The 21 year old, who has got a chance to pursue an undergraduate (UG) programme at prestigious Stanford University will be leaving for the US in September and in the next four years won't be very active in the circuit.

"Well, chess will take a backseat for the time being. I will have to concentrate on my UG programme. I passed my plus two examination three years back. Then I didn't enroll myself in any college although I could have got through on sports quota. I wanted to crack into top-100 and decided to concentrate on chess. Now I am in top 80 and I feel there's a time for everything. Now academics will be my priority," Negi told PTI in an interview on the sidelines of a felicitation function.

Asked was it a conscious decision to put Chess on backseat, Negi gave a very practical  reply.

"Look, to lead a luxurious life while playing chess is only possible when you can break into top-10. Vishy
(Viswanathan Anand) was in top-10 by the time he was 20. Then he took a risk by shifting his base (Spain). But chess is a cerebral game where people are now leaving the sport by 35. No longer can you be in top rung in your 40s and 50s.

"I still want to be in top 50 but also needed a serious back up career option. I took the SAT examination and scored 2100 plus in a possible score 2400. I had to write an essay which I needed two months to prepare. For me Chess will remain but I will play fewer tournaments," said Negi, who held World No 3 Levon Aronian of Armenia on top board.

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