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IM Harikrishnan wins Ramco 2nd FIDE Rated Open 2019

by R Anantharam - 16/12/2019

Second seeded IM Ra Harikrishnan scored 7.0/8 and won Ramco 2nd FIDE Rated Open 2019. Six other players also finished with the same score along with top seed Laxman R R. Harikrishnan edged ahead of him in the fourth tie-break score by 0.25 to clinch the championship. He received ₹70000 cash and a beautiful trophy for his efforts. Laxman was declared the first runner-up and Senthil Maran K secured the second runner-up position. Total 379 players from eight states across the country participated in this four-day eight round event where total prize fund was ₹500000 and 98 cash prizes were distributed. A detail tournament report by the Chief Arbiter of the tournament IA R Anantharam including games and photos. Photo: IA R Anantharam

Seven players finish at 7.0/8

Eighteen year old IM A Ra Harikrishnan of Chennai stood first among the seven players who scored 7.0/8, to win the Ramco Institute of Technology 2nd FIDE Rated Open organized by the college, a unit of Ramco Group of Industries.

IM Harikrishnan receives the trophy from Sri A Gopalsamy, President Virudhunagar DCA | Photo: R Anantharam

Harikrishnan's unbeaten run

Harikrishnan's best win of the tournament was against the top seed GM Laxman R R in the penultimate round.

However his last round draw against Balkishan A is worth mentioning as he defended valiantly with three minor pieces against a Queen.

Ramco is a very popular name in the chess circle as the first sponsor of the five times World champion Vishy Anand and the current sponsor of the World under-18 champion GM Praggnanandhaa R and his sister WGM Vaishali R. The brain behind these chess activities is its chairman P R Venketrama Raja, President of AICF, a keen chess lover and player.

Both Praggnanandhaa and Anand have been the beneficiaries from the Ramco Group | Photo: Amruta Mokal

GM Laxman R R of ICF was the top seed of the tournament, followed by Harikrishnan and IM Al Muthaiah of Chennai. Five players shared the lead with five points each at the end of the fifth round. Laxman defeated R Rathneesh of Chennai, Harikrishnan routed B Vignesh of TN, Selvamurugan of Madurai lost to Muthaiah, IM BT Murali Krishnan of Southern Railway got the better of Vijay Kumar Pakkurti of TN and SS Mangandan of GKCA Madurai had an easy outing against S Aswath of TN.

PR Venketrama Raja, President of AICF watches the thrill packed final round top board game between Balkishan and Harikrishnan | Photo: R Anantharam

Laxman defeated his friend and rival IM Murali Krishnan to emerge sole leader with six points from six games. Six players were half a point behind him. In the seventh round, in the encounter between the top two seeds, IM Harikrishnan shocked GM Laxman and the eighth seeded Balkishan also upset the third seeded IM Al Muthaiah. The summit clash was set up between the leaders Hari and Balkishan, each having a score of 6.5 points.

Friends and IMs Muthaiah and Hari shared the point in the sixth round | Photo: R Anantharam

Roommates Laxman and Murali fought and the game ended in favour of Laxman | Photo: R Anantharam

In the final round, Balkishan after obtaining a winning position in the middlegame, frittered away his chances to win the title and settled for a draw with Hari. The exciting game, watched by a large gathering had a nail biting finish, was a climax of the final showdown and brought out the fighting qualities of Hari.

Balkishan of Karnataka missed the title by settling for a draw with Harikrishnan in the final round | Photo: R Anantharam

It led to a seven way tie including both of the above mentioned players, Laxman, Senthil Maran, N Lokesh, S S Manigandan and BT Murali Krishnan. Harikrishnan pipped Laxman at the podium in the tiebreak score to emerge as the champion. Again it was a fantastic finish to decide the champion among the seven players. After having same score in the first three tiebreaks, Hari was ahead by 0.25 in the fourth tiebreak to clinch the title. Harikrishnan won a purse of ₹70000 and Laxman received a cash prize of ₹50000. A total prize money of ₹500000 was offered and cups for various categories.

IM Harikrishnan's win over GM Laxman was crucial | Photo: R Anantharam

Laxman defeated Sa Kannan to secure the second position | Photo: R Anantharam

Meditation by Anup Shankar before the game against Senthil Maran who finished as the second runner up | Photo: R Anantharam

Lokesh finished fifth after Balkishan | Photo: R Anantharam

OT Anil Kumar of Kerala (left) and IM Murali Krishnan (right), the latter was placed seventh | Photo: R Anantharam

The win by Manigandan S S over Sree Veeramani helped him to achieve the sixth rank | Photo: R Anantharam

Reigning National under-9 champion Aakash G in action | Photo: R Anantharam

Dr. R Venkatraj, Chief Educational Officer, Ramco Group of Industries inaugurated the tournament in the presence of Dr.L Ganesan, Principal, Ramco Institute of Technology and Mr. V Vijayaraghavan, Joint Secretary, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association. Mr. A Gopalsamy, President of Virudhunagar District Chess Association and former vice president of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association distributed the prizes.


