He is only in Class 2 but is already creating waves in the local chess circuit. Shiv Shome, who studies in Podar International School, Santacruz, has been training online and dreams of beating Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.
Recently, he won gold in the 5-8 years category of Chesskumbh, a state-level championship, to add to the 15-20 trophies he has already collected.
"I want to meet both Carlsen and Anand, play them and defeat them. I think I can beat them because I am very good with my tactics. I have grown up solving puzzles, crosswords and playing with Rubik's Cube," he says.
So how did Shome take up chess?
His mother, Shalini, says: "He was intellectual and we wanted to keep him occupied with something, so we thought of introducing him to chess to develop his IQ levels. He loves his mathematics and calculations that help him in chess."
Shome started playing chess when he was in senior KG. It was a part of his curricullum and he has been fascinated with the black and white pieces ever since. Seeing him do well in school, the coach called his parents and said that he should take up chess seriously.
His first major tournament was the U-9 state-level championship where he came fifth. He just lost two games out of nine.
Shome is trained online by Mrinalini Kunte, who is an International Master and sister of Indian Grandmaster Abhijit Kunte.
"Shiv is a tech savy kid. He connects with Mrinalini on Skype while keeping the Internet Chess Club (an online software which is a chessboard) open. Mrunalini teaches him the moves, opening game, middle game, end game, games of Grandmasters and all that is required. The class is usually for an hour or so," says Shalini. He also has a local coach, Gopal Rathod, who teaches him various conceptions.
However, Shome is also passionate about cricket but feels that chess is more unique. "Cricket is a local game, chess is unique because very few can play it," he says.
"I want to be a world champion by the time I turn 15," he adds.
Shome is also fluent in six languages – English, Hindi, French, Bengali, Punjabi and Marathi.
1st in U-10 Diwali Chess by Kings Chess Academy
1st in ISPL U-12 organised by Sports Gurukul
5th in Maharashtra U-9 State Chess
1st in Mumbai Games U-8