Badalona - The Final Destination in Catalan circuit!
by Niklesh Jain - 31/08/2017
The Indian contingent completed its 53-day-long Spain Trip with the Badalona Open. At this event too, Indians made their presence felt. While IM P Iniyan made his mark by finishing joint third at the event, GM Himanshu Sharma finished among the top 10 after some fumbles in the middle of the tournament. Not only that, a lot of young Indian talents pulled out a remarkable show. Here's a report with games and impressions from the lively city of Barcelona!
India's P Iniyan had yet another fantastic show at the 43rd Badalona Open. Scoring 7.0/9, the 15-year-old IM finished joint-third
Despite a rating performance of 2562, however, Iniyan missed a GM norm due to some technical issue
Armenian GM Karen Grigoryan has an enviable record at the Catalan Circuit tournaments. The Badalona Open was no exception.
He finished joint-first scoring 7.5/9 and clinched the title on tie-break
The Obert Internacional Ciutat de Badalona follow this ritual of gifting its winner a painting which denotes the city's culture! What a wonderful tradition this is!
And even the trophies had a nice cultural touch to them!
Argentinian IM Tigran Petrosian had to settle for the second spot because of lower tie-break
But a rating performance of 2652 and a Grandmaster norm to the good, Petrosian could hardly have been disappointed with the second spot.
GM Himanshu Sharma was officially awarded the Grandmaster title by FIDE during this very event. Playing at his all time high rating, he got off to a great star. But a few fumbles midway put him on the eighth spot on the leaderboard.
With a rating performance of 2445, India's Arjun Kalyan scored 6.0/9. This performance not only put him on the 16th spot on the leaderboard but also earned him 21 rating points.
Another Indian to score 6.0/9 was the Bengali lad Srijit Paul. He finished 18th and scored an IM norm too!
Dhulipalla Chandra Prasad had had an amazing outing at the Catalan Circuit so far. But at Badalona, unfortunately, he couldn't pull out anything special and also lost some rating points.
Today, India has a plethora of upcoming talents and D Gukesh is one of them. At the tender age of 11 years, the boy was able to maintain his staggering FIDE rating of 2365. This in itself is a big achievement!
Without a day of rest, veteran Indian IM Anup Deshmukh played 45 classical and 9 blitz games. This 50-year-old's passion and hard-work is simply awe inspiring! In a time when young players are taking massive leaps in rating because of K*40, this veteran of the game has climbed back to 2300+ Elo with K*10! I must also tell you that he was the one whose rotis we savoured after each of our rounds. Anup scored 5.5/9 in Badalona and gained 10 Elo points in the process.
Abhishek Das is one of those Indian players who deserves to be an International Master by his playing strength but is yet to complete the title requirements. We're sure he will get there in the not so distant future. In Badalona, he was able to gain 22 rating points and get his rating to 2350+!
India's Talent Powerhouse!
Anuj Shivatri has shown immense potential. The boy might just become Madhya Pradesh's first GM! At Badalona, he was able to increase his rating above 2250. Next month, he'll be seen at the World Youth Championship in Uruguay.
Besides being extremely talented, 11-year-old Luke Mendonca is also a great fighter. Despite losing three out of his first four games, he came back strongly scoring 3 wins and two draws in the next five rounds!
The unrated Shiv Shome is well on his way to get an initial rating of 2150+!
Life in Spain
Barcelona is undoubtedly a fantastic place to be in. Easy and comfortable transport coupled with amicably smiling faces can make you instantly fall in love with it. During the final few days of our trip, we couldn't resist exploring the city one last time!
The building in the background is Sagrada Familia, a church which is under construction since more than a century!
The Catalunya region of Barcelona is one of the most beloved destinations for tourists. It's just heartbreaking to know that this was the very place which fell prey to a terror attack recently. In this difficult time, the Indian contingent stood strongly beside their Spanish friends. Despite the terror attack, not a single Indian was deterred from continuing his/her trip. Read a report on this here.
You can find the official merchandise of the Barcelona Football club right here!
If you're a football fan, this place is heaven for you! The jersey on the image has been signed by some of the biggest football stars on the planet and is awaiting a fan who is willing to shell out € 500 (or ₹ 40,000) to buy it.
Can you name the player hiding behind IM Anup Deshmukh?
Souvenirs become a must buy when your journey is coming to an end
If you ever come here and have some time to spare, go shopping in the streets of Barcelona. The clothes here are fairly priced and could serve as awesome gifts for your loved ones!
Before we left, we gifted a chess set to the children of our landlord. We had two good reasons to do it: firstly, this was a way of letting people know how chess connects people; and secondly, it was our way of saying thanks to him for providing us excellent accommodation during our two-month long trip.
So in this way, having gathered tons of memories and a treasure chest full of experience, we concluded our 53-day-long journey. The Catalan Circuit offers the ultimate chess experience that every chess player craves for. If you wish to participate here the next time, don't forget to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our hotline +91 9106908500/+91 7878783264. More information here.
After this, we headed to Mumbai. And wouldn't you want to know what was the first thing we did after landing?
Had some lip smacking Indian food! After all nothing else tastes better!
About the Author
FIDE Instructor Niklesh Kumar Jain Jain is an international chess player who has participated in tournaments in almost in 20 different countries, winning the international tournament in Sri Lanka in 2010. He also worked for a television network as an anchor and news writer for two years and reported in Hindi during World Chess Championship 2013 and 2014. Niklesh loves to write about tournaments and do interviews with chess champions. He has ambitions to become a grandmaster, but at the same time loves to train young talent. He strongly believes chess should be the part of every school curriculum, to face the challenges of the 21st century.