Farrukh Amonatov wins Mumbai Mayor's Cup 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.
"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.
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.
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!
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!
Sauravh Kherdekar won the best Mumbai player prize | Photo: Sagar Shah
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!
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:
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.
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.
Final Ranking after 10 Rounds
|5||15||GM||Tran Tuan Minh||VIE||2514||7,5||0,0||58,5||63,0||46,00||5|
|10||12||GM||Deepan Chakkravarthy J.||IND||2531||7,5||0,0||53,5||58,0||42,50||7|
|11||23||IM||Nguyen Van Huy||VIE||2451||7,5||0,0||52,5||57,0||42,00||6|
|12||21||IM||Visakh N R||IND||2467||7,0||0,0||57,5||61,0||40,50||5|
|13||42||FM||Rathanvel V S||IND||2301||7,0||0,0||57,0||60,5||38,25||6|