Monday, October 6, 2014

New Delhi: Fresh from his tied first position in the recently concluded Durban Open, young Grandmaster Sahaj Grover is gearing up for the junior world championship in Pune and said that chess will soon become the most popular sport of the country after cricket.

"I have a strong feeling that chess will become the most popular sport after cricket. See cricket, I believe is not just a port; it's a religion. But chess, slowly but steadily, is soon gaining ground and will really catch the imagination of one and all through proper publicity, of course," the 19-year-old Delhi boy told PTI in an interview.

Sahaj, who made a mark by clinching the world under-10 chess title in 2005, is keen to make his presence felt in the junior world championship starting tomorrow, which is organised by the Maharashtra Chess Association under the auspices of All India Chess Federation (AICF) and World Chess Federation (Federation Internationale des Echecs, known as FIDE from its French acronym).

Sahaj said that his preparation is good. "Yes, I am in a good frame of mind. My performance in Durban Open is proof of that. I have got a few days rest in between and that has really helped me. I am just trying to stay focused and will surely give my best shot among the very best of the world," said an upbeat Sahaj.

Taking up chess as a toddler to now eyeing the junior world title, Sahaj has not only matured as player but also as a person and looks back at following Viswanathan Anand and many more who play the game of chess like a champion.
"Of course, I have been a Viswanathan Anand fan. People lie if they say they don't follow Anand. But I have never really had idols. I have tried to follow impact players, players who play the game well are always inspiration," he said.

Ranked 22 on the national list and 83 on the Asian chart, Sahaj, who enjoys a standard rating point of 2491 by FIDE, said it's important to have a higher rating in order to make a living out of the sport in India.

"You have to have a higher rating if you want to make a career out of chess. One has to know the limitations of chess not being a very popular sport. You cannot make a living with 2300 rating points. It's all about hard work and giving your life to it," he said. -- PTI

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The AICF has taken announced a special rule - that comes into immediate effect - to check sandbagging cheating at rating restricted chess events. The decision is a welcome one for the chess fraternity of India and was taken at the meeting dated 22.06.2014 in Chennai.

“The elo rating of a player will be the maximum rating which he/she has attained in his/her career and that will be the basis for his/her participation in any elo rating restricted tournaments. For example, if a player had attained a career best rating of elo 2022, he/she cannot participate in any elo 2000 restricted tournaments, even if his/her current rating shows below 2000 elo. This Rule comes with immediate effect. It was also decided that results of those tournaments which do not follow the above Resolution will not be sent for rating purposes to FIDE. The Chief Arbiter and the organisers will be held responsible for any breach of this Rule”. Further, it was decided that henceforth, the organisers should receive entries only from AICF registered players before they are permitted to participate in any rated tournaments.

Chess Magazine Black and White has a background feature on the sandbagging trend in chess events across the country.

Thousands of chess lovers across India might not play chess tournaments throughout the year, but the summer holidays - when schools are usually closed from mid-May to beginning of July - provide the big opportunity to play two to six chess tournaments across India. The chess calendar is packed and provides a nice opportunity particularly for children and senior citizens.

Chess got a huge boost in India with the All India Chess Federation bringing the World Chess Championship to Chennai last year and making effort to increase the number of tournaments across the country. Organisers picked up on the popularity of chess among children and the chess amateur-lover in the unrated to 2000 rating slab.
Apart from the national age-groups and national title championships, the AICF also introduced the National Amateur. In 2013 more than 7 tournaments each were held for chess ratings category u-2000, u-1900, u-1600. Plenty of sponsorship came in for these events which entered at least 150 participants everywhere. For 2014, the AICF already lists 15 u1600 chess tournaments reflecting the awesome popularity of these events. So, far so good. 

But, some people will find the bad in everything. 

Several Chess Club Black & White members - kids, adults and senior citizens -  have spent the summer playing in Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, New Delhi and other cities. They have noticed a strange trend. Chess players who had ranked 1-12th on the prize list in chess tournaments held in the beginning of May have suddenly played so badly in June that they stand to lose up to 30-50 rating points over the next two tournaments. Obviously something is wrong. Several kids have noticed 1500+ players throwing their games to the 1200+ player.

