Mohammad Fahad Rahman became Bangladesh's youngest IM at the age of 16 years by winning Asian Zonal 3.2 last month. Despite losing to Bangladesh's no.1 GM Ziaur Rahman in round 3, Fahad made a strong comeback and finished at 7.0/9 along with GM Reefat Bin Sattar. Due to a better tie-break score, Fahad clinched the championship and earned the IM title. He won National Sub-Junior and National Junior title four times each from 2014-2017 and 2014, 2016- 2018 respectively. He has also won Gold medal in Western Asia Youth under-14 Blitz in 2014 and Asian Schools under-9 open in both Standard and Blitz in 2012. In this article we will see his road to becoming an IM, an interview with him and of course few annotated games by Bangladesh's man of the hour. Photo: Fahad Rahman
After grinding out a phenomenal win against Yu Yangyi in round five of the Shenzhen Masters 2019, Harikrishna went to the rest day with half a point lead. Rest days often affect the players who are in good form and most of the times their winning streak comes to an end. However, at the Shenzhen Masters 2019, nothing of that sort happened with Hari as he played another sublime endgame to beat Dmitry Jakovenko in round 6. This was Harikrishna's fourth consecutive win in the tournament and the thing to note is that all of the wins have come in the endgame! Hari now moves to 2733 on the live rating list and is world no.24! If Hari continues this form, we might well see him breaking into top world 20 by the time this tournament ends.
The rivalry between Anand and Carlsen has been legendary. Carlsen has had the upper hand in 2019 with two classical wins (Tata Steel and Shamkir) to Vishy's nil. Would Carlsen score his third win at the Grenke Chess Classic 2019? Well, he was right on track as he played an excellent opening, made Anand sweat and came extremely close to winning. But Vishy hung on. The Madras Tiger, who usually loves active defence, had to sit with a passive position, while Magnus could improve his position in whichever way he liked. But Anand didn't budge. Carlsen had quite a few winning opportunities, but he didn't manage to find them and Anand drew the game. A great psychological victory for the Indian no. 1.
Two top Indian players are in action this April - Vishy Anand is playing at the Grenke Chess 2019 in Germany, while Harikrishna is fighting it out in China at the Shenzhen Masters 2019. On this page you can follow the games of both Anand and Harikrishna as they take on some of the best players in the world. Anand will be up against guys like Carlsen, Caruana, Aronian, MVL and others, while Hari has his plate full facing Ding Liren, Anish Giri, Yu Yangyi and co. Harikrishna's games begin at 11.30 a.m. IST while Anand's games begin at 6.30 p.m. IST. It's a great time for Indian chess to have one of our players in both the super tournaments that are currently in progress!
Round two of the Grenke Chess 2019 saw a very interesting pairing. The oldest player in the field Vishy Anand took on the youngest - 14-year-old Vincent Keymer. Just as we had expected Keymer went for the most aggressive line - the Sicilian Najdorf and tried to put pressure on Anand from the word go. But Vishy's experience helped him to tackle the youngster's aggression in the perfect manner. Rather than lashing out, Anand played in a calm manner, improving his position bit by bit. Very soon Vincent went wrong and Vishy managed to bring home the full point quite easily. Two other important news of the day were Magnus Carlsen's magical endgame play against Vallejo Pons and Peter Svilder excellent knight manoeuvre to beat Arkadij Naiditsch. Check out our illustrated round two report.
Beating Rapport was not easy, but Hari managed it. Defeating Ding Liren was even tougher but Harikrishna achieved that as well. But what he did in round 5 was just extra special. Why? Because he had the black pieces! Against a world class player like Yu Yangyi (2751), when you reach an equalish position like Hari did in the game, you would more often than not agree to a draw. But Harikrishna is in phenomenal form. Just like Magnus Carlsen, Hari is also grinding down his opponents in a royal manner. That's exactly what he did to his Chinese opponent. The game against Yu Yangyi had some special moments which we analyze in this report. With this third win in a row the Indian GM is now the sole leader as we move into the rest day.
When you sit opposite the World Champion it is already a difficult feeling. You know that man is the best chess player on the planet and when he gives it his all, he is able to perform at an Elo of 3000 like he did at Shamkir just a couple of weeks ago. But for a 14-year-old such statures and titles do not matter. Youngsters are fearless and that is what Vincent Keymer showed in round one of the Grenke Masters 2019. He fought for nearly 6.5 hours against Magnus Carlsen and made the World Champion stretch for the full point. In fact the position was even until move 67 but then Keymer blundered. This was the only decisive game of the day. Vishy Anand playing MVL with black drew easily with the Caro Kann. Full report.
Ding Liren is one of the most solid and objective players in the chess world. It is not without reason that he had an unbeaten streak of 100 games. In November 2018 he had reached an Elo of 2816. After Carlsen and Caruana he is currently the number three player in the world. How do you beat such a formidable opponent? Well, Harikrishna did this seemingly impossible task by playing some phenomenal chess at the fourth round of the Shenzhen Masters 2019. He played an off beat opening, kept posing his opponent small problems in the queenless middlegame, and finally took advantage of Ding Liren's minute errors to register an emphatic victory. Full analysis by IM Sagar Shah.
