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The biggest gainers at the Sunway Sitges 2019

by Sagar Shah - 24/12/2019

The exciting Sunway Sitges Chess Festival 2019 has come to an end. It was dominated right from the start to the end by Ukrainian GM Anton Korobov, who scored 8.5/10 and with a performance rating of 2845, took home the winner's cheque of 5000 euros. The best performing Indian at the tournament was GM Abhimanyu Puranik, who scored 7.5/10. Also on 7.5 points were Karthikeyan Murali and Nihal Sarin. A total of 10 norms were scored at the event and six of them went to the Indian players. We tell you all about the best performing Indians at the event and also the norm makers. The Sunway Sitges 2019 was well and truly a successful tournament for the Indian contingent. 

Anton Korobov reigns supreme

Anton Korobov dominated the event right from the start and won it by a margin of half point with a score of 8.5/10 | Photo: Wadalupe

A performance of 2845, gaining 20 Elo points is quite a commendable performance

Korobov's success can be attributed to the fact that he played well against three big talents - Javokhir Sindarov, R. Praggnanandhaa and Awonder Liang. One of the biggest victories of Korobov's chess career.  | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Korobov went home richer by 5000 Euors! | Photo: Sunway Sitges Twitter

GM Vasif Durarbayli from Azerbaijan, but currently studying at the Webster university under the SPICE program, finished second, Durarbayli received 3,000 euros for his effort. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Third place went to Rasmus Svane, who took back home 1,500 euros | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Amin Tabatabaei from Iran finished fourth | Photo: Lennart Ootes

The best Indian performers at the Sunway Sitges 2019

Abhimanyu Puranik was the highest finishing Indian with 7.5/10. He was placed fifth and with a performance of 2686, he gained 14.5 Elo points! | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Abhimanyu scored two wins over 2600 opponents. One of them was against Amin Tabatabaei in round 7 and the next one was against S.L. Narayanan in round 9.

The interesting thing to note is Abhimanyu, who is a hardcore 1.e4 player also experimented with different openings and beat S.L. Narayanan with 1.c4.

After a pretty slow start with 2.5/4, Karthikeyan Murali scored 5 points in the last six rounds and ensured that he wasn't losing any rating points! In fact he even gained a couple. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

In the final round Karthikeyan was facing GM Levan Aroshidze. It was the well known Taimanov and Aroshidze essayed a line which seems to give Black a fine position. But it turns out that Karthikeyan had done his homework and with a series of powerful moves, was able to mate the black king. This game has already put the entire line from Black's perspective in danger. The ball is now in Black's court if players can come up with an improvement. If they cannot, then this win by Karthikeyan might well be the last grandmaster game that we will see in this line.

Daniel King analyzes Karthikeyan's win over Aroshidze

Nihal Sarin with 7.5/10 gained 6 Elo points and was unbeaten! | Photo: Lennart Ootes

It's simply amazing to see how Nihal hardly ever loses his games and at the same time is good enough to gain rating even when he is well past 2600 now. With the six point Elo gain Nihal moves to 2618 on the live Elo rating list. When it comes to objectivity, solidity and pragmatism, very few players can come close to Nihal.

Arjun Erigaisi had one of the best events of his chess career till date, scoring 7.0/10 but gaining 18 Elo points. Arjun's live rating is now 2575. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Arjun played six opponents above his rating in the last six rounds and he scored a +1 against them!

A seven Elo point gain for Gukesh was a fine result. More importantly he played fighting chess and was able to show some of his best skills at the event! It would exciting to see him in action at the World Rapid and Blitz. He starts as the last seed in the rapid section with a rating of 1799!  | Photo: Lennart Ootes

This was Raunak's first tournament after becoming a GM. He lived up to the expectations scoring 7.0/10 and gaining 14 Elo points. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Five norm makers

There were a total of six norms that were scored by Indians, but as Raunak has already completed his norm requirements, we do not count his fourth GM norm.

After achieving his maiden GM norm at the Elllobregat Open 2019 in Spain, Harshit took no time for a breather as the youngster scored his 2nd GM norm at the Sunway Sitges International 2019 in nine rounds. The Sunway Sitges was a fine event for the Pune-lad as he beat the second seed Parham Maghsoodloo and GM Harsha Bharathakoti, along with draws against Valentin Dragnev, Levon Aroshidze, S.P. Sethuraman and Srinath Narayanan. Harshit went to Spain rated 2447 with no GM norms. Now he has an Elo of 2482 with two GM norms! With two powerful performances, he is very close to becoming India's next GM.