A senior national arbiter, not willing to be named told Chess Magazine Black & White, "The other day I ran into a 2200+ player at an u2000 tournament. He is in his 40s playing chess for fun, but it was difficult to believe that his chess strength could have dipped so much over the last few months. Of course, I don't want to allege anything. Stories among parents and arbiters is common at these chess tournaments about players who are purposely lowering their rating. They want to cash in on the increased number of chess tournaments in the u1600, u1700 chess events. There are almost two of these or more every month in India nowadays."

This cheating trend is just catching on in the 1100-2000 rating events. The technicalities of the regulations to check and stop sandbagging will need to be worked out carefully so that genuine chess players on a losing streak don't end up suffering.

As the definition goes, "The most common type of cheating in chess is called sandbagging, where a person plays in lower entry fee tournaments and loses to lower their rating so they can play in a large money tournament in a lower section, and increase their chance of winning. Sandbagging, however, is very difficult to detect and prove, so the United States Chess Federation has included minimum ratings based on previous ratings or money winnings to minimise the effect."

Chess players are encouraged to bring to the notice of arbiters and even the national federation when they find instances of sandbagging. We welcome reader feedback on the issue at our email id We will send all relevant emails to the AICF. We will have a follow-up feature soon, so watch the space.
  -- Rajat M Khanna

* Click to join a nice anti-cheating in chess group on Facebook
* An article on sandbagging

Monday, June 9, 2014

Georgian Grandmaster Pantsulaia Levan clinched the LIC 7th Mumbai Mayor's Cup International Open Chess Tournament for the second year running by finishing at the top of the leader board.

Lavan finished the ten-round league with an overall tally of eight points.

There was encouraging news for India as International Master Himanshu Sharma earned the first of the three GM Norms required to graduate into a Grandmaster. He finished third. 


Sharma, along with four other players -- GM Aleksandrov Aleksej of Belarus, GM Mchedlishvili Mikheil of Georgia, GM Amonatov Farrukh of Tajikistan and Russian GM Ovetchkin Roman - finished with 7.5 points each.

The Indian was placed third behind Aleksej on the basis of the Buchholz (tie-breaker) score. Mikheil, Farrukh and Roman grabbed the next three places in the tournament co-sponsored by Bajaj Almond Hair Oil and organised by Venus Chess Academy at the Thakur College.

The last and final round witnessed a spate of draws with Levan (ELO 2577), who started with a full point lead, playing out a safe draw with Tajikistan's Amonatov Farrukh (ELO 2609) on the top board. The half point from the tie ensured Levan clinch the top position.

On the second board, Sharma (ELO 2372), playing with black pieces, did well to share honours with Mikheil (ELO 2632) and Aleksej split a point with Roman in another stalemate.

Earlier in the ninth round, Levan without taking undue risks against countryman GM Gangunashvili Merab (ELO 2562), played a quick draw in just 15 moves, while Aleksej was engaged in a long battle with Sharma before they settled for a draw after 66 moves.

Meanwhile, Woman Grand Master Bhakti Kulkarni claimed an IM norm in the tournament as she held GM Harutjunyan Gevorg (ELO 2434) for a draw with black pieces. This was her second IM Norm with the first one earned during the Highland open tournament in Czech Republic in 2013. -- PTI

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Superstar Amitabh Bachchan is all set to play the role of a paralysed chess grandmaster in Vidhu Vinod Chopra's upcoming thriller starring Farhan Akhtar in the lead. The film is to be directed by Bejoy Nambiar, states Bollywood News.

Chopra had earlier worked on another "chess movie" but it could possibly not be released. The role is sure to add to Amitabh Bachchan's amazing repertoire. 

The character, played by Bachchan, will be confined to bed and play mentor to Farhan Akhtar in the thriller. 

Bollywood News states Amitabh Bachchan was Farhan Akhtar's 'choice' and the superstar was quoted as saying, "After Shoojit’s (Sircar; director) film, there will be Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s project. That will be at the end of the year with Farhan, and Bejoy Nambiar is directing it.” -- Rajat Khanna

Friday, March 28, 2014

Y Dhanbir Singh of Manipur is in lead after eight rounds at the 1st RGS International Rating Chess Tournament 2014 (Below 2000) that is underway at the indoor sports complex of Royal Global School. Singh has earned 7.5 points which includes wins over three higher seeded players in the last three rounds to emerge sole leader after Round 8. 

