Report by IA R. Anantharam
The Athens of the East International Grandmaster Chess Tournament, organised by the Ananthi Chess Academy, Madurai, got off to a grand start at Poppys hotel yesterday. The star-studded field, comprising players from eleven countries is headed by the four times Commonwealth champion Abhijeet Gupta of PSPB in the seeding list (rating 2616), followed by the Russian grandmasters Boris Savchenko (2576) and Pavel Smirnov (2574) and the fourth seed is Adam Tukhaev of Ukraine (2541). Many young Indian players have the golden opportunity to achieve the international title norms, a pathway to get the titles.
The tournament was inaugurated by P Stephen Balasamy General Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association in the presence of P. Pragadesh, the Tournament Director. The quickest win of the first round came from Pavel Smirnov against Soundarya Kumar Pradhan, who won the silver medal in the World Junior Championship for the blind in 2018.
There were no upsets on top boards in the first round. Top seeds had smooth sailing. The second round witnessed very few hiccups. Thirty-two players are leading with two full points and a notable draw was the one by Nilsu Pattnayak of Orissa who held the fourteenth seeded Tamil Nadu state junior champion GB Harshavardhan, who is rated 400 rating points than his opponent.
On the top board, OT Anil Kumar of Kerala declined the Queen’s gambit game by the four times Commonwealth champion Abhijeet Gupta of PSPB and made a minor mistake on the fifth move itself to hand over the advantage to Abhijeet. The latter combined his queen and rook very well to post a win in 36 moves.
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Another Queen’s gambit declined game, played by the second-seeded Russian grandmaster Boris Savhenco resulted in a win for him against the Kerala youngster KU Marthandan in just 26 moves. Both played an attacking game with the more experienced Boris holding the upper hand, to pocket a point.
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In a long struggle of a queen and pawns end game arising out of the queen pawn opening, grandmaster Smirnov Pavel, the third seed from Russia used his end game prowess to subdue Rakesh Kumar Nayak of Orissa. Rakesh resigned when Pavel was about to promote his pawn on the 88th move. Fourth seeded Adam Tukhaev of Ukraine employed an excellent tactics in the end game to deflect his Tamil Nadu opponent Jayachandra S Vellanki’s bishop or to lose a rook, paving way for a checkmate. In a Ruy Lopez opening, grandmaster Masoud Mosadeghpour of Iran handled the double edged game brilliantly to subdue Om Manish Kadam of Maharashtra. Rodrigo Vasquez Schroeder of Chile unleashed powerful moves to outwit the Tamil Nadu youngster Alan Diviya Raj in 32 moves.
In the B category tournament simultaneously held at Arunachalam Kamalambal Hall, five players – Rajat Yadav of MP and Hirdik Rajendran, M Ragesh Sharma, Adithya Ramesh and N Sasikumar all from Tamil Nadu are leading with 6.5 points each, at the end of the seventh round. Three mor rounds remain to be played.
Round 2 on 2019/08/12
|1||1||GM||Gupta Abhijeet||2616||PSPB||1||1 – 0||1||Anilkumar O.T.||2079||KER||55|
|2||56||Marthandan K U||2074||KER||1||0 – 1||1||GM||Savchenko Boris||2576||RUS||2|
|3||3||GM||Smirnov Pavel||2574||RUS||1||1 – 0||1||Rakesh Kumar Nayak||2042||ORI||59|
|4||58||Jayachandra Srinivas Vellanki||2046||TN||1||0 – 1||1||GM||Tukhaev Adam||2541||UKR||4|
|5||60||CM||Kadam Om Manish||2028||MAH||1||0 – 1||1||GM||Mosadeghpour Masoud||2509||IRI||6|
|6||7||GM||Vasquez Schroeder Rodrigo||2496||CHI||1||1 – 0||1||Alan Diviya Raj||2026||TN||61|
|7||64||Ilamparthi A R||1984||TN||1||0 – 1||1||GM||Venkatesh M.R.||2480||PSPB||8|
|8||9||IM||Shyaamnikhil P||2457||ICF||1||1 – 0||1||Aditya Varun Gampa||1999||TEL||63|
|9||66||Mushini Ajay||1980||AP||1||0 – 1||1||IM||Khusenkhojaev Muhammad||2442||TJK||10|
|10||69||Arnav Maheshwari||1966||TN||1||0 – 1||1||IM||Das Sayantan||2409||WB||13|
|11||14||Harshavardhan G B||2391||TN||1||½ – ½||1||Pattnayak Nilsu||1979||ORI||67|
|12||74||Jain Kashish Manoj||1937||MAH||1||0 – 1||1||IM||Muthaiah Al||2384||TN||15|
|13||16||IM||Konguvel Ponnuswamy||2383||TN||1||1 – 0||1||Gias Uddin Ahmed||1961||BAN||71|
|14||75||Sooraj M R||1934||KER||1||0 – 1||1||IM||Rajesh V A V||2378||TN||17|
|15||18||IM||Raja Rithvik R||2364||TEL||1||1 – 0||1||Ayushh Ravikumar||1907||TN||79|
|16||76||Shivasubramanian R||1916||MAH||1||0 – 1||1||IM||Nitin S.||2358||S.Rly||19|
|17||78||Mohamed Anees M||1910||TN||1||0 – 1||1||IM||Rathnakaran K.||2337||S.Rly||21|
|18||80||Shreyash Shuvam Patnaik||1903||ORI||1||0 – 1||1||Kunal M.||2306||TN||23|
|19||24||Sahoo Utkal Ranjan||2278||ORI||1||1 – 0||1||Manthan Kashyap Datta||1893||ASM||81|
|20||86||Nikhil M||1865||AP||1||½ – ½||1||FM||Aaryan Varshney||2272||DEL||25|