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Asylbek Abdyzhapar triumphs at 2nd Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit 2023, Srija Seshadri third

by R Anantharam - 30/10/2023

IM Asylbek Abdyzhapar scored 7/9 to win 2nd Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit Chess Tournament 2023. He finished a half point ahead of the field. Despite making only 0.5/2 in the first two games, Asylbek made a strong comeback by scoring 6.5/7 in the last seven games. IM David Gochelashvili scored sole 6.5/9 to secure second place. WGM Srija Seshadri made sole 6/9 to be placed third. The winner of the first edition - FM Harshad S scored 5.5/9 to secure fourth place. The third event of the series started today in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Photos: IA R Anantharam

No tie-breaks needed for top six

International Master Asylbek Abdyzhapar of Kyrgyzstan won the 2nd Tamil Nadu IM-norm closed circuit chess tournament, organized by Coimbatore District Chess Association at Dr. Mahalingam College of Engineering & Technology, Pollachi, the city where the chess activities are flourishing. Asylbek defeated IM-norm aspirant FM Sekar B of Chennai in the final round to score seven points. Asylbek conceded only one draw in the last seven rounds.

IM Asylbek receives the champion trophy from DV Sundar, former Vice President, FIDE & Dr. M. Manickam, President, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association

IM David Gochelashvili (RUS) overcame the stiff resistance from veteran IM Murugan to clinch the second place. He had 6.5 points to his credit.

IM David Gochelashvili won the second place

WGM Srija Seshadri of NLC Neyveli won against the young Srihari of Pondicherry; a student of SRM University Chennai to get six points and the third place.

WGM Srija Seshadri was placed third

Top 3 (L to R): 2nd IM David Gochelashvili 6.5/9, 1st IM Asylbek Abdyzhapar (KGZ) 7/9 and 3rd WGM Srija Seshadri 6/9 

FM Sekar B and FM Senthil Maran of Chennai replaced Goutham Krishna H of Kerala and R Ashwath of Chennai from the Chennai list for the Pollachi event.


WFM Ayan Allahverdiyeva of Azerbaijan opened her king side unnecessarily in her Najdorf variation of the Sicilian Defence. Ziatdinov made some good moves to seize Ayan’s queen for three minor pieces. He had to return it back to save the game, but could not gain the momentum and lost after a long battle of 70 moves.

WFM Ayan Allahverdiyava (AZE) started the first round with a win over GM Razet Ziatdinov (USA)

Castling on the queen side, Srihari L of Pondicheery launched an attack on IM Murugan’s castled kingside in the Scheveningen variation of the Sicilian defence. Murugan's pawn sacrifice went in vain and Srihari made a bishop sacrifice towards the end to fetch him a point.

L Srihari's bishop sacrifice in the end fetched him a point against IM K Murugan

Grandmaster Razet bounced back from his first round loss to beat the Kyrgystan IM Asylbek Abdyzhapar in a nice game of the second round.

GM Razet Ziatdinov (USA) defeated IM Asylbek Abdyzhapahr (KGZ) in the second round

IM David Gochelashvili had a hat-trick of wins in the first three rounds.

The third consecutive win for IM David Gochelashvili was against FM Senthil Maran

WGM Srija Seshadri of NLC Neyveli repeated her Chennai tournament victory here also over her former trainer K Murugan, a retired sports officer in NLC. Murugan had to give up his queen for three minor pieces and made a series of errors to lose the game in 53 games.

The fight between the teacher and the taught. WGM Srija Seshdri defeated her trainer IM Murugan K

In another Chigorin variation of the Queen Pawn opening, Harshad missed a few winning moves to settle for a draw with the birthday boy B Sekar of Chennai.

FM Sekar B celebrated his birthday before the start of the fourth round

K Senthil Maran of Chennai, who defeated the elite Grandmaster Vladimir Fedoseev in the recently concluded Qatar Masters 2023 had a good game against S Harshad, the winner of the Chennai edition in the fourth round.