The tournament was an enjoyable one with a huge playing hall, free sumptuous food for players, free sightseeing trip to parents to Andal temple, Srivilliputtur and Ayyanar Falls, a scenic picnic spot.

A view of the huge playing hall, which can easily accommodate around thousand players | Photo: R Anantharam

Yawning monkey in the forest adjoining the college | Photo: R Anantharam

Players enjoying a dip in the wild stream of the forest | Photo: R Anantharam

Arbiters with PR Venketrama Raja, AICF president | Photo: R Anantharam

A total of 379 players from eight states across the country, including GM Laxman R R and three IMs took part in the four day eight round event. The time control was 90 minutes to each player with an increment of 30 seconds per move.

Final Standings

Rk.SNoNameTypsexGrFEDRtgIPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 nwwew-weKrtg+/-
21GMLaxman R.R.ProoIND24447,00,043,547,540,507876,830,17101,7
34Senthil Maran K6073IND23127,00,041,044,037,506876,810,19203,8
48Balkishan A.NAIND20937,00,040,544,538,006875,601,402028,0
55Lokesh N.5241IND22387,00,039,544,037,756876,760,24204,8
67Manigandan S S5029IND21747,00,039,543,537,507876,520,48209,6
76IMMurali Krishnan B TLM?IND21977,00,038,042,035,007876,520,48104,8
83IMMuthaiah AlProoIND23636,50,039,043,033,00686,56,73-0,2310-2,3
919AGMVignesh BU155045IND18586,50,039,042,532,75686,56,070,434017,2
1015Nikhil MNAIND19296,50,038,542,532,75686,56,440,06201,2
1117Vinay R JumaniU155996IND18716,50,037,541,032,75686,56,99-0,4940-19,6
1210AGMRathneesh RU155158IND20066,50,037,541,031,50686,56,440,06402,4
1333Shyam Sundar M5031IND17056,00,040,043,530,255864,651,354054,0
1413Anilkumar O.T.NAIND19456,00,039,543,530,505866,000,00200,0
1518Aswath SU126976IND18646,00,039,543,529,506865,560,444017,6
1612Selvamurugan B5272IND19796,00,039,043,527,506754,870,13202,6
1725Joy Lazar M.A.NAIND18026,00,038,541,028,005866,06-0,0620-1,2
189AGMSa Kannan6954IND20596,00,038,041,529,755866,50-0,5020-10,0
1911FMVinoth Kumar M.5454IND19966,00,037,541,029,506867,29-1,2920-25,8
2039Avinash RameshU155007IND16866,00,037,541,029,005864,501,504060,0
2132Ayyappan P Santhana PrabuU155025IND17086,00,037,040,027,755865,330,674026,8
2242Hiren K GU155062IND16696,00,036,540,528,506864,721,284051,2
2320Anup Shankar R5152IND18306,00,036,040,029,006866,22-0,2240-8,8
2447Deepak Raj RU155004IND16406,00,036,040,027,755864,851,154046,0
2580AFMDhanush Ram MU12NAIND14956,00,035,539,528,505864,381,624064,8
2614Dinesh Kumar JaganathanU155052IND19326,00,035,538,527,505867,19-1,1940-47,6
2734AIMPankaj BhatU15NAIND17026,00,033,035,025,006755,99-0,9940-39,6
2826Kishore Kumar Jaganathan5052IND17786,00,032,036,027,255867,04-1,0440-41,6
2982AIMArul Prakash NU105210IND14926,00,031,535,022,255864,771,234049,2
3072Bheri YaswanthNAIND15206,00,030,533,524,006865,190,812016,2
3146Gokulraj K6016IND16425,50,039,543,526,75585,54,231,274050,8
3216Dhanush Ragav N S6979IND19275,50,039,043,028,25485,56,05-0,5540-22,0
3349Gnanasekar .G5533IND16295,50,038,542,026,75585,54,730,772015,4
3452Balachandar E6397IND16055,50,038,542,026,50485,54,141,362027,2
3559Sai Alagappan S5118IND15675,50,036,540,525,25585,54,371,134045,2

Complete standings

About the Author

Prof. Rathinam Anantharam is an A-grade international arbiter. Member of FIDE Arbiters’ Commission, Chairman of Arbiters’ Commission in All India Chess Federation and also International Braille Chess Association, Vice President of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, Chief Arbiter for six world championships, many Asian, International and National Championships.


The article was edited by Shahid Ahmed

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