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Sivakasi Chess Club and Covid-19

by R Anantharam - 19/02/2021

In spite of the relentless attack by Covid-19, Sivakasi Chess Club was busily engaged in multifarious chess activities like organizing online tournaments, chess awareness program etc. When the pandemic slowly subsided, it organized Chess in Park program, with the support of the Sivakasi Municipality. When it was under control, it organized five practice and friendly over-the-board tournaments, the latest one involving three international masters. Just imagine, all the programs had no entry fee. Lunch and tea were provided to all the players and parents in the OTB tournaments featuring about 70 players each.

Online Tournaments

Sivakasi Chess Club hosted two online tournaments, one on 23rd August and the other one on 15th September 2020, each carrying a cash prize of Rs,20000/- without any entry fee.

 

The first one was won by eighteen year old international master Abdisalimov Abdimalik of Uzbekistan scoring eleven points from thirteen games.

IM Abdisalimov Abdimalik of Uzbekistan_Winner of the 1st Online tournament

Two more players –IM Lucas Liascovich of Argentina, and FM Ali Rastbod of Iran also scored eleven points and were placed second and third respectively. IM Arjun Kalyan was the best player from India to finish fourth. A total of 721 players registered for the tournament including grandmasters and international masters from several countries. Four GMs and 18 IMs were the star attractions of the tournament.

Final Ranking – Open

Rank

Name

Country

Pts

1

IM Abdisalimov, Abdimalik

Uzbekistan

11

2

IM Liascovich, Lucas

Argentina

11

3

FM Rastbod, Ali

Iran

11

4

IM Arjun Kalyan

India

10.5

5

FM Matsenko Andrei

Czech Republic

10.5

6

Popovic, Milan S

Serbia

10.5

7

FM Syed Anwar Shazuli

India

10.5

8

IM Pranesh M

India

10

9

GM Diptayan Ghosh

India

10

10

FM Sorokin, Aleksey

Russia

10

11

IM Aronyak, Ghosh

India

10

12

IM Neelash Saha

India

10

13

GM Vishnu Prasanna

India

10

14

Subhabrata, Roy

India

10

15

FM Ashwath R

India

10

16

FM Nazari, Arad

Iran

10

17

GM Laxman R R

India

10

18

GM Dusan Popovic

Serbia

10

19

FM Saydaliev, Saidakbar

Uzbekistan

10

20

IM Barria Zuniga, Daniel

Chile

9.5

21

FM Cuevas, Alex

Argentina

9.5

21-year-old international master Taher Yoseph Theoliofus of Indonesia won the Sivakasi Chess Club 2nd Online chess tournament. A total of 974 players including grandmasters and international masters from fourteen counties - India, Russia, Spain, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Georgia, Nepal and Bangladesh participated in the eleven round format tournament.

IM Taher Yoseph Theoliofus of Indonesia

Grandmaster Toufighi Homayoon of Iran, IM Zubritsky Artyom of Russia and FM Manuel Cristobal of Argentina finished second to fourth respectively. FM Aaryan Varshney of Delhi was the best Indian to achieve the fifth place. Taher had participated in the Chennai Open international tournament 2020 held in January.

GM Homayoun_Tofighi if Iran was the runner up | Photo: Farhad Babaei

Promising youngster IM Arjun Kalyan of Tamil Nadu suffered two losses against Igor of Ukraine and Kilmenko of Russia to collect nine points to finish 16th. Look at the prize list – only one Indian among the top 12 and six in the top 20.

