Mystery game #43: Has any other Canadian-trained player achieved this feat?

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  • Mystery game #43: Has any other Canadian-trained player achieved this feat?

    Here is the text of an interesting game. You can discuss the game, guess as to players' strengths, setting, format, time controls, era, etc. I will provide all the data in a few days. Enjoy!!

    1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 b6 3.e4 d6 4.d4 Bb7 5.Bd3 Nbd7 6.Nf3 e5 7.d5 Be7 8.h3 a5 9.Be3 Nc5 10.Bc2 Ba6 11.Qe2 Nfd7 12.g4 g5 13.h4 gxh4 14.g5 Rg8 15.Rxh4 Bxg5 16.Nxg5 Rxg5 17.O-O-O Rg7 18.Rdh1 Nf6 19.Rh6 Qe7 20.Qf3 Ncd7 21.Ba4 O-O-O 22.Qf5 Ng4 23.Rxh7 Rxh7 24.Rxh7 Nxe3 25.fxe3 Rf8 26.b3 Kd8 27.Bc6 Bc8 28.Qf3 Nc5 29.Ne2 Bd7 30.Bxd7 Nxd7 31.Kd2 Qf6 32.Qg4 Qg6 33.Qxg6 fxg6 34.Rg7 Nf6 35.Rxg6 Nxe4 36.Kd3 Nc5+ 37.Kd2 Ne4+ 38.Kd3 Nc5+ 39.Kd2, 1/2--1/2.

  • #2
    IM Michael Mulyar (FIDE 2430, USA) -- Raja Panjwani (CFC ~1950), Canadian Open, Sackville 2001 (1). Played 2001-07-07. Time controls 40/120', SD/60'.
    Raja was 11 years, 3 months old at that time! My headline to this post was posing the question as to whether any other Canadian-trained player had drawn with an IM at that age in a tournament game. I don't know. Possibilities would be: Alex Lesiege, Nikolay Noritsyn, Andrew Ho. I am excluding Mark Bluvshtein from this discussion, since he was trained in Russia and Israel, before arriving in Canada. Also, the young Abe Yanofsky couldn't face IMs, as there were no formal FIDE titles in 1936! Some readers may know more on this; I invite discussion!
    I was coaching Raja at that time, and I remember the thrill of playing through this game with him and his father, Dr. Dilip Panjwani!! The game was well-received at the Kingston Chess Club; I demonstrated it in the autumn of that year; Raja and Dilip were away at another event that night. In the game, IM Mulyar (born in 1978, who had already tied for first in a U.S. Open, and would do so again) blocks the centre with 7.d5, in what evolves into an Old Indian formation. Both sides delay castling in an original game. Raja as Black declines to enter a heavy theoretical line against a titled player; this is very smart; he goes for straightforward development while avoiding early exchanges. Raja mixes it up with 16...Rxg5!?, which is indicative of his frequent fights for the initiative, while conceding material. He was doing that against me right from our first lessons! IM Mulyar declines the offered material, likely figuring on his nearly 500-point rating advantage to bring home the point. But Raja plays very accurately, White never achieves very much, and at the end, the position is repeating as time control approaches, with equal material in a rook + minor piece ending. Quite a performance by Raja!!


    • #3
      Due to the lack of published games and the players' scoresheets, and missing crosstables, it's hard to find the first IM win or draw by Lesiège. He first beat Hébert in September 1987 - he had turned 12 a month earlier. I would have to look at old crosstables, but the two of them played numerous games with each other in the 1984-1987 timeframe (maybe earlier). Lesiege beat two GM's at the age of 13, and may have drawn Hébert earlier than September 1987.

      Going back earlier in time, Hébert and Camille Coudari played strong opposition at that age - but, in addition to lack of scoresheets and difficult-to-find crosstables - the pool of titled players was much smaller (and generally stronger) than today.

      Both Hébert and Lesiege have given up draws and full points to young players in recent years, but I can't be bothered looking up their birthdates.


      • #4
        Thanks, Hugh! I knew that Alex had done well against Jean from an early age. I see from databases that Alex drew with Igor Ivanov (a GM, but who didn't claim his norms until much later) in the 1988 Quebec Closed, so he would have been 12 or 13 then. There are more master events today (before COVID, that is), and, as you say, there are many more titled players today. Because of the World Youth Championships, started in the mid 1980s, there are more young players with coaches, who are putting in the time and effort to improve. Your point on Alex and Jean giving up draws and wins to young players bears further examination. Also, the CFC website is undergoing a rebuild, so many cross-tables are not available right now.


        • #5
          Not quite as young as Raja, Justin Gushuliak drew with IM O'Donnell and GM Spraggett at the 2000 Canadian Open. (EP 163 - August 2000) David Ross indicates in the report on the Canadian Junior in the same issue that Justin was 12 then.


          • #6
            Thanks for this, Tony! I had more or less forgotten about Justin, but he had a very good run for a few years. Seems inactive in recent years. Perhaps his feat of drawing with GM Spraggett at age 12 is a Canadian-trained record of its own!