National Under-15: Ajay, Divya crowned champions

The 44th National Sub Junior (Under-15 Open) & 35th National Sub Junior (Under-15 Girls) Chess Championships-2018 was held at JIS College of Engineering, Kalyani, West Bengal from 17th to 25th of July 2018. An unprecedented number of players totalling 388 which includes 248 boys and 140 girls participated in this 11 round Swiss league event played under classical time control of 90 minutes to each player with 30 seconds increment from the first move.

A total of 122 rated players including 10 title players participated in the Girls category which was led by WFM Divya Deshmukh of Maharastra as the top seed. In the Open category, there were 223 rated players including three title player. Koustav Chatterjee was the top seed of this category.

Divya Deshmukh of Maharashtra clinched Indian Sub-junior Girls’ title with a clinical performance by scoring 9 points out of 11 rounds. She, in fact, won the championship with a round to spare as she attained an unassailable lead of one and a half points of her opponents by scoring 9 points in 10 rounds. Thus even a defeat in the last round did not affect her final result. Divya who was the clear favourite to win the championship given her top seeding and a rating difference of 90 points with the second seed. However, to win in such dramatic fashion was not expected at this level of competition. On her road to glory, Divya defeated the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 9th seed players and was only held to draw by 12th seed and 5th seed in the fourth and seventh round and lost in the final round respectively.

On the other hand in the Open section, 10 seed Ajay Karthikeyan of Tamil Nadu on 8 and a half points had a slender half point lead and needed to get a win to be the outright champion going into the last round. He faced Sankalp Gupta of Maharashtra who along with L Srihari of Pondicherry, Utsab Chatterjee, Koustav Chatterjee and Aronyak Ghosh of West Bengal were on 8 points each. All the six players had chances to win the championship if they manage to win the final round. However as none of the players managed to win their last round game even after intense battle of wits, Ajay Karthikeyan became the champion of the event with his half point lead.

The prize distribution ceremony was attended by Dr Shiela Singh Ghosh, Registrar of JIS Group in the presence of Atanu Lahiri, Hon Secretary of West Bengal, T.K Sengupta, Hon President of Kolkata District Chess Association, Sri Tushar Chatterjee Hon Secretary of Nadia District Chess Association and host of other guests.

A chess Club was also inaugurated at the JIS College campus under the initiative of the college administration who pledged their full support and cooperation in promotion of the game of chess in the region.

The tournament was inaugurated by Member of Parliament Tapas Mandal in the presence of Vice Chancellor of Makaut University Saikat Maitra , IM Atanu Lahiri, Honarary Secretary of Bengal Chess Association, IA Rajendra Shidore, Chief Arbiter and host of other dignitaries, officials, guests, players and guardians.

All the seeded players and officials were provided accommodation in the college campus where the tournament was also held in two air-conditioned halls with ample space for the accompanying persons to rest as well. The organisers made arrangement for food for all at the venue itself with good quality vegetarian meals offered at a nominal cost of Rs 20/- only! The organisers also provided transportation from the airport and railway station for the convenience of the players on the first day of the event. The games of the first ten boards in the Open category and first five boards of the girls category are being broadcasted live through Monroi devices.

The top two players from the open and girls Category will be selected to represent India in the Asian and world youth chess championship 2019. A total prize money of two lakh fifty thousand was distributed among the top 20 position holders in each category

The tournament was smoothly conducted by International Arbiter Rajendra Shidore as the Chief Arbiter and he was assisted by International Arbiter M Muthukumar, International Arbiter Debasish Barua, Fide Arbiter T Shyam Sundar, Amit Kumar Biswas, Senior National Arbiter Manik Dutta, Swapon Adhikari, Daru Nath Chatterjee, Gautam Bhattacharjee, Shyamol Dutta and Tapas Chakraborty.

Final Ranking after 11 Rounds

Rk. SNo Name FED Rtg Club/City Pts.  TB1  TB2  TB3
1 10 Ajay Karthikeyan IND 2094 Tamil Nadu 9,0 0,0 74,0 79,5
2 11 Utsab Chatterjee IND 2094 West Bengal 8,5 0,0 79,5 84,5
3 2 Sankalp Gupta IND 2341 Maharashtra 8,5 0,0 78,0 84,0
4 3 CM Aronyak Ghosh IND 2310 West Bengal 8,5 0,0 74,5 78,5
5 22 Srihari L IND 1927 Pondicherry 8,5 0,0 74,0 79,0
6 4 CM Kushagra Mohan IND 2309 Telangana 8,5 0,0 74,0 78,5
7 5 Raahul V S IND 2292 Tamil Nadu 8,0 0,0 75,5 81,0
8 1 Koustav Chatterjee IND 2383 West Bengal 8,0 0,0 75,5 80,5
9 37 Jayachandra Srinivas Vellanki IND 1840 Tamil Nadu 8,0 0,0 75,5 80,0
10 41 Karthik Sai Ch IND 1810 Telangana 8,0 0,0 74,0 78,5

Final Ranking after 11 Rounds

Rk. SNo Name FED Rtg Club/City Pts.  TB1  TB2  TB3
1 1 WFM Divya Deshmukh IND 2203 Maharashtra 9,0 0,0 74,5 78,5
2 8 WFM Lakshmi C IND 1805 Tamil Nadu 8,5 0,0 73,0 78,5
3 29 Meenatchi Rajam V IND 1560 Tamil Nadu 8,5 0,0 67,5 72,5
4 15 Poorna Sri M.K IND 1715 Tamil Nadu 8,5 0,0 67,0 71,0
5 5 WCM Jyothsna L IND 1923 Tamil Nadu 8,0 0,0 75,5 80,5
6 3 WCM Mrudul Dehankar IND 2093 Maharashtra 8,0 0,0 73,5 78,5
7 2 WFM Salonika Saina IND 2113 Odisha 8,0 0,0 72,0 77,0
8 24 Sudipa Haldar IND 1589 West Bengal 8,0 0,0 68,0 72,5
9 7 Eesha Ajay Sarda IND 1830 Maharashtra 8,0 0,0 65,5 70,5
10 12 WFM Bommini Mounika Akshaya IND 1734 Andhra Pradesh 7,5 0,0 73,5 79,0