Chess: India

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This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.

Contents

Commonwealth chess championships

Top England, Canada players avoid, so India monopolises

June 25, 2018: The Hindu


Over the years, the Commonwealth chess championship has increasingly resembled a miniature version of the Indian National championship. Whether it is the Open section — involving men and women — or the age-group categories, the Indians have hardly missed a medal.

Though the country’s best have stayed away from this competition it has, in no way, slowed the Indian juggernaut. The continued absence of the elite players from England and Canada means India will once again virtually monopolise the medals when the action begins here on Tuesday.

The list of 13 Grandmasters — all Indians — is headed by 2014 champion Deep Sengupta, ranked 15th in the country. That is the true reflection on the lack of worthiness of the Commonwealth title for the Indian elite. The field also has 15 IMs and two WGMs. For the record, there are 134 Indians in a field of 166. Among those missing from the field is the four-time winner and defending champion Abhijeet Gupta.

On the brighter side, the organisation of this event has improved dramatically since 2016. This year the competition returns to the Leela Ambience Convention Hotel here. Unlike last year, the main action will be at the spacious ground floor hall.

In the seven age-groups, where the competition will be held separately for girls, as well, Indian talent is set to come to the fore.

The top-10 seeds are: 1. Deep Sengupta (2526), 2. Vaibhav Suri (2556), 3. Deepan Chakkravarthy (2531), 4. M. R. Lalit Babu (2529), 5. V.Vishnu Prasanna (2525), 6. Debashis Das (2522), 7. Swapnil Dhopade (2495), 8. M. S. Thej Kumar (2495), 9. Abhijit Kunte (2494), 10. V. Karthik (2475).

FIDE’s rating list

2016: two Indian players in world's top 10

IANS, GM Harikrishna enters top 10 in rankings. Nov 07 2016


Indian GM, who is in the elite list, is former world champion V . Anand (2779) at the seventh place.

Indian Grandmaster P. Harikrishna on Sunday became the second Indian chess player to join the elite club of world's top 10, as per the rating list released by the game's global body FIDE. As per the latest rating list of FIDE for the month of November 2016, the 30-year-old Harikrishna was ranked 10th with 2768 points.

This is the first in the history of Indian chess that two players figure in the world's top 10 ranking list.

2017

Rising talent

India Today.in , King’s Indian Defence “India Today” 5/5/2017

Three talented Indian chess players-one of them only eleven-are steadily climbing the world rankings

Perhaps due to the long winter nights, Icelanders are mad-keen on chess. With a population of only around 300,000, the country boasts 13 Grand Masters-the highest rank-and a total of 59 titled players. It's no surprise that the annual Reykjavik Open is one of the most popular tournaments in competitive chess.

But Indians are emerging as a force to be reckoned with. This year, a 16-player Indian contingent competed in the Reykjavik Open, from April 19-27. Holland's Anish Giri finished first. But 27-year-old Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta, who won in 2016, shared second place. Three youngsters-R. Vaishali, Nihal Sarin and R.R. Praggnanandhaa (Vaishali's younger brother)-stood out in particular.

Chess ratings are based on performances against other rated players. To be awarded a title-a lifetime award, like an academic degree-a player must earn a certain score across 25 tournament games. The highest title is International Grandmaster (GM); the second-highest is International Master (IM) or Woman Grandmaster (WGM). A Woman International Master (WIM), Chennai's Vaishali is 16 years old. An IM who scored his first Grandmaster norm less than a month ago, Thrissur-based Nihal is 12.

Eleven-year-old Praggnanandhaa, or 'Pragga', is the world's youngest-ever IM. He's tipped to become the youngest-ever GM, eclipsing Sergei Karjakin, who won the title aged 12 years, seven months. Pragga has until January 2018 to break Karjakin's record and Nihal could be among the youngest ever as well. Vaishali deserves attention in her own right. She had dropped off the circuit while she was swotting for her Class X exams and she's back with a bang. All three did well, winning and drawing matches against strong GMs. Nihal and Pragga both scored 6 from their 10 games while Vaishali scored 5.

