Shreyas Royal breaks U10 record, poses ECF a question

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Leonard Barden
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Shreyas Royal breaks U10 record, poses ECF a question

Post by Leonard Barden » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:50 am

Shreyas Royal continued his recent surge and hit another landmark at the weekend when the Woolwich and Kent 9-year-old totalled 3/5 at the strong Tunbridge Wells Open.

He clocked up a tournament performance grade of exactly 200, surpassing Luke McShane's Fide 2144 (equivalent to 193) English U10 record set a quarter of a century ago at Lloyds Bank 1993.

Shreyas was graded next to last at 161 in the 32-player field, but defeated Martin Cutmore (179), John Bennett (190) and Ivan Myall (179) while losing to the No 2 seed GM John Emms (242) and the No 4 seed FM Martin Taylor (226).

He rode his luck at times and was crushed by Emms and Taylor. Overall McShane's 1993 performance, which I remember watching, was more mature. But Shreyas is four months younger than Luke was then, and his 200 grade, deflated by the 40-point rule, would have been 208 if based on his current strength of 180

In Shreyas's most interesting game, John Bennett launched a huge attack, but at the critical moment missed the winning tactic 19 Bxh6+! Kxh6 20 Nxf7+! Qxf7 21 Rxe7! A little later 21 Bxe7! would have held before the game turned decisively in Black's favour.

[Event "Tunbridge Wells Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.06.09"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Bennett, John"]
[Black "Royal, Shreyas"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "190"]
[BlackElo "161"]
[PlyCount "56"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.06.09"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c6 5. e3 Be7 6. Bd3 Nbd7 7. O-O O-O 8. e4
dxe4 9. Nxe4 Nxe4 10. Bxe4 Nf6 11. Bc2 b6 12. Qd3 h6 13. Bf4 Bb7 14. Be5 g6 15.
Bf4 Kg7 16. Ne5 Qe8 17. Rfe1 c5 18. d5 exd5 19. Nxg6 fxg6 20. Bd6 Ne4 21. cxd5
Nxd6 22. Rxe7+ Qxe7 23. Qxg6+ Kh8 24. Qxh6+ Kg8 25. Qg6+ Qg7 26. Qxd6 Qxb2 27.
Qe6+ Rf7 28. Bh7+ Kh8 0-1

[Event "Tunbridge Wells Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2018.06.09"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Royal, Shreyas"]
[Black "Cutmore, Martin"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "161"]
[BlackElo "179"]
[PlyCount "101"]
[SourceVersionDate "2018.06.09"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 Nc6 3. Nf3 e6 4. g3 d5 5. Bg2 dxc4 6. Qa4 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 Nd5 8.
Bxb4 Ndxb4 9. a3 b5 10. Qxb5 Nc2+ 11. Kd2 Nxa1 12. Qxc6+ Bd7 13. Qxc4 Rb8 14.
b4 c5 15. Qc3 cxb4 16. axb4 O-O 17. Na3 Qe7 18. b5 Nc2 19. Nxc2 Rfc8 20. Qa5
Rxb5 21. Qa2 Bc6 22. Ra1 Be4 23. Nfe1 Bxg2 24. Nxg2 Qb7 25. Nge3 Rb2 26. Qxa7
Qb4+ 27. Kd1 Qc3 28. Qa3 Rxc2 29. Nxc2 Qxc2+ 30. Ke1 Qe4 31. Rc1 Rd8 32. Qc3
Qh1+ 33. Kd2 Qxh2 34. Qc7 Rf8 35. Qf4 Qh5 36. Rc5 Qh1 37. Qg4 Qa1 38. Qe4 Qb2+
39. Ke3 Qb3+ 40. Qd3 Qb2 41. f3 Qa1 42. Kf2 Qh1 43. g4 Qh2+ 44. Ke3 Qg1+ 45.
Kd2 Qa1 46. f4 g6 47. f5 exf5 48. gxf5 Rd8 49. fxg6 Rxd4 50. gxh7+ Kg7 51. Rg5+
1-0

Shreyas began his current quantum jump with 4/7 at the 4NCL Major at Basingstoke on 17 May (TPR 2091) and 3.5/6 (TPR 2077) at the Golders Green rapid on 2 June. His 13 opponents in these two events were all rated above 1900, and several over 2000. He gained 100 Fide rating points at Basingstoke.

