GM candidate Shreyas turns 15!

by Frederic Friedel
1/16/2024 – Last Tuesday, this young lad turned 15. Shreyas Royal gained his IM title in 2022, the youngest English player to do this. As a result he was invited to the London Chess Classic in December. There he was the lowest ranked player, but finished with 2630 performance, 226 points above his FIDE rating. In the Hastings Congress he missed his third GM norm by a whisker. It is time to take a closer look at this bright young talent, from whom we will be hearing a lot in the future. | Photo: Olympics.com

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Shreyas Royal was born in Bangalore, India, in 2009. Incidentally, the surname 'Royal' doesn't run in the family. It was given after an astrologer advised the family to use a name with the initials SR.

When Shreyas was three, the family he moved to the UK. He learnt chess at six, from his father, Jiterndra Singh. In 2017 he won the European Youth U8 Chess Championship, and in October 2022, at the age of 13, made his full IM title – the youngest English player to ever achieve this. He currently has two GM norms, and is aiming to break the Youngest GM record in the UK (held by David Howell at 16 years and one month). 

Here are some of Shreyas Royal's accomplishments:

  • European Youth U8 Chess Champion (2017)
  • Youngest English International Master (2022)
  • Invited to the London Chess Classic (2023)
  • Finished seventh out of 10 at the London Chess Classic (2023)
  • Current FIDE rating: 2459

At the end of December, Shreyas played in the 97th Caplin Hastings Congress 2023-24. The main story from the event was his attempt to get his third and final GM norm. Shreyas came very close, finishing in third place, half a point short. He actually missed difficult wins in three of his last four games.

Royalty and prominence: Shreyas with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and with legendary World Champion Garry Kasparov, who has helped train the lad.

The KCF (Kasparov Chess Foundation) invited Shreyas for some European training camps, and in July 2023 he trained directly with Kasparov. They discussed some of his most complicated games, then he was faced with very difficult tests and exercises. In the end, Shreyas was able to impress Kasparov to get selected for the KCF’s “Young Stars” program. They will monitor the students' for the foreseeable future, give recommendations, online sessions, and work alongside their coaches and organise these once-in a year training camps with Kasparov. They recently assigned a coach for Shreyas to work with.

I recently chatted with Shreyas (on Skype). He is a very pleasant young man, intelligent and outgoing. What additionally impressed me was that he spoke with only the slightest trace of an Indian accent – this lad is British. Listen to him in this ChessBase India interview:

I asked Shreyas for annotated games for ChessBase, and they were quickly forthcoming. Here are two samples, the first against his highest-ranked opponent. Note that our endgame expert GM Dr Karsten Müller has analysed the finish in this article

The second game is against Gukesh, to which Shrjeyas wrote:

This was my game with 17 year-old Gukesh, already with a peak rating of 2758!. He chose to play in this round robin tournament to try to qualify, through the FIDE Circuit, for the Candidates. Unfortunately, he could not win the tournament and ended up placing third. I may have been one of the party-poopers along the way for his Candidate chances, seeing as he must have been expected to beat me.

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Editor-in-Chief emeritus of the ChessBase News page. Studied Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Hamburg and Oxford, graduating with a thesis on speech act theory and moral language. He started a university career but switched to science journalism, producing documentaries for German TV. In 1986 he co-founded ChessBase.
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thirteen thirteen 1/17/2024 02:12
Difficult to find a contact point on here, don't you want that any more? Are our comments far too much to handle?
DON'T believe Fritz has not got the technology to feed me with a whole chess club [100] of other fixed chess players, that I can attend whenever possible and constantly enjoy being in competition with.
From low to high chess abilities, with varying emotions, fixations and separate personalities, this is my suggestion.
The few engines and different game playing approaches presently on offer, are a start, but straight insufficient.
lajosarpad lajosarpad 1/17/2024 11:23
Is "party-pooper" meaning what I think it means?
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