IM Khusenkhojaev wins Courtalam Saaral FIDE Rated Open
IM Muhammad Khusenkhojaev of Tajikistan surged ahead of six other players who tied with him, to clinch the title of the 1st Courtalam Saaral (a mixture of cool breeze and continuous slight drizzling) FIDE rated tournament organised by Tirunelveli Development Chess Association at Courtalam from 29th August to 2nd September. Total 306 players from four different federation Chile, Nepal, India and Tajikistan participated including a GM and four IMs. Photo: R Anantharam
Sayantan, Rodrigo, Manigandan, Muthaiah, Alan and Barath finish joined first
The tournament had the charm and colour in the participation of GM Vasquez Rodrigo Schroeder of Chile, IM Khusenkhojaev, Dangi Mani Raj of Nepal in addition to the International Masters Sayantan Das of Kolkata, AL Muthaiah and R Balasubramanian of Tamil Nadu. Khusenkhojaev collected ₹70000 in the prize pool of ₹510000.
The first four boards of the final round ended without any decisive result, leading to a tie for the first place by seven players with 7.5 points each in a pack of 306 players. Former world under-12 champion Sayantan was placed runner up.
SS Manigandan of Madurai had a good tournament with a decent score against higher rated players. One of them is in the final round against the only grandmaster in the tournament.
IM R Balasubramanian was off colour losing to Tamil Nadu youngster Alan Divya Raj, helping the latter to get the sixth place.
The first three rounds of the tournament went on the expected lines except a few minor hiccups. In the fourth round, Dinesh Kumar J of Tamil Nadu rated 1878 shook the confidence of the top seeded GM Vasquez (rated more than 600 points higher than Dinesh) by holding him to a draw in a queen and pawn ending. Sixth seeded IM Balasubramanian was also held to a draw by little known S Aswath of TN.
Sa Kannan of Karaikudi drew with Muthaiah in the fifth round, enabling IM Khusenkhojaev, IM Sayantan Das, K Senthil Maran and M Barath Kalyan of TN to shoot into the lead with five points apiece. Senthi Maran shocked Sayantan in the sixth round to emerge sole leader with six wins. GM Vasquez regained his form to outwit Senthil in the seventh round, Khusenkhojaev defeated OT Anil Kumar of Kerala and Manigandan stopped the good run of Sa Kannan to share the lead with 6.5 points each.
Vasquez and Khusenkhojaev had a quick draw and Manigandan too drew with Senthil in the eighth and penultimate round. This helped the IMs Sayantan and Muthaiah to catch up with the overnight leaders by beating Dinesh Kumar and Swaraj Palit of Jharkhand respectively. The final round tale has already been explained.
Dr, Sheik Saleem, Governor of the Rotary district and former president of the Tirunelveli District Chess Association inaugurated the tournament. Ms. Hemalatha, Assistant Forest Conservator was the chief guest and Dr. Sheik Saleem, Governor, Rotary District 3212 was the guest of honour.
As mentioned in the preview, the season in Courtalam was very much pleasant and enjoyable. GM Vasquez and IM Khusenkhojaev spent most of their time after the games only at different falls.
Vasquez captured the entire natural scenery in his camera including the unbelievable positions of some monkeys on a very steep small mountain.
The Nepal player Dangi Mani Raj enthralled with his skilful yoga postures.
Do you feel that you have missed a good chance to visit Courtalam? Don’t worry. Come and play at the Below 1600 rating tournament from 28th to 30th September at the same venue to enjoy and enrich your health. Find more details here.
|3||1||GM||Vasquez Schroeder Rodrigo||NA||CHI||2496||CHI||7,5||0,0||53,5||55,5||45,00||6||8||6,5||6,93||-0,43||10||-4,3|
|4||8||Manigandan S S||U25||5029||IND||2100||TN||7,5||0,0||52,5||54,5||43,50||6||8||6,5||4,64||1,86||20||37,2|
|6||13||Alan Diviya Raj||U25||1042||IND||2026||TN||7,5||0,0||48,5||53,5||42,75||7||8||6,5||5,70||0,80||40||32,0|
|7||7||Barath Kalyan M||U25||IND||2118||TN||7,5||0,0||47,5||51,5||42,25||7||8||6,5||6,55||-0,05||20||-1,0|
|8||5||Senthil Maran K||U25||6956||IND||2222||TN||7,0||0,0||53,0||54,5||39,75||6||8||6||5,47||0,53||20||10,6|
|11||9||Bala Kannamma P||F25||w||5024||IND||2083||TN||7,0||0,0||51,0||53,5||38,25||6||8||6||5,42||0,58||20||11,6|
|12||17||Dinesh Kumar Jaganathan||U15||5052||IND||1878||TN||7,0||0,0||50,0||54,0||39,00||6||8||6||4,66||1,34||40||53,6|
|14||18||Sathya Giri V||U25||5160||IND||1854||TN||7,0||0,0||46,0||49,5||36,50||7||8||6||6,32||-0,32||20||-6,4|
|15||31||Raghul Saro S||U15||6953||IND||1667||TN||7,0||0,0||43,5||47,0||33,25||6||8||6||5,76||0,24||40||9,6|
|19||26||Dhanush Ragav N S||U25||6979||IND||1753||TN||6,5||0,0||47,5||52,0||36,25||5||8||5,5||5,43||0,07||40||2,8|
|22||38||Yukash Ram E||U15||5160||IND||1598||TN-T||6,5||0,0||46,5||51,0||35,50||5||8||5,5||6,19||-0,69||40||-27,6|
|23||19||Merryston David Scanny||1016||IND||1844||TN-T||6,5||0,0||46,5||50,5||35,50||6||8||5,5||7,05||-1,55||20||-31,0|
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 has been edited by Shahid Ahmed