16th Delhi International Open Chess Tournament 2018 Print
Sunday, 14 January 2018 13:58

Round 8: Naiditsch breaks through Karthikeyan's Berlin Wall

The eighth round of the 16th Delhi GM Open was destined to be a cracker of a contest. There were two players tied in the lead with 6.5/7 — Double Indian champion GM Karthikeyan Murali, rated 2580, and the top seed GM Arkadij Naiditsch of Azerbaijan rated 2701. Furthermore, there were 15 players tied just behind them at 5.5/7.

Naiditsch had the white pieces against Karthikeyan and he decided to open with the king's pawn, to which the Indian replied with the notoriously famous Berlin Defence. The resulting queenless position is a well-known middlegame that is closer to the endgame than most other structures. Naiditsch displayed supreme strategic understanding to use his minor pieces to dominate over Karthikeyan's army. Karthikeyan surrendered on the 29th move.

signed 20180114 Delhi Open 1697 Arkadij Naiditsch AZERBAIJAN
GM Arkadij Naiditsch (photo credit David Llada)

Arkadij Naiditsch now leads with 7.5/8 and has all but sealed his victory.

Among the fifteen players pursuing the Azeri and Indian, four games saw results. GM Sergei Tiviakov, rated 2584, effortlessly crushed Indian IM Harsha Bharathakoti. Bangladesh's GM Ziaur Rahman made a good comeback after a sad loss to the top seed in the last round. He defeated the fifth-seeded Russian GM Ivan Rozum rated 2595 with the black pieces. Rozum allowed his queenside pawns to be clamped down by Rahman's monstrously strong knight in the center. This allowed the Bangladeshi to weave threats around the white king on the kingside and force a dangerous passed pawn on f4 that finished the story for the Russian.

Akash Pc Iyer
Photo by All India Chess Federation

In a surprise victory, newly crowned International Master Akash Pc Iyer managed to outwit Ukrainian GM Vitaly Sivuk, rated 2550. On the second table, Russian GM Andrey Deviatkin rated 2471 defeated defending champion and second seed GM Farrukh Amonatov of Tajikistan.

signed 20180114 Delhi Open 1690 Andrei Deviatkin RUSSIA
GM Andrey Deviatkin (photo credit David Llada)

Delhi GM Open 2018 has been home to several norm seekers over the years and this edition is no different. Tamil Nadu's IM Aakash Pc Iyer needs a draw on the top table against the top seed Naiditsch to score a GM norm. Maharashtra's IM Md. Nubairshah Shaikh needs a win against IM P. Karthikeyan, rated 2497, to score a GM norm.

West Bengal's Kaustuv Kundu rated 2324 needs a draw against IM Harsha Bharathakoti to score an IM norm. Arjun Tiwari of the Railways with a humble rating for 2179 has outperformed the expectations and now needs a draw in the final round against IM Rahul Sangma to score an IM norm.

Maharashtra's Sammed Shete rated 2337 has completed his IM norm requirements with a round to spare. Shete had caused a flutter in the eighth round when he defeated GM Timur Gareyev of the USA rated 2605.

signed 20180114 Delhi Open 1656 Timur Gareyev USA
GM Timur Gareyev (photo credit David Llada)

Watch all games here 


Round 4: Ziaur Rahman beats Tran Tuan Minh to take sole lead

24th seed GM Ziaur Rahman of Bangladesh defeated Vietnamese GM Tran Tuan Minh to emerge as the new sole leader after the end of the fourth round of 16th Delhi International Chess tournament now underway here.

Ziaur Rahman

At the end of three rounds, eleven players were tied at 3.0/3. Rahman showed immense discipline and skill to beat Tran Tuan.

It was a Trompovsky Opening from Rahman who had the white pieces but Tran Minh played pretty accurately and was having a better position. Early in the middlegame, Black had stifled the position on the kingside where Rahman had swung his rook. Meanwhile, Rahman had expanded on the queenside.

But Tran Minh made a very strange move when he castled kingside where Rahman was able to break open the position and swiftly drum up an attack on black's king.

All other co-leaders could only draw their games and hence, the Bangladeshi grandmaster leads alone with 4.0/4.

In the B-Category with 783 players being held simultaneously, 8 rounds of play have been completed and with two rounds to go. Shubham of Haryana rated 1915, and Subhra Saha, of West Bengal, rated 1727, lead together with 7.5/8.


Round 2: Walkover Shocker for the fourth-seeded Timur Gareyev

The games had begun, the top seeds were comfortably seated on their boards. For the professional star players, it was yet another day at work. 14-year-old Koustav Chatterjee, rated 2288, was the only player waiting anxiously for his opponent. American GM Timur Gareyev, rated 2605, had 'left' the official car and had not reached the venue. He had decided that he will come to the venue on his own. The clock was ticking and the walkover time-limit of 30 minutes was fast approaching.

Already in the second round, the games began to become tougher than normal for all the top seeds. Azeri GM Arkadij Naiditsch, the top seed with a rating of 2701, had another normal day at the office as he managed to defeat Egyptian Adham Kandil, rated 2294. Third seed Arjuna Awardee GM Abhijeet Gupta rated 2610, also had a not so difficult time in dispatching FM Ankit Gajwa, rated 2284.

