Singapore's Latest IM?

Given that several players achieved their final titles at the DYTM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters & International Open (and with renewed interest amongst our local players in achieving the Grandmaster title), I looked with interest at to see if any if them were listed for confirmation at the 82nd FIDE Congress in Krakow, Poland from 15-22 October 2011.

Then I saw a surprising application - that of Singapore's Ravindran Shanmugam with a new high rating of 2329 after playing some 34 games and probably reflected in the three International Master norms he had managed to achieve in three successive events played from July to September 2011!

I always saw Ravindran as a 2100/2200+ player especially having played him in a IM event in Singapore a couple of years ago when the beginning of my falling out with Ignatius Leong begun when over coffee two hour before the start of play he mentioned that this fine young man had spent over SGD 20,000 on training at his (our?) academy and so I should not look to try too hard to beat him (?).

Well anyone who knows me would understand how I take such "advice" but it was not for me to ruin the prospects of a young player and so I decided to play hard but handicap myself a bit by playing 1.e4 (essaying the King's Gambit and Centre Game) and defending 1.e4 with 1... e5 and 2....d6 (with even ....Qe7 thrown in) and leave it to them to prove they could do the job!

It is good that since that setback Ravindran has continued trying (and probably still working with resident Georgian-Singaporean trainer Zurab Azmaiparashvili) and this effort is well reflected in the norms he achieved playing these tournaments in Georgia and I am sure he will soon get the 2400 rating he needs to convert the likely provisional award of International Master to become Singapore's latest title holder.


  1. 3 norms in 3 successive events in 3 succesive months!



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