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Ethan Vaz becomes the eighth International Master from Goa

by Shahid Ahmed - 06/01/2024

12-year-old Ethan Vaz became India's first International Master of 2024 on 3rd January. He drew against GM Valeriy Neverov (UKR) in the ninth and final round of Vezerkepzo GM Christmas 2023 in Budapest, to earn his final IM-norm. The talented kid from Goa also became the eighth IM from his state. Anurag Mhamal, Rohan Ahuja, Bhakti Kulkarni, Leon Luke Mendonca, Ameya Audi, Nitish Belurkar and Ritviz Parab are the first seven. Ethan earned his first IM-norm in August 2023 at 29th Abu Dhabi Masters in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Exactly three months later, he secured his second IM-norm at Vezerkepzo November GM in Budapest, Hungary. The final norm was scored in a little over a month later. The boy's quest for GM title continues as he started Vezerkepzo New Year GM 2024 with a victory over GM Baadur Jobava (GEO).

Three IM-norms in less than five months

India got its first IM in 2024 in the for mof Ethan Vaz. The 12-year-old is currently one of the youngest IMs. However, Abhimanyu Mishra (USA) still holds the record of world's youngest IM in history. Ethan won FTX Praggnanandhaa scholarship in 2022. Currently he is supported by HelpChess. Ethan gained 451 Elo rating points in eight months and scored three IM-norms in less than five months. These are certainly incredible feat. It is just a matter of time before this boy from Goa earns the coveted GM title.

12-year-old Ethan Vaz becomes the latest IM of India

Ethan Vaz had an Elo rating 1949 in April 2023, eight months later he got 2400 rating in December 2023 FIDE Rating list | Source: FIDE

First IM norm: 29th Abu Dhabi Masters 2023

Ethan Vaz scored his first IM-norm at 29th Abu Dhabi Masters in August 2023. He scored 4.5/9 including wins over IM Ajay Karthikeyan, IM Ravi Teja S, drew against GM Volodar Murzin and GM Swapnil Dhopade.

Ethan - Ravi Teja, Round 3

Position after 60...Kb5?

IM Ravi Teja S (2484) misplayed in the rook endgame 60...Kb5? 11-year-old Ethan seized his opportunity 61.Kd3 Ra4 62.Ke3 Kb6 63.Rd7? after a tiny inaccuracy allowing the defender to get back in the game, Ethan once again gained the decisive advantage and went on to beat his second IM of the event.

"Grandmasters are not so tough" - 11-year-old Ethan Vaz earns his first IM norm | Video: ChessBase India

Ethan Vaz holding his first IM-norm certificate with his father - Edwin Vaz | Photo: Aditya Sur Roy

Ethan Vaz scored 4.5/9, performed at 2484 and gained 40.8 Elo rating points en route his maiden IM-norm

Second IM-norm: Vezerkepzo November GM 2023

Exactly three months later, Ethan Vaz scored his second IM-norm at Vezerkepzo November GM 2023. He scored 5.5/9, including wins over GM Lajos Seres (HUN). IM Srihari L R, IM James Morris (AUS), drew with GM Attila Czebe (HUN).

Ethan - Lajos, Round 3

Position after 30...Qc7

White is already winning in the above position. Find out the finish which Ethan executed in the game.

Ethan Vaz with his second IM-norm certificate flanked by the organizer - GM Attila Czebe (HUN, left) and Chief Arbiter - IA David Bela (HUN) | Photo: Ethan's fb page

Ethan Vaz scored 5.5/9, performed at 2470 to earn his second IM-norm, increased his Elo rating by 18.6 points

Third IM-norm: Vezerkepzo GM Christmas 2023

Ethan secured his final IM-norm at Vezerkepzo GM Christmas 2023, a little over a month after he scored his second IM-norm. He made a blazing start by winning the first four games, before suffering his first loss of the event. The 12-year-old drew against GM David Berczes (HUN), GM Valeriy Neverov (UKR) and IM Sai Krishna G V. Sai went on to win the tournament and score his maiden GM-norm.

Ethan Vaz scored 5.5/9, performed at 2466 and gained 23.4 Elo rating points en route his final IM-norm
The FTX Pragg Scholarship of Rs.2,07,530 goes to Ethan Vaz | Video: ChessBase India

Ethan Vaz is currently trained by Prakash Vikram Singh and GM FT Swayams Mishra.

GM FT Swayams Mishra

It has been more than 1.5 years working with Ethan. His talent was never in question, however he lacked exposure. Ethan's parents - Edwin & Linda always backed him despite all odds. I feel this is just the beginning for Ethan, the world will hear much more about him in the future.

Ethan Vaz with his coach - Prakash Vikram Singh

I am happy to have had the opportunity to coach Ethan since 2017 when he was six years of age. Ethan is exceptionally talented, and he excelled very rapidly. Despite the lockdowns taking away more than two precious years of opportunities to play FIDE rated tournaments, Ethan shot up rapidly as soon as tournaments resumed in 2022. In less than two years, he's gone from 1384 to 2400+ Elo and achieved the three IM-norms. It's always a pleasure to work with him in our daily sessions. He is right now the youngest IM in the world, and, as his coach, I am very proud and ecstatic.

Ethan's Best Achievements

Ethan Vaz has won a lot of accolades in his chess career so far. Here are the best ones:

• Gold - Asian Youth Under-12 Open Classical and Blitz 2022

Gold - Commonwealth Under-12 Open 2022

Gold - Western Asian Youth Under-8 Open Rapid 2019

Gold - Western Asia Youth Online Under-10 Boys 2021

Silver - Western Asian Youth Under-8 Open Blitz 2019

Silver - FIDE Youth Rapid Super Final Under-10 2021

Bronze - Asian Youth Under-12 Open Rapid 2022

Champion - Monginis Rapid Rating Open 2023

Second Runner-up - 1st Unity Rapid Rating Open 2022 

Runner-up - 10th National Schools Under-11 Open 2022

Runner-up - 9th National Schools Under-8 Open 2019

Runner-up - AICF National Online Under-10 Open 2021

Second Runner-up - 35th National Under-11 Open 2022

Second Runner-up - 9th National Amateur Below 2000 in 2022

Second Runner-up - 34th National Under-12 Open 2022

• Champion - Goa State Under-9 Open 2019 and 2020

Champion - Goa State Under-12 Open 2022

Champion - Goa State Under-15 Open 2022

Runner-up - Goa State School Under-15 Open Rapid Rating 2022

Runner-up - Goa State Under-14 Open 2022

Replay Ethan's games


Ethan Vaz becomes the Asian Under-12 champion 2022 | Video: ChessBase India
11-year-old boy trains IM Sagar Shah! | Ethan Vaz wins Silver medal at World Oroblem Solving 2022 | Video: ChessBase India
2521 vs 2306 | 11-Year-Old Super-talent Ethan Vaz calmly finishes off a Queen Endgame | Video: ChessBase India
11-year-old FM Ethan Vaz beats IM Ajay Karthikeyan at 29th Abu Dhabi Masters | Video: ChessBase India
11-year-old Ethan Vaz holds GM Alexei Fedorov to a draw - Delhi GM 2023 | Video: ChessBase India
Ethan Vaz gains 104 Elo points and finishes sixth at Delhi GM 2023 | Video: ChessBase India


Related news:
Ethan Vaz wins Monginis Rapid Rating Open 2023

@ 30/10/2023 by Shahid Ahmed (en)
Ethan Vaz gets the CCT Pragg Scholarship!

@ 12/02/2023 by Himank Ghosh (en)

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