Grandmasters are definitely getting younger. In 1955, Boris Spassky earned his grandmaster title at the age of 18 years seven months, at the time the youngest ever. His record was shattered in 1958 by Bobby Fischer, who gained the title at the age of 15 years and six months.

That mark stood for 33 years before it was consigned to history by the 15-years-and-five-months-old Judit Polgar in 1991. Peter Leko was 14 years and five months old when he qualified for the title in 1994, and now Etienne Bacrot has become a grandmaster at the age of 14 years and two months. And he did so by sharing first place in a tournament with Viktor Korchnoi - who twice challenged for the world championship before Bacrot was born.

Here is a powerfully played win from the event that earned him the title. White's 23.g4 is a far-sighted move, keeping the black bishop out of f5 while also envisaging a later transfer of the white rook to h3.

The final attack is beautifully handled. White's 25.Qh6! is easy enough to see: 25...bxc3 26.Bf6 Nxf6 27.exf6 forces mate, but 26.Ne4!! in the diagram position is a delightful continuation. After 26...dxe4 27.fxe4 Black has no defence to the threat of 28.Bf6+ Nxf6 29.exf6 Rg8 30.Qxh7+ Kxh7 31.Rh3 mate. (An earlier Rh3 is also very effective, but the queen sacrifice is flashier.)

Once he had gained a winning advantage, Bacrot finished things off very powerfully. After 30.Rxe6! and 31.Re1, Black had to give up his queen, since he could not allow the white rook to penetrate to e7. An awesome performance.

White: E Bacrot

Black: D Anic

1 d4 Nf6 18 e4 Be6

2 c4 e6 19 Re3 Na4

3 Nf3 d5 20 Qc1 b5

4 Nc3 Bb4 21 Qe1 Nb6

5 Bg5 Nbd7 22 Qh4 Nd7

6 e3 c5 23 g4 b4

7 cxd5 exd5 24 e5 bxc3

8 Qc2 Qa5 25 Qh6 Kh8

9 Bd3 0-0 26 Ne4 f5

10 0-0 c4 27 exf6 Rg8

11 Bf5 Re8 28 Nxc3 Raf8

12 Nd2 g6 29 Qh4 Qb6

13 Bxd7 Nxd7 30 Rxe6 Qxe6

14 Rae1 Bxc3 31 Re1 Rxf6

15 bxc3 Nb6 32 Rxe6 Rxe6

16 f3 Qa4 33 Nxd5 Rb8

17 Qb2 Qc6 34 Bf4 resigns

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