Preparing for the world U10 speed events in Minsk which start on 22 June, of which more below, he finished second with 5/6 at the Hendon monthly blitz on 7 June and will play some online speed events in the next week.

The Fide world cadet rapid/ blitz championships for U12/10/8s were launched in 2017, and were immediately popular. Entries for 2018 have risen sharply, with 774 entrants from 25 countries competing in the rapid, most of them also entered for the blitz. Russia and Ukraine dominate the boys U10. Over 100 of the 238 in the U10 rapid are Russians, while Ukraine has five of the top nine seeds in the U10 blitz.

Shreyas is seeded 13th with a 1661 rating at rapid, and 16th with a 1700 rating at blitz. But he is now ranked U10 world No4 with a 1927 rating in classical chess due to his 100-point rating jump at Basingstoke and with the aid of the K=40 coefficient he is already within range of the American world No1. His low rapid/blitz figures do not allow for his recent surge, and realistically he has at least an outside chance for a medal at Minsk. Moreover, as a Fide U9 he will still be eligible in 2019.

What should be a concern is that the nine English boys at Minsk led by Shreyas have had to enter on their own with little backing or support from the ECF, whose website is completely silent on the very existence of these Fide world championships.

It is obvious that, like it or not, rapid and blitz chess at top level is gaining fast in status, witness the massive prize fund and the presence of the elite led by Magnus Carlsen at the world rapid/blitz in Riyadh, the important role of rapid and blitz events in the Grand Chess Tour, the speed play-off system for the classical world championships, and the blitz events to determine the classical pairings at Altibox Norway and elsewhere.

Many junior players enjoy blitz and find it a powerful reason to keep up their enthusiasm.

For nearly two decades now England has rarely had a serious candidate for medals in a world age group championship. I believe the last medal of any colour was when David Howell won bronze behind Ian Nepomniachtchi's gold at the 2002 world U12 at Heraklion, Greece.

In the final round David still had a chance for gold if he won his game and Nepo lost, I recall watching the opening moves and feeling disappointed when David opened with the cautious 1 c4 on the advice of his coach Glenn Flear, instead of his normal 1 e4 as I expected against some random Scandinavian. The game took an uneventful path before they halved, and the random Scandinavian was Magnus Carlsen.

England's last gold medals in Fide world age group championships were in the late 1990s, when Harriet Hunt won the 1997 world under-20 junior girls title in Poland while Nick Pert and Ruth Sheldon captured both 1998 world U18 crowns at Oropesa del Mar, Spain.

So there is some excuse for the ECF not realising the implications of a very large quantum jump, since it is so long since it happened to an English junior. But experience in the 1970s was that if you gave a player immediate concrete recognition for his or her fast advance, it could spur fresh peaks.

In the spring of 1975, at 9 years 9 months, Nigel Short's results and the quality of his games made a sharp improvement. He was given an invitation to the Jersey Open where he did well,and on the final day the winner Gerald Bennett spent several hours playing blitz with him. A few weeks later, Nigel was included in a clock simul by Vassily Smyslov. He soon made a further jump at the end of the year when he won the London U14 and defeated Viktor Korchnoi in a famous simul game.

Another advantage of encouraging a quantum jumper to kick on is that contemporaries get the message and raise their own sights. No coincidence that as Short won the London U14, Julian Hodgson at 12 won the London U190 Amateur and the London U18 and beat David Bronstein in a simul.

Besides Shreyas, the England U10s at Minsk will also include Denis Dupuis and Daniel Shek who are bright, well motivated, and also capable of surges. In the very latest tournaments at Golders Green and Hampstead Denis, who played as an U8 in Minsk 2017 and was praised to me by Dave Rumens when we met just before his last illness, entered as a 1400 but performed 300 points higher than that.

As things stand, Shreyas will be at a big disadvantage in Minsk because on the afternoons/evenings of 22/23 June he will have no one of his own strength available to help while his Russian and Ukrainian rivals can practice rapid and blitz with each other and with their master level trainers.

Given the enormous fields, loads of weak players and only nine rounds, the leaders will not meet until the last couple of rounds with the risk that some kind of Ukraine and/or Russian team operation to distort Buchholz tiebreaks may occur if the English boy looks like winning.

