A Barnet school pupil was left pinching himself in amazement after taking on a chess grandmaster at his own game at an iconic London venue.

Queen Elizabeth's School pupil Rishul Karia joined the great and the good of the chess world in descending on Olympia on Saturday as the sixth London Chess Classic got underway.

First up was the Super Rapidplay Open which gave members of the public like Rishul the chance to chance to take on one of 30 grandmasters.

The 14-year-old, who lives in Muswell Hill, went up against India’s Viswanathan Anand, currently ranked number six in the world, and unsurprisingly wasn’t able to get one over him.

But the Barnet teenager admitted he had still loved every second of the experience.

“It was good – it was really interesting to see how a grandmaster thinks,” he said.

“I learned a lot from playing against him and he had a chat with me afterwards to help me.

“He was saying that I could have tried a trick to keep the game going rather than lose straight away and get into the game a bit.

“I don't think I played very well but it was a good experience and I'm glad I did it. There was a bit of pressure and I made a mistake.

“I've been playing chess for about ten years and it was my Dad who introduced me to the game – I love the tactical thinking of it.

“I want to keep getting better and maybe one day I could be a grandmaster.”

The London Classic is once again staged by Chess in Schools and Communities, a registered charity who’s mission it is to increase children’s educational attainment and foster their social development by teaching chess in state primary schools and inner city communities.

And tournament director Malcolm Pein believes Rishul’s experience shows just how important chess can be in a child’s development.

“I think all the kids did brilliantly against the grandmasters,” Pein said. “They did really, really well and I was really impressed.

“This whole event is about celebration, concentration and affirmation. It shows there is a huge demand for chess – chess is overlooked in many respects but look at the hundreds of people here.

“In chess the great players are far more accessible than they are in any other sport – we saw all of the grandmasters talking to their young opponents after the game.

“You'll find the world champion chatting with somebody – it's such an inclusive game and these great are helping the youngsters get better.”