As the year 2015 sets in, I wondered which was the shortest game of the year 2014 between two grandmasters. Of course it shouldn't be a draw because grandmasters are often seen splitting the points. A special term called the "grandmaster draw" has been coined for it. What I was looking for was a win for one of the players. I used the Megadatabase 2015 which has games upto November 2014 and updated the games of December with the help of Twic. In the filters I tried to search games of both players with an Elo of 2450 and above.
I was expecting to find a White win but was extremely surprised when I found a win for the player with the black pieces and that too against a GM who was rated 2621 in just 10 moves!
The game took place between the Israel's latest grandmaster Danny Raznikov who had the black pieces againt Ma Qun from China who played white on the 27th of December, 2014 at the Groningen Open in Netherlands
Danny Raznikov (2494) scored his final GM norm in Groningen and completed his formalities for becoming a GM
The loser of the game was Ma Qun from China who is extremely talented but had a poor day at the office
The players crossed swords against each other in the sixth round of the tournament
Let's have a look at this 10 move miniature.
An amazing game!
I played against Danny Raznikov in June 2013 in Bulgaria. After the game we analyzed for quite some time and I was impressed with his dedication towards the game. I am glad that he became a GM. After the Groningen tournament was over I was able to contact him and ask him about the above game to which he replied:
"It was a strange game... I certainly did not expect this scenario. But during the tournament I tried to remain focused rather than celebrating that win. Maybe now I will let myself to enjoy it."
And how does he feel about becoming Israel's latest GM:
"I am really happy to finally become a GM. I've made two GM norms back in 2012, but it took me a while to get the final one. I will play in a few large events soon - Gibraltar and European Indiv. Championship in Jerusalem, hopefully more success will come :) "
Wishing the 21-year-old Danny, more such miniatures in the future!
No matter how deep we have gone into this game of 64 squares, surprises occur every now and then and even the best in the world cannot avoid it!
Note: Some might argue that Danny Raznikov was not a GM when he played the above game but he became one immediately three days after the game. So thats as good as a GM I guess! :)
Photos by Beijer and Peng from the Official website