In January co-founder of ChessBase and former editor-in-chief Frederic Friedel took a trip to India, to visit his partners at ChessBase India, to visit two big GM Opens, and to meet some of the incredible young talents the country is currently producing. There was a preteen grandmaster, a number of candidate GMs in their very early teens, and a delightful U12 girl's world champion. Frederic made many new friends, but he also used the opportunity to conduct his famous talent test on them. Here are the results and a biographical video.
Born in September 2006, Aditya Mittal became an IM at the age of 12 years and 5 months when he achieved his final norm at the Aeroflot Open 2019. Even though it's just been seven years since Aditya started playing chess, the story of his achievements from a beginner to a master is worth narrating. ChessBase India author Paras Gudka made his way to Aditya's home in Mumbai and sat down with the boy and his family to know about one of India's brightest chess talents. Aditya's life is a story of grit and determination. In spite of innumerable obstacles, the boy overcame each one of them and has emerged victorious. A famous Indian GM made a prediction in 2016 that Aditya is so talented he would become a GM in six years. The way he is progressing, we think it might just take him three!
Top seed GM Wang Hao won the 9th HDBank International Open 2019. Despite starting the event with a draw, he scored 7.5/9 and won the tournament for the second time. GM Wen Yang of China and GM Stanislav Bogdanovich of Ukraine scored 7.0/9 each and were placed first and second runner-up respectively. GM Gukesh D also finished at 7.0/9 after he scored a convincing win over GM Megaranto Susanto of Indonesia in the final round. WIM Nandhidhaa P V finished at 6.5/9 and she was declared as the best woman player. She made her maiden WGM and IM norm in the tournament after missing it eight times before. The final report contains selected games, photos and videos from final round award giving ceremony.
In 2018 we came up with the bold idea of a ChessBase India Power Group Tour - the idea was go to the Catalan circuit in Barcelona, Spain for nearly 50 days with a tour manager and play in five back to back tournaments. Having a tour manager ensured the youngsters whose parents were not able to travel were also able to send their kids. The results were phenomenal. The youngsters learnt how to handle their finances, plan their day, make their own decisions, but more importantly the entire group of 20 players gained 4359 Elo points! This year we are back with the ChessBase India Power Group Tour to the Catalan circuit from 24th of June to 10th of August. You can find all the information about this tour in the article below.
Last rounds are extremely important. An entire event that was played well can spiral downwards if you lose the last round. At the same time a mediocre event can become the best if you manage to win your final game. At the World Team Championships team India's fate was spoiled by the last round loss to Russia. We had to settle for the fourth place without a medal. At the Prague Chess Festival both Harikrishna and Vidit were on 4.0/8 before the last round. Harikrishna lost his game to Gelfand and finished seventh out of ten players. On the other hand Vidit won the last round against Navara and finished second! Talk about last round result making or breaking an event!
India's solid performance in first eight rounds was not good enough for a medal as the team slumped to a 2.5-1.5 loss to Russia, and were pushed to the fourth position. Russia took the gold medal, England surprised everyone with the silver and China had to settle for the bronze. Although India couldn't get a team medal, Adhiban and Ganguly both won individual golds on boards one and three respectively. Adhiban performed at an Elo of 2828, while Ganguly's rating performance was 2850! In the women's section China won the gold, silver went to Russia and Georgia took home the bronze. Indian women's team didn't have the best of events, finishing sixth. A detailed final report from Astana, Kazakhstan.
"Nowadays, when you're not a grandmaster at 14, you can forget about it." - Viswanathan Anand. Today we have grandmasters that are 12, 13, and 14 years old. But does that mean that you quit playing if you are not young enough for the title? Akiba Rubinstein started when he was 16, Mikhail Chigorin at the age of 17 and there are so many examples around. 22 years old FM Manush Shah believes that age is just a number and anything is possible in life if you put your sincere efforts to make them work in your career. In this article, he shares with us his interesting story to which most of the players can relate and how he managed to get 2405 ELO (+389 rating), 2 IM norms in 1.5 yrs with K-factor 20. Manush has also annotated his favourite games for the readers of ChessBase India.
