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Overwhelming response for the ChessBase India Power Catalan circuit group tour 2018

by Sagar Shah - 26/04/2018

The Group Tour by ChessBase India Power is a novel concept where players who enroll for it will go to the Catalan circuit 2018 in Spain (a series of six tournaments in Barcelona) with a personal guide. This guide will take care of all your off the board requirements, which will help you to focus entirely on your games. It's been 20 days since we published the initial article and the response has been overwhelming. Almost all of the spots in the ChessBase India group tour have been taken up. In this article we acquaint you with the players who are a part of the group tour and we also answer a few of the FAQs that we have been receiving since the last fortnight. 

A few days ago we published an article on how you can play six tournaments in Spain by making ChessBase India Power your personal tour guide. The response to the same was overwhelming. The guided tour with ChessBase Power Head Ankit Dalal had 10 slots and majority of them have been filled up.

The ChessBase India Power guided tour to Barcelona, Spain!

It's a refreshing concept that ChessBase India Power has come up with. Usually, when you plan a tournament you have to figure out everything right from booking tickets to accommodation to visa and so on. ChessBase India Power helps you by doing all of this for you, but for the Catalan Circuit 2018, we have decided to take it a step further. After you reach the place of the tournament, you do not need to figure out where your accommodation is, where the tournament hall is, how are you going travel, where are you going to eat. All of this will be done by ChessBase India Power. We decided to have a special guided tour where Ankit Dalal, who is an extremely competent and well traveled person, will accompany you to the tournaments in Spain. In this way the players can completely focus on the game and pump up their Elo while all the logistical issues can be left to us.


The added incentive here is that parents need not accompany their kids. For parents to come to events is a great expenditure not only in terms of money but also time. The ChessBase India Power guided tour helps the kids to travel on their own, become independent and learn a lot of things in process. At the same time the safety of the kid is our highest priority.


These are the people who have already confirmed and would be part of the group tour.

Saurabh Anand, 2294:

With a rating of 2294 Saurabh will be aiming to complete his IM title requirements at the Catalan circuit | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Kumar Gaurav, 2137

Kumar Gaurav, the former National Junior Champion showed big promise a couple of years ago, but has slowed down a bit. Nothing like making the big leap this European summer! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Saurabh Anand and Kumar Gaurav are siblings and come from an extremely humble background. They live in Araria, Bihar and chess is their means to fight poverty and move towards a better life.

Harikrishnan A.Ra, 2225

Harikrishnan A.Ra is one of the talented youngsters from Chennai who has shown steady progress in his chess career | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Akshita Gorti, 2252

A wonderful addition to our team is former US girls' junior champion Akshita Gorti with her mother Atmika Gorti. Akshita is just 15 and already boasts of a rating of 2252 and is already a WIM and a FM .She will be gunning for her WGM title| Photo: Austin Fuller/CCSCL

Deepak Katiyar, 2140

The winner of many rating tournaments in India, Deepak is also a fine trainer 

Kartavya Anadkat, 1976

Just 13 years of age, Kartavya Anadkat is one of Gujarat's talented youngsters | Photo: Ankit Dalal

Ishaan Bansal, 1759

With a rating of 1759, Ishaan would be looking to cross 2000 Elo on this trip! | Photo: Facebook profile

Raghav Bansal, 1541

Ishaan's younger brother Raghav will also be looking to make the most of the five tournaments that he will play in Spain | Photo: Facebook profile

Kavisha Shah, 1702

Kavisha Shah at the recently concluded Asian Youth Championships 2018 | Photo: Facebook profile 

Dhairya Ghelani, 1795

This 12-year-old boy is grossly under-rated. He is sure to rise up to the big stage in his first International trip | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Ankit Dalal, the head of ChessBase India Power and your guide!