If this wasn't so, Shreyas would have an improved chance for a medal, although gold in both events is likely to go to Tykhon Cherniaiev of Ukraine who, at only eight, has been scoring performances of 2200+ against the best experts in Kharkov. However this is Cherniaiev's first international appearance so he could be a bit tentative.

Even with just 10 days or so before the start, there still seems time for the ECF to have a change of heart and give Minsk a higher profile. Internet sources including Foreign Office guidance state that it is possible to travel to Belarus for a stay up to five days without a visa, and the impression from the official website is that there are sufficient hotel rooms despite the huge numbers entered.

Ideally, Shreyas's family would like a master level player to spend a few afternoons and part of next weekend with him to hone his rapid and blitz skills further, and for a player of strength to be in Minsk for the critical preparation hours before rounds 5-9 of the rapid and the day of the blitz. If the person can also fulfil a team manager role, even better.

If the decision is really that despite best efforts it is too late for an English master player/coach to go to Minsk, then besides giving support to Shreyas in his final week of preparation, the ECF should consider hiring one or more GM/IMs from Belarus (there are over 30 of them) to work with the England boys for the critical hours of the afternoons/evenings of 22/23 June.
Last edited by Leonard Barden on Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Roger Lancaster
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2015 2:44 pm

Re: Shreyas Royal breaks U10 record, poses ECF a question

Post by Roger Lancaster » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:31 pm

Leonard Barden wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:50 am

It is now nearly a decade since England last had a serious candidate for medals in a world age group championship. I believe the last medal of any colour was when David Howell won bronze behind Ian Nepomniachtchi's gold at the 2002 world U12 at Heraklion, Greece.
I hesitate to challenge Leonard's normally infallible memory but I think he will find Dhruv Radhakrishnan taking the bronze medal in the World Schools Rapid Chess Championships 2014 Open Under-7. My recollection, and I'll certainly apologise if I am wrong, is that his performance was achieved without ECF support. For what it's worth, and I won't go into a long ramble here, I find the ECF junior selection policy very puzzling.

Leonard Barden
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Re: Shreyas Royal breaks U10 record, poses ECF a question

Post by Leonard Barden » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:44 pm

Roger Lancaster wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:31 pm
Leonard Barden wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:50 am

It is now nearly a decade since England last had a serious candidate for medals in a world age group championship. I believe the last medal of any colour was when David Howell won bronze behind Ian Nepomniachtchi's gold at the 2002 world U12 at Heraklion, Greece.
I hesitate to challenge Leonard's normally infallible memory but I think he will find Dhruv Radhakrishnan taking the bronze medal in the World Schools Rapid Chess Championships 2014 Open Under-7. My recollection, and I'll certainly apologise if I am wrong, is that his performance was achieved without ECF support. For what it's worth, and I won't go into a long ramble here, I find the ECF junior selection policy very puzzling.
Roger, I was referring only to the major world cadet, youth and junior age group championships. Shreyas himself won the silver medal at the World Schools U7 in 2016, which qualified him as a Fide candidate master.

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David Shepherd
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Re: Shreyas Royal breaks U10 record, poses ECF a question

Post by David Shepherd » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:12 pm

Leonard Barden wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:50 am
It is now nearly a decade since England last had a serious candidate for medals in a world age group championship.


Not sure that this is 100% true, for example in 2015 we had players that were ranked 2 and 7 based on their ratings at the start of the tournament, they should have been considered reasonably serious candidates for medals based on their ratings.

Leonard Barden
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Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:21 am

Re: Shreyas Royal breaks U10 record, poses ECF a question

Post by Leonard Barden » Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:26 pm

David Shepherd wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:12 pm
Leonard Barden wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:50 am
It is now nearly a decade since England last had a serious candidate for medals in a world age group championship.


Not sure that this is 100% true, for example in 2015 we had players that were ranked 2 and 7 based on their ratings at the start of the tournament, they should have been considered reasonably serious candidates for medals based on their ratings.
Okay, point taken. I have changed my text above to For nearly two decades now England has rarely had

Brian Towers
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Re: Shreyas Royal breaks U10 record, poses ECF a question

Post by Brian Towers » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:10 pm

pgn tags added for the benefit of lazy people like me who can't follow all the game in their head
Leonard Barden wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:50 am
Shreyas Royal continued his recent surge and hit another landmark at the weekend when the Woolwich and Kent 9-year-old totalled 3/5 at the strong Tunbridge Wells Open.

