Yesterday (8 November) was Alan Merry‘s 18th birthday. Alan joined the Bury Knights Junior Chess Club shortly before his 8th birthday. By May 2005, he was the club’s second-highest rated member, at 1200. Now, at 2348, he is on the verge of becoming an International Master (just needs another 52 rating points) and already possesses a Grandmaster norm.
He remains a ‘Junior’ for the rest of the English chess season, but for FIDE purposes, his junior status ceases at the end of this calendar year.
In Sochi today, Magnus Carlsen took a giant step towards retaining his World Champion title, with a convincing win over Vishy Anand. In typical Carlsen fashion, he conjured up an attack when none seemed likely. In fact, his a4, Ra3, Rg3 combination may well be an antidote to the Berlin Defence of the Ruy Lopez. You can view the annotated game here.