Ankit Dalal, the head of ChessBase India Power, will be the tour guide. The 33-year-old is not only a rated chess player but also is a FIDE National Instructor. Bank on him to know a thing or two about high quality chess! | Photo: Amruta Mokal 

Says Ankit Dalal, "Since the day the article on the Catalan circuit 2018 was published I have received a tremendous number of calls on the ChessBase India Power Hotline Number. Parents and players alike have congratulated ChessBase India Power to have come up with this concept. We often have young chess players who go to events with other experienced chess players. The experienced chess player is also playing the tournament. The difference in ChessBase India Power guided tour is that I will be 100% dedicated to ensure that each and every need of the player is fulfilled." 


The guided group tour is quickly filling up. We only have a couple of spots left. You can contact ChessBase India Power and get your doubts clarified if you are interested to play.

Hotline and Whatsapp: 09106908500 (10 a.m to 8 p.m.)



"It's a rich mix of players in the ChessBase India guided tour," says Ankit Dalal. We have young talents above the rating of 2200 and we also have players who are grossly under-rated and are going to win a lot of Elo points in the Catalan circuit. I on my part will ensure that I provide them the perfect conditions off the board, so that they can excel over the board." Ankit himself was a talented youngster at chess who aimed to make it big. Lack of guidance led to stagnation and since then Dalal has made it his aim to guide other players achieve their dreams.


If you do not want to be a part of the guided tour, you can of course book your tickets, visa, accommodation through ChessBase India Power. A lot of players including many titled players have done that.

It should be mentioned that three team members from ChessBase India - Niklesh Jain (left), Atul Dahale (centre) and Shahid Ahmed (right) will be travelling to the Catalan circuit as players! They will be happy to help you in any way (unless they have lost a winning game in brutal style!)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

These are the questions we have been asked by a lot of the people and parents who are interested to participate in the Catalan circuit.

1. Why should you play in the Catalan circuit?

The biggest advantage of playing in the Catalan circuit is that you get to play five tournaments in a row. Amruta and I (Sagar Shah) chose to play four, as we took a break after three events, but for the ones who are enthusiastic and have loads of energy, can aim for five or even six!


The most boring part for chess players is to pack their bags after every tournament and move to the next location. Playing in Catalan Circuit helps you avoid that because all the events are in the same city. So you can have a central place to stay and travel to each of these tournaments without having to change your accommodation.


There is only one round taking place each day. Every day at 5 p.m. This helps you to plan your day in a perfect manner. What time do you want to wake up, what time do you want to have breakfast, lunch, dinner, what is the ideal time to prepare for the games and so on. A good schedule often helps you to conserve energy and keep your focus for the entire trip.


The city of Barcelona is one which people visit as a part of their vacations. We as chess players are lucky that we get to stay in the city for more than a month to do something more meaningful (playing chess) than just sight seeing!

Barcelona is beautiful!

Q: At what rating should you play the Catalan circuit?

The tournaments that we are looking at in the Catalan circuit are:

1. Montcada Open: 25th June to 3rd July 2018

2. Barbera Del Valles Open: 4th July to 12 July 2018

3. Sant Marti Open: 13th July to 21st July

4. Sitges Open: 22nd July to 29th July

5. Badalona Open: 1st August to 9th August

6. Sants Open: 17th to 26th August.


Let's have a look at the top 20 seeds of all of these tournaments for the year 2017:


