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Indian Chess Raises ₹103603 in the memory of Late Rafiq Khan

by Shahid Ahmed - 17/10/2019

ChessBase India organized a blitz tournament in the memory of India's first Olympiad medal winner Rafiq Khan. The prize money of Rs.51,000 was instituted by Rafiq Khan's friends and admirers from Madhya Pradesh. The total amount that was collected by way of entry fee and donations was Rs.1,03,603. This entire amount will be given to Rafiq Khan's wife Zahida Khan. India's 54th GM Arjun Erigaisi (Indian-Lion) won the event and also Rs.12,400! Karthikeyan Murali and Abhimanyu Puranik were placed second and third according to their tie-break scores. Kaustuv Kundu and R Ashwath were the only two untitled players to have made it in the top 10 by securing seventh and ninth place respectively with a score of 6.0/9 each. Photo: Amruta Mokal

Indian-Lion Arjun Erigaisi wins Rafiq Khan Memorial Blitz

Rafiq Khan was a giant of Indian chess. In an era where no one believed that Indians could compete at a world stage and win medals, Rafiq Khan provided the country with its first individual Olympiad medal at the Malta Olympiad 1980. A silver medal on board three. He has been the former national champion and winner of many strong national and international events. In spite of such achievements, Rafiq Khan and his family could never really enjoy a life filled with comfort. He lived through poverty and most of his life was spent in trying to make ends meet. Rafiq Khan passed away on 18th of July 2019. He is survived by his wife and children. In order to show our gratitude towards his contribution to the sport and also to remember his legacy, ChessBase India organized an online tournament on 6th of October 2019. The prize fund of Rs.51,000 was setup by his friends and admirers from Madhya Pradesh.

The first Olympiad medal winner of India

All the money collected by means of entry fee and donation was to be given to his wife Zahida Khan

The Blitz tournament

The tournament was played at Playchess server 

It was heartening to see that strong GMs like Karthikeyan Murali, Aravindh Chithambaram, Arjun Erigaisi, Abhimanyu Puranik, Vishnu Prasanna and R.R. Laxman decided to participate in this event. As many as six GMs and nine IMs participated in this online tournament.


GM Arjun Erigaisi is a regular at ChessBase Online Blitz tournaments. He is always generous about his contributions. This time also he contributed ₹5000. Early in this year he had won the Pulwama Martyrs ChessBase Online Blitz tournament.

GM Arjun Erigaisi won his second ChessBase Online Blitz tournament of the year | Photo: Amruta Mokal.

Arjun's (Indian-Lion) best win was against Laxman in round 7:

Laxman - Arjun, round 7

White just played 22.Ra4. Find out an interesting continuation for Black here

GM Karthikeyan Murali secured first runner-up position by scoring 7.0/9 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Karthikeyan's (fighter64) best win was against the eventual second runner-up of the tournament Abhimanyu Puranik (Pabh) in round three.

World Junior Silver medalist Abhimanyu Puranik also scored 7.0/9 and secured second runner-up position | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Abhimanyu is also a regular at ChessBase Online Blitz tournaments. Last year two days before leaving for World Juniors (and winning the silver medal!), he participated in one of our online events. In the final round, Abhimanyu (Pabh) showcased his attacking skills against Vishnu Prasanna (fidodido).


Vishnu - Abhimanyu, round 9

Abhimanyu played 12...f5 - setting fire on board!

Abhimanyu won the the game in another twelve moves

Final Standings

You can know who these players are by checking their actual name against their Playchess ids in the article here

Main Prize winners

1 GM Arjun Erigaisi 7.5 ₹12400
2 GM Karthikeyan Murali 7 ₹8000
3 GM Abhimanyu Puranik 7 ₹6000
4 GM Laxman R R 7 ₹5000
5 IM Raunak Sadhwani 7 ₹4000
6 IM Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh 6.5 ₹3000
7 Kaustuv Kundu 6 ₹2000
8 GM Vishnu Prasanna 6 ₹2000
9 R Ashwath 6 ₹1500
10 IM P Konguvel 6 ₹1500

Woman Prize winners

1 WIM Priyanka Nutakki 5.5 ₹1400
2 Anusha NLV 5 ₹1000

Lucky Prize winners

20 FM Siddharth Jagadeesh 5 ₹800
30 Chandar Raju 4.5 ₹800
40 Swayangsu Satyakam 4 ₹800
50 Ankur Singh Thakur 3 ₹800

We had kept three more lucky prizes of Rs.800 each for places 60, 70 and 80. As there were less than 60 participants, this extra amount of Rs.2,400 will be given to the winner Arjun Erigaisi. So instead of Rs.10,000 Arjun wins Rs.12,400.

