Delhi 2018 R01: India's biggest event begins, Next year Prize fund Rs.1 crore announced!
by Sagar Shah - 10/01/2018
There are a lot of firsts happening at the 16th edition of the Delhi International Grandmaster Open 2018. It is for the first time that a tournament has a total prize fund of Rs. 77,77,777 (All three categories combined). It is also for the first time that a 2700+ player is competing in an Indian grandmaster event - Arkadij Naiditsch (2701). It is also a record that nearly 2300 players from all over the world will be competing at the Indira Gandhi Stadium when all the entries of groups A, B and C are combined. We bring you the round one report and also the great news that next year's prize fund will be 1 crore Indian rupees.
It took me two hours to navigate my way from the Caspia Hotel (where I am staying) to Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium. Although the distance is just 22 kilometres, the Delhi traffic was unrelenting. When I reached the venue of the 16th Delhi International Open 2018 I took a moment to come to grips with the magnitude of the event. 246 players were about to start playing in the A- section, while 783 players were already competing in the B-group (below 1999). This makes it over 1,000 players competing under one roof. And not to forget, a fresh wave of nearly 1300 players are expected in the C-group (below-1600) when the event begins after three days.
Round one - Video report by ChessBase India
Azerbaijani grandmaster Arkadij Naiditsch is the first 2700+ in the history to participate at any Indian grandmaster open | Photo: Amruta Mokal
Arkadij won his game against Varshini. However, things were not so simple. The rook endgame was quite complicated and with correct play white could have given better resistance than in the game.
Second seeded Farrukh Amonatov also kicked off his campaign with a victory. He beat A. Balkishan | Photo: Amruta Mokal
Mr. Commonwealth has usually performed well in Delhi, and this year he would be wanting to take home the first prize of Rs. 5,00,000 | Photo: Niklesh Jain
Fresh from his victory at Hastings International 2017-18, Deep Sengupta would be wanting to continue his form in Delhi as well | Photo: Amruta Mokal
Ivan Rozum has shown promise at the Bhopal and Mumbai Internationals, but has failed for deliver. Perhaps Delhi is where all good things happen! | Photo: Amruta Mokal
You have to watch out for this young Uzbek lad - Javokhir Sindarov. I met him two and a half years ago at the Abu Dhabi Open 2015. He was rated around 2150. Now he is 2429 and this does not come as a surprise to me! Javokhir began his campaign with a draw against Jalpan Bhatt. | Photo: Amruta Mokal
GM Suat Atalik seemed to be completely winning, but couldn't finish off his opponent. Youngster Aryan Polakhare wriggled out with a draw. | Photo: Niklesh Jain
After winning the Mumbai under-13 event, Gukesh travelled the same night in a train from Mumbai to Delhi, took some rest, and is back on the board! It will be exciting to watch out how this 11-year-old plays at this event. | Photo: Niklesh Jain
WGM Mary Ann Gomes is the top-rated female player of the tournament. She had to settle for a draw against Mohammed Anees. | Photo: Amruta Mokal
WIM Rucha Pujari will be looking for her WGM norm at the event | Photo: Niklesh Jain
Himanshu Sharma did not have the best of starts as he slumped to a first round defeat against Karthik Kumar Pradeep | Photo: Niklesh Jain
GM Andrey Deviatkin also didn't have a great day as he lost his first round to Utsab Chatterjee (2005) | Photo: Amruta Mokal
The National Champion and the Commonwealth Champion share a light moment off the board | Photo: Niklesh Jain
ChessBase India author Jitendra Choudhary acts as an arbiter at the event | Photo: Niklesh Jain
Two-time National Champion Karthikeyan Murali is surely one of the favourites to win at this event | Photo: Niklesh Jain
In what was an extremely bold move, Bharat Singh Chauhan made an announcement at the opening ceremony about the next Delhi International Open (2019) having a prize fund of Rs. one crore and one lakh! What a fantastic development! | Photo: Niklesh Jain
Lalith with his mother Padma. Padma celebrated her 47th birthday on 9th of Jan, at the first round of the Delhi International 2018. Expect a huge interview with the birthday girl soon on our newspage.
Niklesh Jain interviews Delhi Chess Association Secretary A.K. Verma for Radio Chess
The best part about tournaments is that you meet your friends - me and Amruta with Padma and Rakesh Rao.