Final Ranking

Rank

Name

Country

Pts

1

IM Taher, Yoseph Theolifus

Indonesia

9.5

2

GM Toufighi, Homayoon

Iran

9.5

3

IM Zubritskiy, Artyom

Russia

9.5

4

FM Cristobal, Manuel

Argentina

9.5

5

FM Aaryan, Varshney

India

9.5

6

IM Liascovich, Lucas

Argentina

9.5

7

FM Rastbod, Ali

Iran

9.5

8

FM Sorokin, Aleksey

Russia

9.5

9

IM Bogdanov, Egor

Ukraine

9.5

10

NM Rismanto, Ricky

Indonesia

9

11

Gholami Orimi, Mahdi

Iran

9

12

IM Petriashvili, Nikoloz

Georgia

9

13

Ram, S. Krishnan

India

9

14

Apollosana Mangang, Rajkumar

India

9

15

IM Rajdeep, Sarkar

India

9

16

IM Arjun Kalyan

India

9

17

IM Klimenko, Sergey

Ukraine

8.5

18

Kaustuv, Kundu

India

8.5

19

Medybayev, Daniyar

Kaz

8.5

20

FM Nazari, Arad

Iran

8.5

Chess in Park

Sivakasi Chess Club joined hands with Sivakasi Municipality to organise a chess awareness programme at Kamarajar Park, Sivakasi for one week, after getting due permission from the higher authorities. About ten internationally rated players of Sivakasi Chess Club trained mostly youngsters for about three hours in the evening daily. They also taught the nuances of the game to those who are already familiar with the game. All precautions with respect to the Covid 19, like wearing the mask during the session, sanitisation of the hands, keeping social distance were followed.

Teaching in the Park

K Marimuthu, a partially blind player from Sivakasi Chess Ckub, a former national under-15 champion (for visually challenged) who has also later represented India in the FIDE Online Olympiad for People with Disabilities enthralled the spectators by his skillful blindfold games. Many parents also felt that the programme was a relief to the children from the mental pressure created from the corona environment.

Playing and learning in the Park environment

When Covid 19 was slowly under control in Tamil Nadu, Sivakasi Chess Club resumed its over the board activities. In October and November, it had two OTB tournaments with strength of 16 to 18, inviting strong nearby players, apart from its club members. FM Maheswaran P, a former Tamil Nadu state junior champion of Sivakasi won the first tournament and the second was won by TJ Rathish of Virudhunagar, studying at PSNA Engineering College, Dindigul under chess scholarship. The college has already provided free education, hostel and mess to scores of chess players, the latest additions being K Vigneshwaran and SV Kishore of Sivakasi Chess Club.

Marimuthu (right) played blindfold chess at the park

FM P Maheswaran and Sa Kannan (right) won the first two practice tournaments. They partnered in a state level Doubles tournament earlier and won it

After two more matches by Sivakasi Chess Club and APS Chess Academy Rajapalayam, the former organized the Meenakshi Maruti friendly practice tournament in the Meenakshi Maruti Showroom under ideal conditions. The strong players could not hide their emotions and joyous expressions when they sat for the first round game. Harikrishnan and Sa Kannan tied for the first place with six points each from seven rounds and the former won on tiebreak. Muthaiah and Shyaamnikhil were third and fourth.

IM Harikrishnan A Ra won the practice tournament

IM Harikrishnan sent us an annotated game of his against IM Shyam Nikhil.

Final Ranking

Rank


Name

IRtg

Club

Pts

1

IM

Harikrishnan.A.Ra

2429

CHE

6

2

AGM

Sa Kannan

1927

KKD

6

3

IM

Muthaiah Al

2400

CHE

4

IM

Shyaamnikhil P

2453

ICF

5

FM

Maheswaran P.

2156

SVK

6


Manigandan S S

2154

MDU

7

FM

Senthil Maran K

2246

CHE

5

8


Subramanian R M

1810

MDU

5

9


Ruban Sanjai M

1590

AGM

5

10


Paramasivam M.

1668

APK

5

11


Karuppasamy C

1310

KVP

5

12


Sanjay Ganesh Pandi

1469

SVK

5

13


Shyam Sundar M

1759

MDU

5

14


Selvamurugan B

1963

MDU

IM Harikrishnan (right) defeated the top seed IM  Shyaamnikhil in the crucial penultimate round

IM Muthaiah AL (left) lost to FM Senthil Maran K (2246) which pushed him to third place. Senthil Maran lost to the eventual runner-up Sa Kannan in the final round

IA R Anantharam's 46th wedding anniversary was celebrated in the tournament hall

About the Author

Prof. Rathinam Anantharam is an A-grade international arbiter. Member of FIDE Arbiters’ Commission, Chairman of Titles Commission in All India Chess Federation, Vice President of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, Chief Arbiter for six world championships, many Asian, International and National Championships.

 

The article was edited by Shahid Ahmed


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