Starting rank for Montcada 2017

No. NameFideIDFEDRtgIRtgNsexTypGrClub/City
GMVorobiov Evgeny E.4121341RUS25910RUSSIA
GMPeralta Fernando105309ARG256925762601CAT - Escola D'escacs De Barcelona
IMSantos Latasa Jaime2293307ESP25672564EXT - Magic C.A.
GMShyam Sundar M.5019141IND25350INDIA
GMHenriquez Villagra Cristobal3409350CHI25320CHILE
GMNarciso Dublan Marc2201500ESP251625292578CAT - Escola D'escacs De Barcelona
IMAsis Gargatagli Hipolito2260735ESP250524992554CAT - Lira, La C.E.
GMBurmakin Vladimir4105109RUS25040RUSSIA
IMOliva Castaneda Kevel3500799CUB24980CUBA
GMCuartas Jaime Alexander4401190COL249224922550CAT - Peona I Peo, C.E.
IMSantos Ruiz Miguel22291482ESP24732463CTL
GMRizouk Aimen7900309ALG247224732521CAT - Barbera C.E.
GMSundararajan Kidambi5005370IND24470INDIA
IMSalinas Herrera Pablo3407128CHI24380CHILE
IMVega Gutierrez Sabrina2219026ESP24272384wCAN - Grandama Santa Lucia
IMFernandez Fernando3802299PER24160PERU
GMPerez Mitjans Orelvis3502856ESP24132419MAD - 64 Villalba
WGMCori T. Deysi3801934PER24130wPERU
IMIniyan P25002767IND23920AJINDIA
IMKonguvel Ponnuswamy5000548IND23910AINDIA

Complete list

The Montcada tournament takes place in an auditorium called Kursaal

Starting rank for Barbera 2017:

No. NameFEDRtgIRtgNsexTypGr
GMOrtiz Suarez Isan ReynaldoCUB25652555
GMGrigoryan Karen H.ARM25550
GMHenriquez Villagra CristobalCHI25320
GMNarciso Dublan MarcESP251625292578
GMBurmakin VladimirRUS25050
IMHimanshu SharmaIND24980
IMOliva Castaneda KevelCUB24970
FMDiaz Camallonga CarlesESP244524282461
IMSalinas Herrera PabloCHI24380
IMFernandez FernandoPER24240
WGMCori T. DeysiPER24130w
GMPerez Mitjans OrelvisESP24072414
IMSmirnov ArtemRUS24010
IMLorenzo De La Riva LazaroESP23892377A2445
FMPablo Mari AlejandroESP23872391A-S62452
IMIniyan PIND23800A-U1
FMQuirhuayo Chumbe German GonzaPER23760A-U1
FMSoysal SerkanTUR23670A
IMKarim IsmaelMAR23610A
IMTissir MohamedMAR23540A

Complete list

Well lit and spacious playing hall at Barbera 2017. I remember that when I played in 2014, barring round 1, I played all of the remaining games on the stage in the top seven boards and it was great fun!

Starting rank for Sant Marti 2017

1GMPeralta Fernando105309ARG256425762601Escola Escacs de BCN
2GMGrigoryan Karen H.13301004ARM255500ARMENIA
3GMHenriquez Villagra Cristobal3409350CHI253200CHILE
4GMNarciso Dublan Marc2201500ESP251625292578Escola Escacs de BCN
5GMArizmendi Martinez Julen Luis2205092ESP251125080Paterna
6IMAsis Gargatagli Hipolito2260735ESP250524992554La Lira
7GMBurmakin Vladimir4105109RUS250500RUSSIA
8GMCuartas Jaime Alexander4401190COL250124922550Peona i Peó
9IMHimanshu Sharma5007836IND249800INDIA
10IMOliva Castaneda Kevel3500799CUB249700CUBA
11IMRios Cristhian Camilo4403940COL247724560COLOMBIA
12GMRizouk Aimen7900309ALG247224732521Barberà
13FMArvola Benjamin1506536NOR246900NORWAY
14IMZubritskiy Artyom4181247RUS244200RUSSIA
15IMSalinas Herrera Pablo3407128CHI243800CHILE
16GMHansen Torbjorn Ringdal1501720NOR242900NORWAY
17IMFernandez Fernando3802299PER242400PERÚ
18GMPerez Mitjans Orelvis3502856ESP24072414064 Villalba
19IMSmirnov Artem4143256RUS240100RUSSIA
20GMGonzales Jayson5201080PHI23990A0PHILIPPINES