Rakshitta Ravi scores her 2nd WGM norm at the Sunway Sitges International Open 2019. Rakshitta played a high class event and needed just one point out of the last three rounds to score her maiden IM norm. It was not to be as she managed to score only 0.5/3. Yet her performance was powerful enough to get her a WGM norm. One of Rakshitta's best result at the event was her win against GM Kaido Kulaots. Kulaots had won the Aeroflot Open 2019 earlier this year. To beat a player of this stature speaks volumes about this girl's talent.

Kushager Krishnater achieved his final IM norm. With a rating of 2386, he is just 14 Elo points away from becoming India's next IM | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Ajay Krishna from Tamil Nadu scored 5.5/9 and scored an IM norm | Photo: Lennart Ootes

A great result for B. Sekar, who is rated just 2176. He gained 70 Elo points and scored an IM norm | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Standings after round 10

Rk.SNo NameTypsexGrFEDRtgIRtgNClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
13GMKorobov AntonUKR266808,5061,566,0
218GMDurarbayli VasifAZE260908,0060,065,0
322GMSvane RasmusGER259708,0056,560,5
411GMTabatabaei M.AminIRI263507,5159,063,5
526GMPuranik AbhimanyuIND258007,5260,064,5
614GMHeimann AndreasGER261707,5358,062,5
735GMLi DiHCHN254307,5459,564,5
821GMGareyev TimurUSA259807,5558,563,5
917GMKarthikeyan MuraliHIND261107,5057,061,5
106GMLagarde MaximeFRA26552596C.E. Barcelona7,5057,061,5
1116GMNihal SarinH16IND261207,5056,561,0
1219GMAdly AhmedEGY260707,5056,560,5
1334GMErigaisi Arjun16IND254407,0060,065,5
149GMDonchenko AlexanderGER264407,0060,064,0
1527GMWagner DennisGER257807,0059,563,5
161GMIvanchuk VassilyUKR269007,0059,063,0
1737GMMoradiabadi ElshanUSA253907,0057,562,5
1823GMLiang Awonder16USA259307,0057,062,0
1933GMNasuta GrzegorzPOL254507,0057,061,0

Complete list

Overview of Indian performances:

