Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ray Robson, USA’s youngest grandmaster ever!

Ray Robson (Photo: wikipedia.org)

NO sooner than we made our prediction from the introductory statement of the last post that Ray Robson will obtain the grandmaster title did the breaking news come out that he has already done so by winning the Pan American Junior championship and became the youngest US grandmaster ever.

In so doing The Chess Connoisseur got both prediction and distinction correct but not the timeframe (‘before this year is over’). With the title, still to be confirmed by FIDE which is just a matter of procedure and formality, Robson (born October 25, 1994) beat by four days the record set by Fabiano Caruana two years ago.

Like a house on fire, Ray was in such a hurry that he beat his first seven opponents before allowing a draw in a superior position to secure the grandmaster norm and the title, on his way to winning the tournament with one round to go. For topping the event, he automatically earned a GM norm—his third, and accordingly the GM title since his rating is already above the 2500 minimum.

Although it was a relatively weak event with only one GM (Andre Diamant of Brazil, who he defeated the second time in less than 3 weeks; the first was at the SPICE Cup B in late September), it's apparently the case that winning the tournament confers an automatic GM norm on the victor.

Robson’s next assignment, his first as a grandmaster, will be the World Chess Cup to be held in Khanty-Mansiysk in November 2009. His acquiring the grandmaster title provides justice and adds credence to his nomination by the FIDE President to this event.

News of Robson’s recent feat may be found from here:

Breaking News! Robson is the newest American GM!
Ray Robson is the newest American GM!

Highlights of Ray Robson’s chess career:

• Pan American Youth Chess Championship in Brazil, tied for first; awarded the FIDE Master (FM) title in June 2005
• Earned the USCF National Master (NM) title in January 2006 by raising his chess rating above 2200 (the minimum required for the title of National Master).
• Earned the three norms needed for the IM title in only six weeks: the first at the 6th North American FIDE Invitational on November 3, 2007, in Chicago, Illinois
• Earned second IM norm on November 27 at the World Youth Chess Championship in Antalya, Turkey
• Earned third and final IM norm on December 10, 2008 at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) GM Invitational in Dallas, Texas, making him the youngest IM-elect in the United States.
• Tied for first place in the 2008 Florida championship.
• Won the U.S. Junior Chess Championship, becoming one of the youngest such champions ever on July 16, 2009.
• Tied for first at the Arctic Chess Challenge in Tromso, Norway in August of 2009 garnering his first GM norm in the process.
• Went on that same month to earn his second GM norm by winning the 23rd North American FIDE Invitational in Skokie, Illinois.
• Won the Pan American Youth Chess Championship in Uruguay, October 2009; earned his third and final GM norm and thus GM title .

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