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Surya Shekhar Ganguly

Surya at World Team 2010
Country India
Born 24 February 1983
Kolkata, India
Title Grandmaster
Peak rating 2672 (March 2010)

Surya Shekhar Ganguly (Bengali: সূর্য শেখর গাঙ্গুলী; born 24 February 1983, Kolkata) is an Indian chess grandmaster, 2009 Asian champion and six-time Indian champion.

He started playing chess at the age of 5 and achieved great successes at National Junior and World Junior Championships since the age of 8. He also set a record of being the youngest player to beat a Grandmaster at 11.

Ganguly became an International Master at 16 and a Grandmaster at 19. He was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2005 by the Government of India for his outstanding achievement in sports. He also got the "Shera Bangali" award in 2009 as the best Sportsperson of Bengal and the "Khel Samman" award in 2013 from the Government of West Bengal. He worked in the team of seconds that assisted Anand in winning the World title matches against Vladimir Kramnik, Veselin Topalov and Gelfand in 2008, 2010 and 2012 respectively.

Personal life

He was born to Pankaj Ganguly and Aarti Ganguly on 24 February 1983. He has an elder sister who is a doctor by profession. He is working as Deputy Manager at the Indian Oil Corporation. He got married to his childhood sweetheart Sudeshna on February 7, 2011.

Early career

Ganguly's grand father, the late Anil Basumallick, taught him chess at the age of 5. Soon he become very popular in chess circles of Kolkata as he was the youngest player in most tournaments taking place during those days and also won prizes. In 1991, at the age of 8, he won both the Indian National U-10 and U-12 Championships. He won these Championships again in 1992 and 1995.

The following are his achievements in the World Youth Chess Championship in his age categories:

In 1995, at the age of 11, he beat a Grandmaster, the youngest player ever to do so until that time.

Notable achievements

Ganguly has played in many individual and team tournaments, both national and international. He achieved his IM (International Master) title at Goodricke International, Kolkata 2000 and the GM (Grand Master) title at the 35th Chess Olympiad, Bled 2002. Some of his notable achievements are given here.

National events

In addition to the National U10 and U12 championships mentioned above, Ganguly's achievements in other national events are as under.

Asian events

Olympiads and World Team 2010

Other international tournaments

Team Anand

Ganguly has been a member of the team of seconds that helped Anand win his World title matches against Kramnik, Topalov and Gelfand in 2008, 2010 and 2012 respectively. Other members of the team were GM Peter Heine Nielsen, GM Radosław Wojtaszek and the former FIDE World Champion GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov.

Anand has praised Ganguly for being very effective as a team member. About Ganguly, he says, "He is a very good chess player and analyst who works really hard. We (have worked) together for six-seven years and will work together for a long time. Why change formula when it's working."

Sample game

Ganguly vs. Svidler
a b c d e f g h
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
The position after 18...f4. Here white plays 19.Bh7!! Apparently, Svidler missed this move and that may be the reason he allowed Ganguly to play 15.f5.

While Ganguly is a fine positional player, he also relishes complicated positions. The following game is taken from the World Team Chess Championship 2011. Here Ganguly (white) plays Peter Svidler of Russia in the final round. Shortly thereafter, Svidler went on to win the Russian Chess Championship a record sixth time and then the Chess World Cup 2011.

This game was selected the fifth best in Chess Informant 113, with a jury member giving it a score of 10/10.

1. e4 g6 Totally unexpected from Svidler but Russia was in a must win situation! 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Be3 a6 5. Qd2 Nd7 6. O-O-O b5 7. h4 h6 8. f4! h5 9. Nf3 Bb7 10. Ng5 Nh6 11. e5 Nb6 12. Bd3 Qc8 13. Rhf1 Nd5 Black wants to have his bishop on d5 and does not wish to play e6 at all. 14. Nce4! O-O? 15. f5! Nxf5 16. Rxf5 gxf5 17. Ng3 Nxe3 18. Qxe3 f4 19. Bh7+!! Apparently, Svidler missed this move and that may be the reason he allowed Ganguly to play 15.f5. Without this combination black is doing fine here. Kh8 20. Qd3 dxe5 21. dxe5 f6 22. Bg8! f5 23. Be6 Qe8 24. Bxf5! 1-0