Chess: Carlsen recovers in Stavanger as seven-year-old expert record aims | Chess
Magnus Carlsen recovered from a slow start to score a third-round win after two lackluster draws this week in Stavanger, the Norwegian tournament the world champion has won on his last three renewals.
The games of the world number 1 are streamed live and free every day from 4:00 p.m. BST to worldwide audiences on the internet, with commentary from grandmasters and a sidebar that allows non-chess players to see who wins. Draws are immediately replayed as Armageddons, where White has 10 minutes before Black’s seven, but a result halved on the board counts as a Black win for the scoreboard.
This rule cost Carlsen in his Armageddon second round against Wesley So, as the American grandmaster scored with a queen rook mating attack. Carlsen recovered well in the third round on Thursday when the No.1 exploited an extra pawn to defeat Azerbaijani Teimour Radjabov. Earlier, Carlsen had opted for another bizarre first move in the pre-tournament blitz, following his use of 1 f2-f3 and 1 h2-h4 in the previous week’s online Chessable Masters. This time it was 1 a2-a4, known as Meadow Hay because its creator in the 1870s, Preston Ware, was a farmer who also played, as Black, the Corn Stalk Defense 1…a7- at 5.
Such eccentricities sit ill with the world crown, and Carlsen is now under pressure to find his true form quickly. He must win Stavanger convincingly to avoid falling behind in his quest to reach a 2900 rating, a chess Everest he approached in 2014 when he hit 2889.
India’s five-time world champion Vishy Anand has been in superb form of late and belied his 52 years as he took the lead in Stavanger with wins. in his two classic games. Anand declined selection to India’s Olympiad team to give younger players more chances, but he has already been called upon to reverse his decision, and those will increase if his strong start continues in the subsequent rounds.
The biennial Chess Olympiad, which begins in Chennai at the end of July, has already attracted a record number of 189 teams in the Open section and 154 in the women’s section. England have just announced their squad consisting of Michael Adams, Luke McShane, Gawain Jones, David Howell and Ravi Haria, with a women’s squad consisting of Jovanka Houska, Katarzyna Toma, Lan Yao, Akshaya Kalaiyalahan and Zoe Varney. The open team will aim for the top six, and even the top 10 will count as a success. The United States will be the clear favorites for gold, with China and the two Indian teams vying for silver and bronze.
England’s youngest chess prospect Kushal Jakhria, who was London Under-8 champion at age five, shared first in Blackpool Intermediate at age six and won the world under-eight blitz at age seven, achieved another success last weekend.
Pointer School, Blackheath, Pupil, who learned his early skills at Charlton Chess Club, shared first prize on 4/5 in the East Anglian Major at Newmarket. Jakhria met three top seeds, all rated above ECF 1900, a solid amateur standard, and scored 3-0 against low resistance in an average of under 24 shots.
The No. 2 seed chose the Tarrasch, found its black king trapped in the center, and was overrun by the white army.
Kushal Jakhria (1764) vs. Jason Long (1967), Tarrasch Defense
? 12 cxd4 Bb6? 13 Ba3! f6 14 Qb3 Be6 15 e4 Qd7 16 exd5 Bh3 17 Tfe1+ Kd8 18 Be7+ Kc8 19 Rac1+ Kb8 20 Bxh3 1-0
The No. 1 seed went for the Albin counter, stayed a pawn forward, then missed a chance to equalize and fell into a back row trap.
Kushal Jakhria (1764) vs. Mervyn Hughes (1970), Albin Counter Gambit
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e5 3 dxe5 d4 4 Nf3 Nc6 5 g3 Nge7 6 Bg2 Ng6 7 0-0 Ngxe5 8 Nxe5 Nxe5 9 a3 a5 10 Nd2 Be7 11 Nf3 Bf6 ? 12 Nxd4 0-0 13 c5 Qe7 14 c6 b6 15 Qc2 Ba6 16 Nf3 ? (16 Nf5!) Ng6 17 Be3 a4 18 Kfd1 Rad8 19 Kxd8 Kxd8 20 Qxa4 Bxe2 21 Re1 Bxf3 22 Bxf3 Ne5? (Bxb2!) 23 Be2 Nd3 24 Bxd3 Rxd3 25 Kf1 Bxb2? 26 Bd4 1-0
Jakhria’s ECF rating is now at 1843 in the newly released June 2022 listand since March he has played around 1925 in 21 games.
The round numbers are meaningful for all ambitious players, starting with 2000, which is officially Expert in the United States, then 2200 (Master), 2300 (Fide Master), 2400 (International Master), 2500 (Grandmaster), 2600 ( strong GM), 2700 (world top 50), 2800 (world title candidate level) and finally 2900 (Carlsen’s Everest). Computers clock in at over 3300…
For teens and sub-teens, the lower round numbers are most important, and the junior who currently has a monopoly on them is Abhimanyu Mishra of Englishtown, New Jersey. Mishra became the youngest American expert in 2000 at seven years and six months, then became the youngest US Master at nine, the youngest IM at 10 and the youngest GM at 12. Now, at 13 and ranked 2535, he still has a year to become the youngest ever 2600.
Mishra’s Expert and Master titles are indeed world and US records. Last month at the online Chessable Masters, the American teenager finished last of 16 in the grandmaster field, but his 3/15 total still included a win. against then world number 7, Shak Mamedyarov.
Could Kushal Jakhria break Abhimanyu Mishra’s remarkable monopoly by becoming the youngest ranked player in 2000? He has four and a half months to close a gap that is still at least 75-150 points from his current strength.
One action that would increase his chances of a world record would be for someone or an organization to sponsor a grandmaster trainer to teach him several days a week. This is normal practice for top talent from major chess nations, but is difficult to fund in England due to the lack of official chess support.
Even with the daily support of the grandmasters, reaching 2000 from 1850 to 1925 in four months would be problematic. Upgrading becomes progressively more difficult as a player progresses and opponents put extra effort against rising talents. At some point, too, even those who progress quickly find they hit an invisible wall when further progress suddenly becomes slow and tedious.
But it’s a possible world record, the occasion is fleeting and won’t happen again, so the conclusion is to go for it.
3818 1…Ke8! 2 Qxh5 (if 2 Bxh5 Qe4+ wins) Re4+! 3 Bxe4 Qxh5 wins the queen and the game.