Bansi Prathima – India’s Next Chess Star

Nine gold medals in various junior competitions over the past two years

Bansi Prathima is an extraordinary young player from India who had won nine gold medals in various junior competitions held over the last two years. She is currently a class IV student of Railway Girls High School, North Lallaguda, Secunderabad.

At the age of 8 years, she visited Antalya, Turkey, for World Youth Chess Tournament in the year 2007 where she won Gold Medal for Best Youngest Girl. Next was Kandy, Srilanka for Asian Schools Chess Championship on January 2008 where she took another Gold Medal, followed by Singapore for 4th World School Chess Championship where beside the Gold Medal she also earned a title of FIDE Candidate Master.

Bansi Prathima Singapore

Bansi Prathima playing in Singapore

Commonwealth Chess Championship 2008 held at Nagpur, India, was another trophy in the U8 category and immediately after she was a member of the Indian expedition which claimed Team Gold Medal at the World Youth Chess Championship 2008 in Vung Tau, Vietnam.

Numerous national titles include first places at the U9 Andhra Pradesh Chess Championship 2007, 22nd National U7 Boys and Girls Championship 2008 at Nagpur, C.S.SHARMA Memorial FIDE Rating Open Chess Tournament 2009 in Delhi and 23rd National U9 Boys & Girls Chess Championship held at Chennai this June.

Sri D.V. Ganesh is coaching Bansi Prathima from the very beginning onwards, even from the stage of placing the pieces on board and explaining the basic moves. Without his efforts and guidance it would not be possible for her to achieve so many titles and medals.

Her father is working as Personnel Officer in South Central Railways, Hyderabad (Indian Railways) and her mother is a Doctor by profession. So far there is no sponsorship from any side.

Bansi Prathima id

Bansi Prathima 1

Bansi Prathima

Sahaj Grover is India’s Youngest International Master

Norm and points earned at Le Touquet International Open Chess tournament

Former U10 world champion Sahaj Grover became India’s youngest International Master, winning the final round game against the higher-rated Nicolas Clery to finish fifth in the Le Touquet International Open Chess tournament.

Sahaj was the cynosure of all eyes in a strong field comprising seven Grandmasters and eight International Masters. The class IX student started with two wins, including a spectacular effort against Grandmaster Vyacheslav Ikonnikov of Russia and five draws and a couple of more wins later, he assured himself of his sixth International Master norm which was inconsequential.

Though just 2288 as per ELO ratings of September 2009, Sahaj gained the required points to scale his rating well past the 2400 mark.

It was an easy ride for Sahaj after he won against Ikonikkov in the second round, which also got him the award for the best game of the day. A spate of draws followed, including one against eventual champion IM Jean Noel Riff, and in the last two rounds the 14-year old was in his element once again as he tormented Frenchman Christan Kieffer in the penultimate round and cruised past Nicolas Clery – ranked 86 points higher than him in current FIDE list – in his final effort.

“It was a good tournament for me as I went unbeaten and got my second best result ever after the GM norm in Kolkata,” Sahaj said after winning the last round.

Full article on The Times of India. Thanks to Jagdish Dube.

Tanuj bags Gold at Pan-Am Youth with perfect score!

Currently the youngest FIDE Master at 8 years 2 months and 3 days

Tanuj Vasudeva is eight year old kid from Bunker Elementary school in
Newark, CA. He has been playing chess for about 3 years. He plays
mostly in adult tournaments in San Francisco bay area. As the #1
ranked under 8 years old in the US, he qualified as the official
representative for US team to Pan American Youth Championships 2009 at
Mar Del Plata, Argentina.

Pan American Youth is the most prestigious chess tournament for youths
from North and South America. This year’s event had representation of
top kids from 17 countries. Link:

Tanuj was the only perfect score at the event with 9 out of 9 in Under
8 Open section. His win at Pan American earned him the title of FIDE
. He is currently the
youngest FIDE Master at 8 years 2 months and 3 days. Tanuj is preparing to play at the World Youth Chess Championship, which is starting next week in Kemer-Antalya.


Tanuj Vasudeva with gold medal

To make it even more memorable it was the best ever performance from
US team with 8 medals in total. US team finished with most gold medals
at the event with a tally of 5 gold, 2 silvers and 1 Bronze.

