Gujarat State Chess Association in association with Sports Authority of Gujarat is all set to host the “MPL 34th National U-14 Open & Girls Chess Championship-2022” from 9-14 May, 2022 at Rajpath (AC Hall), S. G. Highway, Ahmedabad under the aegis of All India Chess Federation. The main hall is decorated with wood and used yellow lights – the antique hall. The separate AC hall is provided by accompanied person. The National event is sponsored by MPL Sports Foundation. The event is supported by Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India while tournament venue partner – Rajpath Club, S. G. Highway, Ahmedabad, Gujarat and accommodation partner The Gujarat State Co-op Bank Ltd, Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
In this event 326 participants from all over the country including Kadam Om Manish of Maharashtra (ELO 2144), M D Imran of Andhra Pradesh (ELO 2122), Elamparthi A R of Tamil Nadu (ELO 2121) and Daakshin Arun of Tamil Nadu (ELO 2016) are the top seeded players in open category and will be the main attraction of the tournament. Whereas in Girls category Mritikka Mallik of West Bengal (ELO 1982), Sachi Jain of Delhi (ELO 1768), Yashita Rout of Odisha (ELO 1718), Anupam Sreekumar of Kerala (ELO 1673) are the top seeded players in Girls category and will be the main attraction of the tournament. Other players are also in action from 26 different states and union territory namely Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Goa Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Puducherry, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand & West Bengal.
The selected players (Normal entry) and accompanying person / managers given transportation from hall to lodging place and vice a versa. All the players appreciated the warm hospitality of GSCA. Many big names like Mr. Ajay H. Patel President Emeritus, Mr Bhavesh Patel Organising Secretary & Vice President GSCA, Mr Mayur Patel Vice President GSCA, Rakesh Shah President GSCA Rajesh Chavda Secretary GSCA, Ajay Patel, Mayur Patel and GM Tejas Bakre, all Vice President GSCA, Samir Shah Treasurer, Ankit Dalal, Joy Chauhan, Mukund Bhatt, Pritesh Mehta all Jt. Secretaries GSCA, IM Sekhar Sahu, IA I G Parmar, Vimalbhai Shrivastava, Amit Parikh, Bhupendra Patel, Prashant Raval, etc. are associated with this organisation throughout these years.
The tournament was inaugurated by Shri Ashwani Kumar (Principal Secretary, Sports, Youth & Cultural Activities Department, Gandhinagar) along with him on dais Dr. Vikram Shah (Sr. Vice President, Rajpath Club), Shri Mishal Patel (Hon. Secretary, Rajpath Club), Shri Mehul Patel (Co.op Member, Rajpath Club) and Shri Bhavesh Patel (Vice President, All India Chess Federation). The anchoring of inaugural function is done by Mr Ankit Dalal.
The tournament was played from 9th to 14th May 2022 and conducted in the Swiss League (Dutch System) format, comprising 11 rounds, except last day everyday two rounds all other days one round each. The main thinking time was 90 minutes to each player along with 30 seconds increment per move from first move (Fisher mode).
In the first round in the open category, players managed to win first round convincingly. While playing on top board Om Kadam of Maharashtra started with 1. e4 King pawn opening and adversary Divesh G of Tamil Nadu chosen Caro Kann defense by playing 1…. c6. After 5th move white cleared space for light coloured bishop and queen. The 14…. Nxe5 gave edge to white and slowly increased clutches on his enemy and overall board position. He convincingly won this game in 42 moves. In girls section on 3rd board higher seeded Rout Yashita of Odisha got defeated by lower seeded Kaushal Khushi of Haryana in the opening French Tarrash open variation. In the 13….. Nc5 game is tilted towards white player but 32.Bd6 move given chance for Khushi to re-enter in the game and 31st move blunder by Yashita. After end of first round in open 88 players and in girls 48 players took joint lead with one point each.
In the second round, in open category on second board Md Imran of AP playing with white pieces chose English opening by playing 1. c4 the rival Yashwant B of TN playing with black pieces replied with 1… e5 continued to play with English opening. In 3. g3 chosen opening in English – Carl’s Bremen system replied by black with 3… d5 English – Bremen, reverse dragon. In this opening the game continued like game played by GM Eljanov, Pavel of Ukraine (2672) vs GM Gumularz, Szymon of Poland (2517) in European Hybrid Qualifier 2021 on 27/05/2021 which resulted in equality. White changed little bit by playing 14.d4 and a weaker reply by rival exd4 given edge to Imran. And slowly move by move the game started tilting in favour of white. Yashwant accepted defeat in 35th move. After end of second round in open 37 players and in girls 17 players scored 2 points each.
