Pranesh punishes Savchenko's dubious play
13-year-old Pranesh M shocked Grandmaster Boris Savchenko in the second round of the ongoing Aeroflot Open 2020. The Russian tried to surprise his young opponent with the offbeat Scandinavian defense but soon found himself on the receiving end of the Indian's fierce play. The game ended in just 21 moves and turned out to be a thorough one-sided demolition. In this article we bring you the full encounter with detailed move by move analysis. Pranesh is rated below 2550 but is still competing in the open A category of the event. He has already amassed 1.5 points in the first two rounds and if he keeps going like this, the 2nd GM norm shouldn't be too far away.
When an experienced Grandmaster sits across the chessboard against a kid less than half his age, he is often tempted to try something different and quickly stun his less experienced opponent. But doing this is by no means easy nowadays and perhaps even quite risky given that chess as a sport is becoming younger by the day. Children are picking up the tricks of the trade thick and fast, and too frequently their youthful energy is trumping the so called wisdom of age. The second round of Aeroflot Open 2020 saw something similar happen. Boris Savchenko, who is a well-known Grandmaster from Russia, thought he could surprise the 13-year-old Pranesh M with the Scandinavian defense but he was utterly wrong. The talented youngster hardly budged in the opening and kept making one good move after another to hand over the Russian a crushing defeat!
"In March 2019 I got killed 1.5-0.5 in a blitz match with a kid at Ramesh RB's School ChessGuruKul. His only big problem was the opening. So to see him win a miniature is fantastic. Maybe the second GM-norm is coming soon?" - this is what Jacob Aagaard wrote about Pranesh on his Facebook timeline and it goes on to show what tremendous potential the youngster has. We wish him all the best for the rest of the event.
Step by Step breakdown of Pranesh's game
Pranesh M - Boris Savchenko
The Russian went 8...Bf5 and this didn't look convincing as the bishop could be further harassed on f5 with g4, Nh4 etc. The most logical move here seems to be exchanging with 8...Bxf3 as after 9.Bxf3 g6 10.O-O Bg7 11.Bg2 O-O Black gets a somewhat passive but solid position. The trade off also feels more natural as a retreat say with Bc8 followed by e6 doesn't really make sense in the position.
Black thought of taking advantage of White's over-extended kingside and lashed out with 11.h5 - this looks correct at first glance but is fundamentally mistaken in view of the fact that black pieces are lagging profusely in development.