chessbase india logo

Mumbai IIFLW 09: Gukesh wins the juniors, Maghsoodloo takes the open

by Sagar Shah - 09/01/2018

Parham Maghsoodloo and D. Gukesh won the open and under-13 section of Eka by IIFLIM Mumbai International 2017-18. While Maghsoodloo was leading and played it safe in the last round, Gukesh had to win his final round game against Rohith Krishna to become the champion. The young boy did so and went home with the winner's cheque of Rs.1,50,000. Parham was richer by Rs. 3,00,000. Two norms were scored at the tournament - IM norm for Arjun Erigaisi and WIM norm for Divya Deshmukh. We have the final round report with all the action and interviews with the winners.

The last round of the junior tournament saw the following pairing:

Bo.No. NameRtgPts.ResultPts.NameRtg No.
Pranav V2263½ - ½7Aaryan Varshney2026
CMGukesh D236271 - 0CMRohith Krishna S2139
Anuj Shrivatri21491 - 0CMNikhil Magizhnan2017
CMMendonca Leon Luke213060 - 1Zia Tahsin Tajwar1825

The defending champion Pranav. V. had played a fine tournament to be the sole leader on 7.5/8 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Pranav. V., the defending champion was leading the tournament with half a point. He had the white pieces against Aaryan Varshney. It seemed as if Pranav had the best chance to take home the winner's trophy. However, Aaryan stood his ground and the game ended in a draw.

Pranav's draw gave Gukesh a chance to catch up with the leader | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Gukesh has shown nerves of steel in the final rounds of the last few tournaments that he has played. In the under-11 nationals he won his last round and became the champion. In Malaysia he beat his opponent in the final round to make his maiden IM norm, and now in Mumbai he was able to outwit Rohith Krishna to join Pranav at the top. It is interesting to note that Gukesh was not afraid to experiment and opened 1.f4.

Black (Rohith Krishna) was worse out of the opening. He managed to limit the damage by playing some good moves. It was the case of giving a check when you see one, that led to his downfall. ...Qb7+ was met with Qg2 and Gukesh won the endgame. Instead ...Rd8 would have led to equality as the e6 pawn is untouchable thanks to the rook entering into white's camp.

Once Gukesh and Pranav tied at the top, it was a matter of buchholz. Gukesh's 44 was better than Pranav's 43 buchholz. Gukesh won the event and Pranav had to settle for the second spot. It was a pity that both the players didn't play each other. A ten round event would have made it extremely exciting with Gukesh and Pranav facing off in the final round!

After the event we caught up with Pranav and Gukesh together for a cute little interview

I have a feeling that Gukesh and Pranav are the gen-next of Indian chess. And it's nice to see Indian chess producing champions in pairs. Praggnanandhaa and Nihal have already made a name for themselves all over the world. Now it is time for these two youngsters to shine. 


Gukesh and Pranav, both played in the under-13 and open section. For them playing in the under-13 section meant that they would have to play on top of their game in order to gain rating. Although both of them scored 8.0/9 in under-13, they didn't gain any rating. However, what they did earn was Rs. 1,50,000 and Rs. 1,25,000 respectively. And this meant that they can now invest that money into better training and playing more tournaments in India and abroad. A huge thanks to IIFLW for giving an opportunity to these youngsters to showcase their talent and win some big prize money.

Aaryan Varshney. with a rating of just 2026, played a very solid tournament, scored 7.5/9 and finished third. He also gained 60 Elo points | Photo: Amruta Mokal

It was a happy moment for the Shrivatri family as Anuj managed to finish fourth | Photo: Sagar Shah

Bangladesh's talent and son of GM Ziaur Rahman, Zia Tahsin Tajwar played a great final round game to beat Leon Mendonca and finish fifth | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The opening went really well for Leon who was well on his way to positionally crush his Bangladeshi opponent. But then Zia found some very interesting ideas which completely turned the game around.

...f5!? objectively not the best, but practically it was worth trying. After exf5, Black further sacrificed another pawn e4!?? to make the game extremely interesting. Check it out below:

Final Ranking after 9 Rounds

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgIPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 nwwew-weKrtg+/-
CMGukesh DIND23628,00,044,056,03,07,0988,09-0,0920-1,8
Pranav VIND22638,00,043,054,53,07,0987,980,02200,4
Aaryan VarshneyIND20267,50,044,056,03,06,097,56,011,494059,6
Anuj ShrivatriIND21497,50,041,553,53,07,097,57,72-0,2240-8,8
Zia Tahsin TajwarBAN18257,50,040,552,03,07,097,55,502,004080,0
AGMTarun KanyamaralaIRL20697,00,041,052,54,05,0977,93-0,9340-37,2
Shah JeetIND16717,00,041,052,53,06,0974,652,354094,0
AGMJubin JimmyIND19367,00,040,551,03,06,0977,17-0,1740-6,8
Jain NityatawIND19127,00,038,549,52,06,0977,12-0,1240-4,8
Polakhare AryanIND19477,00,038,049,03,07,0977,94-0,9440-37,6
Abhinessh SIND16667,00,037,550,01,06,0974,782,224088,8
CMNikhil MagizhnanIND20176,50,046,559,52,06,096,55,960,544021,6
Kadam Om ManishIND16526,50,044,057,03,06,096,52,863,6440145,6
CMRohith Krishna SIND21396,50,042,555,52,05,096,57,47-0,9740-38,8
Vrandesh ParekhIND17986,50,042,054,03,05,096,55,530,974038,8

Parham Maghsoodloo wins the open section

Maghsoodloo began the last round with half a point lead as he had beaten GM Abhijeet Gupta in the previous round. In the final round he took a quick draw against Alberto David that sealed the pole position for him.

