Goa's young chess player Nitish Belurkar is India's newest International Master (IM) after completing the five norms for the IM in Budapest.
Belurkar drew against Belarusian GM Andrei Kovalev in the Vezerkepzo GM to achieve the required ELO rating of 2400.
Nitish had to wait since March last year to play overboard chess because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, Nitish finally reached the required ELO rating to qualify for the 'IM' title in the fourth round of the Vezerkepzo GM tournament in Budapest,
Nitish secured his first IM-norm over five years ago in Olomouc Chess Summer 2016 in the Czech Republic. His second IM-norm was earned in the Aeroflot Open 2020 B in Russia.
Nitish's father, Sanjay Belurkar, talked about his journey of achieving the third norm. He said, "Covid-19 has kept Nitish away from competitive chess since March last year. Therefore, the completion of the IM title was delayed. In the tournament in Hungary, Nitish played hard and reached the required Elo points. He was motivated to achieve the goal. Now his next target is the Grandmaster title. Achieving the norm for this book will help him play in the rest of the tournament in Hungary. "