18-year-old SL Narayanan is the youngest Chess Grandmaster from Kerala. He represented India at International chess tournaments and has been winning bigger titles every year since he was 12. His dream is to pursue chess for a career, but the lack of financial aid has been slowing his progress.
The genius who swept them by surprise
Narayanan has been playing chess since he was 9 years old. At the time, his family could afford the tournament expenses. "We did not expect him to advance so quickly. He was so young, and he surprised us all by succeeding at the National and International level by the time he was 13," says his mother, Lyna.
Lyna is the only working member of the family. She is an LIC employee who has taken several loans on policy and with banks over the years to support Narayanan's passion. His father, Sunil Dutt, was a government contractor who gave up his career to make his son's dreams come true. He accompanies Narayanan to the tournaments across the world.
Braving obstacles for a dreamNarayanan is the current year world junior bronze medalist, Asian junior silver medalist and Commonwealth (open) silver medalist. He has been selected for the World Junior, Commonwealth and Asian Junior Chess Championship in 2017 and aims to increase his FIDE rating 2536 to 2700 before December 2017. This will also help him gain some much-needed experience as the family cannot afford private training.
The only problem he has struggled with is financial aid. He was awarded a little over 13 lakhs financial aid by the Kerala government in 2014 and 2015 but their expenses amounted to 20 lakhs which drove Lyna to opt for a loan each time. This year, financial aid is yet to come through and the family is still in talks with the government to see if they can receive any support. Although they are in a lot of debt, these parents want to encourage their son as they feel it is essential to help him build a career and help him realize his fantastic dream.
How you can help?It's not just his dream. Narayan is out there achieving great things for India making history happen for our homeland. This tournament expenses will amount to a little over 3.5 lakhs, in addition to loan repayment from the previous tournament. Your support can help this boy win gold for India, and the family with their financial situation.
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