Close on his heels are Sudhir Kumar Sinha of Bihar and Debashish Mukherjee of West Bengal with 7 points each. A group of 4 players Fide Master Saurav Khedkar of Maharashtra, Nikhelesh Jain of Madhya Pradesh, Santu mondal of West bengal and B Shekhar of Tamil Nadu are on third position with 6.5 points each.

Rajib Dhar on 6 points is the only players from Assam playing in the top 10 table.

Earlier, in the morning, the 7th round was inaugurated by retired General manager of Oil India limited and Vice President of Assam Olympic Assocation Sri D.D khound

The tournament organised by Assam Chess Club and Guwahati Chess Assocation concludes on Friday after the 10th round.

His Excellency the Governor of Tripura Sri Devanand Konwar has been invited as the Chief Guest at the prize distribution ceremony. A total cash Prize of Rs 5,01,500/- will be distributed to the winners in the different categories.

This is North-East's highest prize money tournament!

Round 9 games were in progress till the filing of this report.
Kolkata, March 27: Grandmaster Oliver Barbosa of Philippines edged out MR Lalith Babu of PSPB on a better tiebreak to win the 6th Kolkata Open Chess (19th International Open GM Chess Tournament) here Friday.

Both scored 7.5 points over ten rounds at the tourney organised by the Alekhine Chess Club at the Gorky Sadan.

Oliver also won a cash prize of Rs.4 lakh and Lalith Babu had to be content with the runner up spot and collecting Rs.2.75 lakh for his splendid efforts.

The Slav defence game between Oliver Barbosa and Ziaur Rahman ended a in a draw after 38 well fought moves, with both having queens, a minor piece and three pawns each. Oliver had to patiently wait for the game between Lalith and Vidit to get confirmation of his title, as a win for Vidit would have put the Indian on the top.

Lalith Babu shattered Vidit's dreams of clinching the title by employing the Queens Indian defence.

After Vidit exchanged the queens on the 23rd move, Lalith grabbed Vidit's two connected pawns. Vidit tried in vain to halt the onward march of Lalith's pawns. Lalith played correctly to force the win in 97 moves.

In another rook and pawn ending arising out of a Scotch game, top seeded Nigel Short of England used his isolated passer pawn to inflict a defeat on former national chess champion P. Konguvel of PSPB.

Team mates B Adhiban and Abhijit Kunte of PSPB waited for 25 moves of a Grunfeld defence game to make the formal draw, as per regulations of the tournament.

GM Henrik Danielsen of Island lost to Sergey Fedorchuk of Russia, as he did not complete 40 moves in the stipulated time control.

