11-year-old Gukesh makes his maiden IM norm!
There is definitely something about 11-year-old Gukesh and his ability to sustain the last round pressure. This young lad played a fine final round game against B. Sekar and not only made his maiden IM norm but also won the first edition of the First Friday closed Round Robin tournament with a score of 7.0/9, one and a half point ahead of his nearest rivals. Gukesh has announced his presence on the international arena and we can be sure that within a few months he will get his remaining two norms and also the 38 Elo points to reach 2400 rating mark and become an International Master.
Gukesh wins the inaugural edition of First Friday tournament
Last round must win situations are always very tense. I remember the first time I was in a similar situation was back in 2011. I had the white pieces and needed a win in the last round against GM R.R. Laxman to make my maiden IM norm. When the game began I was so nervous that I just couldn't play normal chess.
Sagar Shah vs R. R. Laxman
When my opponent played his bishop to h3, I was so afraid that the game would end in a draw that I played my bishop back to h1 and absolutely without any reason sacrificed the exchange! Of course, I lost the game without any fight.
To win last round, high pressure encounters you need a special mindset. A champion's mindset. More than thinking about the result you should have the ability to focus on the game. To make the best possible moves and not worry about other things. This is the reason why I consider 11-year-old Gukesh's feat to be extra special. At the first edition of the First Friday closed Round Robin tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Gukesh needed a win in the final round against B. Sekar (2260) to make his maiden IM norm.
Instead of showing any nerves the boy played strong chess and wrapped up the game in just 22 moves. In fact the result was beyond doubt after just 13 moves.
Gukesh - Sekar
Final Ranking crosstable after 9 Rounds
|3||IM||Nay Oo Kyaw Tun||2344||MYA||½||0||*||1||½||½||½||1||½||½||5,0||1,0||2||21,75|
All previous articles on first edition of First Friday:
R07+R08: Can Gukesh make his maiden IM norm?