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Gariahat Chess Club draws huge interest at Open Air Chess Fest

by Shahid Ahmed - 25/02/2021

If you enjoy playing otb chess, Gariahat Chess Club is the place to be to play a friendly blitz game against anyone, any time. Of course you have to be prepared to remain impervious to the cacophony of traffic. It is just like the online chess servers, except this is where you get to play against someone whom you can actually see in person and move pieces physically on the board. The 24x7 open chess club has organized various tournaments witnessing 300+ players on this busy area of the city. On Sunday 21st February, Open Air Chess Fest witnessed 158 players participation including four IMs. Photo: FA Mrinal Ghosh

Aronyak wins a close battle

The chess craze is at an all time high. Add to that, the Covid-19 pandemic which caused almost everyone to be away from over-the-board tournaments for almost a year or in some cases longer than that. Gariahat Chess Club is one of the few clubs which is free-for-all. You can come and play against anyone and at any time of the day, 24x7 to be exact and throughout the year. There is no fee to play and you just need to know the universal language of chess to partake in a game.

Champion - IM Aronyak Ghosh 6.5/7 | Photo: FA Mrinal Ghosh

Both IM Aronyak Ghosh and Subhayan Kundu finished at 6.5/7. They drew with each other in the final round. However Aronyak edged ahead due to a better tie-break score. Five players finished at 6.0/11. They are - Shankhodip De, IM Mitrabha Guha, IM Srijit Paul, Anustoop Biswas and Tejash Jain. State Under-11 Open 2019 champion Shankhodip surprised everyone and finished third according to tie-breaks.

Aronyak in action against Manas Sen | Photo: FA Mrinal Ghosh

In Round 5, Aronyak was up against Anustoop Biswas. The rating favorite showed his mettle by utilizing his bishop pair correctly.

Aronyak - Anustoop, Round 5

Position after 26...Nf8

It is evident that white has advantage in the above position. What is the correct plan for white?

Aronyak survived a tumultuous position against IM Srijit Paul and turned things around. However he had a quicker win which he missed.

Srijit - Aronyak, Round 6

Position after 33.f6

Find out the winning continuation for black after 33.f6

Aronyak's unbeaten run

Aronyak on playing otb chess after a long time and winning the tournament, "It feels great to win a tournament especially after playing some poor chess in the first two tournaments I played earlier this month."

Photo Gallery

Top seed IM Mitrabha Guha (right) in action against Bishal Basak in Round 6 | Photo: Gora Basu

President of Gariahat Chess Club - Gora Basu

A glimpse of the playing arena | Photo: Arijit Sil

The tournament flex | Photo: Gora Basu

Total 158 players including four IMs took part in this one-day open rapid tournament. Players from various districts across the state of West Bengal took part in this event organized by Gariahat Chess Club in association with Kolkata Police.

Final Standings

Rk.SNoNameTypsexFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
12IMAronyak GhoshIND20496,5634,531,5
211Subhayan KunduIND18826,5633,030,5
361Shankhodip DeU12IND12526,0631,528,5
41IMMitrabha GuhaIND21226,0630,028,0
55IMSrijit PaulIND19326,0629,527,5
613Anustoop BiswasIND18486,0629,527,5
743Tejash JainIND14276,0628,527,5
84ANURAG JAISWALIND19565,5532,529,5
926Ambarish SharmaIND15985,5531,028,5
1089Sayak ChakrabortyIND10795,5529,527,5
1110IMNeelash SahaIND18835,5529,026,5
1229Sayan BanikIND15605,5529,026,0
1337Sanket ChakravartyIND15005,5526,025,0
143Debankan DharaIND20165,5432,028,5
1519Satyajit SarkarIND16725,0533,029,5


What makes Gariahat Chess Club so special?

It is well known among chess universe that Gariahat Chess Club is one of the few open air chess clubs where you can play chess 24x7 for free without any membership or registration. Almost two and a half years ago in November 2018, Wesley So for the first time visited the club before playing Tata Steel Chess India Rapid and Blitz. How did it happen? Gariahat Chess Club was featured in the widely popular chess magazine - New in Chess which caught the attention of Tata Steel Chess Tournament Director - Jeroen Van Den Berg.

Diptayan Ghosh beats Wesley So in Street Chess | Video: Shahid Ahmed

In 2019, both Ding Liren and Hikaru Nakamura visited the club and played a couple of friendly blitz games. Whom did the regulars at the Gariahat Chess Club wanted to see back then?

Anand and Carlsen are the fan favorites at Gariahat Chess Club | Video: Shahid Ahmed
16-year-old IM Aronyak Ghosh holds World no.3 Ding Liren to a draw | Video: Shahid Ahmed
Nakamura wins Street Chess blitz in 60 seconds | Video: Shahid Ahmed
Nakamura - Ding give a quick preview with Street Chess | Video: Shahid Ahmed