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Soundarya Kumar Pradhan clinches 15th AICFB National Chess Championship

by Shahid Ahmed - 10/04/2022

Soundarya Kumar Pradhan (ODI) ended six-time consecutive National champion Kishan Gangolli's (KAR) eight-year long reign. The 22-year-old from Odisha scored an unbeaten 7.5/9 to finish a half point ahead of the field and become National Blind Chess Champion. This is his maiden National title. Defending champion, Kishan scored 7.0/9, remained undefeated and secured second position. Swapanil Shah, Marimuthu K and Somender B L scored 6.5/9 each. They were placed third to fifth according to the tie-breaks. The top five finishers will represent India at the upcoming IBCA World Team Championship. Mrunali Pande was the best finisher among female participants. Photo: AICFB

Soundarya ends Kishan's eight-year long reign

"Thank you so much. I am very happy to win this event, especially because there are many tough players like Kishan, Darpan, Aryan, Marimuthu, Ashvin Makwana ji and Swapanil sir. I managed to become the champion. I think many of the players are actually better than me. One thing that I did differently is, for the past 2-3 years I was not really able to focus on chess a lot. Now that I am in fourth year, my college is almost over, I have secured placements. It was possible for me to give some time to chess. I think I added a little less pressure to deal with. Also, I think luck is a factor." Soundarya on winning the tournament.

Top 3 (L to R) - 2nd Kishan Gangolli, 1st Soundarya Kumar Pradhan and 3rd Swapanil Shah | Photo: AICFB

National Blind Chess Champion 2022 - Soundarya Kumar Pradhan (ODI) 7.5/9 | Photo: AICFB
From no electricity to Computer Science engineer + National Blind Champion 2022 - Soundarya Pradhan | Video: ChessBase India

Runner-up Kishan Gangolli (KAR) 7.0/9 | Photo: AICFB

Second Runner-up Swapanil Shah (MAH) 6.5/9 | Photo: AICFB

Top five finishers will represent India at the upcoming IBCA World Team Championship in North Macedonia| Photo: AICFB

Soundarya Kumar Pradhan scored an unbeaten 7.5/9 and gained 33.6 Elo rating points

Swapanil Shah - Soundarya Kumar Pradhan: 0.5-0.5 | Photo: IA Manjunatha M

Kishan Gangolli - Darpan Inani: 0.5-0.5 | Photo: IA Manjunatha M

Milind Samant - Marimuthu K: 0.5-0.5 | Photo: IA Manjunatha M

Aryan B Joshi - Subhendu Kumar Patra: 0.5-0.5 | Photo: IA Manjunatha M

Somender B L - Ashvin Makwana: 1-0 | Photo: IA Manjunatha M

Photo Gallery

Soundarya Kumar Pradhan with his winner's trophy | Photo: AICFB

Top five finishers and best woman - Mrunali Pande 5.0/9 | Photo: AICFB

India's fourth Grandmaster in history Abhijit Kunte | Photo: AICFB

Dr. Saurabh Gadgil, MD and CEO of PNG Jewellers | Photo: AICFB

The Arbiters - Dhanaji Kakade, Pravin Pantawane and IA Manjunatha M | Photo: AICFB

For more Round 9 and Prize distribution ceremony photos, please click at the respective links.


A total of 55 players took part from various states across India. The tournament was organized by All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB) from 5th to 9th April 2022 at PYC Hindu Gymkhana, Pune. The nine-round Swiss league tournament had a time control of 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment from move no.1. There were double rounds every day from 5th to 8th April. Only last day 9th April 2022 had one round.

Round 9 results

111Swapanil Shah1622MAH6½ - ½7Soundarya Kumar Pradhan1749ORI5
22Kishan Gangolli2113KAR½ - ½Darpan Inani2124GUJ1
39Samant Milind1670MAH½ - ½6Marimuthu K1586T N12
43Aryan B Joshi1909MAH½ - ½Patra Subhendu Kumar1783ORI4
518Somender B L1446DEL1 - 0Makwana Ashvin K1729GUJ7
616Venkat Reddy S1481A P51 - 05Shashidhar K M1547KAR13
740Shah Saiyam Kamleshbhai1226GUJ50 - 15Gopi R1242T N35
810Prachurya Kumar Pradhan1630ORI1 - 05Noushad E P1473KER17
931Sam Peniel P1302T N0 - 1Patel Darshan1680GUJ8
1052Sourabh Mishra0DEL0 - 1Shidad M1432KER21


Round 9 pairings

Rk.SNoNameTypsexGrFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
15Soundarya Kumar PradhanIND1749ORI7,549,554,544,500,06
22Kishan GangolliIND2113KAR7,047,551,538,250,05
311Swapanil ShahIND1622MAH6,548,552,036,750,04
412Marimuthu KU21IND1586T N6,547,050,033,500,04
518Somender B LU21IND1446DEL6,543,047,032,000,06
69Samant MilindIND1670MAH6,048,051,532,000,04
73Aryan B JoshiU21IND1909MAH6,047,551,532,500,04
835Gopi RIND1242T N6,046,550,530,500,06
94Patra Subhendu KumarIND1783ORI6,046,050,030,500,04
101Darpan InaniIND2124GUJ6,045,049,030,500,05



Tournament Info

AICFB official site

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