He clocked up a tournament performance grade of exactly 200, surpassing Luke McShane's Fide 2144 (equivalent to 193) English U10 record set a quarter of a century ago at Lloyds Bank 1993.

Shreyas was graded next to last at 161 in the 32-player field, but defeated Martin Cutmore (179), John Bennett (190) and Ivan Myall (179) while losing to the No 2 seed GM John Emms (242) and the No 4 seed FM Martin Taylor (226).

He rode his luck at times and was crushed by Emms and Taylor. Overall McShane's 1993 performance, which I remember watching, was more mature. But Shreyas is four months younger than Luke was then, and his 200 grade, deflated by the 40-point rule, would have been 208 if based on his current strength of 180

In Shreyas's most interesting game, John Bennett launched a huge attack, but at the critical moment missed the winning tactic 19 Bxh6+! Kxh6 20 Nxf7+! Qxf7 21 Rxe7! A little later 21 Bxe7! would have held before the game turned decisively in Black's favour.





Shreyas began his current quantum jump with 4/7 at the 4NCL Open at Basingstoke on 17 May (TPR 2091) and 3.5/6 (TPR 2077) at the Golders Green rapid on 2 June. His 13 opponents in these two events were all rated above 1900, and several over 2000. He gained 100 Fide rating points at Basingstoke.

Preparing for the world U10 speed events in Minsk which start on 22 June, of which more below, he finished second with 5/6 at the Hendon monthly blitz on 7 June and will play some online speed events in the next week.

The Fide world cadet rapid/ blitz championships for U12/10/8s were launched in 2017, and were immediately popular. Entries for 2018 have risen sharply, with 774 entrants from 25 countries competing in the rapid, most of them also entered for the blitz. Russia and Ukraine dominate the boys U10. Over 100 of the 238 in the U10 rapid are Russians, while Ukraine has five of the top nine seeds in the U10 blitz.

Shreyas is seeded 13th with a 1661 rating at rapid, and 16th with a 1700 rating at blitz. But he is now ranked U10 world No4 with a 1927 rating in classical chess due to his 100-point rating jump at Basingstoke and with the aid of the K=40 coefficient he is already within range of the American world No1. His low rapid/blitz figures do not allow for his recent surge, and realistically he has at least an outside chance for a medal at Minsk. Moreover, as a Fide U9 he will still be eligible in 2019.

What should be a concern is that the nine English boys at Minsk led by Shreyas have had to enter on their own with little backing or support from the ECF, whose website is completely silent on the very existence of these Fide world championships.

It is obvious that, like it or not, rapid and blitz chess at top level is gaining fast in status, witness the massive prize fund and the presence of the elite led by Magnus Carlsen at the world rapid/blitz in Riyadh, the important role of rapid and blitz events in the Grand Chess Tour, the speed play-off system for the classical world championships, and the blitz events to determine the classical pairings at Altibox Norway and elsewhere.

Many junior players enjoy blitz and find it a powerful reason to keep up their enthusiasm.

For nearly two decades now England has rarely had a serious candidate for medals in a world age group championship. I believe the last medal of any colour was when David Howell won bronze behind Ian Nepomniachtchi's gold at the 2002 world U12 at Heraklion, Greece.

In the final round David still had a chance for gold if he won his game and Nepo lost, I recall watching the opening moves and feeling disappointed when David opened with the cautious 1 c4 on the advice of his coach Glenn Flear, instead of his normal 1 e4 as I expected against some random Scandinavian. The game took an uneventful path before they halved, and the random Scandinavian was Magnus Carlsen.

England's last gold medals in Fide world age group championships were in the late 1990s, when Harriet Hunt won the 1997 world under-20 junior girls title in Poland while Nick Pert and Ruth Sheldon captured both 1998 world U18 crowns at Oropesa del Mar, Spain.

So there is some excuse for the ECF not realising the implications of a very large quantum jump, since it is so long since it happened to an English junior. But experience in the 1970s was that if you gave a player immediate concrete recognition for his or her fast advance, it could spur fresh peaks.

In the spring of 1975, at 9 years 9 months, Nigel Short's results and the quality of his games made a sharp improvement. He was given an invitation to the Jersey Open where he did well,and on the final day the winner Gerald Bennett spent several hours playing blitz with him. A few weeks later, Nigel was included in a clock simul by Vassily Smyslov. He soon made a further jump at the end of the year when he won the London U14 and defeated Viktor Korchnoi in a famous simul game.