Final Rank
Rank Name Rtg FED Pts TB1 TB2
1 GM Barbosa Oliver 2564 PHI 7½ 56½ 51
2 GM Lalith Babu M.R. 2585 IND 7½ 55 50
3 GM Kunte Abhijit 2439 IND 7 61 55½
4 GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2602 IND 7 58½ 53
5 GM Rahman Ziaur 2486 BAN 7 56½ 51½
6 GM Adhiban B. 2608 IND 7 55 50
7 GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. 2496 IND 6½ 57½ 53
8 GM Landa Konstantin 2645 RUS 6½ 56½ 51½
9 GM Sethuraman S.P. 2578 IND 6½ 53½ 49
10 GM Sengupta Deep 2529 IND 6½ 52 47½
11 GM Grigoryan Avetik 2583 ARM 6½ 51½ 47
12 GM Short Nigel D 2674 ENG 6½ 51 46
13 GM Gopal G.N. 2558 IND 6½ 48½ 44
14 GM Mchedlishvili Mikheil 2639 GEO 6½ 48 44
15 GM Fedorchuk Sergey A. 2647 UKR 6½ 48 44
16 GM Haznedaroglu Kivanc 2462 TUR 6 53½ 49
17 IM Swapnil S. Dhopade 2424 IND 6 53½ 49
18 IM Karthikeyan P. 2355 IND 6 52 47½
19 IM Ly Moulthun 2429 AUS 6 49½ 45½
20 Kunal M. 2339 IND 6 44½ 41
21 IM Ghosh Diptayan 2481 IND 5½ 57½ 52½
22 GM Abdulla Al-Rakib 2518 BAN 5½ 55½ 50½
23 GM Debashis Das 2508 IND 5½ 52 47½
24 IM Prasanna Raghuram Rao 2410 IND 5½ 50½ 47
25 GM Sundararajan Kidambi 2400 IND 5½ 49½ 45
26 GM Neelotpal Das 2427 IND 5½ 48 44
27 IM Konguvel Ponnuswamy 2347 IND 5½ 48 44
28 GM Arun Prasad S. 2477 IND 5½ 47½ 43½
29 GM Laxman R.R. 2454 IND 5½ 47½ 43
30 GM Danielsen Henrik 2501 ISL 5½ 46 42
31 IM Shyam Nikil P. 2431 IND 5½ 46 41½
32 IM Ashwin Jayaram 2470 IND 5½ 41 37
33 WIM Ivana Maria Furtado 2177 IND 5½ 38 35
34 GM Pantsulaia Levan 2606 GEO 5 55 50
35 IM Rathnakaran K. 2389 IND 5 52 48
36 IM Swayams Mishra 2445 IND 5 49½ 46
37 IM Satyapragyan Swayangsu 2389 IND 5 48½ 44½
38 GM Shyam Sundar M. 2507 IND 5 48½ 44
39 Krishna C.R.G. 2317 IND 5 47 43
40 WGM Padmini Rout 2356 IND 5 44½ 41
41 GM Hossain Enamul 2440 BAN 5 44 40
42 Harsha Bharathakoti 2259 IND 5 43½ 40
43 IM Akshat Khamparia 2380 IND 5 43½ 40
44 Ravi Teja S. 2367 IND 5 43 40
45 IM Girish A. Koushik 2430 IND 5 42 38½
46 WGM Gomes Mary Ann 2402 IND 5 40½ 37
47 Abhishek Kelkar 2286 IND 4½ 49 45
48 IM Palit Somak 2421 IND 4½ 48½ 44
49 Bora Safal 2218 USA 4½ 47½ 43
50 Deshpande Aniruddha 2279 IND 4½ 46½ 43
51 Patil Pratik 2236 IND 4½ 46½ 42½
52 Surendran N. 2242 IND 4½ 46½ 42½
53 Sagar Shah 2304 IND 4½ 45 41½
54 CM Prince Bajaj 2316 IND 4½ 42 39½
55 Karthik V. Ap 2221 IND 4½ 42 39
56 Kulkarni Chinmay 2247 IND 4½ 42 38½
57 Vignesh Nr 2355 IND 4 47 42½
58 IM Narayanan Srinath 2436 IND 4 46 42
59 CM Puranik Abhimanyu 2299 IND 4 45 42
60 Roy Prantik 2290 IND 4 45 41
61 WGM Swathi Ghate 2255 IND 4 44½ 41
62 IM Saravanan V. 2359 IND 4 42½ 39
63 Akash Pc Iyer 2263 IND 4 41½ 38½
64 Sardana Rishi 2338 AUS 4 40 37
65 FM Islam Kh. Aminul 2298 BAN 4 37½ 35
66 IM Mohota Nisha 2261 IND 4 36 33
67 WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty 2256 IND 3½ 44½ 40½
68 GM Sriram Jha 2433 IND 3½ 42½ 38½
69 Neelash Saha 1915 IND 3½ 40½ 37
70 Pradeep Kumar R.A. 2295 IND 3½ 40 37½
71 FM Ahmed Sk. Nasir 2365 BAN 3½ 31½ 30
72 Kathmale Sameer 2398 IND 3 44 40½
73 Pratyusha Bodda 2164 IND 3 40 36½
74 FM Raghunandan Kaumandur Srihari 2204 IND 2½ 41 38
75 IM Sarkar Justin 2452 USA 2 38 34½
76 Visakh Nr 2374 IND 2 37 34
77 Samaganova Alexandra 2029 KGZ 1½ 36 33½