In the third round, open category on 5th board 5th seeded CM Mayank Chakraborty having ELO points 2015 of Assam fallen with cracks got defeated Snehil Raj Singh having ELO points 1545 of West Bengal played Sicilian Najdorf opening. Mayank played 27th move gave rival clear edge. In girl category – Arushi Srichandan having 1292 ELO rating points of Odisha playing on seventh board tied with Arshiya Das 1456 ELO rating points of Tripura played French Tarrasch opening. White’s 10 move gave little bit edge to black and 21st move flagged off her train to reach victory. After end of third round open category 14 players and girl category 7 players scored 3 points each. Some of the important names were open section – Adireddy Arjun & Shaik Sumer Arsh of Telangana, CM Kadam Om Manish & Bagwe Gaurang of Maharashtra, AIM Md Imran of Andhra Pradesh, John Veny Akkarakaran of Kerala, Shankhodip De & Snehil Raj Singh of West Bengal, Ilamparthi A R & CM Daakshin Arun of Tamil Nadu, Navya Goyal of Madhya Pradesh, Anubhav Rawat & AGM Sahib Singh of Delhi, Koustuv Dash of Odisha and Girl section – Sneha Halder & Mrittika Mallick of West Bengal, Sachi Jain of Delhi, Bhat Sannidhi Ramakrishna of Maharashtra, Aswinika Mani R of Tamil Nadu, AFM Shubhi Gupta of Uttar Pradesh, Falak Joni Naik of Gujarat.
In fourth round, on third board from open section lower rated (1810) player Shankhodip De of West Bengal forced third seeded (2121) Ilamparthi A R of Tamil Nadu to accept draw in a crucial match. On first board of girl’s section Sneha Halder forced higher seeded Mrittika Mallick for draw both were from West Bengal. Only four players took joint lead after fourth round namely CM Kadam Om Manish of Maharashtra, Koustuv Dash of Odisha, John Veny Akkarakaran of Kerala and CM Daakshin Arun of Tamil Nadu in open category while in girl category only two namely AFM Shubhi Gupta of Uttar Pradesh and Bhat Sannidhi Ramakrishna of Maharashtra scored four points each and took lead on other rivals.
Open category fifth round Master Koustuv Dash of Odisha holds top seed Kadam Om Manish of Maharashtra to draw. From the opening black managed to maintain the equality and black sacrificed his Rook for a Knight and Pawn on move no. 37 to take advantage misplaced white Queen on h6. White had chances of taking advantage of poor black kingside with Ne4 and exploiting black’s King defence but white did not want to risk. In the nail-biting endgame Queen & Rook against Queen & Knight ended in a peace agreement on move No. 68. In girl’s section on first board Bhat Sannidhi Ramakrishna of Maharashtra forced AFM Shubhi Gupta of Uttar Pradesh (higher seeded) to reach draw agreement and because of this field was open for two more players. Out of four joint leaders from open category only John Veny Akkarakaran of Kerala managed to won against his challenger CM Daakshin Arun of Tamil Nadu. Hence John became sole leader of open and girl section who scored 5 points. He was closely followed in open category by nine players who scored 4½ points each.
In the evening round (sixth), open bracket sole leader John defeated Shaik Sumer Arsh of Telangana as well as on 2nd Board Om won against Bagwe Gaurang of Maharashtra (same state) while on 5th board Jaidambareesh N R of Tamil Nadu lost to AIM Vaz Ethan of Goa. In girl’s party Shreya G Hipparagi of Maharashtra defeated AFM Shubhi Gupta of Uttar Pradesh and became sole leader. In open John while in girls Shreya became sole leader.
In 7th round, playing on first board in open category pressurised John 6th round sole leader lost to first seed Om. This victory of Om made him sole leader. In girls’ category Shreya dead locked with Mrittika, still retaining sole leadership with her.
