Twelve-year-old Negi gets his second GM norm

by ChessBase
2/1/2006 – Three weeks ago we reported on the GM norm that was completed at the Hastings tournament by the Indian chess prodigy Parimarjan Negi. Now the lad has made a second norm, at the Parsvnath International Open in his hometown of Delhi. We bring you a report by Parimarjan's coach Vishal Sareen and two short interviews by N.S.K. Kamesh. It's all about a GM in the making.

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Parimarjan Negi get his second GM norm

By Vishal Sareen (Negi's coach)

The settings were perfect. Twelve-year-old Parimarjan Negi had just made his maiden grandmaster norm in the Hastings International Chess Congress. Immediately after this the 4th edition of Parsvnath International Open Chess Tournament was scheduled to being in Parimarjan's hometown, Delhi. What remained for the lad was to stand and deliver. And the going-to-be-teenager did not disappoint his enthusiastic fans. He gave them a memorable performance that yielded his second GM norm.

The born fighter: Parimarjan ("Batu") Negi in Delhi

The transformation from Parimarjan Negi (a longer and tougher name to spell) to Batu (his nickname) is happening quicker than many expected, thanks to a growing fan following. Another transformation is also to be seen: from a chubby talented teenager to a dangerous, more mature opponent.

Participants: GM Pavel Kotsur, IM Ismagambetov Anuar, FM R. Zhumabaev,
GM Marat Dzhumaev, GM Nurlan Ibraev

WGM Swati Ghate, Swati Mohota and WGM Nisha Mohota

GMs Konstantin Chernysov and Marat Dzhumaev

Right from the beginning of the tournament, which had a prize fund of Rupees 7.5 Lakhs (Rs 750,000 = appr. US $17,000), the big question was not who will win but whether Parimarjan will make his back-to-back GM norm. It is often not important to reflect how you did it after the milestone is achieved, but while you are trying to make it, many eyes follow you around.

Parimarjan Negi (2396) - Soumya Swaminathan (2156) [B87]
4th Parsvnath Intl New Delhi (2.35), 15.01.2006
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.Bg5 Qb6 10.Re1 Be7 11.Qd2 0-0 12.a4 b4 13.Na2 h6 14.Bh4 a5 15.Rad1 Nc5 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Nb5 Bxb2 18.Nxd6 Ba6 19.e5 Rad8 20.Qe3 Qc6 21.f4 f6 22.f5 Nxb3 23.fxe6 Bxe5 24.e7

Parimarjan had a good position out of the opening and then went a little haywire. Here Black played 24...Rxd6? and after 25.Rxd6 Bxd6 26.Qe6+ Kh7 27.exf8N+ it was all over for Soumya. However in the diagram position Black could have done much better had she played 24…Qc2. It seems that the complications favour only Black thereafter. 27...Kh8 28.Ng6+ Kh7 29.Nf8+ Kh8 30.Ng6+ Kh7 31.cxb3 Kxg6 32.Qe8+ Qxe8 33.Rxe8 Bc5+ 34.Kh1 Bb7 35.Rb8 Be4 36.Rb5 Bd6 37.Rxa5 Bb1 38.Rd5 Be7 39.Nc1 Be4 40.Rd4 f5 41.Nd3 Bf6 42.Rd6 1-0. [Click to replay]

Things moved smoothly for Parimarjan in the next round, and then in round four he was up against GM Ziaur Rahman. It was a tactical battle which produced a middlgame shocker for Zia.

Parimarjan Negi (2396) - Ziaur Rahman (2557) [B08]
4th Parsvnath Intl New Delhi (4.2), 17.01.2006
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c6 4.Be3 d6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Be2 0-0 7.a4 Nbd7 8.0-0 Qc7 9.Nd2 e5 10.dxe5 Nxe5 11.h3 Rd8 12.f4 Ned7 13.f5 Ne5 14.fxg6 fxg6 15.Bg5 Qe7 16.Nc4 h6 17.Bh4 g5 18.Bg3 Nxc4 19.Bxc4+ d5 20.e5 Nh7 21.Bd3 Nf8 22.Qh5 Be6 23.Rf2 Qe8 24.Qe2 Nd7.

Here Parimarjan played 25.Ne4!! and after 25...dxe4 26.Qxe4 Nf8 27.Rxf8+ Black's fate was sealed. Zia did well to reach a fighting endgame, but Parimarjan’s technique was immaculate. 27...Kxf8 28.Rf1+ Bf7 29.e6 Rd4 30.Qf5 Rf4 31.Bxf4 Qxe6 32.Qxe6 Bxe6 33.Bxg5+ Kg8 34.Bf6 Bf7 35.Bxg7 Kxg7 36.Rf4 Rd8 37.Kf2 b6 38.g4 c5 39.Ke3 Bd5 40.b3 Bg2 41.h4 Bd5 42.Bc4 Bxc4 43.Rxc4 Rd1 44.Rf4 Kg6 45.Rf5 Rg1 46.h5+ Kg7 47.Rf4 Rg3+ 48.Ke4 Rg2 49.Kd3 Rg3+ 50.Kc4 Rg2 51.c3 Rc2 52.Rf3 Rg2 53.Kb5 Rb2 54.c4 Rd2 55.Ka6 Rd7 56.a5 bxa5 57.Kxa5 Rd4 58.Kb5 Rxg4 59.Kxc5 Rg5+ 60.Kd6 Rxh5 61.c5 Rh1 62.c6 Rc1 63.Kc7 h5 64.Kb7 1-0. I asked Zia what he thought about Parimarjan, and he said “Very impressive, I can't believe I was defending that endgame against a 12-year-old”. [Click to replay]

GM Ziaur Rahman

After this win it was clear that the young gun would remain in contention for the GM norm for the remaining part of the tournament, but as luck would have it, he had to wait until the final round to achieve the result.

