New faces at the Aeroflot Open

by Thorsten Cmiel
3/15/2020 – Many young players used the Aeroflot Open to gather some tournament experience. Some of their names are not so familiar. One of them, 14 year old Aydin Suleymanli, made himself a name by simply winning the tournament. THORSTEN CMIEL introduces the next generation. | Photo: ChessBase India

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Juniors in Moscow

It is a great method to follow players who are improving their practical skill level in all phases. Watching their games and analyzing the interesting moments, is a good way to improve the own chess skill level. Talented young players show a chess performance explosion ever so often. In Moscow, two new outstanding talents have entered the world stage.

Exciting moments

The risk appetite among most strongest youth players is higher than that of the saturated top of the world. This is why Alireza was able to challenge the chess elite in Wijk aan Zee and spread a bit of fear and terror. At least with the white pieces, he often goes straight for the king attack which is rather unusual for Super Grandmasters. Normally Alireza is traditionally participating in Moscow, but this time he surprisingly received an invitation as a substitute in Prague, which he won, and had to pass at Aeroflot due to overlap. In Moscow, some other young talents were showing that they could soon follow the Iranian to Olympus.

A colorful mix of exciting moments and games show how confidently young players with ambitions play for victory. Older players tend to lose condition in the last rounds. Not so with many juniors, who have enough stamina to prepare themselves just as meticulously for the final rounds as they do for the first ones.

Game fragments

 

History

In 2020 the Azerbaijani Aydin Suleymanli, born in 2005, won the world's strongest open tournament at the age of 14. His score of 7 out of 9 in Moscow corresponded to a performance of 2791 points. For comparison, Vincent Keymer's performance with 8½ out of 9 at the Grenke Open 2018 represented a performance of 2795 against significantly weaker opponents. Historically, there was someone — a girl in fact — who was more successful:

In 1989 in Rome, Sofia Polgar, at the age of 14, achieved one of the best measurable chess achievements and made history.

Her result of 8½ out of 9 corresponded to a performance of 2879 according to New in Chess. Incidentally, the younger sister of Sofia, Judit, was already number 1 in the women's world ranking at the age of twelve.

Sofia Polgar was able to keep a better overview than her opponents, especially in tactically complicated positions. In particular with black, she was often worse off after the opening phase, but she showed her extraordinary fighting qualities.

Games of Sofia Polgar

 

Judit and Sofie Polgar 1988 | Photo: Gerhard Hund GFHund / CC BY

Aydin Suleymanli (b. 2005)

The winner in Moscow told ChessBase India a few months ago that he no longer went to school and already saw himself as a chess professional. His coach is Farid Abbasov, an Azerbaijani Grandmaster who isn’t very active himself. Aydin is currently the reigning U14 world champion and has recently improved his results. At the European Club Cup, for example, Aydin achieved a performance of over 2700 with an opponent average of 2487 with 5.5 out of 7. With his victory, he achieved a Grandmaster norm, won 38 Elo points and advanced to an Elo rating of over 2500 points for the first time.

Suleymanli Aydin IM 2429 AZE Rp:2717
Rd. SNo   Name Rtg Rp Pts. Res. Bo.
1 120   Mastalerz Xavier 2224 2116 2,0 s 1 5
2 392 FM Buzeti Jernej 2211 2349 4,0 w 1 5
3 180 GM Rozum Ivan 2593 2397 3,5 w 1 5
4 211 GM Antipov Mikhail Al. 2558 2446 4,0 s 1 5
5 244 GM Saric Ivan 2650 2630 4,0 s 0 5
6 25 GM Sasikiran Krishnan 2660 2596 3,5 w ½ 5
7 267 GM Sebenik Matej 2512 2424 4,5 s 1  

Aydin performed well particularly in the second half of the tournament by scoring a full point three times in a row in round 6, 7 and 8. The youngster was very convincing in his game against Parham Maghsoodloo.