US Team Medalists:
Tanuj Vasudeva U-8 Open Gold – 9.0

Annie Wang U-8 Girls Gold – 7.5

Simone Liao U-10 Girls Gold – 7.5

Tommy He U-10 Open Bronze – 6.5

Arthur Shen U-12 Open Silver – 7.0

Daniel Rozovsky U-14 Open Gold – 7.5

Victor Shen U-16 Open Gold – 7.5

Andrew Shvartsman U-16 Open Silver – 6.5

Complete results

Other notable wins for Tanuj

– Bronze medal at North American championships 2007 in Under-8 category (youngest player at the tournament)

– CA State K-5 co-champion 2009 (while in 2nd grade)

– CA State K-3 champion 2008 (while in 1st grade)

– CA State Kindergarden champion 2007 (perfect score 5/5)

– US National Champion K-1 2008 (perfect score of 7/7)

Tanuj 1

At the Pan American Youth Championships

More about Tanuj Vasudeva

FM James Morris receives IM title

James Morris grabs second place at Oceania Zonal

james morris

FM James Morris
photo TCG

Only a day after the 15-years old talent James Morris received his FM certificate from FIDE, he also clinched an IM title, informs Amiel Rosario. With a last round draw against IM Stephen Solomon at the Oceania Zonal, Melbourne’s young player is set to become the top young player of Australia.

The latest results of James Morris from the Oceania Zonal:

1 FM James Morris 2104 - Egan Bill 1795 1:0

2 IM Xie 2402 - FM James Morris 2104 1/2:1/2

3 FM James Morris 2104 – Steadman Michael 2262 1:0

4 Ly Moulthun 2340 – FM James Morris 2104 0:1

5 FM James Morris 2104 – IM Lane Gary W 1:0

6 FM James Morris 2104 – FM Bjelobrk Igor 1/2:1/2

7 IM Smerdon David 2489 - FM James Morris 2104 1:0

8 FM James Morris 2104 – IM Feldman Vladimir 1:0

9 FM James Morris 2104 – IM Solomon Stephen J 1/2:1/2

Alexandra Obolentseva wins the Russian U8 chess championship

Alexandra Obolentseva, one of the top world girls talents, won the Russian U8 championship. The competition took place in Kostroma and finished on June 1st, Children’s day holiday. A total of 143 young players participated in the event. With seven victories and two draws Obolentseva finished top of the table.

Nikolai Golovin, the coach of Obolentseva shared with, “Of course it was a difficult victory. In the last round she had to play against the winner of last year. We had very little time to prepare after the participation at the World School Chess Championship in Thessaloniki.”

Her mother, Liudmila Obolentseva, was also happy, “This is a result of her work and love of chess.”

Alexandra shared her secret, “I have a talisman named after Judith Polgar, she helped me a lot.”

alexandra obolentseva

Alexandra Obolentseva

Alexandra Obolentseva is rolling in her age group. Just a month ago she won the first place in the World School Chess Championship for girls U8, and in the age group U9 she finished 5th, ahead of players with 2000+ ELO rating. Obolentseva has victories in the age groups of Moscow Open, Kosteniuk Cup, and many other prestigious competitions.

The next event for the young Russian chess talent is the World Youth Championships 2009 in Antalya, Turkey.

Sources: and

Chess Pearl From Arabian Peninsula

Bronze medalist in World School Chess Championship – Girls U9

Nadya Ahmed Salah, a 9-years old girl from Yemen, was the only representative from Arabian nations present at the World School Chess Championship, which just finished in Thessaloniki. Without any support from the national chess federation or Ministry of Sports, and without ever having a coach, Nadya shined in Thessaloniki and won a bronze medal in the section Girls U9!

Her first real tournament was 2008 World Youth Chess Championship in Vietnam, where she finished 17th in the Group U8. Feeling a great desire to play chess and compete with other kids, Nadya asked her father, Dr.Ahmed Mohsen Salah, to take her to the next available tournament – which happened to be World School Chess Championship. Dr.Ahmed left his hospital and traveled with daughter on their own family expense. Having never been a chess player, Dr.Ahmed is trying to learn as much as possible about the regulations, in order to avoid the awkward situation from Vietnam when Nadya first met with international time controls.

Nadya Ahmed Salah

Nadya Ahmed Salah with a medal

Even with a medal firmly clenched in her arm, Nadya declined father’s proposal to take a tour around Thessaloniki and insisted to play in the Sunday evening blitz tournament, together with 160 other people.

Dr.Ahmed is desperately trying to provide a proper coaching for Nadya, the internet being his last resort. Nadya shares that her biggest problem is that at home she rarely finds decent opposition to play against.

