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Breaking News: Mitrabha Guha becomes India's 72nd Grandmaster

by Shahid Ahmed - 09/11/2021

20-year-old Mitrabha Guha scored his final GM-norm at GM Third Saturday Mix 220 as he defeated GM Nikola Sedlak (SRB) in the penultimate ninth round at Novi Sad, Serbia on 8th November 2021. He had already crossed the 2500 in the live ratings when he beat FM Aradhya Garg in the second round of the tournament. 13-days after scoring his second GM-norm at Sheikh Russel GM tournament in Bangladesh, Mitrabha became India's latest Grandmaster. He becomes Kolkata and West Bengal's ninth GM, the second ever from his childhood school South Point. Let's take a look at Mitrabha's journey towards the GM title. Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Two GM-norms and 2500+ without a present coach

Mitrabha Guha has been without a chess coach since 2018. He is working on his own and he managed to score two of his GM-norms and cross 2500 rating barrier to become India's latest Grandmaster.

India's 72nd Grandmaster - Mitrabha Guha | Photo: Shahid Ahmed
Blitz and Bullet Chess are secret ingredients of Mitrabha Guha becoming India's 72nd GM | Video: ChessBase India

Mitrabha's favorite game

First GM-norm: 20th Sant Marti Open 2018

Mitrabha scored his first GM and IM-norm at Sant Marti Open in Spain 2018. He scored 6.5/9 and performed at 2573 to secure both norms. He beat GM Leandro Krysa (ARG), IMs Kevin Joel Coris Quispe (PER) and John Marvin Miciano (PHI), drew with GMs Yasser Quesada Perez (CUB), Miguel Munoz (ESP), Jaime Alexander Cuartas (ESP) in the tournament to secure a fourth place finish.

Krysa - Mitrabha, Round 6

Position after 27...c4

Mitrabha was in deep trouble against GM Leandro Krysa (ARG) in the sixth round. However, having a never-give-up attitude, Mitrabha continued the fight and made an attempt at recovery 27...c4. White fell for it and captured 28.Kxc4 which allowed Black to disentangle his pieces 28...Nd6+ 29.Kc3 c6 and then White made a grave mistake 30.Rbd2. It allowed Black to completely turn things around, 30...cxb5 and Black went on to win the game.

Mitrabha scored his maiden GM and IM-norm in the same event with a performance of 2573, scoring 6.5/9

Mitrabha Guha receives his maiden GM and IM-norm certificates

Second GM-norm: Sheikh Russel International GM 2021

Mitrabha scored his second GM-norm at Sheikh Russel International GM tournament last month. He scored 6.5/9, performed at 2632 to get one step closer to become a GM. He also gained 19.1 Elo rating points, taking his live rating to 2498. He scored wins over GMs Enamul Hossain (BAN), Yuri Solodovnichenko (UKR), P Karthikeyan and Misratdin Iskandarov (AZE); drew with GMs Niaz Murshed (BAN), Vugar Asadli (AZE) and Srinath Narayanan.

Mitrabha - Solodovnichenko, Round 4

Position after 14...Nxd5

Black played 14...Nxd5 thinking that it works, when it actually does not. Mitrabha of course saw it and the game continued 15.exd5 Bxf3 16.Bxf3 Bxa1 17.Qxa1 Nxb3 18.Qb2 Nxd2 19.Qxd2 Qa5 20.Nc3 - it is White who has the advantage. He converted into a full point without any trouble.

Mitrabha scored 6.5/9, performed at 2632 to score his second GM-norm and secured fourth place in this event too

Mitrabha (right) in action at Sheikh Russel International GM 2021 | Photo: Bangladesh Chess Federation

Third GM-norm: GM Third Saturday Mix 220

Mitrabha crossed 2500 in the live ratings after scoring a victory over FM Aradhya Garg in the second round. He made a strong start by winning the first four games, then he drew with GM Pier Basso Luigi (ITA) and IM Mikhail Bryakin (RUS). He faced a setback in the sixth round as he lost to GM Vladimir Zakhartsov (RUS). He bounced back well by winning the next two games against GMs Miroslav Markovic (SRB) and Nikola Sedlak (SRB) to score his final GM-norm and become India's latest GM.

