Meet the 16-year-old Hari Madhavan who beat two Grandmasters in a row!
Last month a 16-year-old boy from Tamil Nadu created sensation by beating two Grandmasters back-to-back in the Tetrasoft Hyderabad GM Open. NB Hari Madhavan is currently studying in the 11th standard and has a rating of 2280. Born in 2003, he has been training in chess since six years of age at the well-known T Nagar Chess Academy run by A.L.Kasi and Srinivasa Rangan in Chennai. In this article we specifically look into the games where this talented youngster managed to outwit the two highly experienced and seasoned Grandmasters, namely Pavel Smirnov and Rodrigo Vásquez Schroder. We have analyses sent to us by Hari Madhavan himself, a lot to learn and be inspired from for any aspiring chess player.
The Tetrasoft Hyderabad Marriott Grandmaster Chess Tournament 2019 took place from the 20th to 27th of August in Marriott Hyderabad, Telangana. Even though the top spots in the event were all secured by foreign players, several young Indians pulled off eyeball grabbing performances. Perhaps the best among them all was the achievement of 16-year-old Hari Madhavan who managed to beat two experienced Grandmasters back-to-back in rounds seven and eight.
Hari's seventh round opponent was the 37-year-old Grandmaster Pavel Smirnov of Russia. In this encounter he actually ended up in a worse position after misjudging his opponent's potential on the kingside and consequently giving away an exchange on move 19. But surprisingly, from twenty-sixth move onwards, the Russian player himself started blundering. Thus, first losing his initiative and then ultimately the game itself. Next, in round eight, it was the strong Chilean Grandmaster Rodrigo Vásquez Schroder who became Hari's casualty.
Apart from beating two grandmasters in rounds seven and eight, he also held two higher-rated IMs to draw in the last two rounds scoring an unbeaten 7.5/10 in the event and gaining a whopping 58.4 Elo points! Without further ado, let us now get into the two defining games of his from the tournament.
Round 7: Outwitting the Russian Maestro with black pieces!
Pavel Smirnov - Hari Madhavan, Round 7
The best move for White to preserve the initiative would have been 25.Ra6! (instead of 26.Nh4) Now, for instance, after 25...Rc8 26.Ne1 h5 27.Rxa5 White gets a visibly better position with extra material. Even 25.Qg5 was a second alternative that Smirnov missed in the game!
Anyway, White could have still continued decently from the last diagram with something like 27.Qxb4 gxh4 28.f3 Bxf3 29.Qxg4+ Bxg4 etc but he made another abysmal move 27.Rd8+?? here and this titled the evaluation completely in Black's favour after 27...Kg7 28.h3 Rxa5 29.hxg4 gxh4
The full game with annotations by Hari himself is given below:
Round 8: Against Rodrigo Vásquez Schroder, a 37-move crush!
Hari Madhavan - Rodrigo Vásquez Schroder, Round 8
These games show the amount of potential even the untitled players in the country have. Hari is not able to travel much for tournaments due to his economic condition but he aways dreams to become the World Champion one day. His coaches at T Nagar Chess academy are proud of his achievements.
Top 10 standings after the final round of the event
|5||18||Sahoo Utkal Ranjan||IND||2278||Odisha - India||7,5||0,0||58,5||63,5||45,50||6|
|7||23||Hari Madhavan N B||IND||2231||Tamil Nadu - India||7,5||0,0||53,5||57,0||41,75||5|
|8||16||Kaustuv Kundu||IND||2295||West Bengal - India||7,5||0,0||52,5||56,5||41,25||6|
|10||12||IM||Raja Rithvik R||IND||2364||Telangana - India||7,0||0,0||58,0||62,5||41,00||6|
We are grateful to coach Srinivasa Rangan for sending us all the relevant informations and material for this article.