Complete list

Starting rank for Sitges 2017

1GMCori Jorge3802272PER26360
2GMVolkov Sergey4122763RUS26270
3GMGrigoryan Karen H.13301004ARM25550
4GMHenriquez Villagra Cristobal3409350CHI25320
5IMHimanshu Sharma5007836IND24980
6IMOliva Castaneda Kevel3500799CUB24970
7IMSalomon Johan1509500NOR24880
8GMMovsziszian Karen13301152ARM248525582521Sant Andreu C.E.
9IMSalinas Herrera Pablo3407128CHI24380
10IMFernandez Fernando3802299PER24240
11FMVon Bahr Oskar1703250SWE24230
12GMPerez Mitjans Orelvis3502856ESP240702414
13IMGarriga Cazorla Pere32011601ESP24002469A2390Mollet, Club D'escacs
14GMGonzales Jayson5201080PHI23990A
15FMAronsson Marten1724223SWE23960A
16IMOblitas Carlomagno3800156PER23950A
17IMLorenzo De La Riva Lazaro2268809ESP23892445A2377Colon Sabadell Chessy
18IMBeltran Rueda Santiago2200694ESP23622428A2373Sitges Prado Suburenc, C.E.
19FMChueca Forcen Alberto2269902ESP23612364A2352Escola D'escacs De Barcelona
20IMKarim Ismael625736MAR23610A2364And

Complete list

The playing hall for Sitges 2017 | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Starting rank for Badalona 2017

No. NameIDFideIDFEDRtgRtgNTypGrClub/City
GMGrigoryan Karen H.013301004ARM25700Armenia
GMOrtiz Suarez Isan Reynaldo03507165CUB25560Cuba
GMPeralta Fernando15065105309ARG254025512593Escola Escacs BCN
GMKrysa Leandro0116807ARG253702495Mollet
IMVera Siguenas Deivy03804623PER25250Peru
GMHimanshu Sharma05007836IND25140India
GMGonzalez Garcia Jose166045101174MEX251325132572SCC Sabadell Chessy
IMGascon Del Nogal Jose Rafael330103902463VEN24982500Venezuela
IMOliva Castaneda Kevel03500799CUB24970Cuba
IMRios Cristhian Camilo04403940COL24750Colombia
GMNarciso Dublan Marc13862201500ESP246724772546Escola Escacs BCN
IMFernandez Fernando03802299PER24550Peru
IMFluvia Poyatos Jordi62772214334ESP243824242467Sant Josep Badalona
FMDiaz Camallonga Carles2279822235256ESP243724222471SCC Sabadell Chessy
IMPetrosyan Tigran S.013303678ARM24300Armenia
IMLorenzo De La Riva Lazaro152312268809ESP241524042465SCC Sabadell Chessy
IMSalinas Herrera Pablo03407128CHI24110Chile
IMGarriga Cazorla Pere2478132011601ESP24052396202469Mollet
IMGual Pascual Antonio3472200589ESP240423952489Cerdanyola Valles
IMIniyan P025002767IND2404016India

Complete list

Starting list for Sants 2017

No. NameFideIDRtgIRtgNTypGrClub/City
GMJUMABAYEV Rinat1370266126100
GMOPARIN Grigoriy2412589026090
GMAGDESTEIN Simen150001526040Oslo Schakselskap
GMVOCATURO Daniele813192259626072610Mollet, Club D'escacs
GMHEIMANN Andreas2462463225910OSG Baden-Baden 
GMTARI Aryan151004525910Vålerenga
GMDELCHEV Aleksander290039425772643
GMMOUSSARD Jules642908257102555Evry Grand Roque
GMGRIGORYAN Karen H.13301004257002612Armenia
GMSVETUSHKIN Dmitry1390046325580
GMORTIZ SUAREZ Isan Reynaldo3507165255625372373
GMSCHROEDER Jan-Christian2466225925390SV 1920 Hofheim
GMNOVIKOV Stanislav412537125380Botvinnik Chess School
GMKRYSA Leandro116807253702495Mollet, Club D'escacs
GMBLOMQVIST Erik1709437252502423SK Rockaden
IMVERA SIGUENAS Deivy3804623252502454
GMDOBROV Vladimir4136594251002366IQ
IMFERREIRA Jorge Viterbo191085024992408Xadrez Ourense
IMGASCON DEL NOGAL Jose Rafael390246324982500
GMHERTNECK Gerald460008824980Zugzwang Munich

