Another day, another micro-Grandmaster. This time make it a double. It's Friday, after all. America's Ray Robson just collected his third GM norm after a narrow miss at the SPICE Cup event in Texas. It's been clear for a while that Robson has raised his game to close to the 2600 level and his norms came fast and furious. That eases the pain of his final norm coming as an automatic one (I assume. [Okay, now I've actually looked it up. Yes, winning an U-20 Continental Ch is an automatic 9-game GM norm.]) by dominating the very weak Pan American U20 event in Uruguay. There was only one GM participating (Brazil's Diamant, who was surely winning against Robson but lost a sharp endgame) and Robson was the top seed at 2527. He started with 7/7 and drew his final two games for a performance close to 2700. At least it's not an automatic
GM title for winning; they give out a lot of those as well. For all the ranting among the base about the cheapening of the GM title and how at the very least they should raise the rating required to 2600, things keep moving in the other direction. As Syndrome put it in The Incredibles (one of my favorite moves of all time), "When everyone is super, no one is."
Of course those concerns aren't really relevant to wunderkinder except for the timing. No doubt Robson, who turns 15 in a few days, has what it takes to be super. He'll also have a chance to show it, though it's hard to say how long he'll be in Khanty-Mansiysk at this year's World Cup, where he's an Ilyumzhinov wildcard. Knock-outs aren't kind. He's also guaranteed a spot at next year's US Championship since he easily won the US junior ch this year. More on him at Chess Life. Speaking of norms and the SPICE Cup, someone did get their GM title there after all. Ben Finegold, who has been a contender for strongest IM on the planet for what I'm sure he would say was far too long, got his final norm at last. A fellow 69'er, Ben turned 40 this year. Keep an eye on this kid, he's got potential!
I've been reading the local reports on the Duchamp Tournament in Buenos Aires and it, too, had an impressive roster of young hooligans. It was won by 15-year-old Federico Pérez Ponsa, a local who got his first GM norm in the process. With both on 6.5/9, he took the title on tiebreaks over Peru's Jorge Cori Tello, who is just 14 and earned his third and final GM norm. Not sure if his rating will make it past 2500 in time to be awarded the title at the next FIDE Congress. (And I suppose that may confound whether or not he's the world's youngest GM right now. I don't know his birthday but I assume he's younger than Robson, who turns 15 in a week.) He's quite a story, just the fourth GM in Peru's history. (Granda, Urday, and 18-year-old Emilio Cordova, who made headlines here last year by running away with a stripper in Brazil.) He's been in every Peruvian newspaper for the past few days. Jorge's sister Deysi is a women's international master at 16 and also participated in the Duchamp event. Jorge has been living and studying in Argentina for a while. He needed a draw with black in the final round for the norm and didn't go about it the easy way. He played an insane game refuting an unsound sac by the Argentine Liascovich that eventually ended in a repetition. In a post-event interview, Jorge says he hopes to be in the top 20 in the world in the next few years, but has to work on his openings.
The Peruvian chess federation is dysfunctional and broke even by regional standards, so who knows? I hope he can find the resources to play abroad. The list of strong young Latin American players who were relegated to local mediocrity or who gave up the game entirely is very long. Corus C on line one for Peru?
[Event "Magistral Duchamp"]
[White "Liascovich, L."]
[Black "Cori Tello, Jorge"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. e3 c6 5. Nbd2 Nbd7 6. Bd3 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. b3
b6 9. Bb2 Bb7 10. e4 dxe4 11. Nxe4 c5 12. Qe2 Qc7 13. Rad1 Rad8 14. Neg5 Qb8
15. Ne5 h6 16. Nxe6 fxe6 17. Ng6 Rf7 18. Qxe6 Bd6 19. Nh8 Kxh8 20. Qxf7 Bxh2+
21. Kh1 Qf4 22. d5 Qh4 23. Bxf6 Nxf6 24. Bf5 Bd6+ 25. Bh3 Bc8 26. Rd3 Rf8 27.
Qg6 Ne4 28. Re3 Bxh3 29. Rxh3 Ng3+ 30. Kg1 Ne2+ 31. Kh1 Ng3+ 32. Kg1 Ne2+ 33.
Kh1 Rxf2 34. Rxf2 Qxf2 35. Rxh6+ gxh6 36. Qxh6+ Kg8 37. Qg6+ Kh8 38. Qh6+ Kg8
39. Qg6+ Kf8 40. Qxd6+ Kg7 41. Qe5+ Kg6 42. Qe8+ 1/2-1/2