Voronezh Masters 2019: A tournament where it is not so easy to gain rating or make norms!
People often say that it is quite easy for Indians to go outside the country and gain rating or score their norms. All those who people say this must surely not have visited the Voronezh Masters taking place in Russia. It is one of the strongest tournaments taking place on Russian soil and a host of strong GMs, IMs and and under-rated Russian players compete at the event making it a test of fire for any upcoming chess player. This year six Indians have taken part at the 21st edition of Voronezh Masters. The tournament began from the 10th of June and we have the halfway report from the venue by Rupali Mullick, who is present with her son Raahil. A report filled with pictures, annotated games and an interview with tournament director GM Alexander Raetsky.
Voronezh Chess: Three leaders at the Alekhine Memorial 2019
The 23rd Voronezh International Chess Festival is being held in Voronezh, Russia from the 10th June 2019. Conducted every year in the month of June, since 1997, it takes pride in being one the oldest and the most coveted chess festivals in Russia. Also known as the Alekhine Memorial, this event is dedicated to the memory of the first Russian world chess champion Alexander Alekhine.
The Alekhine Memorial is one of the most colourful tournaments in Russia. Apart from the attractive Chess960, Rapid and Blitz one day tournaments, there are three classical chess tournaments: Master Open is the main event for players with ELO >2200, FIDE Open is a rating tournament for players with Elo < 2200; and Sail of Hope is a special tournament for handicapped players.
There are 115 participants in the Master Open tournament including 23 GMs, 1 WGM, 22 IMs, 3 WIMs, 24 FMs and 5 WFMs. There are players from 12 countries (Russia, India, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belarus, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, Latvia, Moldova, and USA) with 90 players from various regions of Russia. Six Indian players have participated this year, including GM Abhimanyu Puranik, GM Visakh N. R., and youngsters Sakhsham Rautela, CM Raahil Mullick, WIM Rakshita Ravi and WFM Savitha Shri.
After 5 rounds there are three leaders, IM Sergey Pavlov (UKR), Arseniy Nesterov (RUS) and Azamaty Utegaliyev (KAZ) each at 4.5 points out of 5. Eight players follow closely with 4 points out of 5.
The Indian Grandmasters Abhimanyu Puranik and Visakh N R are both at 3.5 points out of 5 and have a good chance of catching up if they can finish well in the last 4 rounds. The claim to the Master Open title is still wide open and we hope for a very exciting finish!
Standings after Round 05
|3||19||Utegaliyev Azamat||KAZ||2495||Казахстан, Уральск||4,5||14,5||12,0||4|
|4||13||GM||Maiorov Nikita||BLR||2527||Беларусь, Минск||4,0||18,0||15,0||3|
|5||12||GM||Svetushkin Dmitry||MDA||2532||Молдова, Кишинев||4,0||16,0||13,5||4|
|24||IM||Ruiz Castillo Joshua Daniel||COL||2472||Колумбия||4,0||14,5||12,5||3|
|10||9||GM||Meshkovs Nikita||LAT||2550||Латвия, Рига||4,0||14,0||12,0||3|
|12||18||IM||Rios Cristhian Camilo||COL||2513||Колумбия||3,5||16,5||14,0||3|
|19||17||GM||Visakh N R||IND||2518||Индия||3,5||14,0||11,5||2|
About the author:
Rupali Mullick is the mother of eleven-year-old Raahil Mullick, an upcoming chess talent from Mumbai. She has a Ph.D in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a partner at JVM Industries. Her husband Prashant is a FIDE Rated player making them a complete chess family.
17th of June was a rest day at the tournament. The event will resume from 18th of June. You can follow the games live here.