By the end of the 80’s (more specifically in 1986 in the traditional Capablanca Memorial in Cuba), Julio Ernesto Granda Zuñiga, or simply Julio Granda, became the first Peruvian player to achieve the grandmaster title. And that wasexactly 30 years ago …
[Granda in the 80’s: early moments from the career of one of the greatest chess players in Latin America]
Granda – who has already won a tournament in Brazil this year – is 49 years old and still the number one of his country and, more than that, is close to making history: The Peruvian GM is just a point shy from reaching the mythical 2700 mark (!).
[Mr. Continental: Towards 2700!]
The “Mr. Continental,” as he is known in Brazil, due to to his numerous Continental titles, had a devastating performance in the V International Llucmajor, Spain. With 8.5 points ou of 9, Julio yielded only one draw – in the second round against MF Paolo Ladron de Guevara Pinto.
After that came 7 wins and 6 GM scalps in the middle! From this incredible performance we highlight the beautiful positional victory of against French GM Romain Edouard (2641) in the sixth round – see the analysis of the game clicking here.
In short: a performance of a”mere” 2851 (!!), 1.5 points ahead of the second place and 13 rating points which elevates him to the funny rating of 2699!
Interestingly it is worth remembering that in 2008 Granda’s rating went below 2600 and that from there until 2013 his rating usually hovered always below 2650. Julio, however, has shown that definitely age is taboo to be broken in chess. He has made it clear in interviews that there is no secret: just study and prepare in a more organized way. Although unofficial sources report that the GM play sports almost every day, from jogging, football and tennis, which certainly influences his performance.
Definitely chess is not made only of young geniuses – there is also something to be learnt from older players.
Towards 2700, Julio!
Written by Rafael Leitão’s Chess Academy Team in 16.05.2016.