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Goa GM 2018 Round 1: No less than Batumi!

by Sagar Shah - 14/10/2018

It is for the first time that the smallest state of India - Goa is organizing a grandmaster event. The Goa Chess Association has left no stone unturned in giving the best facilities to the players. The author of this article just returned from the Batumi Olympiad 2018, and finds the playing hall better than what was used in Georgia! The first round was played in the A group, while three rounds were played in the B-group. No grandmaster lost his game but there were a couple of draws. At the same time Deepan Chakkravarthy played some exciting chess to light up the event! Here's an illustrated report from the event with photos, videos, analysis and much more. 

Just a week ago Amruta and I were at the biggest chess event in the World of chess - the Olympiad! Have a look at how the stadium hosting the top teams at the Olympiad looked like.

The Batumi Olympiad 2018, the biggest chess event in the world | Photo: Amruta Mokal

And now we are in Goa and I would say the playing hall is comparable, or even slightly better than what we witnessed at Batumi!

The Shyama Prasad Mukherjee stadium hosts the first edition of Goa International 2018 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Goa is the smallest state in India, but its ambitions are definitely not the smallest. Goa Chess Association was formed in the year 1978 with the intention of sending a few of the chess players from Goa to participate in the national tournament. Never did it imagine that 40 years later it would be hosting one of the biggest open tournaments in our country.

What do you think would be the cumulative Elo of all these GMs put together! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The Goa International Open Grandmaster Tournament 2018 has been organized in three categories A, B and C with participation of over 1200 players across the three groups making it the biggest ever sports event held in the state. There are 288 players in the A group with 22 grandmasters and 26 International Masters. The top seed of the tournament is GM Martyn Kravtsiv, who has an Elo of 2654 and is fresh from his success at the Gujarat GM Open 2018. 

The Ukrainian GM Martyn Kravtsiv has been visiting India for nearly eight years now! | Photo: Amruta Mokal
Initial moments of the first round of Goa International 2018

The first round did not see too many upsets. There were a couple of draws on top boards. But perhaps the most interesting game was the one between GM Farrukh Amonatov and Srreezza Potluri. The young girl from AP was just a piece up after the middlegame complications but went on to lose the game. 

When moves fail, you have to make the stare work! The Farrukh Amonatov stare! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Stany's middlegame combination!

There are two players in contention to become India's 57th grandmaster at the Goa International 2018. One is Stany GA who has surpassed the Elo barrier of 2500, but needs his final GM norm. Next is IM Vignesh NR, who has his three GM norm but has to cover 30 Elo points. Stany's feat seems easier, but you never know! In the first round Stany played a very nice combination which we invite you to solve.

Stany vs Prajesh, Round 1

Black has just moved his king to d7, how should White continue?

Stany began with the fine move d5, shutting off the rook on a5.

Bb6! created a double attack on the queen and the rook and deflected the queen!

Next came Qh7+ and now you understand why the queen was deflected as Rg7 fails to Nxf8 with a completely winning position!
Interview with Stany GA on why he decided to play a norm tournament in India after three years, and his excellent combination in round one!

g4!? Deepan had just returned from the Inter Railway championship and had played 14 games before this one. He hadn't slept the night before and just wanted to play something that would keep him awake! g4!? it was.
Deepan explains his innovation!

Results of round one:

Bo.No. NameRtgClub/CityPts.ResultPts.NameRtgClub/City No.
11GMKravtsiv Martyn2654UKR01 - 00Vaibhav Jayant Raut1998MAH145
2146Potluri Saye Srreezza1993AP00 - 10GMAmonatov Farrukh2615TJK2
33GMPredke Alexandr2615RUS01 - 00Ilamparthi A R1984TN147
4148Aditya Guhagarkar1982MAH00 - 10GMPopov Ivan2611RUS4
55GMIdani Pouya2588IRI01 - 00AGMSa Kannan1977TN149
6150Himanshu Ranjan1970BIH0½ - ½0GMTukhaev Adam2556UKR6
77GMMalakhatko Vadim2552BEL01 - 00Pimpalkhare Vedant1968MAH151
8152Mushini Ajay1966AP00 - 10GMBernadskiy Vitaliy2547UKR8
99GMTer-Sahakyan Samvel2547ARM01 - 00Thaga Sheriff M1963TN153
10154Manish Anto Cristiano F1961TN00 - 10GMSivuk Vitaly2545UKR10
1111GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.2540TN01 - 00Manish Kumar (2006)1961ODI155
12156AGMRathneesh R1957TN00 - 10IMKarthik Venkataraman2525AP12
1313IMStany G.A.2502KAR01 - 00Prajesh R1953TN157
14158WFMBidhar Rutumbara1948ODI00 - 10GMAnurag Mhamal2495GOA14
1515GMNeverov Valeriy2488UKR01 - 00Pradeep Tiwari1947DASCB159


