The Hastings Chess Congress took place from December 28th, 2005, to January 6th, 2006, with 106 players at the start. The tournament was won by Valerij Neverov with a score of 8/10. Here are the results of the top players:
The sendation of the tournament was Parimarjan Negi, a 12-year-old chess prodigy from India (born 9 February 1993). In July 2005, he became the world's youngest International Master, scoring his third and final IM norm at the International Open in Sort, Spain.
In round nine in Hastings Negi was faced against GM Yurij Kuzubov, who gained a clear positional advantage and struggled for 86 moves to convert this into a full point. But the young Indian's defence held and the game ended in a draw. That meant that Negi had achieved a GM norm, and had done so at the age of 12 years 10 months and 29 days.
Negi finished the event with 6/10 on place 16. His score in Hastings was +4 =4 –2 against average opposition of 2498, which works out to a performance rating of 2568.
Note: FIDE requires a 2600 performance for a GM norm. Parimarjan achieved this after nine rounds of the Hastings tournament. With that he had made a "nine-round GM norm". In the 10th round he lost to Vladimir Belov and his performance slipped below 2600. However, FIDE recognises the nine-round performance and the official norm certificate has been given by the organizers to the boy.
Here are the statistics for GM titles so far:
|Player||Final GM norm at|
|Bobby Fischer||15 years, 6 months, 1 day|
|Judit Polgar||15 years, 4 months, 28 days|
|Peter Leko||14 years, 4 months, 22 days|
|Etienne Bacrot||14 years, 2 months, 0 days|
|Ruslan Ponomaryov||14 years, 0 months, 17 days|
|Teimour Radjabov||14 years, 0 months, 14 days|
|Bu Xiangzhi||13 years, 10 months, 13 days|
|Magnus Carlsen||13 years, 3 months, 27 days|
|Sergey Karjakin||12 years, 7 months, 0 days|
Parimarjam Negi (India) vs GM Sergey Erenburg (Israel) in round four
Negi,P (2352) - Erenburg,S (2582) [B18]
Masters Hastings ENG (4), 31.12.2005
Do you know how to win this endgame? The 12-year-old did, and played perfectly: 64.f4! Kg3 65.f5! Kxg2 66.f6 h4 67.f7 h3 68.f8Q h2 69.Qa8+ Kg1 70.Qa1+ Kg2 71.Qb2+ Kg1 72.Kf4! h1Q 73.Kg3
and Black has run out of moves: 1-0.
The Hindu celebrated the news of Negi's latest feat by asking five Indian Grandmasters their opinions on the lad. Here their reactions (extracts):
Abhijit Kunte: Instead of his age, it is important to look at the number of years he has been playing serious chess. To gain a GM norm within the first five to six years is a great achievement.
Dibyendu Barua: Someone so young making a GM-norm is spectacular and very exciting. But now starts the tough part. There will be tremendous pressure on Negi from his near ones, media etc. every time he plays. It will be unrealistic to expect him to make a norm in every tournament.
Pravin Thipsay: These days, a lot of children start playing the game early but Negi has kept his peers far away. Now he should follow P. Hari Krishna's footsteps and set short-term goals like, try and achieve the GM title by the end of 2006.
R.B. Ramesh: This is an amazing feat. This shows that Indian chess has a bright future. Negi has proved that getting opportunities alone is not enough. One has to make good use of them. His good results are due to his devotion and systematic homework.