My aim is to become a Grandmaster in the future: Chess player Raahil Mullick

Chess player Raahil Mullick has achieved numerous accolades internationally and domestically
Chess player Raahil Mullick has achieved numerous accolades internationally and domestically

At just 15 years of age, Indian chess player Raahil Mullick is already on his way to becoming a Grandmaster, having achieved a number of accolades domestically and abroad. He has been training with IM Prathamesh Mokal since the last 7 years and is aiming to reach the heights of his idols Viswanathan Anand and Magnus Carlsen.

In this exclusive interview, Raahil Mullick speaks about his journey as a chess player, special achievements, idols in the sport, balancing education with chess, becoming a Grandmaster one day and his short and long term future goals.

Q 1) When did you start playing chess, who introduced you to the sport and what motivated you to pursue it professionally?

I started playing chess at the age of four, my dad taught me the basic rules of the game, introduced me to the pieces etc. I fell in love with chess instantly and whoever I met, wherever I went, I just wanted to play the game. Noticing my interest in chess, my parents enrolled me in a chess class. My first coach was Mr. Kuldeep Vhatwar, with him I learnt chess for multiple years and it boosted my interest in the game. I decided to pursue it professionally when I was around 7 or 8 and that’s where my journey began.

Q 2) Despite being very young, you have achieved a number of accolades both domestically and internationally. Which achievement is the most special for you and why?

Every tournament victory is special for me but my most special achievement is becoming an international master in just four months as not many people can achieve that in such a timeframe. My second most special achievement is the Abu Dhabi Masters Tournament as it was my best tournament till date. I played against many 2600+ GM’s (Grandmasters) and I even defeated two of them! It was a great experience for me and I had a performance rating of 2550. I would love to play such tournaments again!

Q 3) Who are some of the chess players that you look up to and why?

For every chess player in India, their idol is Viswanathan Anand and that’s true for me as well. He has been my idol since I was a child and it began when I was first exposed to his culture in Chennai in the 2013 World Championship against Magnus Carlsen. I went with my parents to watch it and it was the best 10 days I’ve ever had as I saw my idol play in front of me. Another player I idolize is Magnus Carlsen who defeated Viswanathan Anand in 2013. I saw them play and I fell in love with Carlsen’s style, his way to complete games, fight to the end and technique.

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Q 4) How challenging has it been to balance your education and chess? How are you dealing with it?

Up until 7th standard it was quite easy because my school has been very supportive to let me compete in tournaments, so you can say school was more like an extracurricular activity. The pandemic hit and my dream of becoming a Grandmaster in the next three years disappeared as lockdown put my life on a standstill.

My priorities have changed since I’m in the 10th standard and my board exams are just round the corner but I still play chess regularly. I practice chess regularly as I dream of becoming a Grandmaster but I know I need to balance my life. Currently, when I go for major tournaments I practice a lot but I also make sure I catch up on all the school work.

Raahil-Mullick-inside-article-1 My aim is to become a Grandmaster in the future: Chess player Raahil Mullick
Raahil Mullick has been playing chess since the age of 4

Q 5) Do you believe that you can become a Grandmaster one day?

I definitely want to achieve it but I don’t know how long it will take. I have three crucial years ahead of me but I will keep practicing in order to achieve my goal of becoming a Grandmaster. Chess has always been my first love and I will continue to achieve greatness in the sports as well as manage my school work

Q 6) What are your short and long term goals for the future? How are you working towards achieving them?

The main priority right now is to do well in my boards. The long term goal would be to do well in academics because the next three years are crucial for me and as for chess I want to become a Grandmaster. Hopefully I can go onto play major tournaments in the future.


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