Top contributors

IM P Konguvel believes in honouring the legends of Indian chess. This was the first time he played an online event and he also contributed Rs.10,000 | Photo: Niklesh Jain

12-year-old Kheerthi Ganta recently has stopped travelling by flights in order to save money which she can donate to good causes. This youngster contributed Rs.10,000! How inspiring is that?
We met Kheerthi in Mumbai at the World Youth Championships 2019 and interviewed her

FM Siddharth Jagadeesh played all the way from Singapore and contributed Rs.10,000 to the noble cause

Vivek Nambiar of Karnataka made a generous contribution oF Rs.10,000 | Photo: Akshayakalpa

Donors who played the tournament

Serial No. Full name Donation amount
1 GM Karthikeyan Murali 1000
2 GM Aravindh Chithambaram 1000
3 GM Abhimanyu Puranik 1000
4 GM Arjun Erigaisi 5000
5 GM Vishnu Prasanna V 4000
6 IM Raunak Sadhwani 0
7 IM CRG Krishna 1000
8 IM Ravi Teja S 500
9 GM Laxman R R 1500
10 IM Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh 1000
11 IM Bhakti Kulkarni 1000
12 IM Anuj Shrivatri 1000
13 WGM Vaishali R 1000
14 IM Konguvel P 10000
15 Ashwath R 500
16 IM Neelash Saha 1000
17 FM Siddharth Jagadeesh 10000
18 IM Rathnakaran K 1000
19 Kaustuv Kundu 500
20 WIM Priyanka Nutakki 500
21 Rohit S 500
22 Gaurav Bakliwal 500
23 Girish Chandanani 500
24 Aradhya Garg 500
25 Sahil Tickoo 500
26 Sriram Sarja 500
27 Sarvesh Kumar A 500
28 Amithpal Singh 1064
29 Anusha NLV 500
30 Chandar Raju 500
31 Siddharth Sabharishankar 500
32 Sai Manivannan 500
33 Honi Arora 500
34 A.Anand Sivasankar 500
35 Sahil Dhawan 500
36 Muthu P 500
37 Sibi Srinivasa Einstein Reddy 500
38 Peter Anand A 500
39 Pradhyumna Kumar Kothapalli 567
40 Ojasva Singh 500
41 Aaryan Singla 500
42 Kheerthi Ganta 10000
43 Aashish Reddy 500
44 Ankur Singh Thakur 500
45 Raja Mohammad 500
46 Siva Vamsikrishna 500
47 Sankaran P K 500
48 Abhishek D Chandra 500
49 Jaiveer Patil 500
50 Akshaj Patil 500
51 Parigyan Chakraborty 1000
52 Anonymous 1500
53 Swayangsu Satyakam 1000
54 Mayur Gondhalekar 708
55 Amit Mishra 500
56 Bharath R 500
57 Dakshesh Dutt 500
58 Lakshita Dutt 500
59 Natarajan Rajaswaminathan 500
60 Niladri Chakraborty 500
61 Skanda Subramanian 500
62 Somasundaran M 500
63 Suhas Murthy 500

There is only one name we have kept anonymous upon the donor's humble request.

Donors who did not play the tournament

Serial No. Full name Donation amount
1 Vivek Nambiar 10000
2 Ramesh Balasubramanian 6464
3 Sethuraman S P 5000
4 IM Varugeese Koshy 3000
5 FM Akash Thakur 1000
6 Maruti Naik 1000
7 Mohammad Suleman 500

A total of ₹103,603 was raised by the Indian chess community. We thank each one of the players who contributed towards this noble cause. All of this money will be given to Rafiq Khan's wife Zahida Khan on behalf of the entire chess community for her husband's immense contribution towards our game.

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