Salem and Sahaj – new chess prodigies from Asia

by ChessBase
9/17/2006 – Sahaj Grover is an Indian 10-year-old who is going after the world record for the youngest grandmaster in history. And in the United Arab Emirates the leading jewellers Damas have agreed to sponsor the talented schoolboy chess player Salem Abdul Rahman Saleh to the tune of US $136,000. Kids to watch.

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Salem Abdul Rahman

The UAE Chess Federation (UAECF) has signed a Dh 500,000 (US $136,000) contract with leading jewellers Damas to sponsor talented schoolboy chess player Salem Abdul Rahman Saleh. Through the sponsorship 13-year-old Salem, one of the exciting chess prospects in the UAE, will receive financial support from Damas for all competitions and training camps in addition to a monthly stipend for three years.

Arab chess prodigy Salem Abdul Rahman Saleh

Salem made Arab chess history when winning his sixth gold medal in a row over a four-year period. He won the Arab under-10 title three times from 2001-2003 and the Arab under-12 title in 2004. He bagged back-to-back under-16 titles in 2005 and 2006. He also has shared the first place in the Asian under-14 championship in Iran this June. Salem received his FIDE master norm when he was only eight years old.

Salem at the signing of the deal with Damas

The encouraging deal was announced at a press conference on Wednesday by Ebrahim Al Bannai, President of UAECF, and Mohammad Tamjid Abdullah, Executive President of Damas. Dr Sarhan Al-Muaini, Assistant General Secretary of UAECF, presided over the meeting.

The president of the President of UAE Chess Federation Ebrahim Al Bannai said: "We appreciate this new agreement which will help one of our talented players to improve his level and hopefully achieve more medals for the UAE in the next three years."

Indian Chess Prodigies

We have reported extensively on the Indian chess prodigy Parimarjan Negi, who became the second-youngest grandmaster in history at the age of 13. However, as Times Now is reporting, there is another child prodigy on the Indian horizon.

Indian chess prodigy Sahaj Grover [Photo Sportstar]

Sahaj Grover, the under-10 world champion, who is practicing hard to beat Parimarjan's newly achieved record. Sahaj, who in 2003, at seven years and five months, became the youngest rated chess player ever in India, is very close to earning the first of the three norms required to become a grandmaster. He says: "One day, I can surely beat Parimarjan. I aspire to achieve the grandmaster title by 12 years 7 months."

Sahaj is going after the following records for the youngest grandmasters in history:

 Sergey Karjakin
 Parimarjan Negi  
 Magnus Carlsen

Parimarjan Negi became a grandmaster much earlier than his idol Vishy Anand (who was 18 when he made it). Negi feels that becoming a grandmaster is becoming easier with each passing day following the advent of computer technology. His efforts have set off a healthy competition among children to outdo each other. And with new technology just a mouse click away, these young prodigies are ready to take on challenges from any quarter and do the country proud.

Sahaj with his good friend Parimarjan Negi (right) in 2003

Beating a 2371 opponent at the age of eight (The Hindu)

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