Former under-10 world champion Sahaj Grover completed the formalities to become a Grandmaster defeating Jorge Cori of Peru in the ninth round of the World Junior Chess Championship in Athens, Greece.
Hunting for the third and final GM norm for a year now, Grover crushed Cori who played with white. The Delhi-based had made his second norm during the last World Junior Championship at Chennai, and repeating the same feat here puts him among the best junior players of the world.
Grover's splendid result was a huge boon to the Indian contingent here and International Master Debashish Das made it a rare Indian double of GM norms by holding Grandmaster Niclas Huschenbath of Germany to an easy draw.
For Das, it was the maiden GM norm and he will have to make two more norms to become a Grandmaster.
For Grover, it was a delightful day as everything went according to his plan. The Indian came up with an opening surprise by opting for the Grunfeld defense as black, something he had never done before and even as Cori quickly played the opening moves, he drew a blank in the early middle game.
By move 16, both players had spent little time after every move thereafter the time difference grew as Grover had worked out his strategy at home in perfect fashion.
The outcome of the game was clear by move 25 and Cori, the fourth youngest Grandmaster ever in the history of the game, conceded defeat.
Important and Indian results round 9 (Indians unless specified): Richard Rapport (Hun, 7.5) beat Yu Yangyi (Chn, 6.5); Alexander Ipatov (Tur, 7) drew with Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (Arm, 6.5); Peter Schreiner (Aut, 6.5) drew with Ding Liren (Chn, 6.5); Aleksandr Shimanov (Rus, 7) beat Wei Yi (Chn, 6); Mark Lapidus (Est, 6) lost to Conrad Holt (Eng, 7); Niclas Huschenbeth (Ger, 6) drew with Debashis Das (7); Grigoriy Oparin (Rus, 6.5) beat Robin Van Kampen (Ned, 5.5): Antonios Pavlidis (Gre, 5.5) lost to Nils Grandelius (Swe, 6.5); Jorge Cori (Per, 5.5) lost to Sahaj Grover (6.5); Yaroslav Zherebukh (Ukr, 6) beat Aman Hambleton (Can, 5.5); M Shyam Sundar (5.5) drew with Evandro Amorim Barbosa (Bra, 5.5); P Shyam Nikil (6) beat Callum Kilpatrick (Eng, 5); Aravindh Chithambaram (5) lost to Aleksandar Indjic (Srb, 6); Frode Urkedal (Nor, 5.5) drew with Diptayan Ghosh (5.5); Camilo Juan Torres (Col, 4.5) drew with Anwesh Upadhyaya (4.5); Nishant Malhotra (4) drew with Nuri Kambez (Sui, 4)
Girls: Nastassia Ziaziulkina (Blr, 6.5) lost to Guo Qi (Chn, 7); Deysi Cori (Per, 7) beat Aleksandra Goryachkina (Rus, 6); Meri Arabidze (Geo, 7) beat Irina Bulmaga (Rou, 6); Anastasia Bodnaruk (Rus, 6.5) beat Aulia Medina Warda (Ina, 5.5); Bhakti Kulkarni (6) drew with Jovanna Vojinovic (Mne, 6); Alina Kashlinskaya (Rus, 6) beat Irina Petrova (Ukr, 5); Lisa Schut (Ned, 5) lost to Monica Sihite Chelsie (Ina, 6); Klara Varga (Hun, 6) beat Mona Khaled (Egy, 5); Maria Nevioselaya (Blr, 5) beat Pon N Krithika (4); Megan Owens (Wls, 3.5) lost to Ivana Maria Furtado (4.5).