Savchenko wins the Athens of the East Grandmaster Open

Second seeded grandmaster Boris Savchenko of Russia, clinched the title of the Athens of the East 1st International Grandmaster open tournament, organised by Ananthi Chess Academy at Poppys hotel Madurai today. He tied with MR Venkatesh of PSPB, IM Sayantan Das of Kolkata and Pavel Smirnov of Russia with eight points each but he had a superior tiebreak. Sayan Das not only secured the second spot, but also achieved a grandmaster norm to his credit. While Venkatesh finished third, Adam Tukhaev of Ukraine who handed over the second loss to the top seed Abhijeet Gupta was declared fourth.

In a game of mixed fortunes arising from the popular Ruy Lopez, both Boris Boris and the Indian GM MR Venkatesh of PSPB held upper hands at many various instances. Both missed to capitalise the opportunities as well. It was Venkatesh’s turn in the end game to come up with two connected extra pawns and rook to that of only rook of the opponent cruising for a win. But he played an insipid rook move and Boris seized the moment to sacrifice his rook, forcing a stalemate. Venkatesh’s chances of winning the title vanished all in vain and ultimately helped Boris to win the title on a better tiebreak score.

Four times Commonwealth champion and the top seed Abhijeet Gupta of PSPB opted the Neo Grunfeld defence from the black side against the Ukraine grandmaster Adam Tukhaev. Abhijeet maintained a slight advantage until the middle game, but he could not exploit it to a win. Tukahaev’s position grew better and better with the progress of the game., with equal pieces. Adam comfortably placed his a- pawn on seventh rank with the support of his rook, he forced Abhijeet to resign on 50th move.

In another Neo Grunfeld defence, Sayantan Das needing half a point to achieve a grandmaster norm stoutly defended denying his opponent Pavel Smirnov of Russia to make any inroads. The game petered out to a draw after well fought 44 moves.

Sri. VVR Raj Satyen, President of Tamil Nadu Basketball Association was the chief guest in the closing ceremony, together with Sri N. Lenin, Madurai district sports officer and grandmaster Deepan Chakravarthy of Madurai.

Final Ranking

1 Savchenko Boris RUS 8

2 Das Sayantan IND 8

3 Venkatesh M.R. IND 8

4 Tukhaev Adam UKR 8

5 Smirnov Pavel RUS 7.5

6 Shyaamnikhil P IND 7.5

7 Laxman R.R. IND 7.5

8 Gupta Abhijeet IND 7

9 Vasquez Schroeder Rodrigo CHI 7

10 Rajesh V A V IND 7

11 Nitin S. IND 7

12 Sahoo Utkal Ranjan IND 7

13 Khusenkhojaev Muhammad TJK 7

14 Nayak Rajesh IND 7

15 Muthaiah Al IND 7

16 Triapishko Alexandr RUS 7

17 Raja Rithvik R IND 7

18 Hari Madhavan N B IND 7

19 Saravana Krishnan P. IND 7