Another advantage of encouraging a quantum jumper to kick on is that contemporaries get the message and raise their own sights. No coincidence that as Short won the London U14, Julian Hodgson at 12 won the London U190 Amateur and the London U18 and beat David Bronstein in a simul.

Besides Shreyas, the England U10s at Minsk will also include Denis Dupuis and Daniel Shek who are bright, well motivated, and also capable of surges. In the very latest tournaments at Golders Green and Hampstead Denis, who played as an U8 in Minsk 2017 and was praised to me by Dave Rumens when we met just before his last illness, entered as a 1400 but performed 300 points higher than that.

As things stand, Shreyas will be at a big disadvantage in Minsk because on the afternoons/evenings of 22/23 June he will have no one of his own strength available to help while his Russian and Ukrainian rivals can practice rapid and blitz with each other and with their master level trainers.

Given the enormous fields, loads of weak players and only nine rounds, the leaders will not meet until the last couple of rounds with the risk that some kind of Ukraine and/or Russian team operation to distort Buchholz tiebreaks may occur if the English boy looks like winning.

If this wasn't so, Shreyas would have an improved chance for a medal, although gold in both events is likely to go to Tykhon Cherniaiev of Ukraine who, at only eight, has been scoring performances of 2200+ against the best experts in Kharkov. However this is Cherniaiev's first international appearance so he could be a bit tentative.

Even with just 10 days or so before the start, there still seems time for the ECF to have a change of heart and give Minsk a higher profile. Internet sources including Foreign Office guidance state that it is possible to travel to Belarus for a stay up to five days without a visa, and the impression from the official website is that there are sufficient hotel rooms despite the huge numbers entered.

Ideally, Shreyas's family would like a master level player to spend a few afternoons and part of next weekend with him to hone his rapid and blitz skills further, and for a player of strength to be in Minsk for the critical preparation hours before rounds 5-9 of the rapid and the day of the blitz. If the person can also fulfil a team manager role, even better.

If the decision is really that despite best efforts it is too late for an English master player/coach to go to Minsk, then besides giving support to Shreyas in his final week of preparation, the ECF should consider hiring one or more GM/IMs from Belarus (there are over 30 of them) to work with the England boys for the critical hours of the afternoons/evenings of 22/23 June.
Ah, but I was so much older then. I'm younger than that now.

Mick Norris
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Re: Shreyas Royal breaks U10 record, poses ECF a question

Post by Mick Norris » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:33 pm

Leonard Barden wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:50 am
Internet sources including Foreign Office guidance state that it is possible to travel to Belarus for a stay up to five days without a visa
Yes, looks like valid medical insurance is the only issue Foreign Office advice
Leonard Barden wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:50 am
the ECF should consider hiring one or more GM/IMs from Belarus
The ECF would have to check the Treasury Financial Sanctions list, as Belarus is a country that comes up from time to time in their alerts

Whether this is a good use of ECF funds is another matter of course
Any postings on here represent my personal views and should not be taken as representative of the Manchester Chess Federation www.manchesterchess.co.uk

Richard Bates
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Re: Shreyas Royal breaks U10 record, poses ECF a question

Post by Richard Bates » Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:40 pm

Shreyas began his current quantum jump with 4/7 at the 4NCL Open at Basingstoke on 17 May (TPR 2091) and 3.5/6 (TPR 2077) at the Golders Green rapid on 2 June. His 13 opponents in these two events were all rated above 1900, and several over 2000. He gained 100 Fide rating points at Basingstoke
Minor point, but Basingstoke was the Major, not the Open. So Tunbridge Wells really was a bit of a step up.

Leonard Barden
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Re: Shreyas Royal breaks U10 record, poses ECF a question

Post by Leonard Barden » Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:49 pm

Richard Bates wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:40 pm
Shreyas began his current quantum jump with 4/7 at the 4NCL Open at Basingstoke on 17 May (TPR 2091) and 3.5/6 (TPR 2077) at the Golders Green rapid on 2 June. His 13 opponents in these two events were all rated above 1900, and several over 2000. He gained 100 Fide rating points at Basingstoke
Minor point, but Basingstoke was the Major, not the Open. So Tunbridge Wells really was a bit of a step up.
Thanks for spotting that, Richard. Corrected now.

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