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Aravindh wins Karaikudi Grand Prix Rapid Rating Open

by R Anantharam - 06/02/2020

Reigning National Triple Crown champion and top seed of the tournament GM Aravindh Chithambaram scored 6.5/7 to win All India Chess Grand Prix Rapid Rating Open 2020 at Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu. Double IM-norm holder FM Pranesh M also finished with the same score, however due to a better tie-break score, Aravindh clinched the championship and Pranesh had to be content with the runner-up position. Six players finished at 6.0/7, IM Al Muthaiah secured the third position according to the tie-breaks. Total 190 players including two GMs and three IMs participated in this fourth leg of the Grand Prix. Currently Pranesh is leading the table, followed by IMs Saravana Krishnan and Ra Harikrishnan. Photo: Amruta Mokal

Pranesh ties with the champion Aravindh

Top seed of the tournament and reigning National Triple Crown Champion GM Aravindh Chithambaram scored an unbeaten 6.5/7, edged ahead on tie-breaks against double IM-norm holder FM Pranesh M, who also finished with the same score, to win the fourth leg of All India Chess Grandprix Rapid Rating Open 2020. Six players finished at 6.0/7. IM Al Muthaiah was placed third due to his better tie-break score.

Al Muthaiah held Aravindh Chithambaram to a draw in the final round | Photo: R Anantharam

Aravindh scored six straight victories before making a draw

Seeded players progressed smoothly except that seventh seeded N Lokesh was held to a draw in the third round. In the fourth round, second seeded GM Shyam Sundar was held to a draw by P Bala Kannamma rated over 500 points less.

Bala Kannamma P drew with GM Shyam Sundar in the fourth round | Photo: R Anantharam

Fourth seeded P Maheswaran of Postal Services also had to share the point with the local lad and double IM norm holder M Pranesh. Pranesh’s brother M Dinesh Rajan shocked IM ARa Harikrishnan in this round.

Pranesh shocked Shyam to tie for the first place | Photo: R Anantharam

Aravindh Chithambaram defeated former National Rapid champion Ram S Krishnan of BSNL and IM-elect Rathanvel got the better of Senthil Maran to share the lead with 5.0/5 each at the end of the fifth round. Seven players GM Shyam Sundar, N Lokesh, P Maheswaran, former National under-10 champion Syed Anwar Shazuli, IM Muthaiah AL, M Pranesh and S Prasannaa were half a point behind at 4.5/5 each.

Reigning National Rapid Champion Aravindh Chithambaram defeated former National Rapid Champion Ram S Krishnan | Photo: R Anantharam

Rathanvel joined Aravindh in the lead after round 5 | Photo: R Anantharam

Aravindh scored his sixth consecutive win against the co-leader Rathanvel to emerge as the sole leader at the end of the sixth and penultimate round. Shyam won against Lokesh, Pranesh upset Ram and Muthaiah scored a win over Prasanna to be half a point behind Aravindh.

Aravindh defeated Rathanvel in the sixth round to emerge as the sole leader | Photo: R Anantharam

In the final round, Aravindh drew with Muthaiah and Pranesh delivered the biggest upset of the tournament by beating GM Shyam Sundar, thus catching up with Aravindh on the points tally of 6.5/7 each. With a better tiebreak score as expected, Aravindh lifted the title with a cash prize of ₹15000. Six players were on six points leaving Muthaiah on the third place, followed by Rathanvel, Syed Anwar, Senthil Maran, Harikrishnan and Barath Kalyan in that order respectively.

Senthil Maran (right) defeated S Suganthan and claimed the sixth place | Photo: R Anantharam

IM Harikrishnan (right) was placed seventh | Photo: R Anantharam

Sri Kumaresan, Chairman of Chettinad Public School, who earned name and fame in the chess circle by organising two National championships in the last two years, distributed the prizes in a splendid manner. He proved that he is second to none in hospitality by providing sumptuous breakfast and dinner to all players and parents.

Kumaresan SP, Chairman of Chettinad Public School supports chess in a big manner | Photo: R Anantharam

When the National under-9 champion G Aakash came to dais, Sri Kumaresan immediately presented ₹5000 to him | Photo: R Anantharam

Former World Schools under 7 champion Lakshana Subramanian is from Chettinad Public School | Photo: R Anantharam

With one more rating tournament at Coimbatore on 23rd February, FM Pranesh M leads the table with 460 points, followed by IMs Saravana Krishnan and IM A Ra Harikrishnan, who have played three and four tournaments respectively. National champion GM Aravindh Chithambaram is on fifth place but he has played only two tournaments and most probably will not play the final leg as he is scheduled to play at Aeroflot tournament in Moscow, Russia.

Overall Standings of All India Chess Grand Prix after the conclusion of fourth leg | Photo: R Anantharam

Only the Coimbatore tournament will decide the top ten finishers of the Grand Prix points to play in the finals at Sivakasi in April.


Total 190 players including two GMs and three IMs participated in the fourth leg of All India Chess Grand Prix held at Chettinad Public School, Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu on 26th January 2020. The tournament was organized by Chettinad Public School and Castle Chess Academy.

Final Standings

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
11GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr.IND25816,50,033,530,5
219FMPranesh MIND19686,50,031,529,5
36IMMuthaiah AlIND22596,00,036,532,5
43FMRathanvel V SIND23496,00,034,032,0
59Syed Anwar ShazuliIND21726,00,033,030,0
610Senthil Maran KIND21696,00,032,529,5
822Barath Kalyan MIND18646,00,028,527,0
92GMShyam Sundar M.IND25225,50,033,530,5
105IMMurali Krishnan B TIND22975,50,033,029,0
1214Manigandan S SIND20335,50,031,027,5
1328R.V. AdithIND16965,50,030,028,0
147Lokesh N.IND21735,50,029,026,0
154FMMaheswaran P.IND23015,00,035,532,5
168Ram S. KrishnanIND21725,00,035,032,0
1730Suganthan SIND16705,00,032,530,5
1837Shanmugasundaram G.IND15705,00,032,529,5
1916Sibi Visal RIND20025,00,032,529,0
2024Dinesh Rajan MIND18485,00,031,528,5

Complete standings

About the Author

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


The article was edited by Shahid Ahmed

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