Malcolm Pein on…The Race for the Record


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Have you noticed how titled chess players are getting younger all of the time? Malcolm Pein has – and in today’s Daily Telegraph column he looks at the race for the record of becoming the youngest Grandmaster to date.

Malcolm Pein on…The Race for the Record

Abhimanyu Mishra, a 12-year-old prodigy from New Jersey, looks likely to become the youngest person ever to become a GM after achieving his second GM norm at the May First Saturday Tournament in Budapest. His rating jumped to 2471 and he needs one more norm and 29 Elo points to break the record set in 2002 by Sergey Karjakin.

In November 2019, Mishra, born on February 5, 2009, became the youngest ever IM at the age of 10 years, nine months. He must secure the title before September 5, 2021, to break Karjakin’s record. Mishra’s latest success was a 2700+ rating performance where he scored 8/9, so I wouldn’t bet against him.

Mishra in Action

L. Papp – A. Mishra
English Botvinnik

1.e4 c5 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 a6 6.Nge2 Rb8 (Black initiates queenside counterplay as there is no pressing need to develop the kingside, given White’s slow buildup) 7.a4 e5! (Black prepares Ng8-e7 to facilitate f7–f5 and will answer f2 to f4 with exf4. He has also extracted a slight concession in the form of the b4 square) 8.0–0 Nge7 9.d3 0–0 10.Nd5 d6 11.f4 exf4 12.Nexf4 Be6!? (Provoking an error. 12…Nxd5 13.Nxd5 Be6 14.Rb1 b5 was also good) 13.Nxe6? (Losing control of his best outpost) 13…fxe6 14.Nf4 Nd4 15.Bh3 Rf6 16.Be3 Nec6! (Black keeps e6 securely defended) 17.Rf2 Qe7 18.Bg2 Rbf8 (Intending g6-g5, Qe7-f7 and the potentially troublesome Nc6–b4) 19.h4?! (The cure is worse than the disease) 19…Bh6 20.Kh1 Rxf4! 21.Rxf4 Bxf4 22.Bxf4 Rxf4 23.gxf4 Qxh4+ 24.Kg1 Qxf4 25.b3 Ne5 26.Ra2 Qg3 0-1

L. Papp – A. Mishra: The Race for the Record

Queen and knight are a potent attacking force, queen and two knights are devastating. The threats include Ng4 and Qe3+. White has no constructive moves. For example, 27.Qf1 Ndf3+ 28.Kh1 Qh2# or 27.Rf2 Ng4.

The fourth stage of the delayed 2019-20 FIDE Women’s Grand Prix is under way in Gibraltar. The 12-player all-play-all runs to June 2. Two players from the Grand Prix series qualify for the 2021 Women’s Candidates. Defeated finalist in 2020, Aleksandra Goryachkina, leads the GP. How did she force a win here in the Russian Team Championship?

Test Your Strength


Black to play

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

Usmanov-Goyachkina ended: 23…Nc5 24.Rh3 (24.Bd3 Nxb3+ 25.cxb3 Qb2#) 24…Nxe4 25.c3 Qd5 0–1

Play Through the Game

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