Flawless Deepan Chakkravathy wins 2nd Shaastra Rapid 2018 at IIT-M
The Shaastra Rapid 2018 was held on the 24th and the 25th of February 2018 inside the IIT-M campus. The ten-round event had a time control of 20 minutes + 5 seconds increment. The top seed was GM Vishnu Prasanna, but he had ample competition coming from GM Deepan Chakkravarthy, GM R.R. Laxman, GM Sriram Jha and GM Tejas Bakre and seven International Masters. In the end, it was GM Deepan Chakkravarthy who won the tournament by displaying some phenomenal chess. He scored 9.5/10 and took home Rs.35,000. IM Sagar Shah and Amruta Mokal who were present at the venue bring you a detailed report. Sagar also took part as a player in the event and shares his experience with you.
Photos by Amruta Mokal
Rapid rating tournaments are not yet very popular in India. As a result, a lot of Indian players are under-rated in the rapid section. It is nice to see that IIT-M in collaboration with Shaastra is organizing a high-quality rapid rating event for the second year in a row - The Shaastra Rapid 2018. I have been to IIT-M twice within a period of a month. The first one was when I spoke about the role of technology in chess and this was my second time. Every time I enter the premises I feel that I have been transported to a place where the quality of life is just much higher than the normal environs in which we live! Greenery all around, students moving in cycles, animals walking around freely. It's simply a different world altogether. You have to visit it in order to feel it!
Before the tournament began each top player was surprised to see the other. Each one was asking why the other had come all the way to Chennai to play! For many players having less competition is much better as the chances to win a good prize are higher! In a nutshell, the tournament was extremely strong and winning the first prize of Rs.35,000 (total fund Rs.2,00,000) was not going to be easy. The tournament was divided into two days of five rounds each. The first day was relatively easy for the top seeds as most of them were able to avoid any big accidents and ended with 5.0/5 or 4.5. GM Deepan Chakkravarthy, IM Sagar Shah (Yes! I also decided to play!) and Ram S. Krishnan ended day one with a perfect score.
I must say, I have been a big fan of Deepan's recent play in the tournaments where I was present as a journalist. His ability to conjure up wild and interesting play from just about any position always made me marvel at his skills. Hence, playing against him when he is at the peak form of his career was quite a nice feeling! I had decided to be as solid as possible so as to not fall prey to Deepan's dangerous attacks. But Deepan had read my mind. "You know me too well," he said after the game and hence I decided to be very solid! The game was a very interesting one and one where I held the balance for a long part from the black side. But in time trouble I made a crucial error.
Deepan Chakkravarthy vs Sagar Shah
This is a position with great imbalance. My isolated pawn is weak and White has a beautiful square on d4, but my bishop pair ensures that I am not worse. With my pawn on a5, I should have improved my position with something like g6. However, I went for a4, hoping that my opponent would allow me to go ahead with a3. Of course, Deepan was extremely alert and snatched the initiative with the move b3! After axb3 axb3 Rc8 Rc2, the initiative was with White and Chakkravarthy managed to bring home the full point. I give the game below for you to play over and recommend you to watch Deepan's video interview later in the article where he discusses this win on a chess board. This was one of his favourite wins of the tournament.
After beating me in the sixth round, Deepan was unstoppable. He first beat IM Shyam Nikhil in round seven, Vishnu Prasanna in eight and Siddharth Ravichandran in ninth to seal the tournament with one round to spare!
The game was wild and crazy. Perhaps Vishnu was better, but Deepan showed tremendous resourcefulness to win. After the game ended, the players entered the titled players resting arena, set up the board and started analyzing. This was one of those times when the result had absolutely no bearing on the enthusiasm of the players. What they were enjoying was a session of fun analysis and uncovering new ideas. You definitely must not miss the video below where Vishnu, Deepan, Ratnakaran, Karthikeyan, Tejas and other top players are analyzing this game. It shows two things - First: how rich the game of chess is and second: how sometimes the struggle is much more fun than the eventual result.