Adam Tukhaev was held to a draw in the first round by Himanshu Ranjan | Photo: Amruta Mokal
Another upset of the day was young Tanmay Chopra holding GM Levon Babujian to a draw

GM Ivan Popov is one of the favourites to win this tournament | Photo: Amruta Mokal

A few Iranians had planned to come to the tournament, but cancelled a the last moment. This left the only GM from Iran Pouya Idani, who is taking part. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Alexandr Predke had a tough first round opponent in the form of Ilamparthi AR. Our readers will remember that Ilamparthi recently won the under-9 national championship with a score of 10.0/10, before losing the last round. However, Predke didn't have too many difficulties beating his opponent. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Vitaliy Bernadskiy is a young Ukrainian GM who would be looking to win the Goa GM 2018 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

It's always nice to see players like DV Prasad who were best players of India in the their prime, make a comeback to the game! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The organizers have done a great job of arranging not just free tea and biscuits (as shown above), but also free lunch and dinner for the participants! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The first GM of Goa Anurag Mhamal will be able to play only five rounds as he will be leaving for the Isle of Man event | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Group B:

For the players in the group B, the tournament is extremely difficult. Having a large prize fund (the first prize is Rs.1,40,000) at stake is always very stressful. At the same time they have to play three rounds in a day which is not at all easy.

Top seed Arun Rathi (left) takes on Rituraj Burgohain | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Arun Rathi with a rating of 1994 is the top seed in the B group and is currently on 3.0/3 | Photo: Niklesh Jain

On the second Nirgun Keval (right) drew his game against Thounaojam Gobin Luwang | Photo: Niklesh Jain  

So many little kids battling it out at the Goa GM open 2018 and trying to become stronger players! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Standings after round three:

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 Krtg+/-
175Shiva SIND1731Kar3,00,04,06,06,0032012,0
21Arun RathiIND1994HAR***3,00,04,05,55,503207,0
13Vijay KumarIND1915HP***3,00,04,05,55,503209,2
17Raghavendra V.IND1900Kar3,00,04,05,55,503209,6
30Dhanush RagavIND1864T N*3,00,04,05,55,5034020,8
32Kadav OmkarIND1859Mah*3,00,04,05,55,5032010,6
41Nayak SanjeebanIND1821Ori3,00,04,05,55,5032011,4
20Nikhil MIND1891AP***3,00,04,05,05,003209,6
23Badavath AnandIND1874A P3,00,04,05,05,0032010,0
44Gokulraj KIND1810T N ( N P)3,00,04,05,05,0034022,8
45Karthik Gopal GIND1810A P ( AICF)3,00,04,05,05,0032011,6
48Niranjan MocharlaIND1805AP***3,00,04,05,05,0032011,2
59Inamdar SameerIND1778Mah3,00,04,05,05,0034024,4
69Abhinessh SIND1750TN3,00,04,05,05,0034024,4
72Sahil DhawanIND1740Har3,00,04,05,05,0032010,0
1764Mansoor C MIND1764Ker3,00,03,55,05,0032010,6
1873Ranjith R.K.IND1736T N3,00,03,54,54,5032012,8
77Chavan NameetIND1726Mah*3,00,03,54,54,5034021,2
20128PushpendraIND1631Del( AICF)3,00,03,54,04,0032032,4


Opening ceremony:

The opening ceremony was held prior to the first round at 2 p.m. on 13th of October 2018. 

Martyn Kravtsiv makes the opening move against Nilesh Cabral, the Power Minister of the state | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The pride of Goa Bhakti Kulkarni is honoured! | Photo: Niklesh Jain
An excellent Goan dance trying to balance the lamps on their head at the opening ceremony

Speech by Tournament director and Secretary of Goa Chess Association Kishor Bandekar speaks to the August gathering

Nothing is possible without the team of enthusiastic volunteers who are putting in their day and night to make this tournament a success!

On 14th of October, we will witness two rounds in the A-group and three rounds in the B-group. You can watch all the action live here:

Live Games from the 1st Goa GM open 2018

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