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My First Win with a Grandmaster -------Well, okay, it was only one. And


it wasn’t a fly, it was a grandmaster, and this is no fairy tale! And 13-year-old Ak- shat isn’t a brave, little tailor. He is quite serious about becoming a grandmaster. Judging from his blog, http://Quest ToGM.blogspot.com, he’s going to make it sooner than later! Below, he annotates his first win against a grandmaster. -Editor


I just finished playing in one of the


strongest tournaments I’ve played—The Rose Valley Open 2200 and above, an 11 round tournament held in the east coast city of Kolkata, India. It reminded me of the awesome Czech Open tourna- ment, but this one had fewer players. My starting rank was 77 out of 100, so there were many opportunities to play higher rated players. In the first round I was paired with an


international master (IM) rated 2480. The game was rather quiet, and pretty soon I found myself not able to construct a good plan. I probably should have just played “common” moves. Instead, I ended up consuming a lot of time trying to figure out how I can open the position. But the opponent defended solidly, and suddenly his pieces started becoming active and I was finding it hard to ward off the attack. After hanging a pawn, I had a chance to balance out the game again, but I missed it and lost. I kept close in the game, but as we know by now, close doesn’t cut it at the end.


BIG FISH In the next round I was paired with a grandmaster (GM), who had just won the Commonwealth Championship a few days ago. So I was going to play with a “Big Fish!” It was a “Nimzo” and the game was fairly balanced throughout. We both made some mistakes, and soon found ourselves low on time in an endgame. He was slightly better due to my pawn structure, but I was confident I could draw. Then for a poorly thought


12


through move, I let him take my pawn and lost promptly after that. It was just some- thing I couldn’t explain. I think I moved my king away, thus losing the pawn, be- cause I tried to get my king to be “active.” There was a clear lesson for me—if


you’re going to get active and start throwing material, make sure there’s a forced way to get it back. Another game with an experience player where I hung close, but lost on something silly and self-inflicted.


SALVATION I muddled through the next rounds,


losing to a lower rated, but managing to beat an IM also. In the final 11th round, fate gave me a chance to salvage some- thing memorable from this tournament. I found myself seated across GM Marani Rajendran Venkatesh for what was to be my last game of 2012. It was a Kings In- dian Reverse and I got a favorable posi- tion out of the opening due to my well-developed pieces. I didn’t play accurately after that, and


the GM took the upper hand. But I man- aged to stay in the game, and just kept shuffling around waiting patiently for an opportunity. But before I could get my opportunity, the GM received his! Luckily for me he missed it! Instead of playing Rxe5, Qxe5, Qxc6, he played the devel- oping Be3.


THAT WAS CLOSE! Boy, was I relieved. Subsequently, I


found a nice tactical break in the center. Now it was suddenly me who was playing for the win! However things were not so easy still. I had about 12 minutes on my clock while the GM had 37. My heart was pounding, as my eyes darted back and forth all over the board, searching des- perately for the move that strengthened my chance to win. Four minutes ... three minutes ... I had to move something. I quickly moved Ne5, forcing his next


move. Thereafter, I attacked the GM’s rook with my queen. But as soon as I re-


Chess Life for Kids! February 2013 by Akshat Chandra


leased the queen piece, I realized the GM has an option which neutralizes my advantage which puts him in a stronger position. My heart sank like a stone in a well, as


I realized I’d bungled the advantage due to an incorrect sequence. All that eupho- ria vanished in an instant. I was kicking myself for blowing the one chance I got to win this game. As expected the GM found the appropriate move, and now it was the GM back in the driver’s seat. He took a lot of time, but still made


some strange decisions. I had about three minutes and the GM was down to nine minutes now. I played Qe1+ expect- ing an exchange of queens. But GM Venkatesh played Kg2. That was a very weak move. My heart started pumping ferociously


as I looked at him wondering was he se- rious!! Could there be something I missed? The clock steadily blinked down to two minutes ... one minute ... I had to move now. The time was slipping away. I couldn’t see the GM’s move in any other way but as a blunder.


MOVE IT! With seconds left, I made my move


Ne3+, a simple but efficient tactic. Real- izing his blunder, the GM took the knight piece and offered a draw. My decision was instant—I declined his offer. If I wished for a draw, I had the option


for a perpetual check. But I’d already thought this through sufficiently enough to recognize that I was in a very favorable position. From thereon, I simply executed the winning moves and concluded the


Seven in one blow


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