Athens of the East International Grandmaster Tournament Kicks off in Madurai

Report by IA R. Anantharam

The Athens of the East International Grandmaster Chess Tournament, organised by the Ananthi Chess Academy, Madurai, got off to a grand start at Poppys hotel yesterday. The star-studded field, comprising players from eleven countries is headed by the four times Commonwealth champion Abhijeet Gupta of PSPB in the seeding list (rating 2616), followed by the Russian grandmasters Boris Savchenko (2576) and Pavel Smirnov (2574) and the fourth seed is Adam Tukhaev of Ukraine (2541). Many young Indian players have the golden opportunity to achieve the international title norms, a pathway to get the titles.

The tournament was inaugurated by P Stephen Balasamy General Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association in the presence of P. Pragadesh, the Tournament Director. The quickest win of the first round came from Pavel Smirnov against Soundarya Kumar Pradhan, who won the silver medal in the World Junior Championship for the blind in 2018.

There were no upsets on top boards in the first round. Top seeds had smooth sailing. The second round witnessed very few hiccups. Thirty-two players are leading with two full points and a notable draw was the one by Nilsu Pattnayak of Orissa who held the fourteenth seeded Tamil Nadu state junior champion GB Harshavardhan, who is rated 400 rating points than his opponent.

On the top board, OT Anil Kumar of Kerala declined the Queen’s gambit game by the four times Commonwealth champion Abhijeet Gupta of PSPB and made a minor mistake on the fifth move itself to hand over the advantage to Abhijeet. The latter combined his queen and rook very well to post a win in 36 moves.

Another Queen’s gambit declined game, played by the second-seeded Russian grandmaster Boris Savhenco resulted in a win for him against the Kerala youngster KU Marthandan in just 26 moves. Both played an attacking game with the more experienced Boris holding the upper hand, to pocket a point.

In a long struggle of a queen and pawns end game arising out of the queen pawn opening, grandmaster Smirnov Pavel, the third seed from Russia used his end game prowess to subdue Rakesh Kumar Nayak of Orissa. Rakesh resigned when Pavel was about to promote his pawn on the 88th move. Fourth seeded Adam Tukhaev of Ukraine employed an excellent tactics in the end game to deflect his Tamil Nadu opponent Jayachandra S Vellanki’s bishop or to lose a rook, paving way for a checkmate. In a Ruy Lopez opening, grandmaster Masoud Mosadeghpour of Iran handled the double edged game brilliantly to subdue Om Manish Kadam of Maharashtra. Rodrigo Vasquez Schroeder of Chile unleashed powerful moves to outwit the Tamil Nadu youngster Alan Diviya Raj in 32 moves.

In the B category tournament simultaneously held at Arunachalam Kamalambal Hall, five players – Rajat Yadav of MP and Hirdik Rajendran, M Ragesh Sharma, Adithya Ramesh and N Sasikumar all from Tamil Nadu are leading with 6.5 points each, at the end of the seventh round. Three mor rounds remain to be played.

Results

Round 2 on 2019/08/12

Bo. No. Name Rtg Club/City Pts. Result Pts. Name Rtg Club/City No.
1 1
GM Gupta Abhijeet 2616 PSPB 1 1 – 0 1 Anilkumar O.T. 2079 KER
55
2 56
Marthandan K U 2074 KER 1 0 – 1 1 GM Savchenko Boris 2576 RUS
2
3 3
GM Smirnov Pavel 2574 RUS 1 1 – 0 1 Rakesh Kumar Nayak 2042 ORI
59
4 58
Jayachandra Srinivas Vellanki 2046 TN 1 0 – 1 1 GM Tukhaev Adam 2541 UKR
4
5 60
CM Kadam Om Manish 2028 MAH 1 0 – 1 1 GM Mosadeghpour Masoud 2509 IRI
6
6 7
GM Vasquez Schroeder Rodrigo 2496 CHI 1 1 – 0 1 Alan Diviya Raj 2026 TN
61
7 64
Ilamparthi A R 1984 TN 1 0 – 1 1 GM Venkatesh M.R. 2480 PSPB
8
8 9
IM Shyaamnikhil P 2457 ICF 1 1 – 0 1 Aditya Varun Gampa 1999 TEL
63
9 66
Mushini Ajay 1980 AP 1 0 – 1 1 IM Khusenkhojaev Muhammad 2442 TJK
10
10 69
Arnav Maheshwari 1966 TN 1 0 – 1 1 IM Das Sayantan 2409 WB
13
11 14
Harshavardhan G B 2391 TN 1 ½ – ½ 1 Pattnayak Nilsu 1979 ORI
67
12 74
Jain Kashish Manoj 1937 MAH 1 0 – 1 1 IM Muthaiah Al 2384 TN
15
13 16
IM Konguvel Ponnuswamy 2383 TN 1 1 – 0 1 Gias Uddin Ahmed 1961 BAN
71
14 75
Sooraj M R 1934 KER 1 0 – 1 1 IM Rajesh V A V 2378 TN
17
15 18
IM Raja Rithvik R 2364 TEL 1 1 – 0 1 Ayushh Ravikumar 1907 TN
79
16 76
Shivasubramanian R 1916 MAH 1 0 – 1 1 IM Nitin S. 2358 S.Rly
19
17 78
Mohamed Anees M 1910 TN 1 0 – 1 1 IM Rathnakaran K. 2337 S.Rly
21
18 80
Shreyash Shuvam Patnaik 1903 ORI 1 0 – 1 1 Kunal M. 2306 TN
23
19 24
Sahoo Utkal Ranjan 2278 ORI 1 1 – 0 1 Manthan Kashyap Datta 1893 ASM
81
20 86
Nikhil M 1865 AP 1 ½ – ½ 1 FM Aaryan Varshney 2272 DEL
25