US student-journo, all of 19, covers Olympiad
CHENNAI: At the media centre situated in the 44th Chess Olympiad venue in Mahabalipuram, American student-journalist Brigham Aldrich has been standing out from the crowd.
A photographer by trade who also reports, the 19-year-old has been working his socks off for The Daily Californian, a student-run newspaper of the University of California, Berkeley.
Brigham, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, told DT Next on Sunday that his love for travel and chess led to this “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.
“I mean it is amazing. This is my first-ever Olympiad. And, this is my first time in India. May be there is a little bit of pressure [as a youngster], but overseas journalism is amazing. Of course, I want to take amazing photos because it is such a big event,” said Brigham, who remains glued to his laptop, through which he uploads his pictures.
“We would never have such a big [chess] event in America. It is cool to come to a place (India) where chess is much bigger (more popular),” added Brigham, whose CV includes covering the big-ticket World Chess Championship in Dubai, the UAE, in November-December 2021.
He was pleasantly surprised by the swarm of mediapersons on ground in Mahabalipuram. “This is easily the best event I have covered. When I was in Dubai, there were only five or six other photographers at a time. Here (at the ongoing Olympiad), we have 20 to 30 photographers in the main hall at once,” said Brigham, a chess player himself.
“The people in India are interested in covering the event and showing it to the country. It seems [media from] the entire country wants to cover it,” he added.
According to Brigham, USA’s Fabiano Caruana is a photographer’s delight. “He likes to look at the camera when he is being photographed, which is cool.” A vibrant teenager, Brigham has already captured superstars Magnus Carlsen and Ian Nepomniachtchi besides Caruana from behind the lens. With plenty of years ahead of him, there are more pictures to come.