Important results of tenth RoundVidit Santosh Gujrathi IND 7 lost to GM Lalith Babu M.R. IND 7½
Rahman Ziaur BAN 7 drew with GM Barbosa Oliver PHI 7½
Kunte Abhijit IND 7 drew with GM Adhiban B. IND 7
Landa Konstantin RUS 6½ drew with GM Sethuraman S.P. IND 6½
Deepan Chakkravarthy IND 6½ drew with GM Grigoryan Avetik ARM 6½
Konguvel Ponnuswamy IND 5½ lost to GM Short Nigel D ENG 6½
Fedorchuk Sergey A. UKR 6½ beat GM Danielsen Henrik ISL 5½
Mchedlishvili Mikheil GEO 6½ beat IM Prasanna R Rao IND 5½
Gopal G.N. IND 6½ beat GM Abdulla Al-Rakib BAN 5½
Sengupta Deep IND 6½ beat GM Arun Prasad S. IND 5½
Ghosh Diptayan IND 5½ drew with Kunal M. IND 6
Karthikeyan P. IND 6 beat GM Pantsulaia Levan GEO 5
Ashwin Jayaram IND 5½ drew with IM Shyam Nikil P. IND 5½
Girish A. Koushik IND 5 lost to GM Haznedaroglu Kivanc TUR 6
Swayams Mishra IND 5 lost to IM Ly Moulthun AUS 6
Swapnil S. Dhopade IND 6 beat GM Hossain Enamul BAN 5
Sagar Shah IND 4½ lost to GM Debashis Das IND 5½
Shyam Sundar M. IND 5 drew with WGM Padmini Rout IND 5
Laxman R.R. IND 5½ beat Abhishek Kelkar IND 4½
Deshpande Aniruddha IND 4½ lost to GM Neelotpal Das IND 5½
Ivana Maria Furtado IND 5½ beat IM Palit Somak IND 4½
Sundararajan Kidambi IND 5½ beat Patil Pratik IND 4½
Kolkata, March 26 Filipino Grandmaster Oliver Barbosa and Maharashtra's Vidit Santosh Gujrathi led the field with seven points after the ninth round of the 6th Kolkata Open here Wednesday.


Four others are on 6.5 points in the 19th International Open GM Chess tournament.

Oliver and Russian Konstantin Landa (6) preferred to play the Tarrasch game. Landa went for a queen exchange as early as on the seventh move, but Oliver prevented his opponent's castling and won with the help of an outside passer pawn helped to get the verdict in his favour.

Both former age category world champions S.P. Sethraman of PSPB and Vidit fought fiercely in a Caro Kann defence, adopted by the latter. Vidit gained a valuable pawn on the 42nd move after several exchanges. With a win in the longest game of the tournament extending to 98 moves, Vidit surged ahead to the top.

Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia playing the Reti opening against former Asian Junior champion Deepan Chakkaravarthy of Tamil Nadu overlooked a simple move, resulting in the loss of exchange on the 26th move.

When both had pinned minor pieces with their queens behind, Deepan released his pinned knight with a tactical rook move. Levan resigned, when he was about to lose his rook.

Chances of getting a GM norm vanished for Diptayan Ghosh of the Alekhine Chess Club as he lost to Avetik Grigoryan of Armenia in a symmetrical English opening. One of the two extra pawns of Avetik was an outside passer, which was instrumental for Avetik to win the game.

Kolkata's grandmaster Deep Sengupta could not win using his extra pawns in the end game against top seed Nigel Short of England. The duel ended in a draw.

The Sicilian defence game between B. Adhiban of PSPB and Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh was full of tactics and both tried to outwit each other. The double-edged rook and two pawns ending had no other better result than a draw.
The tournament has produced three IM norms so far and the achievers are C.R.G. Krishna of AP, M. Kunal of TN and Abhishek Kelkar of Maharashtra.

Results of important matchesBarbosa Oliver PHI 7 beat Landa Konstantin RUS 6
Adhiban B. IND 6.5 drew with Rahman Ziaur BAN 6.5
Sethuraman S.P. IND 6 lost to Vidit Santosh Gujrathi IND 7
Lalith Babu M.R. IND 6.5 drew with Kunte Abhijit IND 6.5
Short Nigel D. ENG 5.5 drew with Sengupta Deep IND 5.5
Abdulla Al-Rakib BAN 5.5 drew with Fedorchuk Sergey A. UKR 5.5
Arun Prasad S. IND 5.5 drew with Mchedlishvili Mikheil GEO 5.5
Pantsulaia Levan GEO 5 lost to Deepan Chakkravarthy J. IND 6
Grigoryan Avetik ARM 6 beat Ghosh Diptayan IND 5
Danielsen Henrik ISL 5.5 beat Karthikeyan P. IND 5
Padmini Rout IND 4.5 lost to Gopal G.N. IND 5.5
Kunal M. IND 5.5 beat Shyam Sundar M. IND 4.5
Prasanna R. Rao IND 5.5 beat Laxman R.R. IND 4.5
Swapnil S. Dhopade IND 5 drew with Swayams Mishra IND 5
Palit Somak IND 4.5 lost to Konguvel Ponnuswamy IND 5.5

Kolkata: India's second-highest elo-rated player Pentala Harikrishna has advocated an Indian Chess League for the development of the game in the country.
"We have a lot of players in the 2500-2600 Elo bracket, but few are making it beyond that," he reasoned.