Games of Aydin Suleymanli

 

Photo: Eteri Kublashvili

Bharath Subramanyam (b. 2007)

In the first half of the tournament, a twelve-year-old Indian (born in 2007) dominated the field in Moscow. After losing to Rauf Mamedarov in the middle of the tournament, he seemed to be running out of breath. After six rounds, he already had at least an eight-round Grandmaster norm and even exceeded it by winning the last round with a point. His performance of 2707 points continues to attract attention. Bharath is a student from the Ramesh performance group in Chennai and has already collected several titles in children's chess. His trainer was delighted with this success. Bharath can theoretically break Karjakin's age record as the youngest Grandmaster of all time.

Rd. Br. Snr   Name Elo FED Pts. Res.
1 47 48 GM Antipov Mikhail Al. 2562 RUS 5,5 s 1
2 12 30 GM Karthikeyan Murali 2602 IND 4,5 w ½
3 18 2 GM Sargissian Gabriel 2689 ARM 5,5 s 1
4 3 23 GM Zhou Jianchao 2622 CHN 5,0 w 1
5 1 11 GM Mamedov Rauf 2643 AZE 6,5 s 0
6 8 17 GM Paravyan David 2629 RUS 6,0 w ½
7 7 15 GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2630 IND 6,5 s 0
8 15 13 GM Riazantsev Alexander 2639 RUS 5,5 w ½
9 19 25 GM Chigaev Maksim 2616 RUS 4,5 s 1

Games of Bharath

 

Volodar Murzin (b. 2006)

The Russian is an international champion with a current rating of 2442. His result of five points against an opposing average of 2590 corresponded to a performance of 2633 and brought him an increase of 23 rating points.

Rd. Br. Snr   Name Elo FED Pts. Res.
1 32 33 GM Can Emre 2600 TUR 2,0 w 0
2 44 50 IM Ivic Velimir 2558 SRB 3,5 s ½
3 40 52 GM Frolyanov Dmitry 2556 RUS 4,0 w 1
4 26 18 GM Shtembuliak Evgeny 2628 UKR 5,0 s ½
5 30 35 GM Salgado Lopez Ivan 2597 ESP 2,0 w 1
6 20 27 GM Kobalia Mikhail 2609 RUS 5,5 s ½
7 19 22 GM Indjic Aleksandar 2622 SRB 4,5 w 0
8 28 41 GM Wagner Dennis 2590 GER 4,5 s ½
9 31 53 GM Chanda Sandipan 2552 IND 3,5 w 1

Games of Volodar Murzin

 

Arseniy Nesterov (b. 2003)

Arseniy seems to want to follow the example of his compatriot Esipenko and initially refrain from gaining less important titles (IM, FM). With a rating of 2501, the Russian was number set as starting position 67. Aside from his brutal loss against Praggnanandhaa in the final round, he played a solid tournament, reaching a performance of 2618 and a Grandmaster norm.

Rd. Br. Snr   Name Elo FED Pts. Res.
1 18 18 GM Shtembuliak Evgeny 2628 UKR 5,0 w 1
2 8 20 GM Durarbayli Vasif 2625 AZE 4,5 s ½
3 15 29 GM Yilmaz Mustafa 2607 TUR 6,0 w ½
4 16 26 GM Smirin Ilia 2615 ISR 5,5 s 0
5 28 24 GM Jobava Baadur 2620 GEO 2,0 w 1
6 18 22 GM Indjic Aleksandar 2622 SRB 4,5 s ½
7 20 27 GM Kobalia Mikhail 2609 RUS 5,5 w ½
8 21 16 GM Martirosyan Haik M. 2630 ARM 4,5 s ½
9 21 31 GM Praggnanandhaa R 2602 IND 5,5 w 0

Games of Arseniy Nesterov

 


Muradli Mahammad (born 2002)

Another Azeri achieved a Grandmaster norm in Moscow with a performance of 2604. He played in the B-Open and gained 22 points in Moscow.

