Kishan Gangolli's fifth straight National 'A' Blind victory
He didn't come so well prepared for the event, but it didn't matter. Kishan Gangolli is in a class of his own and without much ado became the national blind champion for the fifth consecutive time! Ashvin Makwana from Vadodara grabbed the second place, Soundarya Pradhan was third and Aryan Joshi fourth. The fight for the fifth spot was intense in the last round and was taken by Subhendu Patra. These five players will represent India in World Team Championships in Bulgaria later this year. The tournament which had no sponsor at the start was funded by 114 individuals and the total collection was Rs.5,47,053. A wonderful collective achievement.
The atmosphere was tense in the final round of the National A visually challenged 2018 championship. There were five spots to be won for the World Team Championship 2018 and it was not clear as to who those five would be. In fact, four places had been sealed, but the fight for the fifth place was intense. This is how the standings looked after twelve rounds:
1. Kishan Gangolli - 10.0/12
2. Ashvin Makwana - 9/12
3. Soundarya Pradhan - 8/12
4. Aryan Joshi - 7.5/12
5. Subhendu Kumar Patra - 6.5/12
6. K. Marimuthu - 6.5/12
7. Prachurya Pradhan - 6.5/12
It was clear that Kishan, Ashvin, Soundarya and Aryan had already qualified for the top four spots. Prachurya Pradhan was facing Kishan Gangolli with the white pieces and having a low tiebreak score, it seemed that he would try to win, but Prachurya was very clear with his plans. He played the exchange variation of French Defence, took no chances and agreed to a draw very quickly.
Two important games left were Marimuthu who was playing against Soundarya Kumar Pradhan and Yudhajeet De against Subhendu Patra. Marimuthu played the opening phase of the game not so well and was soon in a completely lost position:
This meant that Subhendu now had to just draw his game in order to get ahead of Prachurya. Subhendu had beaten Prachurya in their personal encounter. But things didn't look so smooth for Patra.
Yudhajeet De vs Subhendu Patra
White navigated the opening complications well and soon had a winning position. But he didn't really play carefully and gave up all his advantage and later also the full point.
This victory meant that Subhendu had qualified for the World Team Championship for the first time in his life! A big result for the lad from Odisha.
This is how the final standings looked:
Final Ranking after 13 Rounds
|2||6||Makwana Ashvin K||IND||1744||GUJ||9,5||0,0||57,75||6|
|3||3||Soundarya Kumar Pradhan||IND||1753||ODI||9,0||0,0||55,25||6|
|4||5||Aryan B Joshi||IND||1813||MAH||8,5||0,0||47,25||6|
|5||1||Patra Subhendu Kumar||IND||1604||ODI||7,5||0,0||43,25||6|
|6||7||Prachurya Kumar Pradhan||IND||1611||ODI||7,0||0,0||40,00||4|
|7||11||Marimuthu K||IND||1613||T N||6,5||0,0||35,50||5|
|9||13||Yudhajeet De||IND||1678||W B||5,5||1,5||28,25||3|
|13||9||Deeptyajeet De||IND||1607||W B||4,0||0,0||24,00||1|
For Kishan it was a victory with mixed emotions. He was extremely happy with the coverage and popularity that he had received thanks to his victory in the tournament. Also the first prize increasing from 21,000 to 51,000 was a big boost. However, he had already decided that he would be quitting chess if he didn't get some employment where he can pursue his chess and keep himself financially strong. "How long should I wait for some recognition or employment", was his question. He will wait for some time, but if nothing turns up he will study for the UPSC examination and give up chess at least for a few years. India losing such a strong player, that would be a pity.
The second place went to Ashvin Makwana. The player from Vadodra played some exciting chess throughout the event and could have very well won it. He let Kishan off the hook in the eleventh round and had to settle for the second place. After the event Ashvin was disappointed that he could not finish first. "I have learnt a lot from this tournament and I will make sure that I will fix those mistakes," said Ashvin. Makwana makes his ends meet with chess coaching. His aim is to reach 2000 Elo first, then 2200 and eventually aim for higher titles.
Soundarya came to this tournament without much preparation. He was also studying for his 12th grade examinations that he is going to appear in March 2018. But during the tournament he kept learning from his errors and improved upon them to finish third. "I felt like it was an extended training session", said Soundarya. He won Rs.21,000 (which he will give to his father!) and also qualified for World teams as well as World Juniors.
The World Team Championship is an event where 16 of the best teams in the world compete with each other. How is the selection for these 16 spots made? These are the top 16 teams from the Olympiad 2017 that was held a few months ago in Macedonia. India had finished 7th and sealed their spot in the World Team Championship. Kishan, Soundarya, Aryan and Ashvin were present at the Olympiad 2017. The only new addition is Subhendu Kumar Patra who is playing an international event for the first time in his life.
