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Odisha Circle and Utkal Sahoo triumph in 35th All India Postal Team and Individual Tournament

by Shahid Ahmed - 22/02/2021

Odisha Circle ended Tamil Nadu's dominant run at the 35th All India Postal Chess Tournament in the Team event as the home team edged past the last three editions' consecutive winner Tamil Nadu in the tie-breaks to assert a new champion. Both teams finished with 9.0/10 and the first three tie-breaks were same. It was the fourth tie-break which decided the winner. Rajasthan Circle finished third with 8.0/10. In the individual debutant Utkal scored an unbeaten 6.5/7 to win it. FM P Maheswaran and Shailendra K Bajpai finished second and third respectively with 6.0/7. Check out Utkal's success on his birthday with his annotated games.

Utkal wins a double on his 25th birthday

Odisha Circle beat Bihar Circle 4-0 in the final round to win theTeam event in 35th All India Postal Chess Tournament 2021. Both Odisha Circle and Tamil Nadu Circle finished with 9.0/10 and their first three tie-breaks were same. Odisha Circle edged ahead as their fourth tie-break was better. Rajasthan Circle secured the third position with 8.0/10.

Winner of 35th All India Postal team championship - Odisha Circle | Photo: Utkal's fb

Manoj Kumar Panigrahi was the best performer in the team as he scored 5.0/5, followed by Utkal Ranjan Sahoo 4.5/5. FM Soumyaranjan Mishra also scored well 4.0/5.

Odisha Circle team performance

  1. Odisha Circle (RtgAvg:1886, TB1: 9 / TB2: 15,5)
1Sarada Prasanna Nayak0IND100012,051551
2Sahoo Utkal Ranjan2332IND503456611½114,551848
3FMMishra Soumyaranjan2197IND5008115111014,051775
4Panigrahi Manoj Kumar2014IND5004713111115,051846


Within three days after winning the team championship, Utkal won the individual event with an unbeaten 6.5/7 on his 25th birthday.

Winner of 35th All India Postal Chess Tournament Individual - Utkal Sahoo 6.5/7 | Photo: Utkal's fb

Sher Singh was the only one who held Utkal to a draw

After the conclusion of the tournament, when I tried to find out how it was for Utkal to win both individual and team event. he said, "It was really nice to play over the board tournament after long time and win it. The last tournament I played was National team in February 2020, so it was a yearlong gap from over-the-board chess.


I joined India Post very recently, so it was important for me to show good performance. There was one team championship and an individual championship. In the team championship we had a tie with the Tamil Nadu team and our 1st tie break points were also same but we had better 2nd tie break and so we won the championship. In the individual event I made 6.5/7 to win it.


Playing after such a long time was really good. We were maintaining many precautions like sanitising and wearing masks most of the time."


Utkal was kind enough to share a game each from his individual and team championship triumphs:

Birthday boy Utkal won the final round in the individual event with a nice tactic against Deepak Katiyar.

Deepak Katiyar - Utkal Sahoo, Round 7

Position after 33.Bd3

Find out the winning continuation for black after 33.Bd3

Total 17 teams from 17 states across the country comprising of 79 players participated in both team and individual event from 15th to 20th February 2021. The tournament was organized by Odisha Circle Postal Sports Board.

Final Standings of Team Championship

Rk.SNoTeamGames  +   =   -  TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
12Odisha Circle5410915,5161,0178,8
21Tamilnadu Circle5410915,5154,0158,8
33Rajasthan Circle5401814,5053,5145,3
46Uttar Pradesh Circle5302612,5054,5110,8
55Assam Circle5302612,5051,0111,0
64Bihar Circle5302610,0064,0116,8
78Telengana Circle5302610,0056,597,0
810Maharashtra Circle530268,5048,558,3
915Chhatisgarh Circle420258,0047,542,0
107Delhi Circle5203411,0046,593,8


Final Standings of Individual event

Rk.SNoNamesexFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
11Sahoo Utkal RanjanIND2332ODI6,50,027,531,028,756
25FMMaheswaran P.IND2156TN6,00,530,534,028,255
32Shailendra K BajpaiIND2227UP6,00,530,033,027,255
43Pradeep Kumar R AIND2201TN5,50,030,032,023,504
514Ramakrishna PerumallaIND1986TEL5,50,028,030,522,254
618Soni KrishanIND1906DEL5,50,025,527,019,255
77Deepak KatiyarIND2087RAJ5,00,032,035,524,254
916Narendra Kumar SIND1953TN5,00,027,030,019,004
1015Trailokya NandaIND1973Assam5,00,026,527,515,505