Author: Priyadarshan Banjan

While his friend Nihal Sarin thinks Banjan must be the worst chessplayer to have ever lived, his love for the game runs deep. After learning chess at 16 and playing tournaments across India, he dropped out of college and CA at 19 and hitchhiked across southern India and lived in a home for homeless before chess returned to rescue him. Since then, he has worked as a coach for a year, organized tournaments, marketed chess, worked as a chess journalist, acted as an official photographer in several tournaments, worked as a manager for a couple of (incredibly) talented titled players, and edited the best chess news portal of the world (ChessBase). He co-founded ChessMine with the goal of making chess a financially powerful sport.

Vardhaman Cup: Tamil Nadu Trio dominate the tournament

Hyderabad (08 Dec 2017): The sixth and the seventh round began to witness heavyweight clashes as the top seeds started facing each other.

In the sixth round, Tamil Nadu’s Senthil Maran, rated 2208, beat joint leader Balkishan A. of Karnataka, rated 2043 to become the second leader of the tournament. The game saw Balkishan execute four back to back piece sacrifices, to gain a fairly good position. However, at the crucial moment he faltered. In the end, he had a draw but just at that moment where he had to force the draw, there was more drama in store —there was a minor power cut in the hall
which lasted for 2 minutes. This minor lapse in concentration provided Senthil Maran the chance to play for a win which he did.

A fantastic turnaround! Telangana lad Krishna Karthik N., rated 1649, who was having a golden run against higher ranked opponents had to bite the dust against Tamil Nadu’s young Sibi Visal, rated 1984.

In the seventh round, Senthil Maran was pitted against Zimbabwe No. 4 Spencer Masango. In another interesting game, Senthil, who was black fought hard but the game was drawn. This was all the other Tamil Nadu young-guns needed.

The top-seed Sekar B. defeated Telangana’s experienced player FIDE Master J. Ramakrishna of Andhra Bank with white. This allowed Sekarbto catch Senthil Maran in the lead. Tamil Nadu’s Lokesh N. too took his chances to beat state-mate Sibi Visal to join Sekar and Senthil in the lead. The Tamil Nadu trio has scored 6.0/9 points.

The tournament is jam-packed with young talents whose rating may not reflect their current strength as most young players train hard and improve fast.

In the Blitz Tournament – – fast chess format with 3 minutes per player – – that was held at night
at the playing arena, Tamil Nadu’s Said Kannan, rated 1935, took the first place.

Pairings/Results

Round 7 on 2017/12/08 at 10.00 am

Bo. No. Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts. Name Rtg No.
1 3 Masango Spencer 2253 5 ½ – ½ Senthil Maran K 2208 5
2 1 Sekar B 2274 5 1 – 0 5 FM Ramakrishna J. 2149 6
3 4 Lokesh N. 2228 5 1 – 0 5 Sibi Visal R 1984 12
4 8 Likhit Chilukuri 2092 ½ – ½ 5 Bharat Kumar Reddy Poluri 2141 7
5 23 Sai Kiran Y 1743 0 – 1 Balkishan A. 2043 10
6 13 WCM Jyothsna L 1983 1 – 0 Karthik Sai Ch 1707 27
7 19 Sannidhanam Anurag 1811 ½ – ½ Samal Aditya Ranjan 1697 30
8 2 Singh S. Vikramjit 2256 4 1 – 0 4 Aswin.P.G 1703 28
9 26 Ruban Sanjay M 1713 4 0 – 1 4 Manigandan S S 2084 9
10 11 Badrinath S. 2025 4 0 – 1 4 Duvvala Suresh 1713 25

Vardhaman Cup: Minor Flutter in the Second and Third Round

Vardhaman Cup FIDE Rated Open 2017

At the end of three rounds, ten players are leading the tournament with the perfect score. The second and the third rounds of the Vardhaman Cup FIDE Rating Chess Tournament witnessed minor flutters on the top tables.

Spencer Masango of Zimbabwe

In the second round, Hyderabadi youngster Sai Varshith Chilukuri, rated 1672, managed to hold the competition’s second seed Spencer Masango of Zimbabwe, who is rated 2253. Experienced FIDE Master J. Ramakrishna, rated 2149, was beaten with the black pieces by Andhra boy Krishna Karthik N., rated 1649.