Vaishali and Pragga's father, Rameshbabu, is a bank officer. Their mother, Nagalakshmi, is a homemaker. Fearing their kids were becoming TV addicts, they enrolled Vaishali in GM R.B. Ramesh's Gurukul Chess Academy. Vaishali says she now puts in eight hours a day. Pragga, who followed in her footsteps, prefers about three hours. Nihal's parents (both doctors) were looking for a way to keep a hyperactive kid occupied. His grandfather taught him chess.

GM Ramesh is India's foremost trainer, known for his inspirational and no-nonsense style. He says, "Vaishali is very talented and also level-headed and practical." About Pragga, he says, "He has a fantastic memory. He knows the mistakes he's made without being told and his analysis is very mature." Nihal also has a fantastic memory-he memorised every national flag by the age of three and knows the birth year of every active GM.

It can only be a matter of time before the titles begin to come in for this trio.

12 medals at Asian Youth Championship

April 8, 2017: DNA

Indian team ruled the roost at the Asian Youth Chess Championship in Tashkent, where they finished on top with a rich haul of 12 medals, including four gold.

According to information received in Chennnai, the gold medal were won by Aakanksha Hagawane (Under-18 Girls), Erigaisi Arjun (Under-14 Open), Jishitha D (Under-14 Girls) and Sahithi Varshini M (Under-10 Girls).

The silver medal winners were Sai Vishwesh C (Under-18 Open), Jyothsna L (Under-14 Girls), Rakshitta Ravi (Under-12 Girls), B Savitha Shri B (Under-10 Girls) and A R Ilamparathi (Under-8 Open).

Rohith Krishna S (under-12 Open), Divya Deshmukh (Under-12 Girls) and Tanmay Jain (Under-10 Open) won bronze medals. India topped the medal tally with a haul of 12 followed by host Uzbekistan (10). 

World junior (Under-20) 

Amit Karmarkar, Indians shine in World Jr chess, November 26, 2017: The Times of India


It was not India’s best performance in the World junior (Under-20) chess meet but it was among the most fruitful ones. R Praggnanandhaa, just 12, had a chance to become the world’s youngest Grand Master (GM) before finishing fourth (joint second) in the event at Tarvisio, an autonomous region in Italy, on Saturday. His Tamil Nadu mate GM Aravindh Chithambaram, gunning for the title, finished with a bronze (tied first). And GM Murali Karthikeyan finished seventh(seebox at theend).

It was not like the one-two that Abhijeet Gupta and Parimarjan Negi came up with in 2008, besidesD Harika’s goldin the girls’ section. The top six ranked juniors among theboys and top five among the girlswere also missing from this U-20 meet. Still, it was a heartwarming performance by the Indians. Praggu had played this meet as a special FIDEentry after his coach GM RB Ramesh requestedAICFtoconsider his case based on age and rating. Both Chithambaram and Praggu are from his Chess Gurukul academy.

Praggu’s sister R Vaishali, 16, is also his student. Vaishail finished 17th with 6.5 points in the girls’ section of World Juniors. Pune’s Aakanksha Hagawane was 11th withseven points. Rameshhad coachedIndian men’s team to their first ever Olympiad medal in 2014.

Another notable Indian performance came from 16-year-old Tarini Goyal (Elo 2062) who was the brand ambassador of gender equality through her deeds. She played in the Open (boys) section of the event and dared to suffer with just four points. She would have been the 52nd seed in the girls’ section but chose to be 131st seed among boys.

R Praggnanandhaa was in with a chance to create history. If he had beaten GM Rasmus Sven of Germany in thelast round, he could have won the World junior title and become the youngest GM ever. But he could only draw the 11th and last game.

2018

Anand wins Tata Steel India Blitz

Anand shows class, clinches blitz title, November 15, 2018: The Times of India


Legendary Viswanathan Anand stepped it up in grand style to win the inaugural Tata Steel Chess India Blitz Tournament beating overnight leader Hikaru Nakamura in the play-off.

