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Dev Shah and Savitha Shri win 32nd National under-11 2018

by Rathinam Ananthram - 22/08/2018

The Chettinad Public School 32nd National Under-11 Chess Championship took place from 28th July to 5th August 2018 in Chettinad Public School, Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu and it turned out to be one of the best organised national championship in India. The organizers provided facilities which you would not find in many national events which included GM simul, live streaming and much more. Fittingly, the strongest players in the tournament – Dev Shah of Maharashtra among boys and B Savitha Shri of Tamil Nadu among girls won the championship and qualified to represent India in the 2019 edition of the Asian and World Championship. IA Prof.Rathinam Anantharam sends us a detailed report of the event with some great narrative and pictures that gives you the feel of the entire event.

Chettinad, a southern region in Tamil Nadu is quite popular for its hospitality and rich culture and heritage and is also known for its local cuisine, architecture, and religious temples. The host Chettinad Public School, Karaikudi situated about 70 kms from Madurai and its Chairman Shri SP. Kumaresan made it a memorable tournament to the 400 players and more than 600 parents. Current National and World under-7 schools champion and National under-7 champion Lakshana Subramanian is from this school!

Janmashtami as well as Teachers Day celebration at Chettinad Public School. | Photo: The Hindu

The Chettinadians recreating The Jallianwala Bagh massacre, 1919 on the 72nd Independence Day celebration infront of Chief Guest Chief Colonel R Sivanathan | Photo: CPS archive

Chettinad Public School is the Best CBSE school of Karaikudi and it organised the 32nd National under-11| Photo: CPS archive

Top seed of the open event was Dev Shah of Maharashtra with a rating of 2184. Although Dev is just 11 years old he had given a Ted Talk on chess when he was just nine! Due to a draw against A. Vannsh Adalja of Gujarat in the second round, Dev was trailing for most part of the event until the penultimate round where he defeated Shreyash Shivam Patnaik of Odisha to share the lead with CM Shahil Dey of Assam. Shahil gave a strong comeback to lead the tournament after an initial defeat against Roshan S of Tamil Nadu in round 4. In the end it was a 4 way tie for the title but with better tie break scores Dev Shah became the champion of the event scoring 9.0/11 points. Mahendra Teja Mekala of Andhra Pradesh, Shahil Dey of Assam and Ilamparthi A R of Tamil Nadu came 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively all with a score of 9.0/11 points.

From left to right: Padmashree Charles Borromeo, Stephen Balasamy Secretary TNSCA, GM Shardul Gagare, Sri SP Kumaresan, Chairman of the School, Sri. Bharat Singh Chauhan, Hony. Secretary, AICF, Dev Shah, his mother, Mrs. Kumaresan and IA Prof R.Anantharam | Photo: Rathinam Anantharam

Here is a beautiful game played by Dev in the 5th round:

In the girl section the top seed was B Savitha Shri of Tamil Nadu with a rating of 1742. A draw against Harshavardhini M.S. of Puducherry in the 5th round put her on the back seat and 7th seed Tejaswi R of Tamil Nadu recorded seven consecutive wins to lead the event. Tejaswi, however, met her Waterloo at the hands of the formidable opponent Savitha in the eighth round. But she came back strongly in the tenth and penultimate round to share the lead with Savitha on 8.5 points. Though both registered final round victories and tied for the first place, the direct encounter result in the eighth round clinched the title to Savitha. Sinthia Sarkar of West Bengal and Harshavardhini M.S. of Puducherry came 3rd and 4th respectively with same score of 8.0/11 points.

This the second consecutive title for Savitha Shri as she was also the champion last year with Gukesh : Photo: Rathinam Anantharam

Shahil (left) and Dev (right) ready for the fight in the final round | Photo: Rathinam Anantharam

Mahendra Teja (left) defeated Tanmay Jain (right) in the final round to get the second place | Photo: Rathinam Anantharam

AR Ilamparithi (left) kept himself in the race by beating Sahib Singh (right) of Delhi in tenth round and he finished fourth | Photo: Rathinam Anantharam

Tejaswi (right) defeated 6th seed Anupam (left) in the 10th round to finish joint leader and 1st runners up of the event| Photo: Rathinam Anantharam

Sindhusree K (left) of Tamil Nadu couldn't stop state mate Savitha Shri (right) from becoming the champion for the second consecutive time! | Photo : Rathinam Anantharam

