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Alexei Fedorov dominates 7th Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit 2023, Sai second and Arjun Adireddy third

by R Anantharam - 02/12/2023

GM Alexei Fedorov scored an unbeaten 7.5/9 to win 7th Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit Chess Tournament 2023. He finished a staggering one and a half points ahead of the competition. Sai Vishwesh C and Arjun Adireddy scored 6/9 each. They were placed second and third respectively. Sai defeated Arjun in the third round. That helped him secure the second place. He increased his Elo rating by 48.6 points. The eighth event of the series begins tomorrow Sunday 3rd December in Erode, Tamil Nadu. Photos: IA R Anantharam

Alexei Fedorov wins two in-a-row

GM Alexei Fedorov of Belarus won back-to-back editions of the Tamil Nadu IM-Norm closed circuit chess tournaments at Chennai last week and now at Coimbatore. In both tournaments he was unbeaten and here he scored 7.5 points, with six wins and three draws.

GM Alexei Fedorov of Belarus collected his second consecutive winner trophy of the IM norm circuit from Dr. M. Manickam, President of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association

Both Sai Vishwesh of Chennai and Arjun Adireddy of Hyderabad scored six points to tie for the second and third places. The direct encounter favoured Sai as the runner-up. He had beaten Arjun in the second round.

FM Sai Vishwesh of Chennai had the consolation of winning the second place

It is worth mentioning here that Arjun had a fantastic run of twenty days from 23rd October to 11th November, to climb from 2155 to 2419 rating.

Arjun Adireddy of Telangana who jumped from 2155 to 2419 in a span of 20 days won the third place

Top three winners with the guests

Dr. M Manickam, President of TNSCA and Senthil Chinnasamy, President of Coimbatore District Chess Association, were the chief guests for both inauguration and the closing ceremonies.


Winner of the 3rd IM-norm tournament at Madurai, Arjun Adireddy landed directly in Coimbatore just before the start of the tournament, from the World Youth championship, held in Italy, to beat the Russian IM David Gochelashvili.


Adireddy Arjun and David played Sicilian defence where both attacked relentlessly on both sides, without castling. David had to give up his rook for a bishop to safeguard his position. Arjun advanced his connected king side pawns to snatch a victory in 38 moves.

Direct from the World Youth, Italy; still Arjun is energetic to beat IM David Gochelashvili (RUS)

Gugan played an attacking Ruy Lopez game to force Raset to forego his queen, by distracting his overloaded bishop. The process culminated in Gugan obtaining the queen in compensation for the lost rook. He checkmated Raset with the combination of his queen and knight on the 38th move.

Debutant G Gugan had a quick win over the experienced GM Raset Ziatdinov (USA)

In an evenly poised game, heading for a draw until move 36 of a Guico Piano opening, Hemanth Raam blundered with a bishop move to hand over the game to the top seeded Alexei Fedorov, after three more moves.

Hemanth's blunder handed over the game to GM Alexei Federov

In the Caro-Kann defence by WIM Sakshi Chitlange of Maharashtra. Asylbek played the g4-line, opening the castled king side. Surprisingly, Sakshi exchanged her queen for Asyl’s rook and bishop, providing Asyl a slight advantage. But the repeated checks by Sakshi’s rook did not allow Asyl’s king to escape and the game ended in a draw by repetition of moves.

IM Asylbek had to be satisfied with a draw against WIM Sakshi Chitlange

Sai Viswesh played Sicilian Defence against Arjun and made a pseudo sacrifice of his bishop to gain two pawns. He piled up his major pieces on the c-file to control the game and pocket a point in 30 moves.

Sai Viswesh won against Arjun, the Madurai edition winner

GM Alexei Fedorov capitalized a few inaccurate moves by Kyrgyzstan IM Asylbek Abdyzhapar to reach a comfortable position in the fourth round. He played the endgame with style, winning a knight by exchanging the queens.