B. Sekar

In the third round, it was the turn of the top seed to be surprised. B. Sekar, rated 2274, played the black pieces and attacked Andhra Pradesh’s Ajay Mushini, rated 1770, in a Sicilain Defence game. Just when it seemed like he would coast to yet another victory, Sekar fumbled and the game was drawn.

Ajay Mushini
Krishna Karthik N.

Meanwhile, 1649 rated Krishna Karthik N. continued his giant killing spree with a clinical demolition of the 14th seeded Tamil Nadu player Sa Kannan, rated 1935. Karthik thus moved into the lead with nine others with 3.0/3 points.

Pairings/Results

Round 3 on 2017/12/06 at 10.00 am

Bo. No. Name Typ Rtg Club/City Pts. Result Pts. Name Typ Rtg Club/City No.
1 21 Mushini Ajay 1770 AP 2 ½ – ½ 2 Sekar B 2274 TN 1
2 4 Lokesh N. 2228 TN 2 1 – 0 2 Abhirami Madabushi F13 1718 AP 24
3 25 Duvvala Suresh 1713 Tel 2 0 – 1 2 Bharat Kumar Reddy Poluri 2141 AP 7
4 26 Ruban Sanjay M U13 1713 TN 2 0 – 1 2 Balkishan A. 2043 Kar 10
5 11 Badrinath S. 2025 PON 2 1 – 0 2 Samal Aditya Ranjan U13 1697 Orissa 30
6 27 Karthik Sai Ch U13 1707 AP 2 0 – 1 2 Sibi Visal R U15 1984 TN 12
7 31 AIM Mohammed Shamil A 1690 TN 2 0 – 1 2 Selvabharathy T 1963 TN 14
8 15 AGM Sa Kannan 1935 TN 2 0 – 1 2 Krishna Karthik N 1649 AP 36
9 42 Nanditha V F15 1599 Tel 2 0 – 1 2 Nikhil M 1883 AP 16
10 17 Sri Sai Baswanth P 1846 Tel 2 1 – 0 2 Suhaib Ahmad 1503 UP 50

 

Vardhaman Cup off to a Glittering Start

Vardhaman Cup FIDE Rated Open 2017

Hyderabad (05 Dec 17):-  The  1st edition of Vardhaman Cup FIDE Rating Open Chess Tournament got off to a surprising start as unheralded Basant N. of Maharashtra, rated just 1375, held the second seed Vikramajit Singh of Manipur, rated 2256, to a credible draw in the opening round.

Vikramajit Singh
B. Sekar

The top seed B. Sekar of Tamil Nadu, rated 2274, had a positive outing to dispatch his lower rated opponent rated 1377. The third seed Spencer Masango of Zimbabwe also won quite quickly against Rajendra A., rated 1373.

Spencer Masango of Zimbabwe

There were many instances of lower rated Telangana youngsters holding their higher rated counterparts in a deadlock but almost no result saw a major upset as the more experienced players always came out victorious.

A total number of 150 players from 10 states, and some also from foreign countries like Australia and Zimbabwe have made this tournament a memorable affair.

Earlier, in the opening ceremony, Dr. Sai Satyanarayana Reddy, Principal of the Vardhaman College of Engineering, formally inaugurated the tournament by making the customary first move in the presence of Mr. K.S. Prasad, the Secretary of the Telangana State Chess Association.

In the opening ceremony, Dr. Sai Satyanarayana Reddy affirmed his love for chess and provided his commitment to supporting the sport as it closely identifies with the mission of the college to spread top-quality engineering education. He commented “This event speaks for the commitment that all of us in the Vardhaman College of Engineering hold for chess. Do your best and compete in the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play. And also take this opportunity to come closer to each other.”

