Independent Pursuits: Chess

ON WEDNESDAY I reported on the historic victory of 10-year-old Murugan Thiruchelvam from New Malden against the grandmaster Jonathan Levitt in the third game of their rapidplay match last Sunday.

Since learning chess at the age of three (!) Murugan has already racked up a fistful of world firsts including a draw with the formidable grandmaster Bogdan Lalic - last October, well before his 10th birthday on 11 December and qualification for a national championship (the British, of course) this January.

But, for all his palms, the most important thing is the quality of the young man's play. After last Sunday's match, which, to recap, he took quite easily after defeating a tired opponent in the last two games, Levitt said, "his potential is similar to Luke McShane's. I don't know of any other 10-year-old like him." Murugan himself stated that "the result made up for a loss against Nigel Short in the House of Commons. Next year I should like to try for Imre Hera of Hungary's IM norm record at 11 years seven months."

On Wednesday, I felt obliged to give Murugan's win. But in fact that was scrappy, and a much more impressive achievement was his truly master- strength preparation and endgame play in the previous game.

In a highly theoretical line of the French Tarrasch championed by Levitt, Murugan "decided to follow McShane vs Levitt (played last year at the Four Nations Chess League) and see what happens".

Levitt was the first to vary on move 31, when he preferred the immediate 31 ...b5 to 31 ...Rbd7 32 Re2 b5 which he played against Luke to achieve a considerably easier draw.

Although Black had structural compensation for White's extra pawn, White retained an edge and 35 ...a5?! may have been inaccurate - I prefer 35 ...Rd5 and if 36 Rh5 Rxh5+ 37 gxh5 Kh6 38 g4 Kg5.

Still, 45 ...Rb3! 46 Rxa4 Rc3 should have drawn - the rook attacks the pawn from the side and can check the white king away if he approaches.

But Murugan stumbled at the last. 53 Ke5! Ra5+ 54 Kd6 Rxg5 55 Kc6! (not 55 Rc8? Rg6+!) looks winning to me, eg 55 ...Rxg3 56 Rb8 Ra3 57 Kb6 Rb3+ 58 Kc7 Ra3 59 Kb7 Rb3+ 60 Ka8 Ra3 61 Rb6 f5 (61 ...f6 also loses) 62 Kb7 f4 63 a7 f3 64 a8Q etc.

White: Murugan Thiruchelvam

Black: Jonathan Levitt

French Tarrasch

1 e4 e6

2 d4 d5

3 Nd2 c5

4 exd5 Qxd5

5 Ngf3 cxd4

6 Bc4 Qd6

7 0-0 Nc6

8 Nb3 Nf6

9 Nbxd4 Nxd4

10 Nxd4 a6

11 Re1 Qc7

12 Bb3 Bd6

13 Nf5 Bxh2+

14 Kh1 0-0

15 Nxg7 Rd8

16 Qf3 Kxg7

17 Bh6+ Kg6

18 c3 Nh5

19 Bc1 Bf4

20 g4 Ng3+

21 fxg3 Bxc1

22 Raxc1 b6

23 Bc2+ Kg7

24 Be4 Rb8

25 Rc2 Bb7

26 Rh2 Bxe4

27 Qxe4 Qb7

28 Rxh7+ Kg8

29 Qxb7 Rxb7

30 Rh2 Rd3

31 Kg2 b5

32 Re2 b4

33 cxb4 Rxb4

34 Rh4 Kg7

35 Kh3 a5?!

36 Rh5 Rd5

37 Rxd5 exd5

38 Rd2 a4

39 a3 Rb5

40 g5 Kg6

41 Kg4 Rc5

42 Rd4 Rc2

43 Rxd5 Rxb2

44 Rd6+ Kg7

45 Ra6 Ra2

46 Rxa4 Ra1

47 Ra8 Ra2

48 a4 Ra3

49 a5 Ra2

50 a6 Ra4+

51 Kf5 Ra5+

52 Kf4 Ra4+

53 Kf3 Ra3+

54 Kf2 Ra2+

55 Ke1 Ra5

56 a7 1/2-1/2

Arts and Entertainment
Keith from The Office ten years on

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams prepares to enter the House of Black and White as Arya Stark in Game of Thrones season five

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Albert Hammond Junior of The Strokes performs at the Natural History Museum on July 6, 2006 in London, England.

music
Arts and Entertainment
Howard Mollison, as played by Michael Gambon
tv review
Arts and Entertainment
Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech

The best TV shows and films coming to the service

tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift won Best International Solo Female (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Shining star: Maika Monroe, with Jake Weary, in ‘It Follows’
film review
Arts and Entertainment

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith arrives at the Brit Awards (Getty)

Brits 2015
Arts and Entertainment
Anne Boleyn's beheading in BBC Two's Wolf Hall

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Follow every rainbow: Julie Andrews in 'The Sound of Music'
film Elizabeth Von Trapp reveals why the musical is so timeless
Arts and Entertainment
Bytes, camera, action: Leehom Wang in ‘Blackhat’
film
Arts and Entertainment
The Libertines will headline this year's festival
music
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Dean Anderson in the original TV series, which ran for seven seasons from 1985-1992
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Muscling in: Noah Stewart and Julia Bullock in 'The Indian Queen'

opera
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman and David Tennant star in 'Broadchurch'

TVViewers predict what will happen to Miller and Hardy
Arts and Entertainment
Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in season two of the series

Watch the new House of Cards series three trailer

TV
Arts and Entertainment
An extract from the sequel to Fight Club

books
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant, Eve Myles and Olivia Colman in Broadchurch series two

TV Review
Arts and Entertainment
Old dogs are still learning in 'New Tricks'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
'Tonight we honour Hollywood’s best and whitest – sorry, brightest' - and other Neil Patrick Harris Oscars jokes

Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards

Arts and Entertainment
Patricia Arquette making her acceptance speech for winning Best Actress Award

Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears

Arts and Entertainment

Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants

Arts and Entertainment
Lloyd-Hughes takes the leading role as Ralph Whelan in Channel 4's epic new 10-part drama, Indian Summers

TV Review

The intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz star in Sex Tape

Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

    The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
    A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

    It's not easy being Green

    After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
    Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

    Gorillas nearly missed

    BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
    Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

    The Downton Abbey effect

    Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
    China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

    China's wild panda numbers on the up

    New census reveals 17% since 2003