Pranesh M dominates Rilton Cup 2022-23, becomes India's 79th Grandmaster
16-year-old IM Pranesh M scored 8/9, finished a full point ahead of the field to win Rilton Cup 2022-23. He took a no-draw approach. After losing his second round game, he won the next seven games to finish first, cross 2500 in the live ratings and become India's 79th Grandmaster. The teenager also became Tamil Nadu's 28th GM. Pranesh won a memento and SEK 22000 (approx. ₹170282). The last time an Indian won this event was in 2016-17 when Krishnan Sasikiran became champion. GM Raja Rithvik R is the only other Indian to make a top ten finish. He scored 6/9 to finish at eighth place. 15-year-old Manmay Chopra scored 7/9 to finish second in the Rilton Elo section (<2200). Photo: Lars OA Hedlund
The first Grandmaster of India in 2023
India got its latest Grandmaster on 5th January 2023 in the form of Pranesh M. This was just days after, IM Koustav Chatterjee became India's 78th GM. Pranesh started the event with three GM-norms and 2475 Elo rating. He needed 25 Elo rating points to become India's next GM. He was gaining about 23 points heading into the last round. A draw probably would have sufficed for him to complete the title requirements, championship was guaranteed though. However, the teenager decided to clinch the tournament with a surety by winning the game and ensuring the GM and the first place at the same time. We will have a detailed article about Pranesh's journey towards the GM title soon.
Rilton Cup 2022-23 is the first event of the FIDE Circuit. Pranesh is now the early leader with 6.8 points. The player who accumulates the most point at the end of the year, qualifies to the next FIDE Candidates.
Pranesh - Elham, Round 8
One does not need to play most accurately all the time, it's the willingness to take the risk and do as per the position's requirement is what matters the most. White could have opted for the safer 30.Kg2, yet he chose the exciting 30.Kf4. Computer says it's not a good idea which is true as the white king is now more susceptible to Black's attacks. 30...f6 31.exf6 Nh4 32.Bxh4 Rxh4 33.Kg3 and White landed himself in a lost position in no time. However, Black eventually blundered a checkmate in one move in a winning position and lost the game. Pranesh's risk paid off and he headed into the final round with a half point lead 7/8.
Urkedal - Pranesh, Round 9
Once again Pranesh shows an intent to take risk and go for a win. Black is not forced to break. A draw makes Pranesh the winner of the tournament, However, it probably might not have been enough to cross 2500. It could possibly be the reason why he wanted to play for a win. Once again, he bet on himself and it rewarded him handsomely. 39.Qc2+ Qf5 40.Qxf5 Kxf5 41.gxf4 Bd5 42.c5 and Black eventually won the rook and opposite color bishop endgame. Thus, Pranesh won the tournament, crossed 2500 in the live ratings and became India's 79th Grandmaster.
Vishy Anand tweeted on Pranesh becoming India's 79th GM
The Asian Continental Women 2022 champion, WGM Nandhidhaa congratulated Pranesh
A total of 136 players participated including 21 GMs, 41 IMs, a WGM and 3 WIMs took part from 29 countries all over the world including Sweden in the Rilton Cup (>2200) of Rilton Cup 2022/23, held at Scandic Continental in Stockholm, Sweden from 27th December 2022 to 5th January 2023. Rest day was on 1st January 2023. The tournament was organized by Stockholms Chess Federation. The time control for the Cup section was 90 minutes for the first 40 moves; followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game; with an increment of 30 seconds per move from the start.
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Final standings in Rilton Cup
|4||8||GM||Urkedal Frode Olav Olsen||NOR||2536||2536||6,5||45||47,5||36||2601||9||6,5||5,72||0,78||10||7,8|
|8||30||GM||Raja Rithvik R||IND||2453||2453||6||46,5||48,5||34,5||2564||9||6||4,69||1,31||10||13,1|
|12||GM||Thybo Jesper Sondergaard||DEN||2515||2515||6||43,5||47||32||2527||9||6||5,87||0,13||10||1,3|
Final standings in Rilton Elo
|9||11||WFM||Cramling Bellon Anna||1||SWE||2072||2072||6,5||43||46,5||32,5||2021||9||6,5||6,80||-0,30||20||-6|