FM Senthil Maran K recovered to beat the Chennai tournament winner FM Harshad S of Coimbatore

In the fifth round, WFM Ayan Allahverdiyeva brightened her WIM norm chances by defeating IM David Gochelashvili in the 37-move game of the English opening, David brought his queen into the battlefield only on the 27th move by which time most of the damages were done by Ayan. The Azerbaijan woman's brisk queen finally brought down the curtain with a checkmate threat.

WFM Ayan Allahverdiyeva brighened her norm chances by beating IM David Gochelashvili in the fifth round

Woman Grandmaster Srija Seshadri of NLC Neyveli grabbed the lead to emerge sole leader with 4.5 points in the sixth round. FM Senthil Maran K of Chennai enjoyed a good advantage in the middle game of a Catalan opening against the veteran International Master K Murugan of NLC Neyveli in the sixth round. But the positional advantage could not be maintained by Senthil for long. Murugan not only nullified his opponent’s advantage, went on to play accurately to record his first win of the tournament.

IM Murugan K recorded his first win of the tournament by defeating Senthil Maran

International Master David Gochelashvili boldly opened up both flanks against Srihari of Pondicherry and played aggressively to win the game in battle, extending to 69 moves.

IM David played an aggressive game in getting a full point against L Srihari

The overnight leader WGM Srija suffered a setback at the hands of IM Asylbek in the seventh round.

IM Asylbek put paid to the hopes of WGM Srija Seshadri in the seventh round

Among the five games in the eighth round, two ended with decisive results. In a Sicilian Defence, IMs Asylbek and Murugan K, a runner-up to five times national champion Vishy Anand in the National A 1988 conducted the game in an even manner until move 30. But in the opposite colour bishop ending, the rook exchange by Murugan proved to be fatal and he lost the game in 53 moves.

The battle between IM Murugan and IM Asylbek ended in favour of the latter

B Sekar added one more point to his kitty at the expense of the USA Grandmaster Raset Ziatdinov in another opposite colour bishop ending. Raset’s 17th move blunder of moving the bishop instead of capturing the rook with it almost cost him the game. In the process, Sekar gained two pawns and won comfortably.

FM Sekar B improved his tally at the expense of GM Raset in the eighth round

S Harshad of Coimbatore prevented the Azerbaijan WFM Ayan Allahverdiyeva from achieving her second WIM norm by beating her in a rook endgame. Harshad's two connected pawns tilted the game in his favour.

WFM Ayan lost her norm chances by losing the game to S Harshad of Coimbatore

Dr. M Manickam, President, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association and Chairman of the Mahalingam College of Engineering & Technology and Mr. Senthil Chinnasamy, President Coimbatore District Chess Association inaugurated the tournament. C Ramaswamy, Secretary MCET and Dr. Ramakrishna, President Pollachi Chess Club were the guests of honour.

Senthil Chinnasamy, President, Coimbatore DCA and Dr. Ramakrishnan, President, Pollachi Chess Club made the inaugural moves

D V Sundar, former Vice President of FIDE, distributed the prizes to the winners and Dr. M Manickam, presided over the function. Mr. P Stephen Balasamy, General Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, Dr. C Ramasamy, Secretary, Dr. Mahalingam College of Engineering & Technology, Mr, R Srinivasan, Treasurer TNSCA. IA M S Govindan Kutty of Kerala was the Chief Arbiter.

Replay all games

Final standings

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
12IMAbdyzhapar, AsylbekKGZ23147030,0063
23IMGochelashvili, DavidFID22776,5024,5063
36WGMSrija, SeshadriIND22146020,7552
45FMHarshad, SIND21775,5022,0041
58FMSekar, BIND23335017,0032
610WFMAllahverdiyeva, AyanAZE21984015,2532
79FMSenthil, Maran KIND22983,50,516,7510
81GMZiatdinov, RasetUSA20813,50,512,7531
94Srihari, LIND2200309,5020
107IMMurugan, KrishnamoorthyIND2355103,5011


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

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