Complete list

If you look at the lists carefully, you will find that the top 20 seeds in each section are rated above 2350-2400. In fact in the last tournament Sants Open you have the 20th seed with a rating of 2498! I went to the Catalan circuit in 2014 with a rating of 2304, and gained 100 Elo points surpassing 2400 and gaining my final IM norm. Last year we saw players like Iniyan making their GM norms. It is our belief that the Catalan circuit can be a good idea for any player up to 2400 Elo. For those above 2400 should plan the circuit if they would like to focus on improving their game, gain Elo points, or win prize money.


Q: What is the cost of the package?

The cost of the package is conditional to the time you do your bookings with us. The sooner the better. Also the number of tournaments you choose to play will decide the cost. But roughly, the cost of five events would be Rs.1,40,000** for the ChessBase India group tour and Rs.1,28,0000** if you decide to go independently. ( ** = conditions apply)

Group Tour Inclusions: 

* Flight Tickets

* Accommodation

* Visa 

* Insurance

* Entry Fees

* Management of all candidates

* Airport Transfers



* Metro Charges


*Any Excursions



*Flexibility (You can choose any number of tournaments and the package will be accordingly tailored)

* Safety

* Complete Guidance 


Non group-tour inclusions:




* Insurance 

*Entry fees


Q: How far will the venue be from the apartment?

This is where the six tournaments stand on a map:

The apartments will be booked in such a way that the travel time should not be more than 30 to 45 minutes to each of the tournaments. However, as you can see Sitges is a bit far and if you decide to play it, the train journey should take you around one hour fifteen minutes.


Q: How many people in one apartment?

The apartments will be huge and spacious and will host 6-7 people. It will have 2 washrooms. The number of people in an apartment could also be tailored to your needs. So you can let us know your requirements and we will assist you accordingly.


In case of any further questions, just pick up the phone and contact ChessBase India Power and get your queries answered. Alternatively you can also write to us.

Contact ChessBase India Power:

Hotline and Whatsapp: 09106908500 (10 a.m to 8 p.m.)



Note: Players outside India can also avail of the above services. Please write to us at and we will get back to you.

A big thanks to Arturo Vidarte Morales (left), the organizer of the Montcada Open 2018 for all his support.

Entire Catalan circuit 2017 covered by ChessBase India:

Shyam Sundar wins XXV Montcada Open, Iniyan scores a GM norm!

GM Himanshu Sharma bags top prize at the Barbera Del Valles Open

Sant Marti Open 2017: An event of glorious achievements and missed opportunities

A surprise from India at the scenic Sitges in Barcelona

Badalona - The Final Destination in Catalan circuit!

Over 580 photos from the 2017 Catalan circuit by Niklesh Jain 


स्पैनिश डायरी -01- यहाँ शतरंज सिर्फ खेल नहीं !!

स्पैनिश डायरी -02 - फिर छा गया भारत ! श्याम रहे श्रेष्ठ !

स्पैनिश डायरी -03- हिमांशु के कमाल से भारत गुलजार !

स्पैनिश डायरी -04 - शतरंज और हौसलों का सफर ! जारी है !

स्पैनिश डायरी 05- खूबसूरत सिट्जस ! भारत यहाँ भी है मौजूद !

स्पैनिश डायरी 06 - ये दोस्ती हम नहीं तोड़ेंगे !!

2014 Catalan circuit on ChessBase:

Ni Hua wins XXII Montcada Open

Peralta wins XXXVII Barbera del Valles Open

Grigoriyan wins Sant Marti Open

Grigoryan wins Badalona Open