A surprise from India at the scenic Sitges in Barcelona
by Niklesh Jain - 13 August 2017
Our Spanish trip is coming to an end. Nearing its close, this 53-day-long journey of ours took us to Sitges, a coastal town south-west of Barcelona which is renowned for its beauty across the globe. Besides enjoying the town’s sandy beaches, our aim here was to make it big at the 43rd Sitges International Chess Open. As the tournament concluded, the young Peruvian GM Cori Jorge etched his name on the title prize. Unfortunately for the Indian contingent, none of the players was able to finish among the top 10. 50-year-old IM Anup Deshmukh’s scintillating performance outshined all young stars as he finished as the best Indian performer at the event. Anyway, seeing our motherland make its presence felt in a foreign land filled our hearts with respect and pride. In this article, Niklesh Jain takes you on a Spanish journey.
The fourth stop of our journey that began on the 22nd of June in India was the picturesque coastal town of Sitges. We were here as the participants of the 43rd International Chess Open Vila De Sitges
Sitges is one of the biggest tourist attractions of Spain...
...and as far as the eye can see, there's the deep blue sea!
The tournament hall was just as colourful as the town itself. Such things really inspire you to play!
And as the games began, the place emanated festive vibes
Truly, chess is miniature life!
No player from the Indian posse was able to finish on the podium. Peruvian GM Cori Jorge took the top spot with an outstanding performance of 8.5/9. A point behind him was GM Sergey Volkov who finished second with a score of 7.5/9. Cuba’s IM Kevel Oliva not only bagged the third spot but also finished with a GM norm.
Here's what the tournament's winner GM Cori Jorge had to say
In this fourth event of the Catalan Circuit, veteran IM Anup Deshmukh proved his mettle yet again and was the best Indian performer at the event. IM Deshmukh was the country’s best sub-junior player in his heydey and was considered just as talented as the Madras Tiger, Vishy Anand. Not to mention, he had beaten the five-time World Champion twice at the National Championship back then. Even today, at the age of 50, his spirited play over this 53-day-long trip serves as an inspiration to all.
Scoring a total of 6.0/9, he finished joint 12th and won the prize for the best performer in the U-2250 category. Interestingly enough, this is the third out of the four tournaments he has played in the Catalan Circuit where he has won this prize.
The young Indian WIM Vantika Agrawal won both the Best Woman and Best Junior prize at the event
[Event "43 Open Internacional d'Escacs Vila de S"] [Site "Sitges (Barcelona)"] [Date "2017.07.28"] [Round "7.18"] [White "Gonzales, Jayson"] [Black "Vantika, Agrawal"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A48"] [WhiteElo "2399"] [BlackElo "2230"] [PlyCount "50"] [EventDate "2017.07.22"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "ESP"]
In a town as beautiful as Sitges, playing chess is so much more pleasurable. After a hard fought round at the tournament, there’s the cool breeze of the sea to rejuvenate! If you would like to get a taste of this experience, I must tell you that the town will be hosting yet another chess festival – the Sunway Chess Festival – in December this year. Don’t forget to write to ChessBase India if you’d like to participate.
All your chess needs – be it participation, accommodation, ticket booking or visa assistance – can be taken care of by ChessBase India Power.
To know more about the Sunway International Chess Festival, we reached the festival’s venue, Hotel Sunway Playa Golf and Spa. But little did we know what a huge surprise we were in for!
This century old teak wood door from east India was kept very respectfully as an exhibit at the hotel. Needless to say, this left us filled with pride and joy!
Along with the engraved image of Lord Krishna, the door had an inscription on it which stated that it was made in 1916 by Mr Ramati Pattedalal and probably, it got its final touches on October 5, 1916. What’s intriguing is that even after so many years since its making, the door’s workmanship is being appreciated in an entirely different corner of the world!
The hotel’s manager has also been to India and he told us that the door was possibly brought to the hotel on a ship from India by the ancestors of the hotel owners.
When you see something from India kept so lovingly and respectfully, you automatically feel a sense of pride within you.
On the request of the organisers, we stayed in Sitges for three days. They even arranged bicycles for us to explore the city!
And I think nobody should miss the chance of bicycling through such a beautiful town set by the sea
The sun and the sea breeze! You need nothing more to unwind.
Oh well... almost nothing!
The scenic Sitges!
Life, they say, is a journey...
and this journey keeps me going...
Beholding this tranquil blue, I couldn't help wondering where the sea ends and sky begins!
I hope you liked this part of the Spanish Diary. I'll see you again in the next part.