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Sayantan Das convincingly clinches 6th Cannes Chess Open 2023, becomes India's 81st Grandmaster

by Shahid Ahmed - 02/03/2023

IM Sayantan Das won 6th Cannes Chess Open A part of 36th International Games Festival. He defeated the top seed of the tournament, GM Alexander Motylev in the final round to become a clear champion 7.5/9. This win also helped him to cross 2500 in the live ratings and become India's 81st and Kolkata, West Bengal's 11th Grandmaster. The total prize fund of the tournament was €8000. The top three prizes were €1800, €1200 and €700 along with a trophy each. Sayantan had fulfilled all the norm requirements in January 2017. However, he finally completed the rating requirements on Sunday 26th February 2023. GM Diptayan Ghosh is the only other Indian to make a top ten finish, scoring 7/9 and was placed fourth. Photo: Susan Polgar

Six year long wait is finally over for Sayantan

The 2008 World U-12 Gold medalist has had a GM strength for over six years. However, the 2500 rating kept alluring him despite getting close to it several times. The final obstacle was overcome in a fantastic manner as he won the 6th Cannes Chess Open and took his live rating to 2504. We will have a detailed interview of Sayantan to know his journey, once he is back home..

Champion - IM Sayantan Das 7.5/9

Fun fact: All three GMs India got this year have won their tournaments when they became a GM by crossing 2500 in the live ratings. 79th - Pranesh won Rilton Cup 2022-23, 80th - Vignesh N R clinched 24th NordWest Cup 2023 and now 81st - Sayantan Das became champion at 6th Cannes Open 2023.


IM Sayantan Das (2468) gained sole lead 6.5/8 heading into the final round. He was paired against the European 2014 champion and the coach of former world championship challenger, Sergey Karjakin.

Motylev - Sayantan, Round 9

Position after 35.c4

Sayantan defended for the better part of the game against Motylev. He kept fighting and eventually his opponent made an incorrect break in the major piece endgame. 35.c4 dxc4 36.Rb4 Qd5 37.Qe7+ Kb8 38.Qe5+ Qxe5 39.dxe5 e3 40.e6 e2 41.Rb1 fxe6 and White resigned. This win made him a clear champion and helped him cross 2500 in the live ratings to become India's latest Grandmaster. He also scored a fifth GM-norm with his performance, not that he needed it.

Completely focused IM Sayantan Das | Photo: Susan Polgar

IM Sayantan Das scored 7.5/9 to win the tournament, gained 27.8 Elo rating points to take his rating to 2504 and become India's 81st Grandmaster

IM Sayantan Das drew with GM Diptayan Ghosh in the fourth round who finished fourtth | Photo:  Susan Polgar

4th GM Diptayan Ghosh 7/9 | Photo: Susan Polgar

The prize winners of Open A | Photo: Cannes Echecs

Top boards in action | Photo: Cannes Echecs

The tournament hall at Palais des Festivals de Cannes in Cannes, France | Photo:  Cannes Echecs

The 37th edition is announced to take place from 19th to 25th February 2024.


A total of 124 players including 12 GMs, 27 IMs and 6 WIMs took part from 22 countries all over the world in the Open A (>2100) section. The seven-day nine-round Swiss league Rating tournament was organized by Romuald De Labaca at Palais des Festivals de Cannes in Cannes, France from 20th to 26th February 2023. The time control of the tournament was 40 moves in 90 minutes followed by 30 minutes with 30 seconds increment from move no.1.

Replay Round 1-9 games

Final standings

pl NameRatingCat.fedeLeagueClubPointsPerfTr.
1mDAS Sayantan2468FSen M272343½
2gDARDHA Daniel2612FCadMHDFThe Cappellois Exchequer7265742½
3gMAURIZZI Marc Andria2523FMinMCVLC’Chartres Chess7263241½
4gGHOSH Diptayan2553FSen M7262140½
5fKLIMKOWSKI Jan2461FMinM7261739½
6mMATERIA Marco2410FBen MEASTBischwiller255543
7fDEFROMONT Benjamin2343FJunMCAPChess Rods240437½
8gMOTYLEV Alexander2624FSen MIDFClichy-Chess-926256243
9mLAMARD Guillaume2526 FSen MCAPChess Rods6255339
10gSAMBUEV Bator2407FSen M6254344
11gNIKOLOV Momchil2480FSen MHDFThe Cappellois Exchequer6253340
12mCLARKE Brandon GI2473 FSen M6250840
13gDEMUTH Adrien2473 FSen MCAPGrasse Chess6250838
14mSOUSA Andre Ventura2466FSen M6248841
15gVENKATESH Mr.2452FSen M6247540½



Official site

Tournament Details