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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Age Not a Factor in Chess?

Chess blog for latest chess news and chess trivia (c) Alexandra Kosteniuk, 2012

Hi everyone,

We are always looking for interesting chess news. Here is a nice analytical article from Dylan Loeb McClain in The New York Times. Vaibhav Suri became India’s newest grandmaster last Sunday when he won the Luc Open in Lille, France. At 15 years, 2 months and 21 days old, he is the 27th youngest grandmaster in history.

Some players who have become a grandmaster at such a young age have gone on to join the elite, but others have floundered. And some relatively late bloomers have risen to the top.

Sergey Karjakin, 22, who was born in Ukraine, holds the record as the youngest grandmaster (12 years, 7 months) and is among the successful prodigies: he is now No. 6 in the world. The top-ranked player, Magnus Carlsen, 21, of Norway, became a grandmaster four months after his 13th birthday.

But the Chinese player Bu Xiangzhi, 26, who was also a 13-year-old grandmaster, peaked at No. 22 in 2008 and has fallen to No. 98. Wesley So — who earned the title four years ago, when he was 14 — is the Philippines’ top player, but his rating has stagnated and he has fallen to No. 104.

On the other hand, Levon Aronian, 29, of Armenia became a grandmaster at 17 but did not break into the top 100 until three years later. He is now No. 2. The world champion, Viswanathan Anand, 42, who inspired a generation of Indian players, was 18 when he became a grandmaster. (Anand begins his defense of the title on Friday against Boris Gelfand of Israel.
Suri has a classical style of play, but he is also opportunistic. A good example of his ability was his win over Artashes Minasian of Armenia in the Aeroflot Open in February.

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