The Grandmaster from Andhra Pradesh has been playing in European chess leagues for the last couple of years and has found the concept quite appealing.

"All the major European countries have their own leagues among club teams from where the top clubs qualify for the European Club Cup. It's like the Champions League in football," Hari said.

The 27-year-old will be representing Czech club Novybor in this year's European Cup, scheduled to be held in Bilbao, Spain, in September. "There are many divisions and it's only in the top division that clubs can have foreign players as special invitees," said Hari, who has taken part in the German, Italian and Greek leagues before.

Hari's new team will also have strong players like David Navara of Czech Republic, Russia's Alexei Shirov and Nikita Vitiugov, and Viswanathan Anand's seconds during last world championship match - India's Krishnan Sasikiran and Radoslaw Wojtaszek of Poland. "Such leagues give local players a chance to play against higher-ranked players," Hari said.

China, too, have their own chess league where Hari played some years back. "The Chinese league started in 2006. In the Chinese league, no foreign invited player is allowed to play another invited player, but has to play a Chinese player. Hence it's the Chinese players who are getting an opportunity to play against higher-rated and better players and grow fast," Hari pointed out.

The former world junior champion felt there's no point in staging big events like the World Championship, which was held in Chennai last year, if it does not bring extra benefits for Indian players. "We need a system in place which will churn out youngsters. We don't get to play many tournaments in the country since we will only stand to lose our ratings in such low-rated meets," Hari stated, giving the example of Parimarjan Negi who dropped about 40 points after losing matches in the National Premier meet.

Hari, who is aiming for the World Grand Prix later this year, is working with a team which has his close friend GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly. "I have played enough team events for the country. Now I have to increase my ratings since I plan to play the Grand Prix and Candidates meet in the near future," the 2726 Elo-rated player signed off.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Kolkata: Indian trio of B Adhiban, S P Sethuraman and M R Lalith Babu and Russia`s Konstantin Landa posted fine wins to join four overnight leaders for an eight-way lead with two rounds remaining in the sixth Kolkata Open Chess Tournament on Tuesday.

Four overnight leaders -- Abhijit Kunte, Vidit Gujrathi, Oliver Barbosa of Philippines and Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh -- drew their respective games as eight players shared the lead with six points apiece for an exciting finish to the tournament.

Adhiban, playing black, started with Sicilian defence against Deepan Chakkaravarthy of Tamil Nadu and the game went on smoothly until move 34, when Adhiban offered a knight sacrifice.

When Deepan accepted the temptation, it was curtains for him, as it enabled Adhiban to control the central open files.

Deepan`s king was exposed without any support by his major pieces and he resigned after five more moves.

Former Commonwealth champion Lalith Babu chose to play Nimzo Indian defence against local hopes GM Deep Sengupta.

Deep sacrificed his bishop on 20th move to break open his opponent`s castle. It was the turn of Lalith to sacrifice his rook on 43rd move to quell the challenge of Deep and win comfortably.

S P Sethuraman displayed a fine end game technique against Georgia`s Mikheil Mchedlishvili in a Closed Catalan game as the latter was forced to give up his dynamic dark coloured bishop.

Sethuraman made a pseudo sacrifice of his rook to seal the issue.

Grigoryan Avetik of Armenia played a good King`s Indian defence against the Russian Landa.

Both sacrificed minor pieces, but Landa managed to win exchange and his rook virtually won the game.

With a win in the eighth round, over his state mate GM Neelotpal Das, Diptayan Ghosh enhanced his chances of a GM norm as he needed a win against Avetik Grigoryan in the ninth and penultimate round on Wednesday. -- PTI

Monday, March 24, 2014

Kolkata: Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh and Oliver Barbosa of Philippines joined Indian duo Abhijit Kunte and Vidit Gujrathi in a four-way lead with 5.5 points each after round seven of the sixth Kolkata Open Chess Tournament, here today. 