Pairings/Results

Round 3 on 2017/12/06 at 10.00 am

Bo. No. Name Typ Rtg Club/City Pts. Result Pts. Name Typ Rtg Club/City No.
1 21 Mushini Ajay 1770 AP 2 2 Sekar B 2274 TN 1
2 4 Lokesh N. 2228 TN 2 2 Abhirami Madabushi F13 1718 AP 24
3 25 Duvvala Suresh 1713 Tel 2 2 Bharat Kumar Reddy Poluri 2141 AP 7
4 26 Ruban Sanjay M U13 1713 TN 2 2 Balkishan A. 2043 Kar 10
5 11 Badrinath S. 2025 PON 2 2 Samal Aditya Ranjan U13 1697 Orissa 30
6 27 Karthik Sai Ch U13 1707 AP 2 2 Sibi Visal R U15 1984 TN 12
7 31 AIM Mohammed Shamil A 1690 TN 2 2 Selvabharathy T 1963 TN 14
8 15 AGM Sa Kannan 1935 TN 2 2 Krishna Karthik N 1649 AP 36
9 42 Nanditha V F15 1599 Tel 2 2 Nikhil M 1883 AP 16
10 17 Sri Sai Baswanth P 1846 Tel 2 2 Suhaib Ahmad 1503 UP 50

Swedish Industry Meets Suburbs – In Chess

The Swedish Chess Academy and The Swedish chess federation will on October 20 organize the social project “The Swedish industry meets suburbs” in Stockholm.  This initiative is an effort to create more inclusion of people of ethnic minorities in Sweden through chess, says GM Pontus Carlsson the main organizer for the event.

GM Pontus Carlsson

This initiative is an effort to create more inclusion of people of ethnic minorities in Sweden through chess, says GM Pontus Carlsson the main organizer for the event.

Chess benefits millions because of its widespread appeal to all regardless of social background.

The tournament pairs a business executive with a child from the suburbs in a team where they alternate moves (without discussion). Sixteen teams compete and the format of the tournament is a round robin with four teams and four groups. The group winners qualify for two semifinal matches and finally, there it is knockout until one winner is crowned.

Astronaut Christer Fuglesang

Among the players are Jan Stahlberg, Partner of EQT and Christer Fuglesang, astronaut and Swedish first and only man in space.

“We will broadcast the games live on the Internet and we also plan to broadcast on Web TV via YouTube,” says media officer Ingemar Falk.

The event “The Swedish industry meets suburbs” starts on October 20 at 7:30 PM IST and will last until 10.30 PM IST.

Who will come forward to do this in India?

José Raúl Capablanca’s Blunder

José Raúl Capablanca had a reputation for being one of the greatest chessplayers that ever lived, with his hallmark endgame display enchanting many a fan. Capa learned to play chess at the age of four on his own while watching his father and uncle play. His father came to know about it when he saw his son laughing after he made an illegal move with his knight.

When the father asked if he knew how to play, he replied he could beat him. And he did. In the ten years of tournament play, between 1914 and 1924, Capa lost only ONE game. In fact, between 1914 and 1927, Capablanca had played 158 tournament and match games, and had only lost FOUR.

‘Capablanca was the greatest genius of chess.’ — Alexander Alekhine, fourth Word Champion

‘I have known many chess players but only one genius, Capablanca’ — Emanuel Lasker, second World Champion

However, the third world champion had a reputation for something else as well.

In 1929, Capa was playing with Black pieces against Fritz Samisch at Carlsbad.

Capablanca, who is black, has to make a move and there are several good choices. But, here he noticed something fishy.

As Garry Kasparov notes in his famous book My Great Predecessors’: A beautiful brunette appeared in the hall–his wife Gloria, who had turned up out of the blue from Havana.

But in that particular tournament, he was having an affair with a blonde.

Seeing both his wife and mistress in the same hall, a visibly shaken Capablanca made the worst move of his life.

Capa played 9…Ba6??, losing a piece on the spot after 10. Qa4 Bb7 11. d5.

It is a testimony to Capablanca’s humongous strength that despite being a piece down, he almost saved the game (but lost in the end).

If only Lasker knew about this before he lost the World Title to the incredible Cuban.

Capablanca also featured in a Russian film called ‘Chess Fever’ where a disgruntled wife is about to commit suicide because her husband is madly in love with chess. In the final part of the movie that you can see in the video below, Capablanca walks in at 6:00, takes the woman for a ride in his car. By the time the video ends, the woman is already chess mad herself and falls in love with her husband yet again.