Rathanvel Impresses In Kiit Event

Rathanvel Impresses In Kiit Event
By Arvind Aaron

Second seed Boris Grachev of Russia clocked a 2703 rating performance and finished one point ahead of the 201-player Elite Group in the Kiit International Chess Festival that concluded on May 30, 2016.

Top seed Ivan Popov finished second and tied with eight others on 7.5 points. Candidate Master V.S. Rathanvel, 15, of Tamil Nadu who impressed in the Chennai Open earlier this year took third place. It was a huge achievement for this teenager who started as the 30th seed. He faced six Grand Masters and remained undefeated in this event.

Players from 11-nations took part in this 10-round Swiss format event. India had 165 players, Bangladesh 16, Russia and Nepal 5 each, etc. The field had 62 titled players, of which 13 were GMs, 2 WGMs, 15 IMs, 2 WIMs etc.

Praggnanandhaa of Chennai, born 2005, became an International Master. He has won World Age Group titles and is the younger brother of R Vaishali. Two other IM norms were made by Rathanvel (TN) and K.S. Raghunandan (Karnataka). Praggnanandhaa scored an unbeaten 3/5 against GMs  including the top seed Ivan Popov. Raghunandan lost to two GMs and beat two GMs, Shardul Gagare and F Amonatov.

Significant Indian rating gainers among those in the top 30 placings:
Rathanvel +58.60
Sidhant Mohapatra +20.20
K.S. Raghunandan  +67.20
R Praggnanandhaa +46.80
Krishna N Teja +38.60
Rajdeep Sarkar +60.80

The tournament director was IM S.C. Sahu. IA Debashis Barua was the chief arbiter. The organisers were All Odisha Chess Association and KIIT University. The venue was KIIT University in Bhubaneswar. Later this year, the World Junior will take place for the first time in Odisha and it is going be a boom time for chess in the state thereafter.

Final placings: 1 GM Boris Grachev (Rus) 8.5/10; 2-9. GM Ivan Popov (Rus), CM V.S. Rathanvel (TN), GM Diptayan Ghosh (WB), GM Ziaur Rahman (Ban), GM Mikhail Mozharov (Rus), GM Farrukh Amonatov (Tjk), GM Shardul Gagare (Mah), Sidhant Mohapatra (Odi) 7.5 each; 10-23. GM Evgeny Giezerov (Rus), FM K.S. Raghunanandan (Kar), FM R Praggnanandhaa (TN), GM R.R. Laxman (ICF), Himal Gusain (Chnd), GM Karen Grigoryan (Arm), IM Ravi S Teja (Rly), IM Dinesh K Sharma (UP), IM Swayams Mishra (AI), IM Krishna N Teja (AP), CM Arjun Erigaisi (Teln), D.P.C. Prasad (AP), Arjun Kalyan (TN), IM Vikramaditya Kulkarni (Rly) 7 each…201 players.