Shardul Gagare!

Shardul was tense as the middlegame was in progress -- the king was precariously standing on the edge of a precipice on the d6 square. Pair his cold, pragmatic approach to whatever cliche you may like, the fact remains that it was a hair-raising experience that Shardul bravely withstood, but would he do the needful and win the game? 

 

The spectators witnessed Shardul's king run back to his palace as if he were Rannchod Rai. Out of nowhere, Shardul's eyes shot at his opponent and his fingers pointed towards the clock -- it was over. White had overstepped the time limit and Shardul had become India's  42nd grandmaster.

 

Even before the opponent could come on terms to the curious end the game had witnessed, I extended my hand to Shardul which he shook with a relieved smile forming in his face.

All this while, Dr. Annasaheb Gagare was teaching young kids how to become a champion. He then walked towards the arena when he got the news that Shardul had made it while his son was coming down the dais where he had been playing.

ChessBase India co-founder IM Sagar Shah, who had arrived towards the arena, showed some prophylactic skills as he shot the good old doctor meeting his grandmaster son while I took a memorable picture which explains what hard work really is.

A picture is worth a thousand words...

After the immediate celebrations, Shardul walked into the commentary room where Vijay Kumar produced this video in which Shardul analyzes the game and also at the same time answers some pertinent questions related to chess.

̶R̶a̶n̶v̶e̶e̶r̶ ̶S̶i̶n̶g̶h̶ Atul Dahale took some time out of his schedule to get a picture with Maharashtra's new grandmaster!

Here are a couple more video interviews with Team Gagare:

India's GM No. 40 and 42, both from Maharashtra!

IIFL Wealth MD Karan Bhagat and his wife Shilpa Bhagat felicitate Shardul. IIFL Wealth Mumbai International brought Maharashtra and India a new grandmaster in the previous edition. How many more will we see in the second edition that begins on 26 December?

Videos: ChessBase India; Text and pictures: Priyadarshan Banjan