Representing PSPB, Kunte opted for this third consecutive draw of the tournament against former world under 14 champion Gujrathi in a Catalan opening.

After exchanging the queens on the 20th move, Kunte tried to promote his pawn to eighth rank by sacrificing the knight.

But Vidit played accurately and nullified the advantage to share the point.

In a double bishop ending, with equal pawns, Deepan Chakkravarthy forced third seeded Konstantin Landa of Russia to split the point.

Ukraine's Sergey Fedorchuk overlooked a powerful combination of Ziaur Rahman's queen and bishop to get virtually checkmated in 31 moves.

Ziaur, who defeated top seeded Nigel Short in an earlier round, has climbed back to the lead again.

In the longest drawn battle between Barbosa and Pantsulaia Levan of Georgia, the former prevailed with two extra pawns in the queen and pawns ending.

Sixteen-year-old IM Diptayan Ghosh of West Bengal followed the Slav defence against former Commonwealth champion MR Lalith Babu of PSPB.

He maintained a balance in the game until move 37, when both had queen, rook and five pawns each.

Diptayan played a disastrous end game to lose three pawns in quick succession and hence the game in 48 moves .

Former world championship finalist and top seed Short of England bounced back from his draw sequences outwitting Odisha's only GM Debashis Das.

Former under 16 world champion B Adhiban of PSPB played an enterprising game against co GM M Shyam Sundar from Tamil Nadu.

Adhiban won exchange on 25th move by tactically giving up his for rook and getting the compensation in the very next move by a knight fork.

Further, he sacrificed his rook on 45th move to get three unstoppable connected pawns, on the verge of promotion. Shyam resigned on the very next move.

Mchedlishvili Mikheil of Georgia accounted for another Bangladesh HM Abdulla Al-Rakib in a queen pawn's game lasting only 29 moves. SP Sethuraman of PSPB also moved on to 5 points, with a victory over Railway's IM K Rathnamkaran.
Kolkata, March 23: Former Under-14 world chess champion and Indian Grandmaster Vidit Santosh Gujrathi joined his compatriot GM Abhijit Kunte in the lead with five points after the sixth round of the 6th Kolkata Open (19th International Open GM Chess Tournament) here Sunday.

Five players are in the second spot, grabbing 4.5 points each.

GM Al Rakib Abdulla of Bangladesh adopted Nimzo Indian defence against Vidit and the game went on expected lines. In move 19, Vidit doubled his rooks, and Abdulla exchanged one of them to minimise the Indian's attack. But Vidit made a stunning rook sacrifice on the 23rd move, leading to a knight fork of Abdulla's king and queen. Abdulla resigned immediately.

On the top board, Kunte again played it safe to keep the lead, holding the Philippines grandmaster Oliver Barbosa to a draw in 25 moves of an English opening.

The second board game between Pantsulaia Levan of Georgia and Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh also ended with a similar result, but it lasted 44 moves.

Top seeded Nigel Short of England could not wriggle out of his poor form, as Orrisa's International Master Swayams Mishra forced him to concede his third draw in six games to less stronger opponents.

Second seeded Sergey Fedorchuk of Russia got the better of Asian Junior champion IM N Srinath and fourth seeded Mchedlishvili Mikheil outwitted former national under 17 champion P Shyam Nikil.

Important results of Sixth round
Kunte Abhijit IND 5 drew with Barbosa Oliver PHI 4 1/2
Pantsulaia Levan GEO 4 1/2 drew with Rahman Ziaur BAN 4 1/2
Vidit Santosh Gujrathi IND 5 beat Abdulla Al-Rakib BAN 4
Deepan Chakkravarthy J. IND 4 1/2 drew with Sethuraman S.P. IND 4
Debashis Das IND 3 1/2 lost to Landa Konstantin RUS 4 1/2
Haznedaroglu Kivanc TUR 4 drew with Adhiban B. IND 4
Swayams Mishra IND 3 1/2 drew with Short Nigel D. ENG 3 1/2
Fedorchuk Sergey A. UKR 4 beat Narayanan Srinath IND 3
Mchedlishvili Mikheil GEO 4 beat Shyam Nikil P. IND 3
Ly Moulthun AUS 3 lost to Lalith Babu M.R.IND 4
Grigoryan Avetik ARM 4 beat Swapnil S. Dhopade IND 3
Gopal G.N. IND 3 1/2 drew with Prasanna Raghuram Rao IND 3 1/2
Abhishek Kelkar IND 3 lost to Sengupta Deep IND 4
Shyam Sundar M. IND 4 beat Neelotpal Das IND 3
Ghosh Diptayan IND 4 beat Krishna C.R.G. IND 3

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Royal Global School, Betkuchi, Guwahati: The 1st RGS International rating chess tournament 2014 (BELOW 2200) got underway at the state-of-art indoor complex of the Royal Global School here on Sunday. 

