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Akshayakalpa Karnataka State Day two: The build-up before the showdown!

by Sagar Shah - 16/04/2018

What can you expect when players of 900 - 1000 points Elo difference play against each other? Well, definitely the higher rated player should win with ease, right? You can see that the trend is - it is becoming increasingly difficult for the stronger players to score easy wins because the overall level of play has gone up. You can see this very clearly when players like Thejkumar and Stany who are nearly 2500 rated faced off against 1600 Elo opposition. Akshayakalpa Karnataka State is also setting benchmark in how players and parents are being entertained and educated in between the rounds. Speakers like environmentalist Vani Murthy, GM Srinath Narayanan, IM Sagar Shah and FI Niklesh Jain shared all their knowledge with the audience. 

What does a corporate look for when he sponsors an event like the State Championship and spends nearly Rs.40 lakhs behind it? Different companies have different intentions. But at the Karnataka State 2018, Akshayakalpa's intention is to bring together agriculture and chess. The main idea of Shashi Kumar, the CEO of Akshayakalpa was to engage the participants of the championship in a way that they go back with more knowledge about agriculture, sustainable and eco-friendly living than what they had come with. 

It made complete sense to have nature's crusaders like Vani Murthy speak about creation of a sustainable environment | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Vani Murthy is a waste management expert and she spoke about how each and every one of us is responsible for creating a sustainable environment. We shouldn't be blaming the authorities, rather we should take up the responsibility and do everything that we can to make a difference on our own.

Vani Murthy's talk had more than 200 people attending it  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

This has always been Shashi Kumar and Akshayakalpa's strategy - make a difference by transforming individuals. It's only when individuals believe that they can create an eco-friendly environment will they actually do something about it. And these talks go a long way in educating individuals about how to create an eco-friendly world. As Vani Murthy says. "All of us are so busy improving the quality of life of our children, why not try to improve the quality of the world that they will be living in."

A big thanks to Shashi Kumar for bringing the chess community in touch with legendary personalities like Vani Murthy  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

India's 46th GM Srinath Narayanan | Photo: Priyadarshan Banjan/ Akshayakalpa

GM Srinath Narayanan was also one of guest speakers on the second day of the Akshayakalpa Talks. Srinath spoke on the topic of chess improvement for youngsters. He divided the process of improvement into three concepts:

1. Pattern Recognition

2. Application of Patterns in practical games or similar situations

3. Heuristics

He explained the idea via examples from real games. Several parents also took the opportunity to ask the most pressing questions on the top of their minds. Here is one position from Srinath's lecture which you must definitely try to solve. It is really beautiful.

White has just pushed his pawn to g5. How should Black try to save a piece.

I was one of the viewers when GM Srinath gave this position. I was thinking for a long time to about how to save the piece. The main ideas revolved around Qf8 and trying to play Bf5. So something like Qf8 (or f7) gxh6 and then Black goes Bf5, but after Bxf5 Qxf5, I could hardly see a way to make progress. And that's when it dawned on me! The rook is opposite the white king and hence there have to be certain tactical opportunities! Qe7! (or Qe6 is also fine) and now after gxh6 you have the very nice shot....

...Qe4! It's a very unusual pattern, but it does the trick! Black regains his piece and is much better.

Niklesh Jain, editor-in-chief of ChessBase India Hindi, spoke about the importance of ChessBase softwares | Photo: Sagar Shah

Day two: Top seeds progress, Kalki beats Gavi Siddayya

The second day (rounds three and four) were still not very difficult for our top players. But the difficulty is surely increasing. The amount of time that they are spending inside the playing hall is also increasing. Of course, all of us are looking down at the showdown between Stany and Thejkumar but who knows there could well be an accident before that actual game takes place. Until now things have been smooth and all the top seeds have raced to 4.0/4.

Standing out from the crowd: Karnataka's first GM M.S. Thejkumar  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Let's have a look at Thej's fourth round game to understand his fine positional understanding:

While Thej played a great positional game, Stany was in his element with a typical aggressive game!  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The biggest upset of the day was Kalki Eshwar rated just 1500 beating his 2000 rated opponent Gavi Siddayya. It is not uncommon to see 1500 rated players beat 2000 rated opponents, but the way Kalki played really made it feel as if he is much stronger than what his rating suggests. Have a look at how he launched a vicious attack against her opponent's king. 

When you have nearly 1500 people in the same premises, you just find a spot for yourself any and everywhere!  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Green Arch - the entrance to the playing hall  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Amruta Mokal takes you on a journey of the entire premises of the Akshayakalpa State Championship  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

So nice to see such a huge number of chess players together under one roof  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Girish Koushik has had to sweat very little until now  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

N. Sanjay has always been a force to reckon with. It is a pity that he is not yet an IM, but he has always maintained a rating above 2300.  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Arbiters are working in a very dedicated manner. Taking care of so many players is never easy.  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

But when the chief arbiter is as competent as Vasanth B.H, you can expect things to roll smoothly. One of the most experienced arbiters of Indian chess.  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The question on everyone's mind is: Can Kishan Gangolli, who is 75% visually challenged, show his brilliance and finish in top three spots?  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Chess teaches you to fight hard in spite of all the difficulties!  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

If you haven't done so already, do come to the tournament hall and taste the Akshayakalpa cheese!  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Who do you think will take home this glittering trophy?!  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Standings after round four:

Rk.SNoNameTypsexRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
14Sanjay N.23464,00,08,511,5
21GMThejkumar M. S.2493Mys4,00,08,011,0
8Kulkarni Vinayak2179Blu4,00,08,011,0
16Manjunath J.1986Blu4,00,08,011,0
18Santoshkashyap Hg1929Blu4,00,08,011,0
45Dilip Kumar Pedda16534,00,08,011,0
719WCMIsha Sharmaw1926Dka4,00,07,510,5
36Keshav KothariU141715Blu4,00,07,510,5
9198Owais Md QU1412094,00,07,010,0
103IMGirish A. Koushik2401Mys4,00,07,010,0
5Gahan M G2281Dka4,00,07,010,0
9Arvind Shastry2175Blu4,00,07,010,0
17Kishan Gangolli1974Shi4,00,07,010,0
26Hardik Jha18824,00,07,010,0
29Chincholimath Halsagar18314,00,07,010,0
33Nikhil R. Umesh1734Shi4,00,07,010,0
49Nitish Bhat16374,00,07,010,0
50Anand Vittal T R16244,00,07,010,0
53Audipudy Sitaram16104,00,07,010,0
82Sanjana RaghunathF14w1472Blu4,00,07,010,0

Pairing of round 5:

129Chincholimath Halsagar183144GMThejkumar M. S.24931
22IMStany G.A.249344Nikhil R. Umesh173433
332Shiva S176144IMGirish A. Koushik24013
44Sanjay N.234644Rakshith R Umesh172835
534Thirunarayanan Sampath Kumar172944Gahan M G22815
66Ojas Kulkarni225244Namboothiri K N171237
736Keshav KothariU14171544Yashas D.22437
88Kulkarni Vinayak217944Avinash Vaidyanathan168341
943Ramachandra Bhat166144Arvind Shastry21759
1010IMHegde Ravi Gopal213944Anand Vittal T R162450

Watch Live games of Karnataka State 2018 on ChessBase Live

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