On the second table, unheralded Tamil Nadu youngster A.L. Muthiah rated 2291, managed to hold the second seed GM Amonatov Farrukh, rated 2636 to a draw. It was a Reti Opening in which Muthiah was applying steady pressure on the queenside with the white pieces. Around the 40th move, the Indian had a chance to keep up the pressure and go to an endgame a pawn up. But with less time on the clock, Muthiah decided to repeat his position and take the draw instead.

Timur Gareyev
Photo credit David Llada

Meanwhile, Timur Gareyev did reach the venue, but not on time. He was three minutes late. The chief arbiter Vasanth BH decided to award the point to the young Koustov Chatterjee.

Gareyev commented, "I was in the process of changing the rooms in my hotel and hence, was delayed. The kid played a nice game and it was probably drawish but he blundered in the end and lost." Gareyev sportingly decided to put the incident behind him and to focus on playing well in the rest of the tournament.

The tenth-seeded GM Diptayan Ghosh, rated 2556, was playing Odisha's Rajesh Nayak, rated 2247. Diptayan had a completely winning position with the white pieces but a hasty 36.f5 break, which turned out to be a blunder, meant that he had to settle only for a draw.

Watch all games here 


Round 1: Star Players have an easy day

The 16th edition of Delhi International Open Chess Tournament got off to a perfect start for the star players as they were off to a winning start in the opening round except for a couple of upsets among Grandmasters.

Arkadij Naiditsch

Top seed GM Arkadij Naiditsch, rated 2701, had a very easy outing after his opponent Varshini V., rated 2062, failed to create any chances and lost. Naiditsch said, "I am wary of the Indian youngsters as they are known to be dangerous and underrated. Today, it was an easy day."

Abhijeet Gupta

Second seed Arjuna Awardee GM Abhijeet Gupta rated 2610, also had a very simple victory with the black pieces against Karnataka's Likhit Chilukuri. Abhijeet leads the Indian challenge to the title.

The biggest upset of the day was that the unheralded West Bengal youngster Utsab Chatterji, rated 2005, managed to defeat Russian GM Andrei Devaitkin, rated 2471. Karthik Kumar Pradeep rated 2004, managed to beat GM Himanshu Sharma, rated 2470.

Sambit Panda held the Indian IM Iniyan P, rated 2466. Jalpan Bhatt, rated 1981, held the prodigious International Master Javokhir Sindarov of Uzbekistan, rated 2429, to a draw. Maharashtra youngster Soham Datar started the tournament on a positive note as he held Ukrainian Grandmaster Adam Tukhaev, rated 2570.

Soham Datar

A total number of 264 players, which include 27 Grandmasters, 24 International Masters are taking part in the premier section while in the Category 'B' for the players below 1999 international rating which is underway simultaneously with the premier section attracted a total number of 783 players. The third category for the players below 1599 elo rating will start on Saturday and this section already crossed the barrier 950 and entries are pouring day by day.

In total, players from 30 countries are playing in the tournament.

At the opening ceremony, Shri. Bharat Singh made a surprise move by announcing the next edition of this event with a record prize fund of Rs. 1 Crore 1 Lakh in the year 2019. Video of the cheers when he announced the news.


Delhi to be the chess world's center as Delhi GM Open 2018 kicks off

Record books will be re-written yet again. Delhi Chess Association has the unique distinction of hosting India's richest chess open tournament over the years. But this time, the city will break its own record that was set in 2017.

The 16th Delhi International Grandmaster Open is set to commence on 9 January 2018 (Tuesday) at Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium, New Delhi. The festival consists of three categories, A, B & C with a total cash prize fund of a breath-taking Rs. 77,77,777/-.

More than 2000 passionate chess players from across India are participating in this mega event which is being organized by Delhi Chess Association under the aegis of All India Chess Federation. Players from 29 countries from around the world are playing in the tournament, breaking the previous record of 28 countries set by the 2017 edition of the same tournament.

The "A" category of the tournament has managed to better itself in terms of cash prize and strength as for the first time in Indian history, a 2700+ elo rated player will be playing in a Classical GM Open.


GM Arkadij Naiditsch of Azerbaijan, rated 2701, will be the top seed of the tournament. Naiditsch is among the strongest players in the world and has beaten the current World Champion Magnus Carlsen in tournament games twice.

Farrukh Amonatov

The second seed will be Tajikistan's Farrukh Amonatov, rated 2636, who is the defending champion of the tournament.

Abhijeet Gupta

The Indian challenge will be spearheaded by the Arjuna Awardee GM Abhijeet Gupta, rated 2610. Gupta is also the third seed of the tournament.

The premier event has 27 Grand Masters and 24 International Masters in the playing field and it is going to be a lip-smacking contest among Indian young stars, fighting for GM and IM norms, and foreign grandmasters trying to establish their dominance.

The "B" group that starts along-side the main event on Tuesday has already got 700+ participants while the "C" group remains the biggest draw with the participants’ list touching close to 900. With entries still pouring in at the last minute, the organizers are sure to cross the 2000 mark in total.

Playing Arena 02

“This is a historic moment for Indian chess as we welcome the 16th edition of the Delhi GM Open. We started small back in 2003, but now it is already boasting a record prize fund. This tournament has proved to be a boon to every chess player in India. It is our honor to serve Indian chess and Indian chess players,” said Mr. Bharat Singh Chauhan, the President of Delhi Chess Association.

Playing Arena

Come Tuesday, the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium will be chock-full of chess players eager to make their moves. All the three categories are open to all participants and the registration for the "C" group is open until the 12th of January 2018.

There will be ten rounds in "A" Group and nine each in "B" and "C" group.

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