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Indian chess players raise Rs.33121 in 'Let's Rebuild Odisha' fundraiser tournament

by Shahid Ahmed - 16/05/2019

The Indian chess community came through and raised ₹33121 in just four days to contribute towards the Chief Minister's Relief fund to help rebuild Odisha after the devastation caused by the cyclone 'Fani'. India's latest GM Swayams Mishra who is a regular in ChessBase Online Blitz tournaments is also a native from Odisha. He contributed and participated in this event. Laxman made his contribution and played the tournament. India's second youngest GM R Praggnanandhaa was also among the contributors and participant. Reigning National Women's champion WGM Bhakti Kulkarni and Pune lad Aditya Samant's father made the biggest contribution of the event of ₹5000 each. Pranav Venkatesh won the tournament, just hours after finishing 2nd in National under-13 open 2019. A report by the tournament director and coordinator Shahid Ahmed.

Odisha prepared well to minimize the loss of lives. However this cyclone was the biggest in the state since 1999 Odisha Cyclone. We, at ChessBase India decided to host a fundraiser online blitz tournament on 12th of May 2019 on PlayChess. There were no entry fees, nor any prizes. All the players gave their valuable time and energy to help rebuild Odisha.

Pranav Venkatesh scored 7.5/9 and won the tournament despite losing his last round game against FM Mitrabha Guha | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Pranav Venkatesh (Pranav_vip) truly deserved to be the champion as he defeated 3 GMs in three consecutive rounds from round 4-6. First he beat R Praggnanandhaa, then he defeated the latest GM of India, Swayams Mishra and then he went on to beat Laxman R R. It is not an easy feat considering the fact that he played the final round of National Under-13 Open on the very same day early in the morning. Pranav was the runner-up of National under-13.


Here is Pranav's best win from the tournament against Praggnanandhaa (Chessworld1):

India's latest GM Swayams Mishra (Mr bh6) scored 7.0/9 and finished at 2nd position | Photo: Chessmine

Swayams best win was against Praggnanandhaa (Chessworld1) in round 6.

FM Mitrabha Guha (Babysnake) scored 6.5/9 and he was placed 3rd | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Despite losing round 4 and 5 to Swayams and Pragg respectively, Mitrabha bounced back and defeated the eventual champion Pranav Venkatesh in the last round to redeem his losses.

4th - GM R Praggnanandhaa 6.0/9. He contributed ₹3000 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

5th - GM Laxman 6.0/9 contributed ₹4000 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

WGM Bhakti Kulkarni contributed ₹5000 for this noble cause

Aditya Samant's (above) father Sachin Samant donated ₹5000 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Saina Salonika made a contribution of ₹4000 | Photo: ChessBase India archives

GM Srinath Narayanan pledged ₹2000 | Photo: Shahid 

41 players came forward and contributed money in just 4 days. Top titled players of Indian chess like GM Laxman R R, GM Swayams Mishra, GM R Praggnanandhaa, and WGM Bhakti Kulkarni all of them contributed to the noble cause. In our opinion no amount is big or small. The fact that each one came forward and contributed already is a wonderful gesture. Thanks to the efforts of these 41 individuals, the chess community came together and raised Rs.31121 which we were able to donate to the Chief Ministers Relief Fund.

A total of ₹31121 was contributed by ChessBase India on 15th of May 2019

Details of the contributors

Serial No. Full name Donation amount
1 WGM Bhakti Kulkarni 5000
2 Sachin Samant 5000
3 GM Laxman R R 4000
4 Saina Salonika 4000
5 GM Swayams Mishra 3000
6 GM Srinath Narayanan 2000
7 GM R Praggnanandhaa 1000
8 Mayur Gondhalekar 840
9 Aradhya Garg 501
10 WIM Priyanka Nutakki 500
11 Aditya Bikram Paul 500
12 Atharva Jaeel 500
13 A.Anand Sivasankar 500
14 Kiran A 500
15 Aniketh 500
16 J Kumar 500
17 Natarajan Rajaswaminathan 500
18 Mitul K H 500
19 Pranav V 300
20 Harsh Kanoje 300
21 LYNA 250
22 Sa Kannan 230
23 Shahil Dey 200
24 Amit Rajeshirke 200
25 Swara Lakshmi S Nair 200
26 FM Mitrabha Guha 100
27 FM C J Arvind 100
28 Tarun Kanyamarala 100
29 Bommini Mounika Akshaya 100
30 Trisha Kanyamarala 100
31 Muralikrishna 100
32 Rohit S 100
33 Samriddhaa Ghosh 100
34 Ambarish Sharma 100
35 Kotepalli Sai Nirupama 100
36 Varun Bhatt 100
37 Anurag Deo 100
38 Sibi Srinivas Eistein Reddy 100
39 Arubi Prasath G 100
40 Aditya Varun Gampa 100
41 Sagnik Nandi 100
  Total 33121

Pranav wins the tournament and also gets the autographed DVD of Magnus Carlsen.

Pranav Venkatesh wins the signed copy of Magnus Carlsen's DVD - the Master Class Vol.08

Final Standings:

You can know who these players are by checking their actual name against their Playchess ids in the article here

We thank each and every player who contributed towards this initiative with money or time. We greatly appreciate your gesture.

Feedback by the players:

Another overhelming and commendable initiative by the Chessbase India team . I convey my condolences to the bereaved families who have lost their near and dear ones in the Fani cyclone and wish them a speedy recovery to normal course of life.

- GM Laxman R R


Firstly, I appreciate your idea of organising the blitz tournament for a noble cause. I thoroughly enjoyed playing against some of the strongest players. In fact, I was fortunate to play against Swayams in the very first round, and I got a taste of how strong was India’s 62nd GM when I was crushed in under 20 moves! Overall, it was a lot of fun, and I pray for the people of Orissa and wish the state a speedy recovery.

- Kiran Anginthaya 


This was my second such tournament. this time I (bought and) used a mouse. Could find a positive difference in the game-play. Feedback: I should avoid such tournaments at 11:30 pm on Sunday night in Japan ~~ I did win the first game quite nicely, but then missed a tactic in game 3, and at least one or 2 more games, and it all went downhill~~ I noticed, I was tired. to the extent that I was happy to get that 1 point off the BYE ( lol ) about the tournament: well conducted. hopefully there are more such opportunities for us, but without the underlying negative happenings... (meaning, on a normal, peaceful day, nice to have yet another tournament like this) I must improve my skills, no doubt, but I felt that the overall standard of participants in this tournament was HIGHER than the one after Pulwama incident.

- Mayur Gondhalekar


The tournament was conducted very well and once again a nice initiative by Chessbase India.I was little disappointed with the number of entries. I feel the event could be better advertised so that many number of players can take part.I was very happy to play with G.M R.R Laxman but missed a win that was pointed out by Mr Laxman himself.As I said before during the last event the tournament entry can be fixed as minimum Rs 300 as it's a fundraiser event.Thank you Chessbase India team.

- Anand Sivasankar


This was my first ChessBase Online Blitz tournament. I enjoyed playing this and I look forward to the next one.

- Samriddhaa Ghosh

Shahid Ahmed, senior coordinator and editor of ChessBase India, planned and executed the event and ensured that everything was done in smooth and hassle free manner