|1||2||GM||Deepan Chakkravarthy J.||5011||IND||2457||ICF||9,5||0,0||66,5||71,5||67,50||9||10||9,5||7,39||2,11||20||42,2|
|2||1||GM||Vishnu Prasanna. V||4738||IND||2476||TN||8,5||0,0||69,5||74,5||61,00||8||10||8,5||7,85||0,65||20||13,0|
|3||12||Ram S. Krishnan||4040||IND||2276||BSNL||8,0||0,0||65,5||70,0||53,50||7||10||8||7,26||0,74||20||14,8|
|14||22||Ganesh Babu S||4117||IND||2084||TN||7,5||0,0||61,0||65,0||45,75||7||10||7,5||6,97||0,53||20||10,6|
|18||24||Manigandan S S||4005||IND||2059||TN||7,5||0,0||59,5||64,5||45,75||7||10||7,5||8,30||-0,80||20||-16,0|
|19||44||Dinesh Rajan M||U15||4642||IND||1809||TN||7,5||0,0||59,5||63,5||45,25||7||10||7,5||7,36||0,14||40||5,6|
|20||122||Jayachandra Srinivas Vellanki||U15||5905||IND||1308||TN||7,5||0,0||57,5||61,5||44,75||7||9||6,5||0,83||5,67||20||113,4|
The secret of Deepan's success:
I would strongly recommend you to reserve 26 minutes of your time and go over the interview with Deepan below. First of all, he analyzes his win against IM Sagar Shah and shows his thought process to the viewers, but more importantly, he also discusses things which have helped him to bring a completely new approach to his play. What exactly is it? Let Deepan do the talking:
Deepan became a GM at the age of 19. He was a player whom everyone feared. With his imaginative style of play everyone thought he would go really far. However, Deepan got stuck. And he was stuck very badly for well over a decade. Constant thoughts of reaching 2600 and many other factors played a role where he stagnated and couldn't improve. But suddenly things have changed! Chakkravarthy now plays chess freely. He doesn't really care about the result. He just believes in making the best move in any given position. And his new mantra is: "You have to give up something to get something." The saying is so true in life, but also makes a lot of sense on the chess board. Deepan is free from the illusion that he can keep complete control and yet be able to beat strong players. He goes into positions where things are complex and gives a chance for his opponent to go wrong. Just like Mikhail Tal said, "You have to take your opponent into a deep forest where 2+2=5 and the road leading out is only wide enough for one!" We hope that with this renewed spirit Deepan is able to make across 2600 and much further!
On a personal note:
For a chess player, nothing can match the thrill of playing on the board. The joy of outwitting your opponent in the opening, the thrill of a middlegame tactic, or simply the nail-biting pressure of playing with less time. Let's get it straight - playing chess is stressful, but we love the stress! I played a competitive chess event after quite some time (the last classical event I played was in August 2017). And I must say I was extremely pleased with my decision. I scored 8.0/10, finished 8th with one loss to Deepan and two draws against Laxman and Ratnakaran. This tournament made me believe more in my abilities as a chess player and I thank Nitin Pai for suggesting me to play this event. There were many nice games that I could share, but I will limit it to just one. It was my battle against GM R.R. Laxman where I used a theme that I had learnt from him five years ago!
After the game, I vividly remember Swapnil telling me that he thought he was better after he had made the move e4. The idea of Ne5 and d4 came as a surprise to him. I was also very impressed with Laxman's play and kept this idea of d5-d4 in my mind!
Coming to my game against GM R.R. Laxman, it was played in the eighth round. Laxman, of course, is a wonderful player and I am glad that we could indulge in a fighting game of chess.
In my workshops all over India talking about ChessBase softwares I have always told people that you must save your games. No matter what the event is - be it blitz, rapid or classical. Your games are your most important possession and you must save them carefully. Just to make sure that I practice what I preach I am putting up a link with all my 10 games below. The point I want to make is that saving these games in ChessBase 14 helped me to learn a lot more from mistakes. This is one of the fastest ways to improve. Make sure you too save your games using ChessBase 14.
You too can create an online link to your games and share it with your friends. All you have to do is select the games you want to publish from the database on ChessBase 14, right click, go to output - publish to web - one click publication. You get the url for all the games which can be freely shared!