Herald: Leon creates history by scoring three IM norms in 17 days

Leon creates history by scoring three IM norms in 17 days

18 Feb 2019 05:26am IST
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18 Feb 2019 05:26am IST
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Becomes India's latest International Master at the age of 12 years, 11 months and 3 days and Goa’s first and youngest player to achieve the norm

AGENCIES, SERBIA: Goa’s Leon Luke Mendonca scored his third and final International Masters norm at the Third Saturday tournament held in Novi Sad, Serbia. 

Leon played three events in Serbia and scored three IM norms, which pumped his rating to 2446 to become India's latest International Master at the age of 12 years, 11 months and 3 days and Goa’s first and youngest player to achieve the norm.

He has earned all his norms in succession of tournaments thus fulfilling all requirements for being conferred upon the prestigious title of International Master.

In January after playing the Rilton Cup, Leon played four events in Serbia. The first one was the Third Saturday at Novi Sad, Serbia from January 14 to 19. Leon gained precious 21.6 Elo points but once again missed his IM norm by half a point.

The Paracin GM Round Robin was held from January 31 to February 6. Leon finally broke the glass ceiling. He played a fine tournament and scored his first IM norm.

The next tournament Leon took part in is the IM norm Round Robin in Novi Sad, Serbia from February 7 to 11. Playing at this event, Leon was a changed man. He had scored his maiden IM norm and had started to believe in his abilities to a greater extent. He played some fine chess in Novi Sad, scored 7.0/9 and achieved his second IM norm!

Leon's final event in Serbia was a mixed norm event with 22 players. This was also held in Novi Sad from the February 12 to 16 where he score his third IM norm.

Leon added another 18 Elo points to his rating and took his live rating to 2446.

“This is one of the biggest achievements for the Goa Chess. Leon worked hard tirelessly for this and he achieved it. This is a pure example of size doesn't matter in achieving any goals. I would like to congratulate the boy and his parents for his achievements,” said Goa Chess Association President Nilesh Cabral.

GCA Secretary Kishor Bandekar also congratulated the boy and said, “Leon’s hard work paid off. The boy is a genius and this is just the first step and we hope he shall achieve higher norms soon. We would like to congratulate Leon and his fly for all their efforts. He is a role model for aspring and budding chess talent,” added Bandekar.

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