Beating a GM is one of the hardest chores of an amateur chess player. Only playing a computer is more difficult. On March 10th, 2023, I, faced off against GM Hercules64 (rated 2199) in a thrilling game of chess on Chess.com. Playing as black, I employed the Tarrasch Defense and quickly found myself in a complex and double-edged position. Despite some inaccuracies on both sides, I was able to seize the initiative and, with a well-timed bishop maneuver, I eventually won the exchange. My opponent valiantly fought on, but in the end, I emerged victorious due to a time forfeit. This game was a testament to the beauty and excitement that can be found in chess, even at the amateur level.
Beating a GM in blitz
It’s difficult to determine the exact odds of beating a chess grandmaster if you are rated 1900 ELO, as it depends on a variety of factors such as the grandmaster’s rating, their current form, and the time control of the game. However, generally speaking, the odds of a 1900-rated player beating a GM in a standard time control game (90 minutes for the first 40 moves, followed by an additional 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move) are extremely low.
According to statistical analysis, the average ELO rating difference between a grandmaster and a 1900-rated player is approximately 600-800 points. In chess, a rating difference of 400 points usually indicates a 10 to 1 difference in strength, so the odds of a 1900-rated player beating a grandmaster would be roughly 1 in 1000.
However, it’s worth noting that upsets can and do happen in chess, and sometimes lower-rated players are able to pull off a win against higher-rated opponents due to factors such as mistakes, blunders, or unexpected opening choices. In the end, the outcome of a chess game depends on many variables and is never a certainty.
The Tarrasch Defense
The chess game in question is a Tarrasch Defense with Black pieces against White’s d4 opening. The game shows a lot of potential for both sides to make creative moves, but also highlights some significant mistakes that can occur.
On the positive side, Black’s use of the Tarrasch Defense is an aggressive and double-edged opening that can lead to some exciting play. Black’s 11th move with Na5 was a strong one, as it puts pressure on White’s queen and allows Black to control the center of the board. Additionally, Black’s use of Rc8 to control the c-file and the second rank, along with their move to cut off White’s king at the end of the game, demonstrate strong positional play.
Game summary and analysis
The Tarrasch Defense is my go-to response to d4 openings, and it proved to be an excellent choice in this game.
The game began with 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5, and we both made some standard moves until move 9, where White played Bg5 and I responded with c4. White then played b3, and I made the mistake of playing g6, which allowed White to take control of the center. I tried to recover by playing Bf5, but White was able to push his pieces forward, putting pressure on my position.
On move 15, White played a4, and I responded with b6. At this point, White made a mistake by playing Qc6, which allowed me to trap his queen with Nd6. However, I missed this opportunity and played a5 instead. White then played Nd5, which was another mistake, as it allowed me to take control of the game by exchanging pieces and putting pressure on White’s remaining pawns.
The game continued with some back-and-forth moves until White made a fatal mistake by playing e4 on move 23. I responded by playing Be6, which allowed me to take control of the game and cut off White’s king. From that point on, it was only a matter of time before I captured all of White’s remaining pawns and won the game.
In the end, I won the game. Although the game was filled with mistakes and missed opportunities on both sides, I was able to take advantage of White’s mistakes and come out on top. Overall, it was a great game, and I learned a lot about the Tarrasch Defense and the importance of controlling the center in chess. Beating a GM is a rate occurrence but it can happen, this game is proof of that!