By Arvind Aaron
Indians Grand Masters from the eastern region, Debashis Das of Cuttack and Diptayan Ghosh of Kolkata ensured that Indian presence in the podium was at a majority when they finished second and third place in the 10th Kiit International Open at Bhubaneswar on June 2, 2017.
The 1989-born winner, Nguyen Duc Hoa of Vietnam started as seed No.7 and ran through the Indians starting with Kishan Gangolli, the blind chess champion of Asia. But he was shocked by Manipur’s Vikramjit Singh in the third round. He faced only one player from outside India. It was Ziaur Rahman (Ban) whom the Vietnamese won. The Vietnamese won the event finishing half a point ahead of the rest with 8.5/10.
Debashis Das faced three GMs and scored 2/3. He lost one important game to local lad Utkal Ranjan Sahoo of Kiit University. Debashis gains over eight Elo for starting fifth rank and finishing second.
Second seed Diptayan Ghosh finished third losing 1.30 Elo. He remained undefeated and ceded too many draws in the start to youngsters D Gukesh (AP), Nirajan Navalgund (Kar) and Arjun Kalyan (TN). In the end, Diptayan scored 3.5/4 to finish third. Diptayan faced two overseas players (both GM) only and beat both of them.
The event was organised by the All Odisha Chess Association and the Kiit University from May 26 to June 2, 2017. Odisha is one of the active zones of Indian chess and they also organised the World Junior last year. This International Open is now running for ten years!
The Kiit event attracted 251 players from 13 nations. Of the 71 titled players, 15 were GMs, 20 IMs, 1 IWM, 9 FMs. Besides India which had 204 players, neighbouring Bangladesh sent 26 and Nepal eight players. Chief arbiter was IA S Paul Arokia Raj of Chennai.
The Category ‘B’ (May 26-29) was won by 32-year old Niranjan Mocharla (1865) of AP and the Category ‘C’ was won by Vangala Prashanth (1406) of Telangana.
Final placings: 1 GM Nguyen Duc Hoa (Vie) 8.5/10; 2-5. GM Debashis Das, GM Diptayan Ghosh, GM Adam Tukhaev (Ukr), GM Sahaj Grover 8 each; 6-10. GM Farrukh Amonatov (Tjk), GM Ziaur Rahman (Ban), IM Muhammad Khusenkhojaev (Tjk), IM P Iniyan, IM K.S. Raghunandan 7.5 each; 11-27. IM S Nitin, IM CRG Krishna, GM Levon Babujian (Arm), GM R.R. Laxman, Sidhant Mohapatra, IM P Shyaamnikhil, GM Neelotpal Das, Saurabh Anand, FM G.V. Sai Krishna, FM Karthik Venkatraman, GM Andrei Deviatkin (Rus), GM Reefat Bin-Sattar (Ban), Kalyan Arjun, Al Muthaiah, Erigaisi Arjun, IM Rishi Sardana (Aus), IM K Rathnakaran 7 each.