There are three 16 year old players in world’s top 20 junior list and all of them had a spectacular month of August. GM Gukesh impressed at the Chess Olympiad 2022 scoring 8,0/8 at the start. GM Javokhir Sindarov won the gold medal at the Chess Olympiad and won the key point for Uzbekistan in the last round. Daniel Dardha stormed through the Belgian Championship winning the title with 8,5/9 and crossing 2600.
After the Belgian Championship Chessdom.com interviewed the newcomer to the 2600 club and currently strongest 16 year old European junior GM Daniel Dardha.
Congratulations on winning your third national title in such convincing manner and on crossing 2600 ELO! Can you tell us more about the championship
Thank you, I had just arrived from India back home but was definitely ready to compete for the National title again and give it my all. I didn’t necessarily enter the tournament with the thought of “oh i should score 8.5/9” , but instead I just planned to play my best chess that I could and this way the points (and rating) just automatically came to me.
Now that you are number 16 among juniors and 2600+ ELO, how far do you feel the 2700 club is?
Yes, currently I am nr.16 in the World Juniors list with 2604, but the 2700-club will definitely need a lot more hard work as this step will be even harder. I will definitely need to put in more hours of work and play stronger tournaments in order to achieve this goal
We remember how Magnus Carlsen decided quite late that he wants to be a professional chess player. Do you consider yourself a professional chess player?
I am currently playing chess professionally ever since I am doing school by distance, but in order to make a good living out of it, I will need to raise my level higher.
This is a belated question, but what was the feeling to win your first national title at 13? Can you compare the feeling from your first national title, to the one you just won?
I remember being very excited when I won the National championship at the age of 13 as it was my very first time winning it. It gave me a big confidence boost too. The first time that I won it, I was definitely more excited about having the title next to my name, whereas this time I was more excited about crossing the 2600-mark.
Many players cease participating in national championships after they become Super GMs. What are your plans regarding future participation in the national championships?
I don’t have a clear view yet regarding my future participation in the National Championships as this depends on many factors.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Many things can happen in 5 years and my plans aren’t finalized yet, but I surely would like to have crossed the 2700-mark by that time. For now I would like to thank my parents and friends for supporting me throughout this journey and of course the coaches with whom I’ve worked in order to come this far.
All news about Daniel Dardha here
More young talents to follow: Alireza Firouzja / Hans Niemann / Vincent Keymer / Nodirbek Abdusattorov / Gukesh D / Andrey Esipenko / Arjun Erigaisi / Shant Sargsyan / Kirill Schevchenko / Nihal Sarin / Praggnanandhaa / Christopher Yoo