Hetul Shah, nine-year-old grandmaster slayer

1/13/2009 – This has to be one for the records. At the Parsvnath Open in New Delhi the nine-year-old Hetul Shah defeated an experienced grandmaster, with the black pieces, in a regular tournament game with FIDE time controls. His opponent was 31-year-old Kasakh GM Nurlan Ibrayev, rated almost 600 points higher than the lad, and now probably the world's most embarrassed GM. Games and pictures.

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Hetul Shah, 9, beats Kasakh grandmaster

Ibrayev,Nurlan (2407) - Hetul,Shah (1817) [A00]
7th Parsvnath International Open, Delhi (1.36), 11.01.2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 cxd4 13.cxd4 Bd7 14.Nf1 Rfc8 15.Ne3 Nc6 16.a3 Bf8 17.b3?! This leaves a hole on c3, which the lad immediately spots: 17...Nxd4 18.Nxd4 Qc3.

All this has been played before, specifically in Szily-Bisguier 1952 (i.e. 25 years before Ibrayev was born, and 47 years before Hetul Shah saw the light of the world). 19.Ne2?!N The GM simply lets the rook hang. What the deeper idea behind this novelty was is beyond our ken. 19...Qxa1 20.Qd2.

A deadly trap, would you say? The black queen has no way out of the box. On the other hand White has difficulty attacking her. In the meantime Black launches a rescue action: 20...d5 21.b4. Getting into even deeper trouble. 21...d4 22.Nd1 Rxc2 23.Qxc2 Rc8 24.Qd2 Nxe4 25.Qd3 Nd6 26.Bb2 Qa2 27.f4 Qc4 28.Qb1

Black is two pawns up and calling all the shots. But can a nine-year-old actually win it against an experienced, 31-year-old GM? As the new US President would say: "Yes he can!" 28...d3 29.Ne3 Qe4 30.Nc3 Qxf4 31.Ncd5 Qg3 32.Nf1 Qg6 33.Bxe5 Nc4 34.Nf4. With almost every move since the last diagram the GM has been harassing the opponent's queen with his knights. But the boy remained unfazed and now launches a full-scale attack: 34...Qb6+ 35.Kh1 Nxe5 36.Rxe5 Bd6 37.Re4 Bc6 38.Qc1. Trying to trick the kid with a pin and backrank mate? No way Hetul Shah is going to let this one slip away. 38...Qb7 39.Re1

39...Bxg2+ 40.Nxg2 Rxc1 41.Rxc1 Bf4 42.Rc3 d2 43.Rd3 h6 44.Kg1 Qb6+

It's all over, and what must certainly be the world's most embarrassed grandmaster stretches out his hand in resignation. 0-1. [Click to replay]


Did I do something wrong? The youngest GM-Slayer in history

The 7th Parsvnath International Rating Chess Tournament, organised by the Capablanca Chess Club, is taking place from January 11th to 19th in the Modern School, Barakhamba Road, New Delhi. The event is a ten-round Swiss with total cash prizes of Rs. 11,50,000, (or 11.5 lakhs, which is an Indian numeral denoting 100,000). It translates to 17,600 Euros or US $23,400. Foreign players must submit 10.1% of their winnings as tax, per Indian income tax regulations.


Clash of generations at the 2007 Parsvnath Open


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Indian press reports



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