By Arvind Aaron
International Master P Iniyan missed the Grand Master norm in the 43rd International Open at Badalona in Spain on August 10, 2017. Iniyan started as seed 20 and finished creditable third in this nine round Swiss for 140 players. Naturally, he was the best among the 30 Indians who took part.
Iniyan did not have the fortune of meeting the required three Grand Masters and also higher rated opponents. He met two Indians, Akash Pc Iyer and Karthik Venkatraman and beat them. His rating performance was 2562, short of the 2600 required to make a GM norm. Nevertheless, Iniyan gains 18.9 Elo from this event. He suffered one defeat to IM Tigran Petrosyan in this 23-nation event that ran from August 2-10.
Sixth seed Grand Master Himanshu Sharma had a push performance as far as rating went and scored 6.5/9 to finish eighth. Two of his opponents were lower rated Indians. He did exactly like what Iniyan did – won them both. When there are 30 Indians (the most after hosts Spain, 55) among the 140 players, such clashes among our players are inevitable.
Kalyan Arjun was impressive and gained 21 Elo making a 2445 rating performance. He is bound to become an International Master soon. In the last round, a win over Cuban GM Isan Reynaldo Ortiz Suarez would have given him the IM norm. He drew the second seed and missed it.
Final placings: 1-2. GM Karen H Grigorian (Arm), IM Tigran S Petrosyan (Arm) 7.5/9 each; 3-6. IM P Iniyan, GM L Krysa (Arg), IM S.D. Vera (Per), IM C.K. Oliva (Cub) 7 each; 8 GM Himanshu Sharma 6.5, 16 Kalyan Arjun 6, 18 Srijit Paul 6, 22 D.B.C. Prasad 6, 25 FM Matta Vinay Kumar 6, 26 FM Karthik Venkatraman 5.5, 31-33. Akash Pc Iyer, D Gukesh, IM Anup Deshmukh 5.5 each, 42-44. Abhishek Das, FM T Purushothaman, Ajay Karthikeyan 5 each, 51-53. B Vignesh, Soham Das, Shome Shiv 5 each, 55 Leon Luke Mendonca 5…140 players.