The five players are upbeat about their chances of winning a medal at the event. We, the sighted community should help them in their aim for winning a medal. Here are a few things that you can help with:
1. Record a good chess book in audio format.
2. Give playing practice to the blind players by playing with them online
3. In case you are a coach, then find time from your schedule and train them for a few hours.
I think collectively we should be able to make a difference. If the blind players perform well, they boost Indian chess and put our country's name on the global map. With such talents we surely have a chance to dislodge the Russian and Polish supremacy.
When the tournament began there were absolutely no sponsors. All of them had backed out. Only HPCL came forward with Rs.50,000.
The following were the costs for organizing the National A event:
Lodging for the players (1 player + 1 accompanying person): Rs. 2,05,000
Boarding: Rs. 1,35,000
Tables, chair, sound system, stage etc: Rs. 70,000
Prizes and trophies: Rs. 1,25,000
Arbiter, live games (board rent): Rs. 27,000
Total: Rs. 5,62,000
Less: Rs. 50,000 (HPCL sponsorship)
Money required: Rs. 5,12,000
This was a substantial amount of money. And with only one day to go before the event began it seemed highly unlikely that the funds could be collected. The players had already done their travel booking and were coming to the venue on the subsequent day. There were only two days left to collect the funds. In such a situation, we wrote an article on ChessBase India and asked the chess community to come forward and help. The benevolence of the people was something we hadn't thought of. Within five days we were able to cross the barrier of five lakh rupees and in the end collected Rs. 5,47,053. The players, officials and just about everyone associated with the event were ecstatic. In fact for the first time in the history the prize money was increased to Rs.1,51,000, with the winner getting Rs.51,000. Along with the money the visually challenged chess players felt that there were people out there who cared for them and their play.
Here's the break up of the contributors:
|5||10000||Ritu Mohit Bhandari|
|13||10800||Rekha Pinkesh Nahar|
|14||1000||Aditya Mukund Kulkarni|
|15||2100||V j gupta|
|21||1000||Giriappa T Amin|
|26||5000||Shubham Sanjiv Kumthekar|
|27||100||Harshal Pramod Patil|
|32||2000||S C AGARWAL|
|45||1000||Aruna Shiv shankar Singare|
|49||27000||Mullick Somnath Charitable trust|
|55||2500||Rahul Anil Bhagwat|
|57||500||Rohan Bharat Joshi|
|58||500||Yoges kumbhar and Deepak vaychal|
|61||2000||sankaran ponnada krishnaswamy|
|64||1001||CMA (Dr.) Ashish Thatte|
|65||5000||BHAKTI PRADIP KULKARNI|
|66||500||VIMAL RAJ M|
|73||1000||Bina Manoj Sanghvi|
|75||500||Dinesh Prakash Gaikwad|
|80||1000||Amit Sanjay Raje|
|83||7500||Nikhil And Dipika Joshi|
|84||10000||Amruta and Sagar|
|95||45000||Not to be disclosed|
|97||1000||Dr. Himadri Roy|
|103||5000||Viyugam Chess Academy|
The tournament which had absolutely no sponsors became the centre of attraction when two outstanding players got associated with the event by meeting the participants:
We thank the entire chess community for their support towards blind chess. We wish the players good luck for the World Team Championship and hope that they come back with a medal!
Previous reports on ChessBase India:
Watch the National A Blind 2018 Live! - https://chessbase.in/news/National_Premier_Blind_2018_Live
Please Help! Blind National Premier in trouble - https://chessbase.in/news/Blind_National_Premier_2018_in_trouble
Over Rs.2,00,000 collected for the Blind National A in 24 hours!- https://chessbase.in/news/National_Premier_Blind_2018_begins
Blind National A 2018 R01: Tournament takes off thanks to public support! - https://chessbase.in/news/Blind_Premier_2018_Round_1
Blind National A 2018 R02+03: The atmosphere of a blind tournament- https://chessbase.in/news/National_Premier_Blind_2018_R02_03
Blind Premier 2018 R04: Kishan Gangolli gunning for his fifth straight title! - https://chessbase.in/news/NationaL_Premier_Blind_2018_Round_4
Contribution for National A Blind 2018 crosses Rs. 5,00,000! - https://chessbase.in/news/National_Premier_Blind_Round_5_8
Vidit Gujrathi is the brand ambassador for blind chess in India - https://chessbase.in/news/National_Premier_Blind_2018