Monday, July 30, 2012

9-year-old beats Grandmaster in tournament play!

Awonder Liang and his brother Adream have been playing a "killer" tournament schedule this summer: the Chicago Open, the Philadelphia International, the World Open, and (right now) the Washington International.

Yesterday, Awonder defeated his first Grandmaster!  The current World 8-and-Under Champion defeated the former World Senior Champion, GM Larry Kaufman, in Round 3 of the Washington International.

Proud papa Will Liang writes:
Awonder has become the record holder for the youngest chess player in the United States to have beaten a Grand Master in a tournament game of chess. The new record Awonder has just established is 9 years 3 months and 20 days. The previous record was established by now super GM and world number 8th chess player Fabiana Caruana on September 28, 2002. Caruana's record was 10 years one month and 29 days. Awonder has broken Caruana's record by 10 months and 9 days.



The very next round, Awonder drew with three-time U.S. Champion Joel Benjamin in the kind of technical ending that GMs routinely win against experienced International Masters.

To assuage Grandmaster Kaufman's pain, buy his wonderful book The Kaufman Repertoire for Black and White: A Complete, Sound and User-friendly Chess Opening Repertoire.  It's a wonderful one-volume reference for ambitious tournament players with limited time to study. But you may want to consider 8...Ba6 against the Scotch.

9 comments:

parinda27 said...

congratulations to the liang family on garnering their first grandmaster 'scalp' maybe there is another way to put this considering awonder's age. i also calculated that if awonder wins his next two rounds he's on the cusp of being the youngest master in u.s history. .good luck awonder! ...uncle mike thanks for the news bill

Gopal Menon said...

http://chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=5144 I'm not so sure about the record. Perhaps this needs to be checked... Also I don't see why this game would put anybody off Nb6 in the scotch, white didn't really have anything too impressive...

Frederick Rhine said...

Gopal Menon is correct. It is not clear whether Awonder or Hetul Shah of India, who was also 9 when he beat a GM, now holds the record. Given that Awonder is only about 9 1/4, the odds are that he is younger than Shah was, but I don't know. (I looked on FIDE's site, but it only gives Shah's birth-year, not birthday).

Frederick Rhine said...

btw, does anyone besides me remember when Chess Life got all excited (circa 1981) about 9-year-old Evan Turtel becoming "the youngest player to defeat a master" when he beat Alan Williams (2322) in a tournament game? See http://www.logicalchess.com/info/trivia/t.html. That is indeed impressive, but beating a grandmaster at age 9? Incredible.

Frederick Rhine said...

Samuel Sevian is the youngest U.S. master ever, at 9 years, 11 months, and 11 days. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/19/crosswords/chess/19chess.html. Awonder, already rated 2126 according to the USCF website, should roll over that record like a truck. Incidentally, you may have heard of some of the previous holders of that record - they include Nakamura and Fischer. (There are others you may NOT have heard of - Nicholas Nip, anyone? Jordy Mont-Reynaud? - so let's hope that Awonder retains his love for the game.)

Bill Brock said...

Mr. Liang was only claiming the U.S. record. As records go, I'm not that impressed by it. But I am impressed by the game itself.

Bill Brock said...

...though computer-noodling suggests that White was in deep doo-doo between moves 16 and 20, so Gopal's point is a fair one.

Hey, I'm blogging, I'm entitled to say stupid things.

Frederick Rhine said...

Yes, I certainly had the impression that White was in deep doo-doo thereabouts. Kaufman must have either (somehow) overlooked Rxe6! or completely underestimated it. But a nice recovery by Awonder. "Winning ugly" is still winning.

Anonymous said...

33.b4 White is better?