GM Alexei Fedorov overcame stiff resistance from IM Asylbek

In the Caro-Kann defence, Evgeniy castled on the queenside and Sai exploited it by silently advancing the a and b-pawns. Sai made a simple exchange of the queens towards the end to win the game with ease.

Sai Vishwesh upset the second seeded GM Podolchenko

WIM Sakshi Chitlange of Maharashtra had a good pawn center against GM Raset Ziatdinov (USA) in the Nimzo Indian Defence. Her active bishop was far better than Raset’s dormant knight positioned on the edge.

WIM Sakshi had an active bishop compared to the dormant knight of GM Raset of USA

In the Closed Sicilian Defence played by Sai Vishwesh, Alexei unleashed a series of good moves to pin the pieces of Vishwesh in the defensive ranks. Alexei needed only 28 moves to win the game with consummate ease, paralyzing the IM-norm chances of Sai.

GM Alexei had an easy outing against C Sai Vishwesh

When WIM Sakshi Chitlange made a wrong king move in a long-drawn battle of the eighth round, between her and Arjun, Arjun missed a huge winning chance with a passed pawn, in the pawn ending. Anyhow, Arjun also did not handle the pawn ending correctly to share the point.

Arjun Adireddy missed a huge win against WIM Sakshi in the eighth round

In the final round, GM Evgeniy Podolchenko (BLR) played a good endgame against WIM Sakshi Chitlange of Maharashtra in his Queen's Gambit Declined game. He sacrificed his knight to give an excellent finishing touch.

GM Evgeny Podolchenko had a superior endgame against WIM Sakshi Chitlange

The soft-spoken Russian International Master David Gochelashvili is proud to be called himself a Hindu/Vaishnav Brahmachari. He follows many principles of the Hindu way of life, a rarity among the foreigners. He observes fasting every Ekadasi, twice a month and does not take any food, except a few fruits on that day. He is a pure vegetarian and is fond of Indian food very much. Besides, he is very much interested in astrology and he explained to the author in detail regarding the Rahu – Kethu transit to different zodiac signs, which happened about a month ago. He spent most of his younger days in a chess school in Sochi, Russia.

IM David Gochelashvili at Maruthamalai Murugan temple on a hillock in Coimbatore

Here is a good game by David

Isha Yoga Center

The Isha Yoga Center, founded by Sadhguru (Jaggi Vasudev) is situated at the foothills of Velliangiri, on the outskirts of Coimbatore. It is believed to be a sacred place for self-transformation, where one can dedicate time towards his/her inner growth. Recognized as the world's largest bust sculpture by the Guinness World Records, the face of Adiyogi (about 15000 years back) is 112 feet high, representing the 112 ways he offered for one to attain to wellbeing.

The Chief Arbiter GV Kumar, live games coordinator, IA V Vijayaraghavan and tournament coordinator, IA R Anantharam, in front of the Adiyogi statue

What is the link between chess and the Isha center? Praggnanandhaa visited the Isha center recently to seek advice from the Sadhguru to control the tension during a chess game.

Replay all games

Final standings

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
GMFedorov, AlexeiBLR24477,5029,506
Sai, Vishwesh.CIND21796123,504
CMAdireddy, ArjunIND21556022,754
GMPodolchenko, EvgeniyBLR23955,5021,503
IMAbdyzhapar, AsylbekKGZ23265016,253
WIMChitlange, SakshiIND22244,50,518,001
IMGochelashvili, DavidRUS23044,50,515,502
Gugan, GIND2174308,252
Hemanth, RaamIND2230208,000
GMZiatdinov, RasetUSA2077103,750


About the Author

Prof. Rathinam Anantharam is an A-grade international arbiter. Member of FIDE Arbiters’ Commission, Chairman of Titles Commission in All India Chess Federation, Vice President of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, Chief Arbiter for six world championships, many Asian, International and National Championships.


The report was edited by Shahid Ahmed

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