Nikhil Kumar, an 8th grade student from Miami, Florida, has won the World Cadets Chess Championship held in Georgia, a former Soviet Republic, late last month. Kumar, a student at Ransom Everglades in Coconut Grove, Miami, defeated No. 1 Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa of India, who at 10 became the youngest person ever to claim the title of chess International Master. Kumar also defeated Andrew Hong, who is the No. 1 is ranked under-12 player in the U.S. “Becoming the world chess champion seemed like a dream just a few months ago but hard work made this dream become a reality,” Kumar told Local10.com after returning to Miami Oct. 28.
Kumar ranked 25th at the start of competition in Georgia. Coming as the underdog, he finished first in a field of 137 students from 36 countries.
“When I was at the podium and the national anthem was played, I felt that I represented the country and Team USA well,” Kumar who returned to school Nov. 2, said.
Besides chess, Kumar’s favorite pastime includes playing the violin, tennis and participating in Mathcounts at Ransom Everglades.
“We were thrilled to hear of Nikhil’s success in the chess world championships,” Rachel Rodriguez head of the middle school, said both students and teachers were happy to hear about Nikhil’s success. “He is talented and hard-working, and has represented Ransom Everglades with class and dignity. We are proud to welcome him back to our campus today,” Rodriguez was quoted as saying.