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Leon wins Budapest Rigochess and makes his his maiden GM-norm

by Shahid Ahmed - 27/10/2020

Leon was supposed to return home in March but due to the travel restrictions caused by pandemic, he got stuck in Budapest. However that did not deter Leon from working towards his goals. He kept playing tournaments. He won a tournament in Serbia in August. Eight months after winning Budapest Rigochess International Chess Festival GM tournament, he won it for the second time in as many times and this time it was sweeter because he also scored his maiden GM-norm. He has already crossed 2500 in live rating list few months ago. So all that the Goan lad needs now is the remaining two GM-norms to become India's next GM. Photo: Niki Riga

Leon wins Budapest Rigochess twice in-a-row in eight months

Few months ago we reported that IM Leon Mendonca Luke is stuck in Budapest, Hungary with his father. Leon is making the most out of this difficult situation as he is playing strong tournament one after the other. On 24th October, Leon drew with GM Adam Kozak in the final round of the tournament to win Budapest Rigochess Int. Chess Festival October GM tournament with a score of 7.0/9. That's not all. He performed at 2611, thus earning his maiden GM-norm.

Laser focused Leon | Photo: Niki Riga

Leon performed at 2611, beat two GMs and drew with one in the tournament

In the fifth round, Leon beat GM Nguyen Huynh Minh Huy (VIE). Leon found a beautiful idea after which his opponent erred and lost the game.

Huynh - Leon

Position after 22.Bxe5

Find out the fantastic plan Leon found in this position after 22.Bxe5

In the seventh round, Leon got a dream position against GM David Berczes (HUN).

Leon - Berczes

Position after 18...Qc7

White is ready to launch an attack on the kingside as almost all of his pieces are already looking towards black's king. Find out the best plan for white.

In the final round of the tournament, Leon drew with GM Adam Kozak (HUN) after a five-hour long grueling battle. It was not easy at all as 14-year-old had to be precise till the very end of the game to secure his maiden GM-norm.

Kozak - Leon

Position after 46.axb4

Black's pawns might be further behind than white's but black's advantage is that he has an advanced king. What would be the way for black to save the game?

Position after 49.f5

White now has a protected passed pawn after 49.f5. Can black save the game? If yes, then how?

Leon got an opportunity to meet the greatest female chess player of all time - Judit Polgar, a few months ago.

Interacting with Judit has definitely inspired Leon a lot

Leon's first triumph at Budapest Rigochess Int. Festival in Feb 2020

Replay all Leon's games from the tournament

Final Standings

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2 
IMMendonca Leon LukeIND24997,026,506
GMKozak AdamHUN25026,527,254
IMKrstulovic AlexHUN23416,023,005
GMBerczes DavidHUN24465,019,503
FMBorhy MarcellHUN23714,516,751
IMPaschall WilliamUSA23244,516,251
GMNguyen Huynh Minh HuyVIE24194,515,001
IMGalyas MiklosHUN24594,514,751
FMPasti AronHUN23022,06,000
FMGungl TheoGER23520,52,500

Complete details


Official site

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