Mitrabha scored 7.0/9 to score his final GM-norm with a performance of 2614 and one round to spare

Replay all games of Mitrabha

Photo Gallery

Mitrabha won Silver medal in National Child Awards for Exceptional Achievements 2013

Mitrabha's strong support system - Father Raj Guha and Mother Sujata Guha | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

We reached out to Mitrabha's father, Raj Guha and this is what he shared - From 1637 to 2513, it is a long journey full of struggles. It is not easy to make it to the next level if the kid is not brilliant or of affluent background. I was a big fan of Dibyendu Barua and chess. I went to watch his match against Anand at Goodricke International Tournament in Gorky Sadan, Kolkata. When Mitrabha turned four years old, we took him to Mr.Barua. I was a bit hesitant because he was so young but my wife Sujata insisted on trying and see what happens. He was probably the first kid who was admitted into any chess academy in Kolkata at that age. Being a shy kid, we were surprised to see him respond to Barua's call who was bemused by the way the little kid moved the knight so freely. Within a short time he won West Bengal State Under-7 championship, and then he went on to win consecutive State championships in various age group and many more tournaments. The rest is history.

Mitrabha's journey in chess started with India's second GM in history - Dibyendu Barua | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Mitrabha is sincere, serious, rock solid. I have seen him since he was four-years-old at my academy (now DDDBCA). In personal life also he does not express anything. Chess players are generally introvert, he is a bit more. He learned at our academy for quite few years in the initial years. He has won several medals at State, National and Asian age group events. His performance has always been very high. His game is well in all aspects be it tactics or strategy. Due to Covid-19, a lot of players got affected, some even got demotivated. I must applaud his parents for taking a bold decision. His next step should be to work towards becoming a super GM.

IM FT Atanu Lahiri also worked with Mitrabha for numerous years

Mitrabha is a highly talented player. He is an ideal student for a coach like me, very objective while analyzing.Decision-making ability and implementation of it, is his forte. He focuses on how to achieve the goal and realize it. He is one of the best students to work with. I got to work with him for the time at Asian Youth in Mongolia where he won the Silver medal. He trusts the coach, without wasting any time, he immediately works on an opening, he is told. He has a very natural positional knack like Karpov. He can make out the characteristics of the position with his natural position sense. I will keep hoping that he becomes a top player. He should be in the top five GMs of India and one of the best player in the world.


Vishy Anand who continues to inspire everyone, congratulated Mitrabha

Mitrabha's Achievements

GM Mitrabha Guha has a lot of achievements in his young career, here are some of the best ones:

• Gold in Asian Youth Under-8 in 2009, Under-10 Blitz in 2011, Under-18 Blitz in 2018.

• Silver in Asian Youth Under-10 in 2011, Under-16 Rapid in 2016, Under-18 Blitz in 2019.

• Bronze in Asian Youth Under-10 Individual and Team Blitz in 2011, Under-18 Standard and Rapid in 2018.

• Individual Gold in Under-16 Olympiad in 2016

• Gold in Commonwealth Under-14 Open in 2015.

• Gold in National Under-9 in 2010, National Under-15 in 2016, National Senior Online in 2021.

• Silver in National Under-7 in 2008, Under-15 in 2015, Under-19 in 2019 and Under-25 in 2017.

• Bronze in National Under-9 in 2009, Under-13 in 2013 and Under-17 in 2017 and 2018.

• Winner in 27th The Telegraph Schools' in 2018.

• International Master in 2019 at the age of 18 years.

• Winner of West Bengal State Under-7 (2007 and 2008), U-9 (2009 and 2010), U-11 (2011 and 2012), U-13 (2013), U-15 (2012 and 2015).

• Runner-up in West Bengal State Under-13 (2014) and Senior (2017).

• Second Runner-up in West Bengal State Sub-Junior (2015) and Junior (2014).

• Mitrabha was honoured by the Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs, Govt. of West Bengal for his achievements in Chess on 19th June 2011. He was awarded a certificate and Rs.10,000.

• Mitrabha was conferred upon Silver medal in National Child Award for Exceptional Achievement by the Ministry of Woman and Child Welfare for his achievements in Chess. He got a Silver Medal, a citation and Rs.10,000 on Children's Day, 14th November 2013.


We will have a detailed interview with Mitrabha soon.


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