The 18th Aeroflot Open was held from 19-27 February 2020 in the Cosmos Hotel in Moscow, Russia. India’s reigning National champion Aravindh Chithambaram finished fourth while compatriot B Adhiban took the seventh spot in ‘A’ group of the Aeroflot Open.
Azerbaijan’s 14-year old Aydin Suleymanli edged Rinat Jumabayev (Kazakhstan), countryman Rauf Mamedov and India’s Aravindh to clinch the title on the basis of a better tie-break score. All four ended with a tally of 6.5 points from nine rounds.
In the ninth round late on Thursday, Suleymanli and Mamedov settled for a 29-move draw.
Little-known International Master Suleymanli (Elo 2474) started as the 71st seed and defeated three strong GMs in a row towards the closing stages to triumph against all odds.
His victims included compatriot GM Vasif Durarbayli, GM Ilia Smirin and GM Parham Maghsoodloo, the 2018 World Junior Champion. He had drawn with 14-year old Indian prodigy R Praggnanandhaa in the third round.
Aravindh (Elo 2630), who holds the national title in all three formats –Classical, Rapid and Blitz — bounced back strongly after losing his first round match and pocketed 6.5 points from the next eight games to finish a creditable fourth.
The top-ranked Indian in the field — Grandmaster Adhiban (Elo 2654) was involved in a marathon 110-move draw in the final round against Mustafa Yilmaz of Turkey and ended up with six points in his kitty.
Thirteen-year old Indian Bharat Subramaniyam, who made his maiden GM norm, secured 5.5 points, thanks to a final-round win over Russian GM Maxim Chigaev.
GM Praggnanandhaa beat Arseniy Nesterov in round nine and ended at the 15th position on 5.5 points, while talented 13-year old M Pranesh, who started well and beat GM Boris Savchenko in 21 moves in Round 2, finished 62nd.
14-year-old FM Pranav Anand made his third IM norm at Aeroflot Open B while WIM Rucha Pujari scored her second WGM norm.
Top-seed Vadislav Artemiev had to be content with 35th spot after managing only five points in a below-par performance.
Final Standings (Top-20)
|4||15||GM||Aravindh Chithambaram Vr.||IND||2630||6,5||4||2558|
|11||96||IM||Bharath Subramaniyam H||U18||IND||2402||5,5||5||2626|
|14||48||GM||Antipov Mikhail Al.||RUS||2562||5,5||5||2546|