Placed fourth after the first leg on Tuesday, the 48-year-old had a dream run on the final day to secure six wins and three draws in the nine rounds to draw level with the world No 3 American Nakamura to force a play-off.

In the two-round play-off, which was faster than blitz in a reduced time format of a three-minute game, Anand won with white pieces, before drawing with black to seal the issue 1.5-0.5. “I wanted to show the audience what is that I do in some other parts of the world all the time and it was nice to be able to do it here,” Anand, who played in Kolkata for the first time after the third Goodricke Open in 1992, said.

“It was just the most magical day for me... Here, I did not have any problem with motivation. It genuinely meant a lot to me to do well here,” Anand added. The legend was also playing his first competition in India after being dethroned in the 2013 World Championship by Magnus Carlsen at his hometown.

“It’s long been a dream of mine. And we have ticked the other boxes, we have good opens, we have strong players. But the one thing that was lacking was frequent visits by the top players in the world. Now we have that. So it meant a lot to me to be able to play here in India and especially here in Kolkata,” Anand who played his first GM tournament here in 1986 said.

In the blitz category, the five-time World Champion of classical chess had last won a bronze medal at the World Championship in December 2017 Riyadh.

Asian Youth Championship

35 Medals at Asian Youth Championship

April 10, 2018: All India Chess Federation


India bagged  Gold Medals in Asian Youth Chess Championships 2018 at Chiangmai, Thailand. In recent years, India has been dominating the Asian Youth Chess Championships. This year is no different, our young budding chess players bagged a total of 35 medals out of which 14 are Gold. This feat made India comfortably placed ahead of Vietnam which had 21 medals. China was in third place but far behind the top two with just 14 medals. More than 90 youngsters represented India in the six age-category Asian Meet played in all the three – Rapid, Classical and Blitz formats. Notably, 12-year-old IM Gukesh D. secured Gold in all three formats.


Standard-GOLD

Kadam Om Manish (U-10 Boys)

IM Gukesh D (U-12 Boys)

WCM Sahithi Varshini M (U-12 Girls)

FM Raja Rithvik R (U-14 Boys)


Standard-SILVER

Anupam M Sreekumar (U-10 Girls)

Bristy Mukherjee (U-14 Girls)

Vatsal Singhania (U-16 Boys)

Makhija Aashna (U-16 Girls)


Standard-BRONZE

Adireddy Arjun (U-08 Boys)

Rajanya Datta (U-10 Girls)

CM Kushagra Mohan (U-14 Boys)

Jain Nityata (U-14 Girls)

Sankalp Gupta (U-16 Boys)


Rapid-GOLD

Adireddy Arjun (U-08 Boys)

IM Gukesh D (U-12 Boys)

WCM Sahithi Varshini M (U-12 Girls)

WCM Mrudul Dehankar (U-14 Girls)

WFM Salonika Saina (U-16 Girls)

WFM Arpita Mukherjee (U-18 Girls)


Rapid-SILVER

Savitha Shri B (U-12 Girls)

AGM Srihari L R (U-14 Boys)

Koustav Chatterjee (U-16 Boys)


Rapid-Bronze

FM Mitrabha Guha (U-18 Boys)


Blitz-Gold

CM Gukesh D (U-12 Boys)

FM Raja Rithvik R (U-14 Boys)

WFM Divya Deshmukh (U-14 Girls)

FM Mitrabha Guha (U-18 Boys)

WIM Aakanksha Hagawane (U-18 Girls)


Blitz-Silver

Srihari L R (U-14 Boys)

WCM Mrudul Dehankar (U-14 Girls)

Sanskriti Goyal (U-16 Boys)


Blitz-Bronze

WCM Sahithi Varshini M (U-12 Girls)

WCM Jyothsna L (U-14 Girls)

Raahul V S (U-16 Bronze)

Asian Cup: Indian men, women win medals in standard, rapid, blitz 

Archiman Bhaduri, August 5, 2018: The Times of India


India underlined their status as the continental powerhouse in chess by bagging a handful of medals in the Asian Nations Cup that concluded at Hamadan, Iran.