Parham Maghsoodloo made the smart move of taking absolutely no risks and agreeing to a draw in 31 moves | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The only person who could now catch up with Parham was Deepan Chakkravarthy. But even if that happened Maghsoodloo would have been the champion because in their direct encounter the Iranian had beaten the Indian GM.


We wanted to get Parham into the studio on many occasions after his games in the tournament. However, somehow he always managed to vanish away. On the final day we caught up with him and did a short interview. The Iranian GM, who is clearly a huge talent, revealed some of the secrets that has helped him become such a feared opponent. One of them is - "I work 20 hours a day!" Yes, we did not hear that wrong. And No, he is not kidding. Check out this video to understand the way Parham Maghsoodloo works and why he is a force to be reckoned with.

After a bad run at the Bhopal GM 2017, David Alberto feared that Mumbai too would be similar, but nothing of that sort happened. He played a fine tournament, remained unbeaten and took the second spot. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Deepan's fantastic tournament was ruined after he lost the final round to... | Photo: Niklesh Jain

...GM Timur Gareyev | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Timur played a positionally beautiful game to score a victory and seal the third spot for himself.

GM Suat Atalik finished fifth. The grandmaster from Turkey spoke to ChessBase India on the first day of the Bhopal Open and said about how he had never lost to Indian before. He is halfway through his Indian trip and still remains unbeaten! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Arjun Erigaisi made his first IM norm at the tournament | Photo: Niklesh Jain

A few words must be said about this 14-year-old boy. Suat Atalik looked at one of his games in the Bhopal Open and said that this boy is an amazing talent. Bharat Singh when asked who he thinks are India's biggest talents after Pragg and Nihal pointed to Arjun, saying the boy has it in him to become Telangana's first grandmaster! At the tournament he drew against five strong grandmasters and beat all his lower rated opponents. And the five GMs were all very strong: Ivan Rozum, Suat Atalik, Swapnil Dhopade, Andrei Deviatkin and Dibyendu Barua.

Divya Deshmukh made her maiden WIM norm at the tournament! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The young and bubbly 12-year-old Divya Deshmukh showcased some phenomenal bit of chess to gain 86 Elo points and also make her first WIM norm. Just have a look at her performance:

Just one loss to Swapnil Dhopade. Apart from that draws against GM Nguyen Duc Hoa, Moksh Doshi and draws with Fadi, Shailesh and Ratnakaran! Tremendous play!

It is very curious to note that Divya played in both the junior and open section and performed quite poorly in the under-13 tournament. She lost a massive 70 Elo points. It's a great ode to her fighting spirit that in spite of bad results in the morning, she played some amazing bit of chess in the evening! She is surely someone to watch out for. We already published her interview taken at the Bhopal GM 2017, but we think it is worth watching again. Just look at her confidence!

Divya Deshmukh has it all figured!

Abhijeet Gupta, the top seed, had to be content with the eighth spot | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Final Ranking after 9 Rounds

Rk.SNo NameTypsexGrFEDRtgIPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 wwew-weKrtg+/-
GMMaghsoodloo ParhamU18IRI25708,00,050,554,53,07,086,731,271012,7
GMDavid AlbertoITA25717,50,052,055,53,06,07,56,481,021010,2
GMGareyev TimurUSA26067,50,048,051,52,07,07,57,69-0,1910-1,9
GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.IND24737,00,052,556,53,07,075,281,721017,2
GMAtalik SuatTUR25457,00,049,553,01,05,076,840,16101,6
GMTukhaev AdamUKR25757,00,049,054,02,06,077,06-0,0610-0,6
IMYeoh Li TianU18MAS24807,00,048,553,01,05,076,570,43104,3
GMGupta AbhijeetIND26107,00,048,052,53,06,077,29-0,2910-2,9
IMKhusenkhojaev MuhammadTJK24517,00,047,552,04,05,076,190,81108,1
GMNguyen Duc HoaVIE25047,00,047,551,52,06,077,19-0,1910-1,9
GMSwapnil S. DhopadeIND25337,00,047,551,52,05,077,50-0,5010-5,0
GMTran Tuan MinhU20VIE25447,00,047,052,03,06,077,17-0,1710-1,7
Sammed Jaykumar SheteU18IND23517,00,047,050,53,06,076,630,37207,4
GMHorvath AdamHUN24736,50,050,055,02,05,06,56,57-0,0710-0,7
GMRozum IvanRUS25956,50,048,553,54,05,06,57,16-0,6610-6,6

Some excellent pictures are coming your way from the closing ceremony. But you will have to wait for the next report. | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Previous reports from IIFLW 2017-18:

Round 1+2 Open: Beware of the top board!

Round 1+2 Junior: It's a tournament with life

Round 3 - A day of many upsets

Round 4 - Tactics, brilliancies and lucky escapes

Round 5 - Deepan Chakkravarthy takes sole lead

Round 6 - Deepan and Abhijeet pull off a miracle

Round 7 - Deepan slips, Gareyev shows his magic

Round 8 - Parham Maghsoodloo beats Abhijeet Gupta