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Karjakin's youngest GM record still stands

by Sagar Shah - 23/12/2018

Two Indians came very close to breaking Karjakin's record of the youngest GM in the world at the age of 12 years and 7 months. They were Praggnanandhaa and Gukesh. While Pragg missed the target by three months, Gukesh had a highly realistic chance if he made his third GM norm at the Sunway Sitges International 2018. The youngster was very close, but in the end missed out on the train. We tell you what happened in the ninth round. More good news from Sunway Sitges is 11-year-old Bharath Subramaniyam making his first IM norm. The last round will be played today at 2 p.m. IST and the exciting pairing is Praggnanandhaa versus Nihal Sarin.

It was quite an important day for the record keepers in chess. Gukesh who was on 5.0/8 at the Sunway Sitges International 2018 had a chance to break Karjakin's record of becoming the youngest GM in the world if things went his way. This is what the situation was before the ninth round:

Gukesh playing against Alexander Demianjuk in round 9 | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Gukesh D's current opponent average rating is 2438.11. Checking in FIDE Handbook you realize that for this rating average he needs 6.5/9. As he was on 5.0/8, this is theoretically impossible. So he needed to win the ninth round against Alexander Demianjuk (2344) to get on 6.0/9.


If he did win his final tenth round he needed his average rating of opponents to go up to 2451 so that 7.0/10 gives him a GM norm. In order to push his average opponent's rating to 2451, he needed a minimum of 2567 rated opponent in round 10 and Gukesh had to beat him. So in a nutshell, to beat Karjakin's record of becoming the youngest GM in the world Gukesh needed the following to go his way:


1. He needed to beat his 2344 rated opponent in round 9 with black pieces

2. He needed to be paired with a 2567 or above Elo rated opponent in round 10

3. He needed to beat that opponent in round 10!


Gukesh was not able to beat his ninth round opponent Alexander Demianjuk and had to settle for a draw. With 5.5/9 he has chances of breaking into 2500 if he won his final round, but the GM norm is out of grasps.

Gukesh tried really hard and almost beat Karjakin's record. In the end he missed it by a whisker! | Photo: Rupali Mullick

On our Facebook post, Gukesh's father Rajinikanth wrote:

"It's been a fantastic year for Gukesh. Honestly at the start of 2018, if someone would have predicted and told me that at the year end he will be close to 2500 and completed IM title and also has 2 GM norms in addition to Asian and World gold medals, I would have laughed it off. So it's that sort of miracle year. I am pretty happy with his efforts and results. Keep supporting him with all your blessings and prayers as I feel he wasn't destined for this record but who knows he has better things to target! Heartfelt thanks for all your support."

Gukesh's pillar of strength - his father Rajinikanth | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Another excellent news for Indian fans is 11-year-old Bharath Subramaniyam | Photo: Rupali Mullick

With wins and draws over strong players Bharath Subramaniyam achieved his IM norm

Sasikiran drew his ninth round game and is currently in fifth position. If he manages to beat Evgeny Romanov in tenth round, he can finish in top 3 | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Krishna Teja continued his dream tournament by drawing his game against Awonder Liang | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Nihal Sarin played a fine game to beat his 2336 rated opponent | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Pragg drew his game against higher rated Adly Ahmed | Photo: Rupali Mullick

The interesting thing is that Pragg and Nihal will face each other once again in the tenth round of the Sunway Sitges International 2018. The above picture was taken at the Aeroflot Open 2018 earlier this year. Nihal was black in the game and it ended in a draw. | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The final round will begin 7 hours before scheduled at 2 p.m. IST

Overview of Indian performances:

4GMSasikiran Krishnan26730IND111½½110½6,552663Group A
16GMNihal Sarin25760IND1111½½0016,0172586Group A
25GMPraggnanandhaa R25300IND½111½½½½½6,0212560Group A
35IMGukesh D24660IND1101½01½½5,5342509Group A
41IMSadhwani Raunak24340IND111010½015,5362527Group A
42WGMSoumya Swaminathan24280IND110½10½½½5,0592379Group A
45IMVardaan Nagpal24150IND½½½½10½½15,0752190Group A
46IMRaja Rithvik R24150IND11½0½½1½½5,5392388Group A
48IMArjun Kalyan24060IND1100½½½115,5492234Group A
49CMRohith Krishna S23990IND10011½½½½5,0702305Group A
59IMRoy Prantik23820IND1½010½1½04,5772336Group A
68IMKrishna Teja N23400IND1011½1½1½6,592612Group A
73WGMVaishali R23290IND11001½0½15,0542369Group A
74IMDhulipalla Bala Chandra Prasad23280IND1010101½½5,0622312Group A
81WIMPriyanka Nutakki22930IND1½010½½½15,0672145Group A
85CMMullick Raahil22760IND10101100½4,5822211Group A
86FMPranav Anand22740IND101½1½0½04,5832309Group A
90Sreeshwan Maralakshikari22440IND101½½0½104,5762353Group A
95CMBharath Subramaniyam H22340IND0111½½0½15,5402426Group A
96Moksh Amit Doshi22330IND011½½½0014,5852297Group A
106Alok Sinha21870IND0101010003,01422093Group A
108Natarajan C21770IND01½00½1104,01082176Group A
115CMDev Shah21590IND001½0½1½003,51381961Group A
116Manu David Suthandram R21530IND½½½01½½½15,0552369Group A
120Ajay Karthikeyan21430IND01½½1½0104,5842311Group A
121Rakshitta Ravi21410IND0½½½01½½½4,01181972Group A
139WFMCholleti Sahajasri20690IND½½001½½115,0722276Group A
148Shyam Prasad Reddy K20300IND010½110014,5912313Group A
160Aarav Dengla19550IND00½½010½½3,01552008Group A
164Mahitosh Dey19310IND01½½½0½½½4,01172160Group A
167Arjun C Krishnamachari18950IND010½½½½½03,51322107Group A
177Ilamparthi A R17960IND½01010½115,0742224Group A
179AGMVignesh B17400IND0½½01½½104,01142114Group A

Pairing of round 10 of Indian players:

Rd.Bo.No. NameRtgPts.ResultPts.NameRtg No.
1044GMSasikiran Krishnan2673GMRomanov Evgeny261411
1086GMVocaturo Daniele26296IMKrishna Teja N234068
101225GMPraggnanandhaa R253066GMNihal Sarin257616
101648IMArjun Kalyan2406GMLagarde Maxime26169
102035IMGukesh D2466IMSarkar Justin233271
102262FMPablo Mari Alejandro2375IMSadhwani Raunak243441
102395CMBharath Subramaniyam H2234IMSeyb Alexander241943
102446IMRaja Rithvik R2415FMOrtega Ruiz Jose Miguel229879
102742WGMSoumya Swaminathan242855WGMVaishali R232973
102874IMDhulipalla Bala Chandra Prasad232855IMVardaan Nagpal241545
103097FMSande Edreira Jose Antonio223055CMRohith Krishna S239949
103254IMDuran Vega Sergio239155WIMPriyanka Nutakki229381
103460IMBorocz Istvan237755WFMCholleti Sahajasri2069139
1036177Ilamparthi A R179655GMPogorelov Ruslan235465
103769FMLillo Castany Victor233655Manu David Suthandram R2153116

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