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Raunak Sadhwani triumphs at Serbia Open 2023 Masters

by Shahid Ahmed - 10/08/2023

GM Raunak Sadhwani scored an unbeaten 7.5/9 to win Serbia Open 2023 Masters. He finished a half point ahead of the competition. GM Cristobal Henriquez Villagra (CHI) and IM Arystanbek Urazayev (KAZ) scored 7/9 each. They were placed second and third according to tie-breaks. Raunak drew against both podium finishers and gained 12.4 Elo rating points. GM Pranesh M is the only other Indian to make a top ten finish. He scored 6.5/9 to finish ninth. The total prize fund in the Masters section was €23500. The top three prizes were €5000, €3500 and €2500 along with a trophy each. 17-year-old Soham Bhattacharyya is the highest untitled finisher. He scored 6/9, gained 141.6 Elo rating points to secure his maiden IM-norm. 12-year-old Vihaan Dumir scored a perfect 7/7 to win the Beginners section. All photos are from official site unless stated otherwise.

Soham Bhattacharyya scores maiden IM-norm, Vihaan Dumir clinches Beginners section with a perfect 7/7

GM Raunak Sadhwani headed into the final round with a half point sole lead 7/8. IM Arystanbek Urazayev (KAZ) and GM Cristobal Henriquez Villagra (CHI) were the only two players trailing him by a half point at 6.5/8 each. Raunak drew against Arystanbek and Cristobal shared the point with the top seed GM Maksim Chigaev. Thus, Raunak became a clear champion 7.5/9. Cristobal and Arystanbek were placed second and third according to tie-breaks 7/9 each.

Champion in Master section - GM Raunak Sadhwani 7.5/9

Runner-up - GM Cristobal Henriquez Villagra (CHI) 7/9

Second Runner-up - IM Arystanbek Urazayev (KAZ) 7/9

Raunak - Or Bronstein, Round 4

Position after 35.g6

GM Raunak Sadhwani (2608) launched a beautiful and creative attack against IM Or Bronstein (ISR, 2448). First he brought his king to f3 to clear the path for the e2-rook 34.Kf3 Re8 35.g6 Rf6 36.gxh7+ Nxh7 37.Rg2 Bd8 38.Ng6 Rf7 39.h6 Bf6 40.Rh5 Bd4 41.Nh4 opening the g-file for his rook. Black was left without a choice. He sacrificed an exchange 41...Rxe3+ 42.Nxe3 Qe8 43.Nf1 and White won the game in another ten moves.

GM Raunak Sadhwani en route his victory over IM Or Bronstein (ISR) in Round 4

GM Raunak Sadhwani scored an unbeaten 7.5/9, drew against both remaining podium finishers and gained 12.4 Elo rating points

GM Raunak Sadhwani pondering over his plan during one of the rounds

Despite getting a walk over in the first round, Soham Bhattacharyya (2146) scored 5/8 in the next eight games to secure his maiden IM-norm. The teenager defeated GM Sinisa Drazic (SRB), IM Georgios Mitsis (GRE), IM Or Bronstein (ISR) and drew against GM Jose Gabriel Cardoso Cardoso (COL).

Bronstein - Soham, Round 7

Position after 36...Nf4+!

Soham had already launched a brutal attack f5-f4-f3 from 17th to 19th move. He punctuated it with a nice finish 36...Nf4+! 37.gxf4 exf4 38.Qd1 Bd4 39.Nb5 Rxf2+ 40.Kh1 Bxb5 41.cxb5 g3 42.Rxg3 fxg3 and it was over.

Soham Bhattacharyya en route his victory over IM Or Bronstein (ISR) in Round 6

Soham Bhattacharyya scored an impressive 6/9, performed at 2508, gained 141.6 Elo rating points to score his maiden IM-norm

Champion in Beginners - Vihaan Dumir 7/7

Top 3 (L to R) in Beginners: 3rd Srihas Maddipati (USA) 6/7, 1st Vihaan Dumir 7/7 and 2nd Movses Militonyan (ARM) 6/7

12-year-old Vihaan Dumir (1564) finished a full point ahead of the competition. He gained 28.34 Elo rating points in the process. The total prize fund in the Beginners section was €1000. The top three prizes were €250, €200 and €150 along with a trophy each.

Vihaan Dumir scored a perfect 7/7 to win the Beginners section and gained 28.34 Elo rating points

Soham Bhattacharyya's maiden IM-norm certificate | Photo: Durgaprasad Mahapatra

Inauguration Ceremony

Mr. Lazic making the inaugural first move

The tournament hall at Metropol Palace Hotel in Belgrade, Serbia

Players in action

Closing Ceremony of Amateurs and Beginners section

Closing Ceremony of Masters section
Serbia Chess Open 2023 Opening Ceremony | Video: Serbia Chess Open

A total of 230 players including 15 GMs, 26 IMs, 7 WGMs and 9 WIMs took part in the Masters section from 33 countries across the world. A total of 113 players took part in the Beginners (<1700) section. The tournament was organized by Serbia Chess Federation from 16th to 24th July 2023 at Metropol Palace hotel in Belgrade, Serbia. The nine-round Swiss league tournament had a time control of 90 minutes/40 moves + 15 minutes for whole game, 30 seconds increment from move no.1 in the Masters section. The Beginners section time control was 60 minutes for entire game + 30 seconds increment per move. 

Replay all Masters games

Final standings in Masters

Rk.SNo NameTypsexFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 wwew-weKrtg+/-
GMSadhwani, RaunakIND26087,5048,5537,56,261,241012,4
GMHenriquez Villagra, CristobalCHI26187049,55476,180,82108,2
IMUrazayev, ArystanbekKAZ24277045,549,575,101,901019
GMAvila Pavas, SantiagoCOL24996,5050556,55,431,071010,7
GMSonis, FrancescoITA25686,5048,5536,56,86-0,3610-3,6
GMCheng, BobbyAUS25726,504852,565,530,47104,7
IMParkhov, YairISR24846,5046,550,56,55,960,54105,4
GMChigaev, MaksimFID26216,5046516,56,96-0,4610-4,6
GMPranesh, MIND25076,5046516,56,400,10101
IMSubelj, JanSLO25136,504448,56,57,04-0,5410-5,4
GMPetrov, NikitaMNE25596,5044486,56,62-0,1210-1,2
IMShahil, DeyIND23336,504245,56,55,570,93109,3
FMKalogridis, AntoniosGRE23286,504144,56,56,010,49209,8
IMPerunovic, MiodragSRB24056,5041446,56,380,12101,2
FMTsvetkov, AndreyRUS241260475265,400,60106


Final standings in Beginners

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
AIMVihaan, DumirIND1564702727,5
Militonyan, MovsesARM1254602831
Maddipati, SrihasUSA1147602628,5
Mitic, VladimirSRB06023,525
Bat-Amgalan, BatsaikhanMGL0602224
Skoko, StefanSRB05,5026,528,5
Ilic, ZvezdanaSRB16835,5025,528,5
Panic, ViktorBIH05,5022,524,5
Lalicki, TodorSRB1510503133,5
Velikova, GabrielaBUL14795029,533,5



Official site

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