Going into the penultimate round, Deepan Chakkravarthy annihilated Himanshu Sharma's king in a Sicilian Paulsen. With this win, he has not only moved to the sole second spot but has also earned the right to fight for the title prize against tournament leader Swapnil Dhopade in the final round. On board 3, GM RR Laxman gave his opponent no chance, consuming only 52 mins for the entire game. In the final round, twelve players will be fighting for the nine qualification spots into the National Premier Championship and two for the title prize. An exciting finale is on the cards!
We all know how strong R.R. Laxman is at shorter time controls. He once again proved that calling him blitz king of India would be quite appropriate as he went on to win the National Blitz Championship 2017 with a mammoth score of 10.0/11. The second place went to Chennai's P. Karthikeyan while Bengal's Mitrabha Guha performed admirably to finish third. We have an interview with the winner and also an invitation to a blitz tournament which you can play from the comfort of your home.
The game between two Caro Kann experts Lalith Babu and Swapnil Dhopade was drawn on the top board. Himanshu Sharma also couldn't break through the defences of Aravindh Chithambaram. This meant that Swapnil still leads the tournament with 9.5/11, but four players are on his heels with 8.5 points. Apart from Himanshu and Aravindh, they include Deepan Chakravarthy and Debashis Das. There are only two rounds left for the tournament to end and nine spots at stake for National Premier 2017. It's heating up!
Just a day after Vidit Gujrathi became the fourth Indian to cross 2700 in the FIDE Elo list, we have more good news from the state of Maharashtra. India got its 49th grandmaster in the form of Abhimanyu Puranik from Pune. The 17-year-old made his final GM norm with a round to spare at the Abu Dhabi Masters 2017 and also crossed 2500 Elo. It's raining grandmasters in India, and we are just one away from reaching the 50 GMs mark!
It was a huge rapid event in Kolkata that was organized by Pioneer Chess School and West Bengal Chess Association. The tournament was held on the 8th and 9th of August with a time control of 25 minutes + 5 seconds increment. Youngster CM Aronyak Ghosh won the title and took back home the first prize of Rs.10,000! IM Somak Palit and Koustav Chatterjee also scored the same points but had to settle for second and third spot respectively on tiebreak. We have a report on the tournament as well as some nicely captured videos of the action during the event.
After scoring eight wins out of his nine games, Swapnil Dhopade decided to make a quick draw in the 10th round of the 55th National Challengers, Ahmedabad. Two of his other teammates from Railways, Ravi Teja and Himanshu Sharma, were pitted against one another on board two. They also drew their game exactly after 25 moves as Dhopade had done. On one hand, this result let Dhopade get away with his quick draw and maintain his lead, while on the other, it gave Lalith Babu MR the opportunity to join Himanshu in the second place. After sweating blood against Mary Ann Gomes in an 85 move long battle, Lalith succeeded. We have a report with games and pictures.
India number three GM Vidit Gujrathi had been knocking on the doors of 2700 for quite some time now. He finally achieved that milestone at the Spanish Team Championship 2017 in Linares. Vidit played for board one of Team Solvay and scored 4.5/7 against some super strong opponents. He gained 8.7 Elo points and reach 2701.7 on the live rating lists. As he won't be playing any events in August, his published rating on 1st September will be 2702. He is the fourth Indian after Anand, Sasikiran and Harikrishna to achieve this coveted feat of crossing 2700 Elo.
Ikramul Haq Siam is fighting a battle of life and death. The degenerative disc disease has paralysed his right leg. The boy needs to get his surgery done as soon as possible. For that he requires financial assistance. 17-year-old chess player from Kolkata Chandreyee Hajra has decided to go the extra mile to help her fellow chess player. Known for her sketching, Chandreyee will sketch the portrait of any interested chess player and all the money that she earns will be donated for the good cause. Read more about this wonderful gesture.
Having registered another victory to his name, GM Swapnil Dhopade seems to be running away with the title this year at the 55th National Challengers, Ahmedabad. In round 9 he played against the much lower rated Udit Kamdar. Although Swapnil was the clear favourite in this matchup, the youngster really cracked the whip before giving away the full point. Report with pictures, games and analysis.
Despite not playing competitive chess regularly due to his studies in Kiev, Ukraine, IM Anwesh Upadhyaya of Odisha managed to win National Rapid Chess Championship 2017 by scoring 9 points out of 11 rounds. It was a race to the finish line between Anwesh and two IM norms holder P. Saravana Krishnan from Tamil Nadu. In the end both of them lost their last rounds, but still managed to finish at the top. Anwesh took the gold and Saravana the silver. We have a detailed report with pictures and many exciting videos by Shahid Ahmed.
Levon Aronian is on a roll! After winning the Norway Chess 2017 in a convincing manner, he now dominated the Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz and won it with a three-point margin. Garry Kasparov played some scintillating chess on the final day as he scored 6.0/9 and showing the world that he might have retired, but he still could beat the best. Vishy Anand, however, could not make a comeback. He won only one blitz game out of 18 rounds. We have the full report from Saint Louis.
Having jointly led the tournament almost all the way through, GM Himanshu Sharma dropped down from the pedestal after suffering a loss against GM Lalith Babu MR in round 8 of the 55th National Challengers. His teammate with whom he was leading the event before this round, GM Swapnil Dhopade, continued to impress and convincingly defeated SL Narayanan in 35 moves. Report with games, analysis and pictures.
There is something about Harikrishna's plays that leaves us all enchanted. Perhaps it is his accuracy in playing the endgames, or perhaps it is his ability to find the continuations to pose maximum problems to his "human" opponents or maybe it is just that he calculates lines very precisely. Whatever, it is, Harikrishna managed to use these skills to play power packed chess at the Biel Festival. Just when it seemed that he would win the event, he played a poor game against Bacrot in the last round and had to settle for the third spot. Analysis of Hari's key victories and a report from the event.
The GMAX Album 1st Chess Beacon FIDE Rated Chess Tournament was quite a spectacle in the royal Rajasthani city of Jaipur. It was organised purely with the aim of promoting the game and was successful in all respects. The tournament attracted 460 participants from all across the country. In fact, there was one player from Bangladesh too. The organisers also gave free entries to 12 kids from a local orphange. Deepak Katiyar won the tournament with a score of 7.5/9 and Prince Bajaj completed his IM title formalities by reaching 2400 on the Elo list. Here's an extensive report with pictures by tournament director Rishi Kaushik.
Sergey Karjakin showed why he is the world blitz champion as he amassed eight points out of a possible nine on day one of the Saint Louis Blitz. This helped him come closer to Levon Aronian on top of the leaderboard, but the Armenian maintained his consistent play and leads the combined rapid and blitz event by two points. With the players getting five minutes each and three seconds delay, it would be a bit too much to not expect errors, but having played the Sinquefield Cup and the rapid section, the fatigue surely had a say in many of the games. Saravanan reports from Saint Louis.