Monday, 5 May 2014

A fortunate misunderstanding

One of the players who took part in the 2014 O2C Doeberl Cup was untitled Chinese player Ke Mu. Despite his low rating (2325) he had a fantastic tournament, scoring a GM norm at the Doeberl, and missing an IM norm at the SIO by 3 rating points (TPR of 2447).
But he mat have been helped by a misunderstanding early on at the Doeberl. It was mentioned by a couple of people that he had already scored enough GM norms for the title, but was just waiting for his rating to catch up. The claim had a ring of plausibility about it, as he had started with a very low FIDE rating early on, and players preparing for him remarked how strong his play looked.
Possibly this reputation as a GM strength 2300 player helped Ke Mu, as his opponents might have been extra wary of him. But when talking to him at the SIO I discovered that the claim of multiple GM norms was not true, and he was not aware of it himself. In fact the GM norm at the Doeberl was not only his first GM norm, but also counted as his first ever IM norm. But he clearly showed himself to be playing at a higher level than his rating, including the following win over current Australian Champion IM Max Illingworth.

Mu,Ke - Illingworth,Max [D41]
O2C Doeberl Cup Premier Canberra (6.6), 19.04.2014

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