Siddharth – Singapore 5th GM

He is 16-year-old. He was born in India but is now a Singaporean.

Siddharth Jagadeesh rose to become Singapore’s fifth Grandmaster. With a decisive victory over Andrey Esipenko, he gained his last GM-norm.

The Early Days

Sidat’s chess adventure began under the guidance of his father, who was an ardent chess enthusiast. At the tender age of eight, he played his first major tournament—the under-nine Asian Championship. In a memorable encounter, he faced none other than GM Sasikiran, securing a draw despite being in a difficult position. This early experience fueled his passion for the game, and he continued to represent Singapore throughout his chess-playing years.

Steady Progress

Sidat’s meteoric rise started with his FM title in 2019, followed by achieving IM status in 2022. His journey was marked by determination, hard work, and a love for the game. But it wasn’t without challenges. The pandemic disrupted his progress, yet he persevered. His first GM norm came in Budapest during the First Vienna Open tournament in September 2023. With a score of 7 out of 9, including a crucial last-round victory against Alexander Rosi from Austria, Sidat was on the right track.

The Second Norm

In February 2024, Dhaka witnessed Sidat’s exceptional performance. He clinched his second GM norm, scoring an impressive 7 out of 8 in just eight rounds. His consistent play and unwavering focus propelled him closer to the coveted Grandmaster title.

The Final Norm

Fast forward to May 2024—the seventh Chess Masters. Sidat faced the formidable Pentala Harikrishna in the eighth round. The stakes were high; a victory would secure his final GM norm. Sidat’s preparation was meticulous, and he entered the game with determination. The moves unfolded, and the tension mounted. In the end, Sidat emerged victorious, completing his Grandmaster journey.

A Historic Achievement

Sidat’s achievement is big for Singapore’s chess community although he is “only” the 5th Grandmaster for the Island Republic. His parent’s dedication, unwavering, is very important, not to mention how Singapore Chess Federation contributed too.

As he reflects on this momentous day, Sidat shares, “I’m feeling very happy and very relieved. Because for the past couple of years or so, I always have to think about norms and about rating average and things like that. But now I can just play, play chess.”

Indeed, Sidat’s journey—from that under-nine Asian Championship to becoming Singapore’s first Grandmaster—is a inspiring and I hope we will see Malaysia potential youngsters such as Kavin Mohan experience such successes too.

It is interesting Chessbase India couldn’t help mentioning in the title the Siddarth was “Indian born”!

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