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Kushagra Mohan wins 20th Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit 2024

by R Srivatsan - 13/03/2024

IM Kushagra Mohan and IM Anton Sitnikov (UKR) scored 7/9 each at 20th Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit Chess Tournament 2024. Kushagra won the tournament as he defeated Anton in the penultimate round. The direct encounter tie-break went in favor of Kushagra, Anton was placed second. IM David Gochelashvili scored sole 6.5/9 to finish third. The six-day ten-player round-robin tournament was organized by Tamil Nadu Chess Association at Hotel Alankar Grande in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu from 27th February to 3rd March 2024. Tournament Coordinator - IA R Srivatsan writes the tournament report. Photos: IA R Srivatsan

Kushagra's first rating tournament victory of the year

19-year-old International Master Kushagra Mohan from Telangana won the 20th TN IM-norm Closed Circuit Chess Tournament at Hotel Alankar Grande, Coimbatore. Kushagra scored six wins, two draws and lost one game against IM Sevan Buscara (FRA). He scored 7 points. At the end of nine rounds, Kushagra was tied with IM Anton Sitnikov (UKR) on 7 points. In their eighth round encounter, Kushagra had beaten Anton. It turned out to be the deciding factor to win the event.

Champion - IM Kushagra Mohan 7/9

Kushagra - Anton, Round 8

Position after 22...b4

IM Kushagra Mohan played an excellent move 23.Bc4! making use of his complete control on the g-file. 23...Nxf5 24.exf5 Ne7 25.Ne4 Nxf5 26.Qh3 and White eventually went on to win the game.

Kushagra - Arjun, Round 7

Position after 24...Nd5

Arjun C Krishnamachari wants to promote his c2-pawn. However, it is not going to be possible as 24...Nd5 drops the pawn. 25.Bxd5 exd5 26.Rd2 Be4 27.Nxe4 dxe4 28.Rxc2 and White converted his advantage into a full point in a little over a dozen moves.

The tournament was inaugurated by Dr. M Manickam, President, TNSCA and Mr. Senthil Chinnasamy, President, CDCA

Runner-up - IM Anton Sitnikov (UKR) 7/9

IM Anton Sitnikov (UKR) receiving the second prize from V Vijayaraghavan, Vice President, TNSCA, K Dhanasekar (right), Secretary, CDCA, Organiser, 20th TN IM-norm Tournament, A Muthuswamy, Guest for the day. The organizers provided t-shirt to all players and officials on the penultimate day to wear it for the closing ceremony. Anton participated in seven IM-norm tournaments in Tamil Nadu, won three of them and was placed second in three tournaments. Quite consistent and impressive.

Round 9: Anton - Arjun: 1-0

Anton seemed to have good results with the side variation of exchanging queens early in the opening against the Caro-Kann. In the 19th TN IM-norm tournament at Tirupur, he chose the 3.d3 against Pushkar Dere, allowing the queen exchange as early as fourth move. Here he repeated it against Arjun.

Position after 23...Rd5

23...Rd5? 24.c4 Rd3 25.Bxa5 Rxb3 26.Red1 b6 27.Nd4 and Black lost an exchange. 23...b6 would have kept the game going.

Round 9: IM Anton Sitnikov (UKR) - Arjun C Krishnamachari: 1-0

Anton - Shyam, Round 7

Position after 23...Nxe4??

Find out why 23...Nxe4 does not work.

Second Runner-up - IM David Gochelashvili 6.5/9

A special mention about IM David Gochelashvili is, he has played all the 20 editions (18 to be precise, 11 and 12, 13 and 14 were held together in Chennai) of TN IM-norm closed circuit tournaments. An astonishing feat considering the matches were conducted every week! without break!

Photo Gallery

The participants of the 20th TN IM-norm Closed Circuit Chess Tournament

The playing hall

Inauguration of Round 5 by Mr. Vinod, Treasurer, CDCA and Mr. Maruthasalamoorthy, Coach, Coimbatore

Inauguration of Round 7 by Mr. Karunanidhi, PD, Hindustan College of Arts & Science

8th Round inaugurated by Mr. Umapathy, IA and Mr. Yousuf, Coach, Coimbatore

Inauguration of Round 9 by Dr. Seraimeetan of Coimbatore & Mr. A Muthuswamy, former National B player

Round 9: FM Jeet Jain - IM Kushagra Mohan: 0.5-0.5

Round 9: IM David Gochelashvili - IM P Shyam Nikhil: 1-0

Round 9: WIM Priyanka K - Aakash G: 0.5-0.5

Round 9: IM Olivier Touzane (FRA) - IM Sevan Buscara (FRA): 0.5-0.5

Arbiters and Coordinator team

Arbiter & Coordinator Team (L to R): R Srivatsan, Coordinator, IA Peter Joseph, Chief Arbiter, FA Ramesh, Dy. Chief Arbiter and IA Vijayaraghavan, Live Coordinator.

About Coimbatore

Coimbatore was called South India’s Manchester and ranked the best emerging city in India. Fourth among Indian cities in investment climate. Coimbatore has been selected as one of the Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under the Smart Cities Mission by Government of India. Coimbatore regularly features among the top ten best cities to live in India and is among the safest cities in India for women according to National Crime Records Bureau report.

The splendid Hotel Alankar Grande, The venue for playing and stay

On the second day evening, players were taken to Isha Centre at Coimbatore.

Entrance of Isha Centre, Coimbatore

In from of Sri Adhinatha, Isha Centre, Coimbatore

Replay all games

Final standings

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
14IMKushagra, MohanIND23607129,506
25IMSitnikov, AntonUKR23627024,756
37IMGochelashvili, DavidRUS22256,5026,005
46FMJeet, JainIND23206021,504
53IMShyaamnikhil, PIND24125016,753
610Arjun, C KrishnamachariIND22293,5010,002
71IMBuscara, SevanFRA225630,513,001
82Aakash, GIND211730,59,251
99IMTouzane, OlivierFRA2084216,751
108WIMPriyanka, KIND2099208,000


About the Author

R Srivatsan is a Category A level International Arbiter, Member of Arbiter Commission in both All India Chess Federation and Tamil Nadu State Chess Association. He was also the Tournament Coordinator for the 20th Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit Chess Tournament 2024.


The report was edited by Shahid Ahmed

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