"Always make a total effort, even when the odds are against you." - Arnold Palmer

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Brighton’s Flashbacks: Akshaya Kalaiyalahan

You meet people everywhere. Interesting, boring, exciting, unforgettable, or somebody like George Smiley – five minutes later you have no idea that you have ever met him.
In Brighton International Chess Tournament you could meet many interesting people. But there was one person which is difficult to forget.
Akshaya Kalaiyalahan
In tournament hall I have met 12 year old girl with Indian background, Akshaya Kalayalahan. (I do apologize if my spelling is incorrect, but this is the way how she is listed in ECF as well as FIDE databases. I have also seen different spelling – Kalai Yalahan.) Not very tall, keeping low profile, almost invisible behind the gaming table she took part in Major A tournament. She played interesting chess and some of “seniors” – I mean the people who are several decades older than she is, me included – had certain difficulties to play against her. It is probably either purely psychological problem, or a confidence problem or an Ego problem. Whatever.
Much to my surprise, she is not a novice in this kind of tournaments and if you take some time and do some research on the internet you can find out that she has already participated on several FIDE rated tournaments mainly organized by e2e4Chess.
She has quite interesting opening repertoire for a player of her age. Would you think that 12-year-old player will use in competitions opening like The English OpeningBotvinnik set-up for White and King’s Indian for Black? Or to be more precise – I can imagine a player of her age playing King’s Indian for Black easier than playing The English Opening for White. And I think that there are not too many coaches who would encourage her to play such an opening for White. (There is an article published by GM Nigel Davis on his website The Chess Improver “How To Prepare An Opening” which tackles the problem of “flank openings” in junior's category.) Nevertheless, she plays chess that way and she is happy with that so what?
Her mother used to stand back or she was sitting in the other room with some reading and she was looking forward to seeing some new positive result. Such a support must be expensive as well as time consuming and I guess she deserves a recognition for what she has already done for her daughter.
Now back to Akshaya; I would like to present here one of her games which is not without flaws; however, it is interesting game where Akshaya playing with White gave rather hard time to battle-harden-few-decades-older player Brian O’Gorman. Both players could have won, both could have lost so final draw seems to be a fair result. However, watch carefully Akshaya's technique in rather complex ending with quite non-standard material balance. She was very close to the victory. Perhaps next time.

So it was rather interesting game, demanding for both players, and fight until the dead end. What do you think?
I am sure we will hear about this girl a lot in the future.


  1. I know her! She is in my class at school

  2. Nonsuch Then. She went to my primary.

    1. silly post. There are many better up and coming youngsters

  3. ha ha who is this last 'anonymous' idiot ? She's only British women's champion at 14

  4. ha ha who is this last 'anonymous' idiot ? She's only British women's champion at 14