"The Tattva Chess Academy was formed with the primary purpose of creating talents at State, National and International levels." These are the words from the Tattva Chess Academy founder Durgesh K. The academy has worked hard to increase the chess playing strength in Bangalore, with 120 students and growing. Officially known to the chess world in 2017, Durgesh K, Arvind Shastry and Manjunath Jayaram have all worked tirelessly to live up to their vision. A helping hand for the chess community's growth is always appreciated, and Tattva has done this in a fascinating way. The following report gives a detailed account on the Tattva Academy, its star students, Komal Srivatsav and Kaushik Iyer, as well as a few words from Durgesh himself.
Indian team is currently in second place at the World Team Championships 2019. It has gone through some serious ups and downs, but has managed to not lose even a single match. In just about every match a different player has taken the responsibility to ensure that the team does well. Adhiban has been rock solid on board one with 5.5/8. But the monster scorer has been Surya Sekhar Ganguly who is on 6.5/8 with a rating performance of 2863! Sethuraman has done his job on board four with 5.0/7. Sasikiran has been off colour in the event with 2.5/7. He has been rested for the last round against Russia. The Russian team with 14.0/16 match points have already won the gold, but for India the match is extremely important. A win here would ensure a silver medal.
On the opening day of the World Team Championships 2019 FIDE President Arkadij Dvorkovich was in Astana. Yannick Pelletier, who is the press officer for the event, was alloted a few minutes for an interview with the FIDE President. The new FIDE administration has been in power for just about four months, but already they brought some huge changes in the World Championship cycle, the qualifying events and more. FIDE now also has officially its first sponsor - the Russian Railways. How will this money be used for the growth of chess? In this interview Dvorkovich speaks about all of these points and we also get to know his stance related to the Grand Chess Tour.
Team India looks forward to maximize their opportunity of getting double wild cards at the World Teams 2019. Adhiban B, Sasikiran Krishnan, Sethuraman S P, Aravindh Chithambaram and Surya Sekhar Ganguly form the men's team and the women's team comprises of Soumya Swaminathan, Tania Sachdev, Eesha Karavade, Bhakti Kulkarni and Padmini Rout. Both teams have a huge potential to cause many upsets and grab a podium finish. Catch all games live and commentary by GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko and WGM Anna Burtasova. Last round begins at 11.30 a.m. IST. Photo: ChessBase India archives
How does one become an International Master? For all of you who are unaware about the process - for an IM title you need to make three IM norms in three different tournaments. This basically means scoring a certain amount of points against titled and untitled players and you need to achieve a rating performance of over 2450. Once you have performed over 2450 in three tournaments against the required opposition (titled players, foreigners etc.) then you must raise your ELO to 2400. And then you have it! The letters IM in front of your name. But is it really so easy as it sounds? Read this article to know more about the latest IM of India, J. Sai Agni Jeevitesh, his struggles and his unflinching dedication to excel at chess and how he became the sixth IM from Telangana.
Top seed of 9th HDBank International Open 2019 GM Wang Hao defeated the overnight sole leader GM Stanislav Bogdanovich of Ukraine after the latter blundered an exchange in a Rook-Knight vs. Rook-Bishop and few pawns endgame which was seemingly equal. With this win, Hao jumped into a sole lead and he will be looking forward to win the HDBank title for the second time since his first triumph in 2016. Gukesh was completely lost against GM Anton Demchenko of Russia, however Demchenko made a terrible blunder which turned the result into Gukesh's favor. Photo: Shahid Ahmed
From a slow start at the Prague Challengers 2019, Praggnanandhaa has picked up pace and scored two back to back victories to catapult himself into the leaders group with 3.5/6. Pragg's win against Ju Wenjun was a fine technical effort, while his sixth round victory against Alexei Shirov was a game where the 13-year-old's opening preparation and lack of opening knowledge for Shirov led to a dominant position for Praggnanandhaa in just 15 moves. Rest of the game was all about how well Pragg could convert his edge. Although Pragg was not 100% clinical, his technique was good enough to get the full point. The Masters section had a rest day so Vidit and Harikrishna will be back in action from the 12th of March.
GM Stanislav Bogdanovich maintains half point lead by beating the defending champion GM Sandro Mareco after the former trapped his opponent's Queen at the center of the board. Wang Hao went for Keres Attack against Dutch GM Loek Van Wely and managed to win the Rook-Knight endgame when Van Wely mistimed the Knight exchange. Iturrizaga made his third consecutive draw, this time against the hometown favorite Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son in just 16 moves. Among Indians, WIM Divya Deshmukh had a great day when she defeated GM Tu Hoang Thong. Photo: Shahid Ahmed