Kaustuv Kundu wins 2nd Nagaon Open 2021
Assam had its first Classical rating tournament in over a year at ADP College in Nagaon district from 16th to 20th April organized by Nagaon District Chess Association. Total cash prize ₹275000 was up for grabs for the prize winners. Top seed of the tournament Kaustuv Kundu scored an unbeaten 7.5/9 and finished a half point ahead of the competition. He earned ₹50000 cash and a trophy for his efforts. Khumukcham Sanjoy Singh and IM Ramnathan Balasubramniam scored 7.0/9 and they were placed second and third respectively according to tie-breaks. A total of 116 players took part in this event. Photo: FI Pranab Kumar Nath
Top seed Kaustuv dominates the field
Starting out as the top seed of the tournament, Kaustuv Kundu of West Bengal scored 7.5/9, remained undefeated to win 2nd Nagaon Open. Six players finished at 7.0/9, out of them Khumukcham Sanjoy Singh of Manipur secured second position according to tie-breaks and IM Ramnathan Balasubramaniam of Tamil Nadu was placed third. Kaustuv was rated 138 points higher than the second seed, thus despite remaining unbeaten in the event, he lost 6.6 Elo rating points.
We caught up with Kaustuv after he won the 2nd Nagaon Open to get to know his thoughts on his victory.
Shahid Ahmed (SA): How did it feel to win an over-the-board event after a year?
Kaustuv Kundu (KK): Winning a tournament always feels great and this was no exception. But I feel that my quality of play was not up to the mark and I was very lucky to have won this tournament.
SA: You played well in Bangladesh Premier League and now in Nagaon, Assam. What makes you brave this pandemic and go to play tournaments?
KK: I am passionate about chess which motivates me to play OTB tournaments even in these trying times.
SA: Who was the strongest challenge you faced in the tournament?
KK: Rajiv Dhar was the toughest opposition for me. He was leading the tournament at that point and I was trailing him by half a point. Also, I had the Black pieces and it was a must-win game for me to stay in contention for the championship.
SA: How are you dealing with the ongoing pandemic situation?
KK: The pandemic has led to the cancellation of all OTB tournaments and that was a big blow for an aspiring player like me. Luckily online chess has gained a lot of popularity and I, myself, take part in a lot of online events.
SA: What's next for you?
KK: I will focus more on my studies for the next few months as I am in the final semester of my BSc. I hope that the pandemic situation gets normal by then and I look forward to participating in more OTB tournaments.
SA: Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
AE: Thank you.
Kaustuv annotated his best game of the tournament against Rajib Dhar in Round 6. Winning this game put him on the shared lead with the eventual second runner-up of the tournament IM Ramnathan Balasubramaniam.
Rajib - Kaustuv, Round 6
After a chain exchange of a pawn and queen, white played 18.Nxf7 which Kaustuv admitted to have missed in the game. However white was unable to capitalize on it. What did black miss?
The tournament was inaugurated by Dr. Surajit Kr. Bhagowati, Principal, ADP College, Mr. M Arun Singh, Vice President, All Assam Chess Association and Mr. Paragdhar Goswami, President Nagaon District Chess Association.
The tournament committee followed Covid-19 protocol diligently as laid down by Nagaon District Administration while granting permission to hold this event. Nobody was allowed in the auditorium and also the college premises without mask. Organizer also provided mask and sanitizer to players and also to accompanying persons. Social distancing was observed and there was sufficient distance between table.
Prizes were distributed by Dr. Surajit Kr. Bhagowati, Principal, ADP College. Mr. Rajib Dhar, Honorary General Secretary, All Assam Chess Association, Mr. M Arun Singh, Vice President, All Assam Chess Association and Mr. Paragdhar Goswami, President Nagaon District Chess Association.
A total of 116 players including an IM from Assam, Bihar, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Tripura and West Bengal took part in this five-day nine-round Swiss league event. The tournament was organized by Nagaon District Chess Association from 16th to 20th April 2021.
A special thanks to Deputy Chief Arbiter FI Pranab Kumar Nath for sharing photos and info about the tournament.
|2||4||Khumukcham Sanjoy Singh||IND||2061||7,0||50,5||55,0||42,75|
|14||8||Santanu Borpatra Gohain||IND||1954||6,0||49,0||51,5||30,50|
|15||6||Singh Soram Rahul||IND||2051||6,0||45,5||50,0||32,00|
|17||18||Elangbam Shashikanta Singh||IND||1746||6,0||44,5||48,5||27,50|
|18||21||Iftikar Alom Mazumdar||IND||1715||6,0||44,0||47,5||28,50|
|20||15||Neelabh Jyoti Borthakur||IND||1817||6,0||42,5||46,0||27,50|