Arnav Maheshwari wins 5th Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit 2023
Arnav Maheshwari and IM Asylbek Abdyzhapar (KGZ) scored 7/9 each at 5th Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit Chess Tournament 2023. Arnav won the tournament as he defeated Asylbek in the fourth round. Thus, the tie-breaks favored Arnav. They both finished 1.5 points ahead of the field. GM Evgeniy Podolchenko scored sole 5.5/9 to finish third. Arnav's 2472 performance earned him his maiden IM-norm. The teenager also gained 103.2 Elo rating points in the process. The Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit tournaments have already produced four IM-norms out of the five events. It goes without saying that the tournaments have been successful in its objective. The sixth event of the series starts today. Photos: IA R Anantharam
Arnav earns an IM-norm
Arnav Maheshwari of Chennai won the 5th Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit Chess Tournament, organized by Tamil Nadu State Chess Association at Kodaikanal. Besides the title, he also achieved a valuable IM norm. He and the Kyrgystan IM Asylbek Abdyzhapar scored seven points each. As Arnav had beaten Asyl in their personal encounter, Arnav clinched the title and a cash prize of US$ 500. Overall, four IM-norms have been achieved from five tournaments.
The Belarus Grandmaster Evgeniy Podolchenko secured the third place, with 5.5 points.
The tournament was inaugurated by Mr. D V Sundar, former Vice President of FIDE, in presence of Mr. Stephen Balasamy, Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association.
GM Evgeniy Podolchenko, the top-rated player of the event, started with a win over Md. Imran, a debutant in this circuit. Evegeniy playing the white side of Nimzo Indian Defence, sacrificed his bishop on h6 square on the 31st move. Imran chose to accept it and got checkmated in five more moves.
Another debutant of the circuit Arnav Maheshwari of India surprised IM David Gochelashvili (RUS) in 39 moves from white side of the King's Indian. Arnav's advantage from the opening forced his opponent to make some inaccurate moves. Further inroads into the Black's camp by Arnav's rook and knight netted the black queen on the 34th move and the IM threw in the towel when his position became disastrous.
The Adam's attack in the Sicilian Najdorf game between Yash Jayesh and Surendran ended in latter's favour in the third round. Yash's attack was a shade slower, allowing Surendran to catch white's king in the center. Yash tried to hit at opponent's king but Surendran's defense and counter-attack earned him a rook for bishop on the 29th move. It was curtains for Yash after three more moves.
Arnav Maheshwari took the sole lead with three points at the end of the fourth round by outplaying IM Asylbek Abdyzhapar (KGZ). The white side of Benoni saw Arnav pushing his king pawn to the fifth-rank posting a threat. Asyl accepted a knight in the subsequent move, allowing Arnav to launch heavy attack with queen and another knight. Asyl resigned on the 46th move, when he lost more materials with no compensation.
Surendran was pitted against Shubh Jayesh (USA), played a quiet variation against his opponent's Slav defense. Surendran sacrificed his queen rook pawn on 20th move and reclaimed it later by positional play. Though Surendran won a pawn on the 29th move, the position seems equal in an endgame of queen, bishop and rook. He conducted the endgame part skillfully and forced resignation of his opponent in the rook endgame.
The fourth round was inaugurated by Dr. M Manickam, President of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association.
IM Asylbek slowly improved his position after five rounds by beating Md. Imran in a Sicilian Defence.
In a two pawns down position, N Surendran's two bishop played havoc at his friend Prasanna's kingside, forcing the latter to lose his queen and the game.
Grandmaster Evgeniy Podolchenko (BLR) and Arnav Maheshwari of Chennai shared the lead with 4.5 points each at the end of the sixth round. Podolchenko’s knight sacrifice to open the kingside of Shubh Jayesh Laddha was fruitful in decimating the latter's king.
IM Asyl conducted the white side of Petroff defense excellently against Sumer Arsh. The Petroff defense, is a favourite of the World Cup runner-up 2023, Ian Nepomniachtchi. Though the position was equal until the middlegame, Asyl exchanged all the pieces except bishop of same color for both and five pawns each. In the ensuing endgame, Asyl created multiple passed pawns to force resignation by Sumer in 44 moves.
The lowest rated player of the tournament Prasannaa S of Chennai, facing the tournament's highest rated player GM Evgeniy Podolchenko took advantage of the inferior variation played by the GM in the Advance Caro-Kann. Prasannaa won a rook for the knight on the 27th move and his queen, rook and bishop combination forced Evgeniy to resign on the 32nd move.
In the eighth and penultimate round, Arnav Maheswari recovered from a slightly inferior position, thanks to two bad moves by Prasanna’s dark coloured bishop. Arnav seized the opportunity and went on to win the game.
The lead remained unchanged, as IM Asylbek also recorded a win against Shubh Laddha.
In the final round, GM Evegeniy sacrificed a pawn for activity in the centre by tenth move from the black side of Caro-Kann Exchange variation. The sacrifice backfired when IM Gochelashvili's passed pawn reached seventh rank by 15th move, resulting tactics favoured White much to the dismay of the Belarus GM. The GM resigned on the 29th move, when he was three pawns down in the rook and knight ending.
The next stop, the sixth edition is at Chennai from 19th to 24th November. The players for the tournaments from 6th to 10th edition have been finalised. Players having a rating of 2150 or above and interested in participating in the 11th to 20th tournaments may apply to firstname.lastname@example.org. Non-Tamil Nadu players have to send a request to All India Chess Federation with a copy to the tournament mail id. The tentative dates (to be approved by AICF) are furnished below:
|11, 12, 13
|9th - 14th January 2024
|16th - 21th January
|23th - 28th January
|30th January - 4 February
|6th - 11th February
|13th - 18th February
|20th - 25th February
|27th Febuary - 3rd March
Kodaikanal, known as princess of hills is a picturesque town developed by the British in 1845. It is surrounded by forests, lakes and water falls. The temperature in the winter is around 15 to 20° C, ideal for the foreign and Indian players.
Replay all games
|Sumer Arsh, Shaik
|Shubh Jayesh, Laddha
|Yash Jayesh, Laddha
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