The South American grandmaster from Paraguay, Axel Bachmann (2645), was confident as he faced the lad from India during the final round of the competitive Isle of Man International Chess Tournament last Sunday. R Praggnanandhaa, (2442), the 11-year-old with the unpronounceable name, had nothing to lose playing against the grandmaster. So when Bachmann tried an offbeat chess opening attempting to confuse his younger opponent, Praggnanandhaa was game. Clearly, the game of chess has little regard for the age factor, as it took Praggnanandhaa 18 moves and one hour to dispatch one of South America strongest grandmasters.
Bachmann opted to castle on the opposite wing to his opponent. Praggnanandhaa started the ball rolling with his 7…c5! as soon as his opponent castled on the queenside. This was a key move in a game with limited possibilities, since White had already taken out Black’s superior king’s bishop.
Altogether, Praggnanandhaa opened the dangerous b-file trapping the king on the rickety rook file. In that moment when the b-file was blasted open, it became a downhill fall for the white pieces. The moves of the game are contained in the games section of the column below.
Praggnanandhaa’s victory over Bachmann, however, cannot be compared to Bobby Fischer’s ‘Game of the Century’ which he played against Donald Byrne when he was 13 in 1956 in terms of quality.
The Fischer game was superior in the quality of the moves. But Praggnanandhaa is only 11 and there is still time to create a rollicking masterpiece.
Pavel Elanjov vs Alexei Gavrilov, St Petersburg, 2002
White to play and win.
Solution to last week’s puzzle
White played: Qh8+ Ng8 Ne5+
The following games were played at the 2016 Isle of Man International Chess Tournament in Douglas, Isle of Man, England, from October 1 – 9. Ukrainian grandmaster Pavel Elanjov won the tournament.
White: Fabiano Caruana
Black: Michael Adams
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3 O-O 6. O-O Re8 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bh4 a6 9. Bc4 d6 10. Nbd2 Ba7 11. a4 Be6 12. a5 Bxc4 13. Nxc4 Re6 14. Ne3 Bxe3 15. fxe3 d5 16. d4 exd4 17. Bxf6 Rxf6 18. e5 Re6 19. exd4 f6 20. Re1 Qd7 21. Qb3 fxe5 22. dxe5 Rf8 23. Re3 Rg6 24. Kh1 Nd8 25. Rd1 c6 26. c4 d4
27. Qc2 Rg4 28. h3 Rgf4 29. b4 Rxf3 30. Rxf3 Rxf3 31. gxf3 Qxh3+ 32. Kg1 Qg3+ 33. Qg2 Qxe5 34. f4 Qxf4 35. Re1 Qf6 36. Qg4 Nf7 37. Re8+ Kh7 38. Re6 Qg5 39. Qxg5 Nxg5 40. Re7 c5 41. b5 axb5 42. cxb5 c4 43. Kf2 c3 44. Ke2 Nh3 45. Rf7 1-0.
White: Axel Bachmann Schiavo
Black: R Praggnanandhaa
1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Qd2 Bg7 5. Bh6 O-O 6. Bxg7 Kxg7 7. O-O-O c5 8. e3 Nc6 9. f3 c4 10. e4 b5 11. exd5 Nb4 12. Nxb5 Nxa2+ 13. Kb1 Qxd5 14. Na3 c3 15. bxc3 Rb8+ 16. Ka1 Qa5 17. Kxa2 Nd5 18. Ne2 Be6 0-1.
White: Wesley So
Black: Pavel Eljanov
1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 e5 8. O-O Be7 9. d4 exd4 10. cxd4 cxd4 11. Bb2 Bf6 12. Ba3 Be7 13. Bxe7 Qxe7 14. Nxd4 Nxd4 15. Qxd4 O-O 16. e3 Rd8 17. Qe4 Qxe4 18. Bxe4 Rb8 19. Rfc1 Be6 20. Rc7 Rd7 21. Rxd7 Bxd7 22. Rd1 Be6 23. Bxb7 Bxa2 24. Ra1 Rxb7 25. Rxa2 h5 26. Kg2 g6 27. f4 Kg7 28. Kf3 f5 29. h3 Re7 30. Ra3 Kf7 31. g4 hxg4+ 32. hxg4 fxg4+ 33. Kxg4 a5 34. f5 gxf5+ 35. Kxf5 Re6 36. Rxa5 Rxe3 37. Ra7+ Re7 38. Rxe7+ Kxe7 1/2-1/2.