We spend a lot of time of our chess preparation in trying to work on positions where there are specific tactical elements. However, when you sit at the board, no one is going to tell you - "Wait! Now is the time to think!" This is exactly the reason why one must try hard and develop an ability to calculate candidate moves and go deep in just about any position. In this article we have brought to you the 15-minute challenge with GM Swapnil Dhopade. Swapnil shares one of the positions that he has in his training database. He tells us "No one until now has been able to solve this correctly!" So there you have it. The challenge is to setup a board, cut yourself off from all distractions, think on this position for 15 minutes and then write you answer in the comments section below. The best answer wins a special prize.
"Excited to play my first super tournament of the year. Hope to play some good games!" That's how Harikrishna felt making his way to Shenzhen in China for the Shenzhen Masters 2019. It's a six player round robin event with the top two seeds begin Ding Liren and Anish Giri. Harikrishna is clearly in fighting mood. After three rounds he is on 1.5/3, and all three of his games could have been decisive. In round 1 he was clearly worse against Jakovenko but salvaged a draw. Against Anish Giri, Hari was outplayed and the Indian GM lost his second round. But after the defeat Hari bounced back by playing a clinical game to beat Richard Rapport. With this win Hari reclaimed his position as India no. 2 in the live ratings.
Arpan Das of West Bengal became the champion of the 1st Tripura Open 2019 by scoring 7.5/9 points. It was a four-way tie at the top with IM Ramnathan Balasubramaniam, GM Saptarshi Roy Chowdhury and WIM Chandreyee Hajra taking the second, third and fourth spots respectively. The event took place in the beautiful Shahid Bhagat Singh Youth Hostel, Khejurbagan, Agartala and Matrix Chess Academy organised it. A total number of 209 players took part with five titled players in this 5-day event, which ran from 26th to 30th March 2019. In this final pictorial report of the event, we have an interview with the champion and also his best game from this tournament annotated by himself.
The year's third major closed event, the Grenke Chess Classic, is poised to a spectacular start, featuring a fierce field that blends experience, youth and promise. Magnus Carlsen will be the top seed of the event while Fabiano Caruana, his erstwhile world title challenger, will take second on the starting rank. Other big names from the field include Levon Aronian, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Peter Svidler, etc. Viswanathan Anand, the only Indian in the fray, will begin as the third seed and would be eyeing his first big win of the year after lukewarm results at the Tata Steel and Shamkir. The field also features Vincent Keymer, the 14-year-old German IM who stunned the world by winning the title in the open last year. If all of this wasn't enough, Carlsen and Caruana will be seen crossing swords across the checkered board for the first time since their World Championship Match here in southwest Germany. Here's a peek into this exciting event.
National School championship takes place every year in six different age group categories. This time it took place in Raipur, Chattisgarh from 3rd-7th April 2019. Total 926 players participated from 23 different states and 2 union territories across the country. While Telangana won the maximum number of podium finishes (6) in the entire tournament, Maharashtra won the maximum number of categories - 2. The tournament was inaugurated by R P Dubey, Chancellor of Dr CV Raman University and the Chief Guest of Prize Distribution Ceremony was D V Sundar, Honorary Vice President of FIDE. Ayush Sharma of Madhya Pradesh was the highest rated player in the entire event having the rating of 2051. Photos: Vasanth B H
Everyone loves to play blitz! But two guys from Himachal Pradesh Hansraj Thakur and Hitesh Azad decided to take this a notch higher. They played non stop blitz for 53 hours, 17 minutes and 49 seconds and 303 games to create a world record for the longest period of playing non stop blitz chess games. They bettered the total time of Jacek Gajewski and Wojciech Waruga who had played a total of 514 blitz games in 50 hours. Hansraj and Hitesh sat across each other in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh and played chess for over 53 hours as a part of endeavour to spread awareness about the upcoming Loksabha elections in the country. In this article FI Praful Zaveri tells us all about this new world record. We also have all the 303 encounters, just in case you would like to check the quality of the games.
GM Jan Gustafsson of Germany made a quick draw with GM Swapnil Dhopade in the final round to win the tournament. GM Deep Sengupta also finished at 7.5/9 by defeating IM Pascua Haridas in the final round to become the joint winner, thus the champion's prize money got shared and both of them received 170000 Baht each. However, due to a better tie-break score, Gustafsson was declared champion and he received the champion's trophy. GM Karthik Venkataraman finished at 7.0/9, due to a better tie-break score, he edged ahead three other players who also finished at the same point to secure 3rd position. IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman scored 6.5/9, finished at 13th and she received the Best Woman prize. The Challengers section was won by Ric Portugalera of Philippines. The report contains photos, positions, games and interviews. Photo: Shahid Ahmed