SNoNameRtgIRtgNFED12345678910Pts.Rk.Group
5GMSasikiran Krishnan26560IND11011½½½½½6,533Group A
10GMSethuraman S.P.26380IND111100½1½17,022Group A
13GMNarayanan.S.L26260IND111110½½0½6,527Group A
16GMNihal Sarin26120IND1½1½1½½1½17,511Group A
17GMKarthikeyan Murali26110IND11½01½11½17,59Group A
24GMPraggnanandhaa R25860IND1111001½½½6,536Group A
26GMPuranik Abhimanyu25800IND1½111½101½7,55Group A
31GMGukesh D25470IND11½1½011017,020Group A
34GMErigaisi Arjun25440IND1½11½1½½½½7,013Group A
40GMNarayanan Srinath25290IND111½½01½½½6,529Group A
44GMHarsha Bharathakoti25230IND1½½11½001½6,066Group A
48IMSadhwani Raunak25070IND1101011½½17,025Group A
49GMGirish A. Koushik25060IND1011½1½½0½6,067Group A
55GMIniyan P24970IND1½½½½½01116,557Group A
65GMKarthik Venkataraman24700IND1011011½½17,023Group A
77IMRaja Harshit24470IND11½01½½1½06,060Group A
85IMBharath Subramaniyam H24200IND½10½1100116,085Group A
87IMKulkarni Bhakti24180IND½101½011016,080Group A
90IMAkash Pc Iyer24150IND10½½01011½5,5123Group A
92IMDhulipalla Bala Chandra Prasad24140IND1011½½01106,081Group A
94FMRathanvel V S24100IND½1011½01016,077Group A
98IMMendonca Leon Luke23980IND1½½01011106,071Group A
102IMKrishna Teja N23830IND1010½½1½½16,086Group A
108IMRaja Rithvik R23810IND1010½1½½1½6,082Group A
109WGMVaishali R23760IND1010½½1½1½6,090Group A
113FMManu David Suthandram R23690IND10½1½0½0115,5115Group A
115IMSankalp Gupta23650IND1½½010101½5,598Group A
125IMSidhant Mohapatra23380IND10101½01½½5,5121Group A
128WIMDivya Deshmukh23320IND101½0½01105,0157Group A
133Samant Aditya S23090IND1½010½1½0½5,0138Group A
134FMKrishnater Kushager23080IND1½½10011½16,547Group A
139Ajay Krishna S23020IND11010011½05,593Group A
140FMMatta Vinay Kumar23000IND10101011½05,5114Group A
153WIMRakshitta Ravi22600IND1½01½10½004,5172Group A
159WIMPratyusha Bodda22530IND01101010105,0139Group A
163FMDushyant Sharma22470IND0½10101½004,0214Group A
164Panesar Vedant22470IND010101½½0½4,5178Group A
168Rohit S22340IND010101010½4,5182Group A
169WIMPriyanka Nutakki22290IND½0½1½1½0004,0212Group A
172CMPrraneeth Vuppala22210IND½0½101½10½5,0143Group A
174WFMCholleti Sahajasri22160IND001½01½0003,0268Group A
175Karthik Rajaa22120IND010½½1½½015,0142Group A
177FMAjay Karthikeyan22030IND½01½110½½05,0132Group A
183CMTanmay Jain21930IND01010½½1½½5,0164Group A
185IMMohota Nisha21910IND01½01½½1½05,0141Group A
187Bartakke Amardeep S.21900IND010½10½½104,5188Group A
189Sibi Visal R21850IND01001½01½15,0166Group A
191Sekar B21760IND011½11½½016,541Group A
198Natarajan C21570IND00000000000,0306Group A
200Godbole Atharva21480IND0½110½½½015,0156Group A
204CMShahil Dey21350IND01010010014,0224Group A
206WIMTejaswini Sagar21282095IND0110½½½0003,5244Group A
210Darpan Inani21170IND010½1001½04,0225Group A
211Arjun C Krishnamachari21130IND½0101½½1½05,0146Group A
219Tanmay Chopra21000IND01½½½½½½004,0215Group A
220WCMSharma Isha20990IND01001½10115,5124Group A
223CMRajarishi Karthi20930IND001½01½0115,0167Group A
225Toshali V20830IND01000110½14,5206Group A
227Kishan Gangolli20780IND0½½½½½½1015,0165Group A
229Dhrupad Kashyap20730IND0½0½10110½4,5202Group A
231CMMohamed Anees M20560IND01½1½10½004,5173Group A
246Jijo Joy20190IND0½½½½½½1½04,5189Group A
248Potluri Saye Srreezza20130IND00110½½1004,0216Group A
255Ayushh Ravikumar19820IND½0½½½½10014,5186Group A
260WFMSavitha Shri B19680IND0½½01011004,0220Group A
267Manukonda Arun19230IND0½½11000003,0264Group A
273AIMKomal Srivatsav Sajja19070IND0½100001103,5255Group A
274Nawin J J19070IND001101½0014,5194Group A
281Gugan G18430IND100½10½½½½4,5185Group A
282Srimathi R18420IND00½½1½½1004,0226Group A
283CMGopal K.N.18400IND00½1½101105,0168Group A
284Devnani Kush18290IND00½100½½½14,0238Group A
289Krithigga K18120IND00001½00½13,0284Group A
291Niharika Ch18030IND000110101½4,5200Group A
292Sawant Akshay17930IND0000½11½1½4,5210Group A
293Kabhilan S17890IND0½0½100½002,5286Group A
295Morvekar Kedar17770IND010½½½01½½4,5197Group A
298Aryan B Joshi17700IND001½000½013,0273Group A
300Sagar Siya17541408IND000½0001102,5292Group A
301Shivika Rohilla17440IND00½0101½104,0236Group A
302Mrithyunjay Mahadevan17350IND00½00110½03,0274Group A
304Ankitha Goud Palle17240IND010½0½½0½03,0266Group A
305Raghu Ram Reddy Seelam17170IND½01000½0002,0296Group A
308Rosh Jain16970IND0½010010½03,0279Group A
309Varsha Ramesh16690IND00½011½0014,0231Group A