This might not be news to some readers, but former Suffolk junior, Justin Tan, recently achieved the highest title of them all: International Grandmaster. In July this year Justin participated in the Paracin Open in Serbia where he not only achieved his final Grandmaster norm, but also played the tournament of his chess life so far by winning the event outright, unbeaten on 7½/9. The final standings can be viewed on the Chess Results website.
Justin has kindly annotated a very interesting game (below). After the game Justin was slightly sad to have not gone for a beautiful finish involving a cluster of pawns lumbering towards the end of the board, reminiscent of a space invader approaching the end of the computer screen. However, from a practical perspective, he probably made the right decision.
Justin officially became a GM in October, only three years after he was awarded his International Master title. To make a leap from IM to GM in such a short space of time is very impressive. Justin’s current FIDE rating is 2508, which at the time of writing puts him at 719 in the world rankings.
Justin decided to study Law at Edinburgh University after completing his A-Levels in Suffolk, but is currently based in Utrecht to study Dutch Law for one year as part of the degree program. Whilst in The Netherlands, he’s managed to play in the Dutch Chess League where each side fields an eight board team, but the board order is pseudo-random, meaning that any player on one team could play any player on another team!