IM Norm for Dearing

Armenia, Sep-Oct 1997

Edward Dearing from Perth became the youngest Scot to achieve an International Master norm at the World Junior Championships in Armenia which finished on October 4th. Dearing, who will be 17 at the end of this month, scored 5½ points from his first 9 games to give him the first of three required scores for the IM title. His final tournament tally was 6/11.

The previous Scottish record was held by Mark Condie (Edinburgh) who was 17 years and 9 months when he first scored a norm in 1982. Dearing's progress suggests he will soon make the breakthrough to Scotland's senior Olympiad squad.

Dearing inflicted the only loss on the eventual tournament winner with a sparkling tactical display in the first round.

World U-18 Junior, Armenia

White: Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine, 2555)

Black: Edward Dearing (Scotland, 2210)

Opening: c3-Sicilian

1 e4 c5 2 c3 d5 3 exd5 Qxd5 4 d4 Nf6 5 Nf3 Bg4 6 Be2 e6 7 0-0 Nc6 8 h3 Bh5 9 a3 cxd4 10 cxd4 Be7 11 Nc3 Qd6 12 Be3 0-0 13 Qb3 Rfd8 14 Rfd1 a6?! 15 d5! exd5 16 g4 Bg6 17 g5 Ne4 18 Nxd5 Qe6

Grovelling with 18...Qb8 is scarcely an option after 19 Nb6.

19 Qxb7 Bf8 20 Nc7?

Far too greedy but the distant refutation is difficult to calculate. 20 Nf4! keeps the advantage according to Dearing.

20...Qxh3 21 Nxa8 Qg4+ 22 Kf1

Not 22 Kh1 Qh3+ 23 Nh2 Ng3+! and Black wins.

22...Qh3+ 23 Ke1

White should acquiesce to the draw with 23 Kg1.

23...Qh1+ 24 Bf1 Ng3! 25 Nh2

If 25 fxg3 Qxf3 26 Qb6 Rb8! and White has no good reply. The move played meets a brilliant reply.

25...Nb4!!

Understandably, Eddie was waxing lyrical about finding this move. The point is 26 Qxh1 allows 26...Nc2 mate!

26 Qc7 Rxd1+ 27 Rxd1 Nxf1 28 Nxf1 Nd3+ 29 Kd2 Qxa8

White has emerged from the tactical flurry with rook for minor piece ahead but his king is so exposed that it is impossible to organise a defence.

30 Kc3 Qd5 31 Rd2 h5 32 Qc4 Qa5+ 33 Kb3 Nxb2!

Another nice tactic removing the defender of a3.

34 Qb4 Bxb4 35 axb4 Qb5 White resigns.

Despite a post game bout of tears and a stern lecture from his coach the 14-year-old Ukranian stormed through the field to take first place with 9/11.

According to Leonard Barden, a leading England junior coach, Ponamariov is the world no.3 at Under-19 level after GMs Peter Leko (Hungary) and Etienne Bacrot (France). Scottish players to feature in Barden's junior rankings include Elaine Rutherford (Edinburgh) in the girls world top 30 at Under-15 level. Barden lists Eddie as 4th at UK U-17 level; David Eynon (Edinburgh) and James Parkin (Inverness) 5th and 6th at U-16; Joe Redpath (Edinburgh) no.6 at U-13; Daniel McGowan (Tiree) no.7 at U-12; Colin Hall (Perth) no.2 at U-10 and Christopher MacDonald (Stirling) no.2 at U-9.