Rd. Br. Snr   Name Elo FED Pts. Res.
1 26 78 FM Salman Pavel 2286 RUS 3,5 s 1
2 15 103   Pogorelskikh Sofia 2156 RUS 4,0 w 1
3 4 15 IM Drygalov Sergey 2477 RUS 6,0 s ½
4 7 24 CM Igambergenov Alibek 2430 KAZ 5,0 w 1
5 2 10 GM Venkatesh M.R. 2494 IND 5,5 w 1
6 1 2 GM Harutyunian Tigran K. 2538 ARM 7,0 s ½
7 2 9 IM Afanasiev Nikita 2498 RUS 7,0 w ½
8 4 1 GM Bogdanovich Stanislav 2546 UKR 7,0 s 0
9 4 6 GM Levin Evgeny A. 2513 RUS 5,5 s 1

Olga Badelka (b. 2002)

The Belarusian narrowly failed to gain the Grandmaster norm. She entered the A-Open with an Elo rating of 2404 and earned 50 percent with an opposing average of 2587. Her performance is all the more remarkable if you take a look at the current women's world rankings. The Indian Koneru Humpy has just become the new number 2 at 2586.

Rd. Br. Snr   Name Elo FED Pts. Res.
1 45 46 GM Erigaisi Arjun 2563 IND 5,5 s 1
2 10 23 GM Zhou Jianchao 2622 CHN 5,0 w 0
3 33 25 GM Chigaev Maksim 2616 RUS 4,5 s ½
4 30 44 GM Savchenko Boris 2573 RUS 4,5 w 0
5 38 63 GM Stupak Kirill 2518 BLR 4,5 s 1
6 30 33 GM Can Emre 2600 TUR 2,0 w 1
7 17 19 GM Deac Bogdan-Daniel 2626 ROU 5,5 s 0
8 26 34 GM Puranik Abhimanyu 2597 IND 4,0 w ½
9 30 55 GM Grigoriants Sergey 2539 RUS 4,5 s ½

Games of Olga Badelka

 

Pranesh (b. 2006)

The Indian is FIDE Master and achieved an IM norm with a performance of 2528. At the beginning of the tournament, he was even on track for a Grandmaster norm for a long time.

Rd. Br. Snr   Name Elo FED Pts. Res.
1 40 42 GM Shimanov Aleksandr 2587 RUS 5,5 s ½
2 35 44 GM Savchenko Boris 2573 RUS 4,5 w 1
3 16 30 GM Karthikeyan Murali 2602 IND 4,5 s ½
4 18 28 GM Svane Rasmus 2608 GER 5,5 w ½
5 16 21 GM Zvjaginsev Vadim 2623 RUS 5,0 s 0
6 28 34 GM Puranik Abhimanyu 2597 IND 4,0 w ½
7 30 36 GM Sargsyan Shant 2594 ARM 4,5 s 0
8 38 63 GM Stupak Kirill 2518 BLR 4,5 w 0
9 41 82 IM Nikitenko Mihail 2440 BLR 2,5 s 1

Games of Pranesh

 

The top dogs

In addition to the title hunters, there were of course some other well-known teenagers who are already Grandmasters or have long since had their Grandmaster norms. Praggnanandhaa, currently number 12 in the junior world rankings in March 2020, was unable to exploit a number of promising positions, although it looked good for him in the beginning. For Nodirbek Abdusattorov things were not going so well in Moscow this time, and he lost 17 rating points.

 

Name Birth Result Opponent average Performance
Praggnanandhaa (2602) 2005 5.5 2526 2606
Sadhwani (2522) 2005 5.5 2562 2647
Erigaisi (2563) 2003 5.5 2544 2624
Sindarov (2537) 2005 5.0 2588 2631
Sargsyan (2594) 2002 4.5 2591 2591
Abdusattorov (2644) 2004 4.0 2548 2505

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Thorsten Cmiel is FIDE Master, lives in Cologne and Milano and works as a freelance finance journalist.