Nadya Ahmed Salah 1

Nadya and her father Ahmed before the start of round 5

Last year Nadya finished 6th in Women’s national championship, but the Olympaid captain skipped her and invited a lower rated player to represent Yemen at the Dresden Chess Olympiad.

For her next big tournament, World Youth in Antalya, Turkey, later this year, Nadya promised to attack the gold medal. We believe that she will succeed.

Nadya Ahmed Salah 2

Chardine Cheradee Camacho is the star of Phillipine girls chess

Chardine Cheradee Camacho, a female version of Wesley So

Chardine Cheradee Camacho is one of the top female young chess talents in the Philippines, often qualified as the female version of Wesley So. She had a very successful 2007 and 2008 – a great performance at the U14 group of the 2007World Youth Chess Championship (the first time her name appeared on, a nice 5th place at the 2008 World Youth Chess Championship in Vietnam, and a great play during the Olympiad in Dresden scoring 8,0/10, which brought her a WIM norm. comments on the latest of FIDE rating lists, “Who among the Philippine chess players gained the most ELO points in the 4th quarter of 2008 but whose name was not included in FIDE’s latest Country Top List for January 2009? The answer: Chardine Cheradee Camacho. Her exclusion from the January 2009 Top Women (PHI) list is probably caused by some bug in FIDE’s player database which incidentally is undergoing incremental upgrades for the past few months. Hopefully this can be corrected soon.” ChessPhi continues, “The newly-titled woman fide master gained some 67 points largely due to her splendid WIM-norm-performance at the Olympiad in Dresden. Her 2166 ELO should put her in third spot among Philippine Women for January 2009.”

Forum discussion: Chardine Cheradee Camacho

Chardine Cheradee Camacho

Chardine Cheradee Camacho (on the left) gold at the ASEAN Age-Group Championships 2008 held in Danang, Vietnam

Chardine Cheradee Camacho at Dresden Chess Olympiad

1 PHI Camacho Chardine Cheradee – LTU Ziogaite Jovita 1 : 0

2 PHI Camacho Chardine Cheradee – GRE Makropoulou Marina ½ : ½

3 YEM Awad Omaima – PHI Camacho Chardine Cheradee 0 : 1

4 PHI Camacho Chardine Cheradee – BLR Berlin Tatiana ½ : ½

5 PHI Camacho Chardine Cheradee – NZL Gao Judy 1 : 0

6 SWE Tetenkina Irina – PHI Camacho Chardine Cheradee 0 : 1

7 CRC Trejos Pérez Shirley Patricia – PHI Camacho Chardine Cheradee 0 : 1

8 PHI Camacho Chardine Cheradee – DOM Jose Polanco Kenia 0 : 1

10 PHI Camacho Chardine Cheradee – GER Michna Marta 1 : 0

11 MEX Real Pereyra Diana Karime – PHI Camacho Chardine Cheradee 0 : 1

Chardine Cheradee Camacho at the World Youth Chess Championship

1 Ambanwela Lumbini – Camacho Chardine Cheradee 0 : 1

2 Camacho Chardine Cheradee – WFM Nguyen Thao Han 0 : 1

3 Vasiljeva Sofija – Camacho Chardine Cheradee 0 : 1

4 Camacho Chardine Cheradee – Eid Maha 1 : 0

5 WFM Iwanow Anna – Camacho Chardine Cheradee 0 : 1

6 Camacho Chardine Cheradee – WFM Efroimski Marsel 1 : 0

7 WIM Padmini Rout – Camacho Chardine Cheradee 1 : 0

8 Anjana Krishna S – Camacho Chardine Cheradee ½ : ½

9 Camacho Chardine Cheradee – Baciu Diana 1 : 0

10 Camacho Chardine Cheradee – Schut Lisa 1 : 0

11 WFM Arabidze Meri – Camacho Chardine Cheradee 1 : 0

GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

French and Paris champion at the age of 16

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was born on 21st October, 1990 in Nogent-sur-Marne (France). He entered Mathematical University on October 2007. It was real challenge to compile the list of Maxime’s incredible accomplishments over the board. With the help of his father Patrick, we finally made it.


