A batch 20 children in the age-group seven to 17 were fortunate to play against world no 1 Magnus Carlsen in simultaneous chess display at MOP Vaishnav college. If the atmosphere was anything to go by, both thoroughly enjoyed the interaction.
If Carlsen thought the children were just chess buffs or enthusiasts, he was in for a shock. They were all champions of their respective age groups.
He realised it shortly, as the match, which was to end in an hour or so, took more than a couple of hours.
Carlsen was stumped by the children dished out. The moves were shown on giant screen, which the audience comprising students and their parents watched with rapt attention.
It wasn't by any means a cakewalk for the Norwegian. Most of the children made Carlsen think for more than a while to make his next move. Many a time, he looked puzzled, though he remained composed. Though widely considered an aggressive player, he seems to have loads of patience.
He particularly spent time on the tables of Akash Iyer and Mahalakshmi, meditating over his next move.
Surprisingly, he lost four games, won 10 and drew six. Carlsen won 10 games. Visakh, G Jaswant, R Vaishali and Ram Arvind can brag about that they have beaten the world number one player to their peers.
Emerging player Vaishali thrilled at her unique feat. "I just cannot believe that I defeated Carlsen. It feels great. I shall treasure this match for a long time to come,'' said Vaishali. Mahalakshmi, the world U-14 champion, managed to draw the match against Carlsen. "I was initially nervous since I was playing the World No 1."