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Awonder Liang vs Larry Kaufman
"What Awonderful World" (game of the day Oct-11-2012)
Washington International (2012), Rockville USA, rd 3, Jul-28
Scotch Game: Mieses Variation (C45)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
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Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: A very impressive win for one so young.

Like <rilkefan>, I wondered why black didn't play 20...Qxb2. For that matter, I didn't understand why not 23...Rxb2. Fritzie doesn't see a crushing white response to either move. It's a free prawn.

Larry will be kicking himself for not seeing 29... Qd8? 30. Rxe6. Presumably he thought that white would have to exchange queens so didn't take a serious look at the exchange sac on e6. After this, a black advantage of about a pawn (would have been more if he had grabbed b2) transfers to a black advantage of about the same margin.

Fritzie, being a merciless soul, also doesn't care for 31...Kf8, preferring 31...Kh8.

33...Qd7? leads to a mate in 4 when other moves (eg 33...c3) lead to a white advantage of a prawn and a bit.

So what gives? I think the key to this game is this position after black has played 29... Qd8

click for larger view

I reckon black thought he was winning by miles here. He thinks he has defused white's kingside attack. It looks as if white either has to exchange queens or allow black to snaffle the f6 prawn. And either way, black is going to play d4-d3 at some point and nasty things will happen.

So black sits back smugly. He perhaps glances over at the little kid who can barely see over the edge of the board. The little 'un has done well to stay alive this long, but true class will always win in the end. Maybe give a kindly smile of encouragement. Offer to autograph his scoresheet. Shake his adoring parents' hands after the game. Point out where he went wrong. The kid will treasure the experience for the rest of his life.

But what's this, the lad is picking up the rook on e1? Doesn't he see that his queen is en prise? Rxe6?


Then it all falls apart, just as <phony> has described. The computer may find ways for black to cling on, but it's much harder in real life when you've just thrown away a winning position with one miscalculation.

I wonder if Larry asked the kid to sign <his> scoresheet after that?

Oct-11-12  Abdel Irada: A question for all you expert "engineers": Can Black survive with 33. ...♖8c7 in lieu of the text? I don't see a decisive refutation, but silicon might.
Premium Chessgames Member
  piltdown man: I know how it feels to be beaten by nine year olds. Sadly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Honza Cervenka: Well, this is pretty good game for a nine years old kid, and I don't doubt that he has great talent and potential to become a chess star in near future. But objectively white was very lucky here, as black was clearly superior (and I would say even won) for the most part of the game. For example, after 25....Rxb2 26.Qxa5 (26.Qxc7 Qxa3 ) 26...c5 black passed Pawns are going to decide the game quite quickly. Also after 29...d4 instead of weak 29...Qd8 black is clearly better.
Oct-11-12  Abdooss: Once I had a face-off with a very strong 8-years-old. He was better than me, and I was rusty. I fought with my life and threw everything in, including the kitchen sink. In the end, he slipped and it ended in a DRAW! In consolation, I let his dad know; "I should have lost.. your son is better than me.. whatever you're doing with his chess (training), keep it up!"
Oct-11-12  Razgriz: Damn!! BRILLIANT GAME!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  The HeavenSmile: good pun
Premium Chessgames Member
  parmetd: Is there actually any proof of the statement at the start of this game "new record" ?
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black must allow white to queen or lose his own queen.
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <parmetd> Not clear. Hetul Shah also beat a GM at age 9, and we don't know when his birthday is.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <parmetd: Is there actually any proof of the statement at the start of this game "new record" ?>

Interesting point. Some records can be verified. For example, we know that Fischer was the youngest player to become a GM (at the time), because we have comprehensive records of all the GMs.

But this record is harder to prove. How do we know that a GM hasn't lost to someone younger, say in a practice match or at queen odds whilst hugely and improbably drunk?

I suppose we ought to clarify the statement to say "This game <probably> created a new world record when 9 year old Awonder Liang defeated GM Larry Kaufman, the youngest person ever <known> to defeat a GM."

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <Once> Who knows what may have happened in a blitz or simul game? I wouldn't be surprised if a GM threw a game to a little kid just to give the kid a thrill. One ought to qualify the record as "youngest person ever to defeat a GM in a tournament game at standard time controls." That said, we still don't know whether Liang or Hetul Shah was younger. But no, we can't be absolutely certain that there wasn't someone younger still. Presumably such a feat would have gotten a good deal of publicity, so I think it's likely that we would have heard of it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: When I rule the world from my hollowed-out volcano, complete with long-haired white cat and monorail, I'm going to pass a law making it illegal for under sixteens to play chess against anyone other than other under sixteens.

Okay, that may be a little harsh. Let's rethink. How about ... making it illegal for anyone under sixteen to play chess competitively with anyone aged 47 or older.

That should do the trick.

Premium Chessgames Member
  parmetd: Yea well if the records, aren't there then you can't make the claim... just ask the gusiness book of world records....

Even still I find it unlikely that someone like Judit, Susan Sofia Polgar or Karjakin doesn't already hold this record.

Even further the posterous claims come from the insane father who is known to make such false claims regular at the drop of the hat. He claimed his son was the youngest to make 1600(false) 1800(false) 2000 (false) and it appears this record claim is probably false as well.

Oct-11-12  lorker: Larry was extremely pissed after this game and was audibly cursing after blundering the mate. He also dropped out of the tournament right after.
Oct-11-12  jefflissa: According to Larry K.'s bio he received the GM title for winning the 2008 Senior Open. Whatever happened to GM norms and a minimum rating of 2500? I mean no disrespect but c'mon man!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: <jefflissa> Just wait until a certain <LIFEMaster> who shall remain nameless wins the Senior Open and gets a GM title.
Oct-11-12  rapidcitychess: I really wish I could get the chance to play a GM like this kid. Not that I would win. :P
Oct-11-12  Abdel Irada: <parmetd>: Interesting term, "posterous." Is that meant as a back-formation from "preposterous"?

I'm curious, because the only definition of the "word" I can find is as the name of a website/blogging platform.

Assuming the word does not exist in any other sense, we could decide to neologize and make an adjective of it. I suppose it could be defined as "pertaining to what comes after 'preposterous'," and we could then create an antonym, "postposterous," for what comes after *that*.

Premium Chessgames Member
  parmetd: Yes Abdel, I was typing from my phone which likes to 'autocorrect' things. So Indeed, I meant (and thought at the time I had typed) preposterous - The curse of typing on a phone - alas.
Oct-11-12  Abdel Irada: Ah, yes. The hazardous joys of autocorrect. :-S

Actually, though, the coinage might be of interest. On the other hand, it might also get us sued for copyright infringement — which would also be ... interesting.

Premium Chessgames Member
  PhilFeeley: <parmetd> I can't imagine viewing webpages on a phone, let alone typing a message to a page like this. That would drive me batty.
Jan-02-13  Mudphudder: This is a great game. But I will add that I was never impressed with either player as a whole....LK got his GM title w/o having to achieve the traditional norms and so it's no wonder LK was never a strong GM. AL on the other hand is quite young and full of promise but he too got the FM title based on a tournament win and at present can not even get an ELO rating of a true FM.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Whitehat1963: Is 34. Nxh7+ the best move in that position?
Aug-13-17  ColeTrane: <whitehat> why would you even ASK that?!?
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