9 times National Champion IM Manuel Aaron is greeted by Sri DV Sundar, Vice President, FIDE & AICF, Chairman, Principal and Sri Stephen Balasamy, Secretary TNSCA | Photo: Rathinam Anantharam

Earlier the inauguration of the event was done on a big chess board! | Photo: Rathinam Anantharam

The Arbiters team, headed by IA Vipnesh Bhardwaj! | Photo: Rathinam Anantharam

A huge waiting area for parents with the facility to watch live stream of the games! | Photo: Rathinam Anantharam

The wonderful organiser made sure that the parents and childrens are never bored! | Photo: Rathinam Anantharam

GM Venkatesh MR played a simultaneous chess and gave a lecture! | Photo: Rathinam Anantharam

Grandmasters MR Venkatesh and Vishnu Prasanna played with 40 players each on different days. The players for the simultaneous were selected based on the ratio of the players of the participating states and all states were given representation to play against the two grandmasters. They were also immensely benefited by the interaction and lectures by both grandmasters.

GM Vishnu Prasanna giving Simul in a very creative paper bag to promote chess! | Photo: Rathinam Anantharam

All the managers of the state which participated in this championship wrote to the organizers the following letter after the event ended:

“On many events you went out of your way to make everyone feel comfortable, which allowed players to focus on their game. We would like to express our deep gratitude to personnel involved in catering, boarding, lodging, accommodation, transport, security and press and electronic media. It was really a pleasure to be here”.


Needless to say the hard work put in by the school principal, staff under the able guidance and supervision by the Chairman of the school Sri. SP Kumaresan. A genuine chess philanthropist, who is willing to take care of the children as well as the parents. Free lunch was provided to all players and parents. An exclusive temporary waiting hall for the parents with about a thousand chairs, provided them the glimpse of their children in the playing hall through live streaming of the hall, as well as their games.


It is not obligatory to provide accommodation to special entry players and their parents. But, Mr. Kumaresan rented a three floor air conditioned marriage hall for the benefit of the special entry players. Most of the regular entry players and their parents stayed in the school campus itself.

Final Ranking after 11 Rounds in boys

Rk.SNoNameRtgIClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 Krtg+/-
11Dev Shah2184MAH9,00,077,583,567,50740-37,6
213Mahendra Teja Mekala1664AP9,00,076,081,565,0074093,2
32Shahil Dey1978ASM9,00,074,079,062,50840-9,2
43Ilamparthi A R1965TN9,00,072,578,062,25840-38,8
532Ananmay Sharma1523GUJ8,50,072,577,556,00740158,0
627Akshit Jha1543MAH8,50,069,574,054,7574060,8
754Swayham P Das1425GUJ8,00,075,580,556,00640170,0
88Souhardo Basak1765WB8,00,073,078,054,25740-26,8
95Tanmay Jain1868PUN8,00,072,077,553,25740-58,8
1028Alekhya Mukhopadhyay1543WB8,00,070,576,052,2574030,8

Final Ranking

Final Ranking after 11 Rounds in girls

Rk.SNoNamesexRtgIClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 Krtg+/-
11Savitha Shri Bw1742TN9,51,076,081,069,00840-21,6
27Tejaswi Rw1393TN9,50,075,080,066,50940108,8
314Sinthia Sarkarw1315WB8,00,075,079,054,5064062,0
418Harshavardhini M.S.w1276PUD8,00,073,577,551,7574080,0
53Ratnapriya Kw1465TN8,00,071,576,053,00740-35,2
66Anupam M Sreekumarw1417KER8,00,071,576,050,75740-0,4
715Sindhusree Kw1305TN8,00,070,075,050,0084036,0
830Sai Mahati Aw1232TEL8,00,070,073,550,2574078,4
912Mohitha Vw1322AP8,00,067,071,549,5074010,8
1010Kheerthi Gantaw1373TEL8,00,063,067,547,25640-22,8

Final Ranking

About the Author

Prof. Rathinam Anantharam is an A-grade international arbiter. Councillor, Arbiters’ Commission, FIDE,Chairman, Arbiters’ Commission, All India Chess Federation,Member,Qualification Commission, FIDE,Member, Pairings Commission, FIDE,Chief Arbiter for six world championships, about 20 Asian Championships and around 25 international norm tournaments.


Stay tuned for our ChessBase India Junior article by Avathanshu but that will be released shortly, that has the interviews of both Dev Shah and Savitha Shri.

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