In 8th round, on first board of open group Om lost to CM Mayank Chakraborty of Assam and he accepted defeat in 27th move. This win over Om enabled one more to join John scored 7 points each. In girl’s group, on first board, Anupam M Sreekumar of Kerala having 5½ points before this round defeated sole leader Shreya G Hipparagi of Maharashtra (till 7th round 6 points) in 30 moves. This win over Shreya by Anupam opened field for two more players namely Mrittika and Rajanya both from WB each one scored 5.5 points each.
In 9th round, open category fierce fighting seen. Both yesterday’s joint leaders were fighting for sole leadership. CM Mayank Chakraborty of Assam lost to John Veny Akkarakaran of Kerala and given batton of sole leader to John. On 2nd board, CM Kadam Om Manish of Maharashtra tied with Abhash Roimya Saikia of Assam whereas Koustuv Dash of Odisha won against CM Daakshin Arun of Tamil Nadu to remain in the championship fight. In girls category, experience helped them to lead towards championship. Mrittika Mallick of West Bengal won against Bhat Sannidhi Ramakrishna of Maharashtra, Rajanya Datta of West Bengal lost with Anupam M Sreekumar of Kerala and Shreya G Hipparagi of Maharashtra lost with Roy Aanya of Maharashtra. Joint leadership taken by trio namely Aanya, Anupam and Mrittika scored 7½ points each.
In the penultimate round, in girls Roy Aanya lost with Mrittika Mallick while Anupam M Sreekumar drew with Pragnya H G of Tamil Nadu. In open John scored 8½ points drew with Koustuv scored 8 points. Koustuv, Om, Gaurang and Abhash closely following sole leader John by ½ points score difference. In girls Mrittika scored 8½ points sole leader followed by Anupam scored 8 points.
In final round, girls section Mrittika Mallick drew with Anupam M Sreekumar, AFM Shubhi Gupta drew with Roy Aanya, Pragnya H G won against Bhat Sannidhi Ramakrishna. Open section first three boards results were John Veny Akkarakaran drew with Abhash Roimya Saikia. Koustuv Dash lost with Bagwe Gaurang while CM Kadam Om Manish lost with Ilamparthi A R on third board.
The order of the players is determined according to number of points obtained. If two or more players are tied with equal points, the following tie-breaks were used as per AICF guidelines:
- a) Buchholz Cut 1, b) Buchholz, c) SB, d) Direct Encounter, e) Number of wins (including Forfeit points) & Number of wins Black
In open category, Kumar S of Tamilnadu won the championship whereas Mohit Soni of Bihar was runner up and received Rs. 22,000 along with glittering trophy and Rs. 18,000 along with trophy respectively. Although Kumar S, Mohit Soni and Saypuri Srithan of Telangana scored 6 points and secured 1st, 2nd and 3rd rank decided by tie break.
The tournament was completed in a peaceful manner and no appeals arose. Appeals Committee formed using managers present at managers meeting. The main members were Shri Mayur Patel of Gujarat, Shri Sreekumar K R of Kerala, Mrs Vandita Fotedar of Jammu & Kashmir, Shri Aditya Goyal of Madhya Pradesh and Shri Jayendra Chaturvedi of Rajasthan & the reserve members names were Mr S Balaraman IA of Tamil Nadu and Mr. Bimal Das of Assam.
Some lucky players performed for improvements in FIDE Ratings from this event. This event was really a piece of good chance for many players, as many of them gained sizeable ELO rating change around 150 or above. Special mention has to be made of Anubhav, Rawat 215, Bagwe, Gaurang 158, Bhoir, Paras Dilip 150, and in Girls section above 150 are Disha, U A 156 and Bhat, Sannidhi Ramakrishna 151.
The valedictory function conducted immediately after the last round by the hands of namely Ajay Patel (Chief guest of PD function). Winners were awarded with cash prizes and trophies by Vice Presidents of Gujarat State Chess Association Shri Ajay Patel, Shri Jayesh Modi and Shri Bhavesh Patel. Other dias dignitaries were Shri Ketan Patel (Secretary, Karnavati Club), Shri Mayur Patel (Vice President, Gujarat State Chess Association), Shri Samir Shah (Treasurer, Gujarat State Chess Association) and Chief Arbiter of the tournament Shri Nitin Shenvi also remain present and congratulate all the winners. Anchring of PD function is done by Ankit Dalal.