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Farrukh Amonatov wins Mumbai Mayor's Cup 2018

by Sagar Shah - 13/06/2018

The final event in the circuit of three major tournaments in India ended with the 11th Mumbai Mayor's Cup 2018. The tournament was keenly contested, and quite a low scoring affair. The winners were GM Farrukh Amonatov from Tajikistan and Roeland Pruijssers from the Netherlands. Both of them scored 8.0/10. Three norms were made at the event - Rithvik Raja and Kiran Manisha Mohanty scored an IM norm, while Divya Deshmukh scored her final WIM norm becoming a WIM at the age of just 12 years and 6 months. A detailed pictorial report, with analysis and loads of videos. 

GM Farrukh Amonatov receiving the winner's trophy. The Tajik GM is a regular at Indian events and has won plenty of GM internationals in our country! | Photo: Sagar Shah

"It was not my best performance," confessed Amonatov at the end of the tournament. A critical game for Farrukh to lay his claim to the title was that against IM Vikramaditya Kulkarni in the penultimate round. The Tajik GM was clearly worse out of the opening, but kept fighting and in the end converted the game into a win.

The other leader at the end of eight rounds was GM Martyn Kravtsiv. The Ukrainian GM, rated 2662, was the favourite to clinch the title but in the ninth round he had a disaster. He lost to Roeland Pruijssers.

The photo is blurred, but the story is fun! The game was in progress, Amruta went to take a picture of Roeland, and he showed the victory sign! Ironically, he lost this game, the first round of the event against Rucha Pujari and staged a great comeback! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Rucha beat her first 2500+ GM in her chess career, but was unable to keep pace later at the event. She scored 6.0/10 | Photo: Sagar Shah

With 7.5/9 and going into the last round, it seemed as if we would see a great battle between Amonatov and Pruijssers. But Amonatov was fine with a draw as he had the black pieces, and Pruijssers didn't try so hard because he had beaten Kravtsiv in the last round. The other four players who were on 7.0/9 could not win their games and hence Amonatov and Pruijssers were the only ones to finish on 8.0/10.

Neverov and Tran Tuan Minh were on 7.0/9 and drew their game... | Photo: Sagar Shah did Diptayan Ghosh against Manik Miklaus | Photo: Sagar Shah
Interview with the joint winners of the tournament
Slovakian GM Manik Miklaus finished third. He played a strong event and beat IM Karthik Venkatraman.

Top seed of the tournament Martyn Kravtsiv had to settle for the fourth spot | Photo: Sagar Shah

Rithvik Raja scored his first IM norm at the Bangkok Open and second one at the Mumbai Mayor's Cup 2018. This boy is sure to become an IM soon. | Photo: Sagar Shah

WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty of Odisha made her maiden IM norm | Photo: Sagar Shah

WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty had a dismal tournament at the Kolkata GM International 2018 where she lost 65 Elo points. Many people told her to take a break and unwind, but she was brave and went ahead with the KIIT International 2018 in Bhubaneshwar. Here performance was better, but still not up to the mark. She maintained her rating.


The Mumbai Mayor's Cup was the next event. This was her third tournament in a row, but this time she was really hungry to perform well. She played the tournament of her life and scored an IM norm with a performance of 2450+. On the way to the norm she even beat one of India's biggest talents Arjun Erigasi!

What do you think Kiran played in this position as White?

Mind you, the position that she reached in another eight moves was this! What a rout!
We didn't miss the opportunity to interview Kiran
12-year-old girl from Nagpur Divya Deshmukh achieved her final WIM norm at the Mumbai Mayor's Cup and became India's latest Woman International Master

The author of these lines spending some nice time with a future world class player Divya Deshmukh! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Divya Deshmukh became a WIM at the age of 12 years and 6 months and one day by scoring her final norm at the Mumbai Mayor's Cup 2018. Very impressive! There is no doubt that she will be a world class player. But more than Divya's games I am impressed with her attitude towards the game.


I had already interviewed Divya for her fantastic achievement. After the interview was over Divya told me, "Can you tell me something about the new Komodo 12 software?" I told Divya, "I still have a few interviews to be done. Can you wait?" She said yes and patiently sat there listening to the interviews. By the time I was done with my final interview, the prize distribution ceremony was over. Tables, chairs and the entire playing hall had been dismantled. All the players had left. But there she was, Divya waiting for me, excited to learn something new.


When I started showing the Monte Carlo feature of Komodo 12, she had so many pertinent questions. We discussed things for 30 minutes and then she waved us good bye and left! Not to forget her WGM event begins in a day at Chembur, Mumbai where she will be fighting with some of the best woman players in the world. Divya is talented, Divya is young, Divya is strong, but more than anything else, she is hungry for knowledge. She is keen to learn something new and that's the reason why I believe that she will be one of the best players in the world in the years to come!

Check out Komodo 12 in the ChessBase India Shop

Sauravh Kherdekar won the best Mumbai player prize | Photo: Sagar Shah

In the battle between two 50+ players (age-wise), it was IM Anup Deshmukh who managed to outplay GM Vladimir Buramkin. The game was power packed and after the battle we did interview Anup.
IM Anup Deshmukh speaks about his win over Burmakin, his games against Vishy Anand and also how parental pressure can sometimes be good for chess players!

