Australian IM Rishi Sardana Lifts EKA IIFL Mumbai GM Trophy

Report by Paras Gudka

The EKA IIFL Wealth Mumbai International Chess Tournament 2018, co-organized by Indian Chess School and South Mumbai Chess Academy, consisting of three classical events—Under 13, Open and Grand Masters (above 2100) was held at Arcade, World Trade Centre,  Mumbai from 30th December 2018 to 7th January 2019.

Obtaining the only win on the top 5 boards of the ninth and final round, Australian-IM-of-Indian-origin Rishi Sardana became the winner of the GM tournament with 7 points.

Facing fellow IM Muthaiah Al of India on Board 4, Rishi dug in for the long haul and with minutes to spare, delivered the final blow on move 72 (Rgg4) to shoot up the rankings to first place. Along with a glittering silver trophy, Rishi went home with a cash prize of Rs 3,25,000.

On Board 1, tournament favorite GM Tuan Minh Tran of Vietnam settled for a draw against Indian wunderkind IM Gukesh D to finish with 7 points and a slightly inferior tie-break score to take home the second prize.

Indian GM Abhimanyu Puranik, the other challenger to Vietnamese dominance of the event, also had to settle for a draw against Russian GM Ivan Rozum and finished with 7 points and a tie-break score of 43.5 to clinch third place.
Players finishing in positions 4 to 20, also received cash prizes ranging from Rs 100,000 to 25,000.

Prizes were also awarded to the three best female players: WIM Varshini V with 5 points, WGM Sarvinoz Kurbonboeva (Uzbekistan) with 5 points and IM Nisha Mohota with 4.5 points.

FM Aaryan Varshney wins U-13 event

FM Aaryan Varshney became the fourth winner of the Under 13 event since the inception of the EKA IIFL Mumbai International Chess Tournament in February 2014 when he beat Pranesh M on Board 1 of the ninth and final round. He finished the tournament with an impressive 8 points from 9 rounds, losing out on the remaining point from draws against CM Nikhil Magizhnan and Manish Anto Cristiano. Aaryan wins a cash prize of Rs 200,000 and a glittering trophy for his performance.

FM Srihari L R, Manish Anto Cristiano, Manish Kumar and Jeet Shah all finished with 7.5 points and received cash prizes ranging from Rs 1,50,000 to 50,000 for their second to fifth positions.

Samrat Ghorai triumphs in Open section

In the Open section, Samrat Ghorai required half a point to bring home the top prize which he had no difficulty in coaxing out of Devesh Anand Naik on Board 1. He finished the tournament with 8 points, winning him a shiny trophy and a cash prize of Rs 50,000.

Samrat’s opponent, Devesh, followed him in second place with 7.5 points and received a trophy and cash prize of Rs 40,000.

Third prize was won by Aditya Varun Gampa, also on 7.5 points, who received a trophy and cash prize of Rs 30,000.
As in the GM section, players finishing in positions 4 to 25 also received cash prizes ranging in value from Rs 25,000 to Rs 5,000.

Prizes were also awarded to the two best players in several rating categories (1600-1899, 1300-1599 and 1000-1299) and a ‘Best Unrated’ and a ‘Best Female’ category.

Final Ranking: GM +2100

Rk. SNo     Name FED Rtg Club/City Pts.
1 30 IM Sardana Rishi   AUS 2398 AUS 7
2 7 GM Tran Tuan Minh   VIE 2524 VIE 7
3 6 GM Puranik Abhimanyu   IND 2544 MAH 7
4 14 IM Gukesh D   IND 2466 TN 7
5 13 GM Rahman Ziaur   BAN 2468 BAN 6.5
6 5 GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J.   IND 2550 ICF 6.5
7 2 GM Rozum Ivan   RUS 2589 RUS 6.5
8 11 IM Visakh N R   IND 2491 TN 6.5
9 25 GM Laxman R.R.   IND 2436 ICF 6.5
10 20 IM Shyaamnikhil P   IND 2448 ICF 6.5
11 18 IM Khusenkhojaev Muhammad   TJK 2455 TJK 6.5
12 16 GM Deviatkin Andrei   RUS 2464 RUS 6.5
13 28 IM Muthaiah Al   IND 2408 TN 6
14 1 GM Aleksandrov Aleksej   BLR 2590 BLR 6
15 8 GM Mosadeghpour Masoud   IRI 2520 IRI 6
16 12 IM Gajek Radoslaw   AUT 2475 AUT 6
17 29 IM Rajesh V A V   IND 2402 TN 6
18 24 IM Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh   IND 2437 MAH 6
19 36 IM Rathnakaran K.   IND 2366 RLYS 6
20 19 IM Das Sayantan   IND 2453 WB 6

Click here for complete standings. 

Photos Courtesy: Vijay Mahajan/ Eka by IIFLW Facebook page