himself in the International Chess Academy of Oman when he was nine. Since then Jijo has honed his skills and shown the world what he is capable of in terms of the game.

“I am a chess player with a standard FIDE rating of 1970. I have played around 20 FIDE tournaments and some rapid and blitz tournaments in many countries,” he said explaining that FIDE stands for World Chess Federation, which is recognised by the International Olympic Committee.

Jijo has already managed to bag a considerable amount of respect for his handwork and skill from fellow chess players after his constant achievements and unstoppable winning spree. “In 2015, I was placed third in the Under-16 category at the 22nd Abu Dhabi Chess festival tournament. In 2016, I was first in the Under-11 at the Robert Fischer Memorial Chess Tournament. In 2017, I won the first U-16 in Spain and was third in the Qatar gas tournament.” Jijo added that he has participated and won numerous chess tournaments locally in Oman as well, irrespective of the age category.

“I have played in many tournaments in Ibri, Salalah, Seeb, Ruwi, and Sohar.” Jijo doesn’t just have a strong FDE rating, but also holds a strong rank, ensuring that not too many people are better than him in the game, especially in his home country, India.

“As per September FRL, I am the first in U-12 Kerala and hold the 17th rank in India.” He added, “My rating went up from 1647 to 1970 (323) in this very short period, making me one of the best increase ratings in the world for the same period (July to August 2017)”.

In order to reach his ultimate goal of becoming a Grandmaster and receiving the candidate master title before that, Jijo needs an FIDE rating of 2200. “My rating now is 1970 so I want a good individual coach and the opportunity to play many classical FIDE-rated tournaments to reach my aim.” He added, “At present there are no classical tournaments in Oman”.

Since he started pursuing chess six years ago, for the first three years, Jijo learnt the techniques and practiced the skills on his own. His parents, along with some help from local clubs in Oman, have been supporting him all along, but after having proved his talent time and time again, it has become clear that he is a level above and is capable playing chess professionally.

World renowned players such as Vishwanathan Anand and others have vouched for his talent. “To fulfil my dream, I have to play many good tournaments to increase my ratings. I also need individual coaching and thus long-term financial support (sponsorship). Without sponsorship I cannot fulfil my dream,” said the 12 year-chess champion.
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