Breaking news! Raunak Sadhwani is India’s 65th GM


13-year-old Raunak Sadhwani has made the world sit up and take notice of his talent by playing phenomenal chess at the FIDE Grand Swiss 2019.

He has a score 4.0/7 and has not lost a single game against some of the best players in the world. He has six draws and one win against seven opponents above the Elo of 2650 and also held Sergey Karjakin to an easy draw with black. With this performance Raunak has crossed the live rating of 2500 and become India’s 65th GM! But doesn’t a player get a GM norm after nine rounds?

With two more rounds to go to reach the nine round mark, how are we so confident that Raunak has become a GM? Well, ChessBase India has done the math, and in this article we tell you why all that Raunak needs to do to become India’s 65th GM is to just show up for his next two games!

Raunak Sadhwani drew his seventh round at the FIDE Grand Swiss 2019 and became India’s 65th GM. He is now gaining 23.2 Elo points from the event, which takes his live rating to 2502.2. But what about his GM norm? Shouldn’t he play nine rounds to get a GM norm? How can we be sure that in seven rounds he has already achieved his GM norm? Here’s how the math works:

Raunak’s performance at the Grand Swiss 2019

If you calculate the rating average of Raunak’s opponents it comes to 2681.75

According to the FIDE Handbook, in order to make a nine game GM norm these are the requirements to be met:

If you look at the bottom left of the table it shows the opponent’s rating average and the number of points that the player has to score.

As Raunak’s opponent’s rating average is 2681.75, it is above 2680, he needs just 3.5/9. Raunak is already on 4.0/7. So the only way in which Raunak cannot get a nine game GM norm is if his opponent’s rating average dips below 2643. If it is less than 2643, it means Raunak needs 4.5/9 which would mean another half point in the remaining two rounds.

However, in order for his rating to dip below the 2643 mark, it would require an opponent whose rating is less than 2324 in the ninth round! This is impossible because at the entire Grand Swiss event there are only four players below the rating of 2324 and they are all on two or less than two points and hence cannot be paired with Raunak. So the only technicality left now is for Raunak to show up at these two games. If he does so, he becomes India’s 65th Grandmaster!

This young lad has started the second chess board of Indian chess! Raunak Sadhwani becomes India’s 65th grandmaster! | Photo: John Saunders

Raunak, hailing from the city of Nagpur, scored his first GM norm at the Aeroflot Open 2019. His second GM norm came at the Porticcio Open 2019 and now the final one at the Grand Swiss 2019. Raunak is known for his tactical acumen, but at the same time he has the ability to play extremely solid chess as he is showing at the Grand Swiss 2019. Born on 22nd of December 2005, Raunak has achieved the feat of becoming a GM at the tender age of 13 years 9 months and 26 days!

Raunak was part of the Kramnik Microsense India Chess Program that was organized a few months ago by ChessBase India. Work with the former World Champion seems to have helped Raunak in his games at the Isle of Man | Photo: Amruta Mokal


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here