It was a comprehensive show by the Indian players with the men’s as well as the women’s teams finishing on the podium in all the three categories — standard, rapid and blitz — of the biennial team event.

India’s superb show on the chequered board, which came a little over a month before the Chess Olympiad, is sure to boost the country’s chances in the event as a number of players who will represent the country at the Olympiad also showed their mettle in the Asian Nations Cup.

The Indian women’s team comprising GM Dronavalli Harika, International Masters Padmini Rout and Eesha Karavade will also be taking part in the Chess Olympiad.

While the men’s team won silver in the classical section and bronze in rapid format, their women counterpart claimed the gold in blitz, silver in rapid and bronze in classical events.

The tournament began with the second-seeded women’s side comprising IMs Padmini and Eesha and Women’s International Masters (WIMs) R Vaishali and Aakanksha Hagawane, finishing with 10 points in the seven-round rapid event. The Indian girls won four, drew two and lost against China who ended on 14 points wining all their matches.

Abu Dhabi Masters: Sarin becomes Grandmaster

August 16, 2018: The Times of India


Nihal Sarin became the 53rd Grandmaster of India despite losing his final round game to Richard Rapport of Hungary in the ninth and final round of Abu Dhabi Masters. The 14-year-old Nihal tallied 5.5 points out of a possible nine and the final GM norm came the Kerala boy’s way with one round to spare.

Aravindh Chithambaram lost to Salem Saleh in a keenly contested Sicilian game in the final round.

Olympiad

Indian men finish sixth, women eighth

October 6, 2018: The Times of India


India had a disappointing outing at the 43rd Chess Olympiad with the men’s team finishing a poor sixth and the women ending their campaign at a lowly eighth spot here on Friday. Seeded fifth at the start of the event, the Indian men played out a 2-2 draw against Poland in the11th round,whilethewomen recovered some lost ground to beat Mongolia 3-1 after facing some anxious moments Both the Indian men and women’s teams finished their campaign garnering 16 match points each. It was a day of drama for the medal contenders but India’s hopes had waned once China and United

States settled for a 2-2 draw on the top board and Russian men beat France 2.5-1.5 to reach an identical 18 points.

The tie-break depended on the Sonenborn-Berger, the chess equivalent of Duckworth-Lewis though a bit less complicated. The tiebreak is based on each tied team’s performance against their respective 11 rivals and in the end China pipped United States to take the gold in the men’s section while the Russians ended with the bronze medal.

It was a double treat for China as they came back from jaws of defeat in the women’s section against Russia and the 2-2 draw was enough to win the gold. Tying with Chinese women on 18 points, Ukrainian ladies won the silver here while the bronze went to Georgia 1.

2019

World Team Chess: Indian men lose to Russia in final round

India slip in final round, March 15, 2019: The Times of India


It turned out to be a disappointing final round for the Indian men as they went downing fighting against Russia 1.5-2.5 in the ninth and final round of the World Team Chess Championship on Thursday. Having done some real hard work to be joint second after the penultimate rounds, a 2-2 results would given Indian a bronze and a victory would have ensured the silver medal for the team. But unfortunately, the loss came from position of strength.

National champion Aravindh Chithambaram missed out on a great opportunity to beat Dmitry Andreikin on the fourth board and Surya Ganguly, despite trying very hard, could not convert a complex but advantageous position against Ian Nepomniachtchi on the second board. Both these games ended in draws.

B Adhiban did his bit and drew with Sergey Karjakin on the top board earlier in the day but S P Sethuraman lost a long-drawn game against Alexander Grischuk on the third board, putting an end to Indian hopes of a medal despite being among the front runners from day one.

See also

Divya Deshmukh

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