It always used to be said that one knows one is getting old, when the policemen start looking younger. But now it would appear that the chess world has developed a new test. Chess is bad enough as it is, with the annual emergence of ever-younger chess talents. In my day, it was a sensation when Nigel Short qualified for the British Championships at the age of 12, but at the time, he was not even an IM, let alone a GM. Nowadays, 12-year old GMs are becoming almost commonplace. I myself never became a GM, but I still have good chances of becoming a GOM – a Grumpy Old Man. Like every such chessplayer, I hate playing against juniors. The grisly sight of a small head, clad in a baseball cap, peering between its own pieces, guzzling Coke, stuffing crisps and breathing through its mouth all at the same time, whilst simultaneously rattling out 25 moves of Najdorf theory – such a sight has always made me sympathize with W. C. Fields, who when asked how he liked children, replied “Boiled or fried!”
Well, what can we say? Srikanth would wholeheartedly agree with W C Fields, I am sure! And what about me, you ask? No way! I am a strict vegetarian, you should know.