Grandmaster S.L. Narayanan has been virtually burning the midnight oil for the last two months. The lockdown had opened up new avenues for him in the form of online chess competitions when the original tournaments he was supposed to take part in got cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 22-year-old struck a purple patch, winning three tournaments besides entering the semifinals of the Banter Blitz Cup. He won the Chess Kerala’s Chessmate COVID-19 fund-raiser tournament and donated his entire prize money.
“The past two months were quite eventful for me. I won a couple of tournaments. The quick pace of online chess tournament suited my style and I am happy with my form. It was tough for me to stay awake past midnight for some of the tournaments and I had problems initially but gradually got used to the schedule. But after playing continuously, I decided to take a short break. I didn’t take part in any tournaments this week but I will be back playing next week,” he said.
Narayanan picked out his performances in the Chess Kerala’s tournament and Banter Blitz Cup as satisfying. “Both tournaments were strong in terms of participation and I was happy to win the Chess Kerala’s fund-riser tournament as I could contribute to a cause.
“My performance in Banter Blitz tournament was pretty satisfying as well even though I lost in the semifinals to Alireza Firouzja. But so many people noticed my performance and it gave me a lot of confidence,” he said.