Sundararajan Kidambi (2495) - Parimarjan Negi (2396)
4th Parsvnath Intl New Delhi (10.8), 22.01.2006
1.Nf3 d5 2.b3 Bg4 3.Bb2 Nd7 4.g3 Bxf3 5.exf3 e6 6.Bg2 Ngf6 7.d3 Bd6 8.f4 Qe7 9.Nd2 Ba3 10.Qc1 Bxb2 11.Qxb2 h5 12.Nf3 Qb4+ 13.c3 Qd6 14.h4 a5 15.0-0 0-0 16.c4 a4 17.b4 c5 18.a3

Kidambi had tried to be original in this game (1.Nf3, 2.b3). In the above position Black is definitely okay, but how to create complications? 18...b5! That's your answer. There are many ways in which White can maintain the balance, but such moves as this normally unsettle your opponent. Kidambi replied with 19.d4?! and after 19...cxb4 20.c5 bxa3 21.Qxb5 Rfb8 played 22.Qe2?!

22...Rb2! and the endgame after 23.cxd6 Rxe2 24.Rxa3 is worse for White. Once again Parimarjan displayed his prowess in this section of the game. 24...Rb2 25.f5 exf5 26.Ne5 Nb6 27.Rc1 Rd8 28.Nc6 Rxd6 29.Ne7+ Kh7 30.Nxf5 Re6 31.Ne3 Ne4 32.Rc2 Rxc2 33.Nxc2 Rc6 34.Bxe4+ dxe4 35.Ne3 Rc1+ 36.Kg2 Rb1 37.Rc3 Rb4 38.d5 Rd4 39.Rc5 a3 40.Nc2 a2 41.Ra5 Ra4 42.Rb5 Nc4 43.Rc5 e3 44.d6 Nxd6 45.fxe3 a1Q 46.Nxa1 Rxa1 47.Rxh5+ Kg6 48.Rd5 Ne4 49.g4 Kf6 50.Kf3 Ra4 51.Rb5 Nd6 52.Rd5 Ke6 53.Rg5 Kf6 54.Rc5 Nc4 55.e4 Ne5+ 0-1. [Click to replay]

Sundararajan Kidambi and Parimarjan Negi after their game

While Parimarjan made most of the headlines during the tournament, the winner was Alexei Fedorov. He weaved his magic nonchalantly to score 9/10 for a deserved victory and a cash award of 1.75 Lakh Rupees. The second place was shared by Pavel Kotsur, M R Venkatesh, Saptarshi Roy and Zia who all scored 8/10. A total of ten norms were made in the event – particularly happy was IM S Satyapragyan who made his maiden GM norm.

IM Satyapragyan making his first GM norm

Parimarjan receiving his second GM norm certificate

Top standings

Alexei Fedorov
Pavel Kotsur
Ziaur Rahman
Saptarishi Roy
Venkatesh M R
Satyapragyan S
Parimarjan Negi
Dibyendu Barua
Marat Dzhumaev
Sandipan Chanda
Sriram Jha
Rathnakaran K
Ramesh R B


Interview with J.B.S. Negi, father of Parimarjan Negi

By N.S.K. Kamesh (on 16.01.2006)

Q: How you happened to introduce Parimarjan to Chess?

A: By chance. My friend Dr. Vinayak Rao, presently working with UN, introduced him to chess. The real person who is now helping me is Mr. M. Damodaran, Chairman, Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI)

Q: What is your feeling after Negi made his Maiden GM Norm?

A: More responsible, as his actual international career starts from now.

J.B.S. Negi, Parimarjan's father

Q: Are you a chess player?

A: No. In fact, I don’t play any games.

Q: Who are the sponsors for Parimarjan right now?

A: The TATA Group and Air India.

Q: What are the special qualities that you would like to attribute to Parimarjan?

A: He is very hardworking, focused, meticulous and honest. That’s what parents like to see in their kids.

Q: How about his school studies?

A: So far, he is one of the toppers in his class and is doing exceptionally well at school. We are able to strike a balance between chess and studies.

Q: Who are the coaches under whom Parimarjan trained?

A: Mr. G.B. Joshi for almost 4-5 years (1999-2004). He is an officer with Indian Airlines, Delhi. GM Ruslan Scherbakov of Russia coached Parimarjan in four sessions during 2003, 2004 and 2005. IM Vishal Sareen has been working with him since July 2004 and until today. GM Evgeny Vladimirov of Kazakhstan has been working as chief coach form time to time since 2003 and until now.

Mother and son

Short interview with Parimarjan Negi on 22.1.2006

Q: When did you start playing chess?

A: When I was 4½ years old. My father’s friend taught the basics of chess.

Q: How many hours you practice a day?

A: It varies between five hours and to six hours a day. When I go to school, I may prepare less.

Q: Did you set yourself any goals before coming into this tournament?

A: After coming from Hastings, I didn’t see much chess. I just took part in the tournament.

Q: How are you feeling after getting the second GM Norm?

A: Happy.

Q: Who are your favourite players?

A: Gary Kasparov and Vishwanathan Anand.

Q: How do you manage studies when you play chess?

A: I get notes from my classmates and take extra classes from my teachers.

Q: What other interests you have?

A: Reading books. I don’t really watch or play other games.

Parimarjan's coach and author of this article Vishal Sareen

Photos supplied by N.S.K. Kamesh


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