World Under-16 champion International Master Karthikeyan Murali of Chennai played at an amazing rating performance of 2709 to make his final Grand Master norm in the Abu Dhabi Masters that concluded in the United Arab Emirates on August 28, 2014.
The 15-year old schoolboy from Chennai started as seed No.34 and finished third. He even held the sole lead after seven rounds with six points.
In his nine games, Karthikeyan Murali faced eight grandmasters and scored four wins, three draws and suffered one defeat to Vidit Gujrathi.
Karthikeyan Murali was born on May 1, 1999. He had won the World Under-12 Championship at Brazil in 2011. He is a student of the Velammal Matriculation School at Ponneri, Chennai. He is a hard worker and a great sportsman.
Karthikeyan Murali is expected to return to Chennai on August 30 in the early hours around 4 a.m. Giving the information, his father said he made his earlier norms at the Parsvnath Open in Delhi 2013 and Kolkata 2014. He completed the final norm in great style. He sliced points from the cream of super grandmasters. “He will be five Elo short of the Grand Master title for now,” said his father. Having gained 33 Elo from this single event, he is going to be the most feared 15-year old opponent in the world.
Karthikeyan Murali’s victims include the champion Yuriy Kuzubov, third seed Alexander Areshenko (Ukr), Sergey Volkov (Rus) and Amin Bassem (Egy). Although he finished third, this edition is going to be remembered for the exploits of this new young conqueror from Chennai.
A couple of days back Aravindh Chithambaram completed his final GM norm. Now Karthikeyan Murali, another Chennai boy has done the same. Both will have to wait for the GM title until they reach the stipulated 2500 rating mark. And that is going to happen soon. And when that happens, India would jump from 36 Grand Masters to 38. India has the most rated players in the world and also the most grandmasters in Asia.
This chess festival ran from August 20-28 and was organised by the Abu Dhabi Chess and Culture Club.
Top seed Wang Hao of China finished 20th and would be losing 17 Elo. He lost to G.N. Gopal and drew Vaibhav Suri of India.
Final placings: 1-2. GM Yuriy Kuzubov (Ukr), GM Tigran Petrosian (Arm) 7/9 each; 3-9. IM Karthikeyan Murali, GM G.N. Gopal, GM Vidit Gujrathi (all Ind), GM Sergey Volkov (Rus), GM Viorel Iordachescu (Mda), GM Zahar Efimenko (Ukr), Vladimir Burmakin (Rus) 6.5 each; 11 GM Vaibhav Suri (Ind) 6; 13 GM Abhijeet Gupta (Ind), 14 GM S.S. Ganguly (Ind), 15 IM V.A.V. Rajesh (Ind) 6 each etc.