It's Pari vs Katya in the Amity Grandmasters Challenge

by ChessBase
12/16/2006 – From December 16–25 the world's youngest Grandmaster, Parimarjan Negi will play against the world's youngest girl grandmaster and reigning European Women's champion Kateryna Lahno of Ukraine. The event is being held in New Delhi from 17-25 December 2006 and will consist of six long games, six rapid and six blitz games. Preview.

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The Amity Grandmasters Challenge

Kateryna Lahno vs Parimarjan Negi in New Delhi

The Amity Grandmasters Challenge begins with an opening ceremony on December 16 and the first classical chess game on December 17, 2006. There will be six games under FIDE time control, then six rapid games and finally six blitz games. The winner will be decided on the basis of accumulated results. The prize fund is Rs. 300,000 for the winner and Rs. 200,000 for the loser (which translates to a total prize fund of just over US $11,000 or € 8,500).

Schedule of the Amity Grandmasters Challenge
Day 1 Sat. Dec. 16 3:00 p.m. Inauguration ceremony and simuls
Day 2 Sun. Dec. 17 2:30 p.m. Game 1 FIDE time controls
Day 3 Mon. Dec. 18 2:30 p.m. Game 2 FIDE time controls
Day 4 Tues. Dec. 19 2:30 p.m. Game 3 FIDE time controls
Day 5 Wed. Dec. 20 2:30 p.m. Game 4 FIDE time controls
Day 6 Thurs. Dec. 21 2:30 p.m. Game 5 FIDE time controls
Day 7 Fri. Dec. 22 2:30 p.m. Game 6 FIDE time controls
Day 8 Sat. Dec. 23 2:30 p.m. Three rapid games 25' + 10"
Day 9 Sun. Dec. 24 2:30 p.m.. Three rapid games 25' + 10"
Day 10 Mon. Dec. 25 2:30 p.m. Six blitz games, closing ceremony

The first six classical games will be played according to the FIDE time controls of 90 minutes for the entire game with a 30 seconds increment after every move. The rapid games will be played with 25 minutes each and a 10 seconds increment after every move. There will be a 30 minute rest after each game. The blitz games are at five minutes for the entire game with a five seconds increment after every move. There will be 15 minutes of rest after each game.

In case of a 9-9 tie after 18 games the players will play a sudden death (Armageddon) blitz games where White gets six minutes against Black's five minutes (no increment), and White will have to win. The cash prize in this case will be shared and the final game will only be for the winner's trophy.


While the preparations for the match between World's youngest Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi and the youngest ever Woman Grandmaster Kateryna Lahno (She has completed the requirements for her GM title too) are in full swing the two youngsters are busy preparing in different ways.

Parimarjan being trained by Commonwealth Champion GM Nigel Short
in Nigel's home in Athens (with son Nicholas Darwin Short looking on)

Kateryna being coached by a retired Russian grandmaster*

Parimarjan in fact is doing a lot of promotion as well. The event is brainchild of Mr. Atul Chauhan, Chancellor Amity University, and is sponsored by the Amity Group that happens to be one of the biggest private education groups in India. Parimarjan is a student of Amity school in New Delhi, and the idea behind this match is to propel many more young talents to join the game.

Friends for now: Parimarjan and Kateryna before their match in Delhi

The big promotion was held in New Delhi at the Russian Center for Science Arts and Culture which is also the venue of the main event. Parimarjan played a four-board blindfold simultaneous and followed it up with a 30 board normal simultaneous. The result was a 3-1 victory in blindfold and 28.5-1.5 in other contest.

Pari playing blindfold chess...

... against four opponents simultaneously. At thirteen. And winning 3:1.

The event was a huge success with over a 100 people gathered just to watch the Delhi's first son in chess in action. And the media flocked in as well to find out especially what the blindfold is all about.

And then a traditional simultaneous exhibition against 30 opponents. Score: 28.5-1.

Kateryna Lahno at a glance:

  • World's youngest girl grandmaster
  • Reigning European Women's Champion
  • Became Women Grandmaster at 12 years
  • Winner of the world's strongest womens tournament in 2006
  • Hailed as world's greatest girl talent

Parimarjan Negi at a glance:

  • World's youngest grandmaster currently
  • India 's youngest ever grandmaster
  • India 's youngest ever International Master
  • Youngest Indian ever to beat a grandmaster
  • A bright student of Amity International School in New Delhi

* The picture of Kateryna Lahno with Garry Kasparov was taken during the Linz chess event earlier this year. They analysed for two hours, after which Kasparov confirmed: Katya is an extraordinary chess talent.


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