A total of 228 players from across Indian and five players from Sri Lanka and Nepal respectively are participating in this mega chess event organized by Assam Chess Club and Guwahati Chess Association.

Sri Ashutosh Agnihotri, Deputy Commissioner, Kamrup Metro Inaugurated the event as the Chief Guest in the presence of Sri A. K. Pasari, Chairman Royal Global School,Sri Mridul Mahanta, President, Guwahati Chess Assocation, Sri Arup Mukhopadhyay, Principal Royal Global School, Dr Siben Dutta, President Akshayam and Prabhat Kedia, Past District Governor, Rotary Club Disctrict 3240.

International arbiter Sri Debashish Barua is the chief arbiter of the event and he is assisted by Sri Asit Baran choudhury, M. Arun Singh, Ruwantha lakshan, Manik Dutta, Monimalla Sinha, Biju Singh and Deepak Patgiri as deputy arbiters. Biswajit Bharadwaj is the tournament Director of the event.

A total of Rs 5,10,500 is up for prize-money in the 10-round event based on the Swiss system. The tournament is the biggest-ever International Chess event in the entire north east in terms of cash prizes. The first rounds games were in progress at the time of filing of this report. 

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Indian GrandmMaster Abhijit Kunte maintained his lead by half a point over his nearest rivals with a score of 4.5, after the fifth round of the 6th Kolkata Open 19th International Open Grandmasters Chess Tournament here Saturday.

Six players, including two Indians, occupy the second slot logging four points.
Overnight sole leader Kunte played safe to finish with a draw against Indian GM J deepen Chakkaravarthy in 28 moves of an English opening game.

Former age category world champions Indians B Adhiban and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi signed the peace treaty, when Vidit sacrificed his rook to force a three fold repetition draw with his queen. The equally poised game, lasted 34 moves.

In a complicated game, Levan Pantsulaia of Georgia prevailed over India's Arun Prasad in 39 moves.

Arun attacked fiercely, but overlooked a series of combinations and exchanges, leading to the loss of his queen for the opponent's rook. Arun resigned when further extension of play would have led to a checkmate with queen and knight.

Oliver Barbosa of Philippines, Levan, Chakkaravarthy, Gujrathi, and Bangladesh GMs Ziaur Rahman and Abdulla Al-Rakib are on 4 points.

Important results of fifth round:
Deepan Chakkravarthy J. IND 4 drew with Kunte Abhijit IND 4 and 1/2
Adhiban B. IND 3 and 1/12 drew with Vidit Santosh Gujrathi IND 4
Arun Prasad S. IND 3 lost to Pantsulaia Levan GEO 4
Barbosa Oliver PHI 4 beat Laxman R.R. IND 3
Abdulla Al-Rakib BAN 4 beat Ghosh Diptayan IND 3
Debashis Das IND 3 and 1/2 drew with Haznedaroglu Kivanc TUR 3 and 1/2
Rahman Ziaur BAN 4 beat Rathnakaran K. IND 3
Landa Konstantin RUS 3 and 1/2 beat Abhishek Kelkar IND 3
Narayanan Srinath IND 3 drew with Mchedlishvili Mikheil GEO 3
Lalith Babu M.R. IND 3 drew with Swapnil S. Dhopade IND 3
Prasanna Raghuram Rao IND 3 drew with Grigoryan Avetik ARM 3
Sethuraman S.P. IND 3 and 1/2 beat Surendran N. IND 2 and 1/2
Neelotpal Das IND 3 drew with Gopal G.N. IND 3
Sundararajan Kidambi IND 3 drew with Shyam Sundar M. IND 3
Palit Somak IND 3 drew with Swayams Mishra IND 3
Short Nigel D. ENG 3 beat Satyapragyan Swayangsu IND 2