I have always been of the opinion that putting pressure on your kids is not a good idea. But Anup Deshmukh comes up with an interesting theory where he mentions that all the kids who have gone on to become strong grandmasters had there parents involved in their chess careers in a big way. For eg. Anand's mother, Barua's father, Thipsay's parents weren't so involved but he had his elder brother. The Nagpur IM went on to give further examples of Vidit Gujrathik, Abhijeet Gupta, Swapnil Dhopade and also added that people like D.V. Prasad, Lanka Ravi or himself were not able to become grandmasters because their parents never took keen interest in their chess career!

Aditya Samant, the 11-year-old from Pune played a fascinating tournament and scored 6.5/10. He beat GM Mikhail Mozharov, Kushagra Mohan, Siva Mahadevan and needed just a draw in the final round. He lost his last round in a winning position against Karthik Venkatraman, but that didn't stop Aditya from gaining 127 Elo points. | Photo: Sagar Shah
Interview with Aditya, where he shows his win against GM Mikhail Mozharov

Check out Aditya's fine win with the black pieces against Siva Mahadevan where he was able to outplay his higher rated opponent in a complex middlegame:

11-year-old Aaryan Varshney | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Another boy who performed admirably at the event is 11-year-old Aaryan Varshney. Aaryan has been on a roll lately. He gained 100+ Elo points at the Kolkata GM International 2018, then 100+ at the KIIT International 2018 and now 50+ at the Mumbai Mayor's Cup. As his games have crossed the threshold limit of 18 to keep a k-factor of 40, his rating will not surpass 2300. But it is only a matter of time before Aaryan makes his steps towards the IM title and beyond.

Aaryan Varshney shares his win over Sammed Shete

All the arbiters worked really hard at the event. It was especially nice to see Vinita Shrotri making her IA norm. In a field where you find majority male arbiters, it is a great achievement by Vinita! | Photo: Sagar Shah

We also interviewed one of the leading arbiters of Indian chess - IA R. Anantharam. He shares with us some of his memorable incidents that have occured in his chess arbitership career.

R. Sham was the winner of the C-category. The boy from Chennai raced to 9.0/9 and then drew his final round to complete a whitewash with 9.5/10.
Interview with R. Sham, the winner of the C-category

The ChessBase India stall was frequented by a lot of people who bought a lot of ChessBase softwares, Quality Chess books and not to forget the elegant ChessBase India t-shirts!

Check out the ChessBase India t-shirts in the shop

The ChessBase India team enjoying a nice dinner after the end of the event. From left to right - Dipalee Thakar (she works for the All India Chess Federation of the Blind), ChessBase India Juniors editor-in-chief Avathanshu Bhat, Accessories Manager Supriya Bhat, Amruta Mokal and Sagar Shah

Another edition of Mayor's Cup comes to an end. So many memories, so many achievements. A fine achievement by the Ravindra Dongre and his team for organizing one of the finest events in the Indian chess calendar. | Photo: Sagar Shah

Trivia to end this article: Can you guess who this player is, who carries all of this stuff to maintain his energy throughout the game?

Final Ranking after 10 Rounds

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
GMAmonatov FarrukhTJK26058,00,558,563,549,506
GMPruijssers RoelandNED25148,00,557,060,547,257
GMManik MikulasSVK23997,50,060,565,547,006
GMKravtsiv MartynUKR26627,50,059,564,045,756
GMTran Tuan MinhVIE25147,50,058,563,046,005
IMKarthik VenkataramanIND24757,50,056,061,044,756
GMNeverov ValeriyUKR24927,50,055,560,545,506
GMGhosh DiptayanIND25367,50,055,060,045,006
GMTukhaev AdamUKR25577,50,054,559,544,506
GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.IND25317,50,053,558,042,507
IMNguyen Van HuyVIE24517,50,052,557,042,006
IMVisakh N RIND24677,00,057,561,040,505
FMRathanvel V SIND23017,00,057,060,538,256
IMHarsha BharathakotiIND24717,00,056,061,041,255
GMSandipan ChandaIND25717,00,054,559,541,755
FMNitish BelurkarIND23097,00,054,057,037,756
GMMozharov MikhailRUS25587,00,053,055,036,005
FMGajwa AnkitIND22387,00,052,557,038,007
Aaryan VarshneyIND22097,00,052,056,540,506
GMNeelotpal DasIND24477,00,052,055,537,754

Complete list of final standings

More videos from the 11th Mumbai Mayor's Cup 2018

Get to know Aashi Upadhyay, the current Rajasthan under-11 and under-13 state champion
An informal fun bullet game between Pranav and Pranesh captured on the video!
Meet Chandrashekhar Gokhale, who is an IM, has two MBAs, is a chess coach, a chessdad and is now trying to become a Ph.D

Coverage of Mumbai Mayor's Cup on ChessBase India:

A huge pictorial report from the 11th Mumbai Mayor's Cup 2018

Martyn Kravtsiv or Farrukh Amonatov?

Youtube playlist of the entire Mumbai Mayor's Cup

Pictures of the closing ceremony of the A and C groups

Pictures of the closing ceremony of B group

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