John Bartholomew’s win over Indian wonderkid Praggnanandhaa


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We don’t want to get you too excited, and we don’t want to pile too much pressure on John Bartholomew to get his next norm.

But we thought you’d like to know Chessable’s resident IM has beaten the 12-year-old Indian super talent Ramesh Praggnanandhaa at the GM Norm Invitational in Charlotte.

Praggu, as he is known, is of course the wonderkid everyone is talking about who is launching an assault on Sergey Karjakin’s long-standing record for being the youngest ever grandmaster.

John Bartholomew in action. At the weekend he beat Praggnanandhaa
John Bartholomew in action. At the weekend he beat Praggnanandhaa

Against John though, he came unstuck. Playing white, John essayed a nice win out of the Zurich Variation of the Nimzo-Indian. This opening is covered in IM John Bartholomew’s 1.d4 Repertoire for White chess opening trainer, but Praggu played an early move order shuffle with 3… Nc6 and then departed entirely with 11… a5.

John took full advantage, pressing him with solid positional play before Praggu blundered then wilted in the endgame. It was another impressive win for John at the tournament.

John now needs 6.5/9 to secure his second GM norm. Praggu, unfortunately, is now out of the running for a norm in this tournament, but has the Gibraltar Masters to look forward to.

Here is the game:

After the game, John said: “I’m very happy with this game, I think it was my best game of the tournament. A pretty smooth, strategic win.

“Every game is tough, you can’t expect to enter a tournament like this and beat up on anyone really… I’ll do my best with my remaining games here.

“It’s just cool to play a guy like Praggnanandhaa, he’s a fantastic player and 12 years old just to see the focus he has is incredible. I think this time next year he could be 2600.”

John is currently leading the pack in Charlotte with 5/7, and needs 1.5 from his remaining two games today. But he has two tough games – against GM Denis Schmeliov (2420) and in the afternoon IM David Brodsky (2405).

If you want to cheer him on, the Charlotte page is here.

And if you haven’t already, check out John Bartholomew’s 1.d4 Repertoire for White – we think it is one of the best chess books on this site – it is rated 5-stars by our users, and it is free.

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