Maxime is Grand Master since February 27th 2005, at 14 years and 4 months. His norms were obtained in the following tournaments:

- Paris Championship 2004: Maxime ended 3rd with 6½ points from 9 rounds and a performance of 2703

- NAO GM Tournament 2004: Maxime won the tournament with 6.0/9 and got a performance of 2605

- GM Tournament of Evry: from 21st to 27th February 2005, Maxime finished second with 7½ and a performance of 2712

maxime vachier lagrav

Photo by Carla Amse

French Championships

- Montluçon 1997: at age of 6, Maxime is Champion of U-8 category, performance of 1643

- Romans-sur-Isère 1999: at the age of 8, Maxime is Champion of U-10 category

- Pau 2000: 9 years old Maxime is Champion of U-12 category

- Hyères 2002: 11 years old Maxime is Champion of U-16 category

- Grand-Bornand 2003: 12 years old Maxime is Vice-Champion of U-18 category

- Reims 2004: 13 years old Maxime is Champion of U-20 (juniors) category with a TPR of 2604. He got the title with 8 points out of 9 and played against 3 Masters during the tournament (2 points out of 3)

- Chartres 2005: Maxime ended 3rd at the Men French Championship with a TPR of 2660

- Besançon 2006 : Maxime finished 5th at the Men French Championship with 6 points out of 11 and a TPR of 2608

World Championships

- Oropesa del Mar(Spain) 2000: Maxime is 3rd in U-10 with 8½ points out of 11

- Oropesa-del-Mar (Spain) 2001: Maxime is 3rd in U-12 with 8 points out of 11

- Halkidiki (Greece) 2003: Maxime is second in the U-14 group with 9 points out of 11

- Belfort (France): Maxime finished 3rd in the U-16 group with 8½ out of 11

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 2

Photo by Patrick Vachier-Lagrave


Maxime has played in U16 team French championship since 1997. Here are some of his team results:

- U16 French championship 2004-2005: Maxime played at first board for NAO Chess Club and gained 7 points from 7 games. At the same time, NAO-CC earned the title

- U16 French championship 2005-2006: Maxime played at first board for NAO Chess Club and gained 7points from 7 games. At the same time, NAO-CC again earned the title

- Top 16 2005-2006: Maxime played for NAO team, who won the championship for the fourth time in a row. From 8 games played, Maxime gained 6½ points

Recent tournaments

- “Aeroflot” tournament, Moscow 2006: Maxime played the tournament A1, reserved for players having a rating superior to 2550. He gained 6 points out of 9 and finished 6th with a TPR of 2775

- Young Masters, Lausanne 2006: Maxime was invited to Lausanne Young Masters, where he was the youngest player. He won the tournament with a TPR of 2630

- Corus tournament B, Wijk aan Zee 2007: After having been on the top of the table in the middle of the tournament, with notably 5 wins in a row, Maxime had to suffer a difficult end. Nevertheless, he still finished 5th of the tournament (shared 2nd place) with 8 points out of 13

- Winner of 2007 Paris Championship with 7 points out of 9

- Winner of 2007 French Championship after beating GM Vladislav Tkachiev in tiebreak match. In the main tournament he collected 7.5 out of 11

Manuel Leon Hoyos becomes Grandmaster

At the age of 18, Manuel Leon Hoyos is 5th and youngest Mexican Grandmaster

As promised few months ago in an interview for Chessdom, Manuel Leon Hoyos continued to play in fantastic shape, which earned him 2nd and final GM norm at the just finished Continental Championship in Cali, Columbia. Young Mexican star collected 7.5 points out of 11 rounds, having played against strong opposition like GMs Ehlvest, Akobian, Felgaer, Peralta, Vescovi, Granda, Spraggett and Rodriguez.

Manuel Leon Hoyos

Manuel Leon Hoyos in Cali

At the age of 18, Manuel Leon Hoyos is 5th and youngest Mexican Grandmaster. Mexican Chess Open, held in April this year, saw him grabbing first GM norm, and his rating will break the 2500 border on the next FIDE list. Wonderful news for the local chess fans on the eve of the World Chess Championship and another boost for the enraging chess fever. Hopefully, this fantastic talent will get a chance to play in strong round robin tournaments, and elevate himself to the super-GM heights.

Manuel sent us his last round game against Canadian GM Kevin Spraggett and said he was particularly proud of the move 12.Ne4!

Magnus Carlsen took part in a simul with one hundred players

May 19th, the Plaza Mayor of Alzira

Yesterday, May 19th, at the Plaza Mayor of Alzira, the Norwegian chess genius Magnus Carlsen participated into a simul in front of more than a hundred players, among which many Grandmasters like the Spanish champion Francisco Vallejo and the president of the Spanish Federation Javier Ochoa.

Carlsen’s opponents were about his age and although he won all the 13 games, he commented that all of the young chess players were at a very good level and they have potential. Magnus, who is often called the “Mozart of chess”, implied that he enjoys partaking in simuls because they help promoting chess and encourage young players.