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IIFL Wealth Mumbai International Preview

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 28/01/2016

The Indian Chess School and IIFL Private Wealth in association with Mount Litera School International, BKC are pleased to present the IIFL Wealth 1st Mumbai International Chess Tournament. A twin tournament with the Open and Junior categories, the chess championship kicks off from 28th Jan. 2016, that is tomorrow, at the Mount Litera School International. The tournament has a total prize fund of Rs 15 lakhs. We bring you an illustrated preview to the tournament with pictures from the press conference, the suburb of Bandra and an interesting story.

IIFL Wealth Mumbai International 2016 Preview

The Indian Chess School and IIFL Private Wealth in association with Mount Litera School International, BKC are pleased to present the IIFL Wealth 1st Mumbai International Chess Tournament. A twin tournament with the Open and Junior categories, the chess championship kicks off from 28th January 2016, that is tomorrow, at the Mount Litera School International. The tournament has a total prize fund of Rs 15 lakhs. Mumbai has always boasted of a rich chess tradition and IIFL Private Wealth’s venture into the game will, no doubt, provide a vital boost to the chess culture in this city, and consequently, in the country. You can read the ChessBase India invitation report here.

 

The nine-day chess festival’s Open category will carry a Rs 7.5 lakhs prize fund in total with the winner’s purse amounting to Rs 1.5 lakhs. The tournament will witness the presence of International Master and Grandmaster-in-waiting Shardul Gagare of Maharashtra as the top-seed. Other renowned players include GM Sriram Jha from Delhi, GM-Elect Swapnil Dhopade from Maharashtra and IM G.A. Stany from Karnataka, among others.

 

The chief attraction of the tournament will be the IIFL Wealth Mumbai Junior FIDE Rating chess tournament for players below 13 years, with a separate prize fund of Rs 7.5 lakhs. This makes it the highest prize money for a junior tournament in chess history, the world over! The other significant firsts of the tournament are: the first exclusive International Junior tournament in the country, the first ever LIVE coverage and commentary supported International Junior tournament in India.

 

The IIFL Wealth International Junior Champion will go home richer by Rs 1.5 lakhs and some of the best talents will be competing to win this high stakes tournament. The top seed in the Junior tournament is FIDE Master Mohammad Fahad Rahman of Bangladesh, who made waves with a series of good performances across the border. Sadhwani Raunak, Aditya Mittal, Sankalp Gupta, D Gukesh and Leon Luke Mendonca are just some of the names comprising the Indian challenge.  

Let the games begin!

Surabhi Goel of Mount Litera School International, Ravindra Dongre of Maharashtra Chess Association, Praful Zaveri of Indian Chess School and the MD of IIFL Wealth Karan Bhagat

The tournament is powered by the vision and efforts of FI Praful Zaveri of Indian Chess School

IM Shardul Gagare of Maharashtra is the top seed of the IIFL Wealth Mumbai International Open 2016. Starting with the rating of 2497, he is just three points away from becoming India's 42nd grandmaster!

The hosts and officials were introduced to each other

'Chess gives children the exposure that is hard to earn in other fields and this is why I think it is a great game!' - Karan Bhagat

Mr. Bhagat pointed out that amongst the primary things Indian chess needs to address is the lack of infrastructure for conducting quality chess tournaments. A place dedicated to chess can make a world of difference and this tournament is a step in the right direction. He further pledged a support of five years for the IIFL Wealth Mumbai International event and said that they are developing more plans in their effort to support our beautiful game.

The mainstream press turned up in favourable numbers for the press conference

IM Shardul Gagare and Mr. Karan Bhagat flanked by the cream of Mumbai chess's talents: Ananya Gupta, Kush Bhagat, Raahil Mullick, Aditya Mittal and Parnali Dharia 

The arbiters and officials are hard at work to make the event a walk to remember!

The junior tournament is host to three players from neighbouring Nepal and one from the USA; meanwhile...

...FM Mohammad Fahad Rahman (2278) of Bangladesh is top seed.

The junior tournament is sure to witness upsets in bucketloads and the exciting event will be broadcast live with commentary by IM Vishal Sareen with assistance from Shubham Kumthekar of Mumbai.

The tournaments are scheduled for nine rounds under the Swiss System with the time control of 90 minutes + 30 seconds for 40 moves and 30 minutes + 30 seconds for the remaining moves. The Open event takes off at 9.30 AM, while the Junior Tournament starts at 4.30 PM tomorrow, 28th January.

 

Watch the Junior tournament live with commentary by IM Vishal Sareen here!

The top fifteen boards will be played on DGT boards and will be adroned by the DGT 3000 clocks. This is the first Indian Open to use these beautifully built clocks!

The games played on boards 16-25 will be broadcasted live on Monroi

Check out the starting list for the Open here.

Check out the starting list for the Junior tournament here.

Official Website

Bandra!

The tournament is being hosted in the suburb of Bandra in Mumbai and I was in the mood to show my friends the moods of this bustling part of the maximum city! Therefore, I made a pitstop at the Bandra Railway station on my way to attend the press conference as the tournament's official photographer.

Mr. Karim has been selling books at this very spot at the entrance to the Bandra station since 1970! Sometimes, at night, he just folds the whole paraphernelia up and goes to sleep at the same spot.

Just besides Mr. Karim's book stall is this place where you can eat some lip smacking samosas

Bandra is one of the busiest railway stations in Mumbai...

...and the numbers just keep increasing non-stop!

And it was at this point that a police constable got hold of me and asked why I was clicking pictures. I answered truthfully about the same. To this, he replied that photography is not allowed in railway stations and asked if I have permits.

 

'But so many people keep taking pictures all the time on cellphones and what not!'.

 

'No mister. Those are for personal consumption on cellphones -- you are clearly taking pictures to highlight the crowd here, and you cannot do that without permits.'

 

'Fine, I will delete them. Please let me go.'

 

'Chalo thane!' (You have to come to the police station!)

 

And therefore, I was unceremoniously dragged to a Railway Police Force station and was made to stand in front of some serious looking guy who was a superior official.

 

'No! I don't want to hear any of your stories! A charge sheet shall be filed and you have to answer in court.'

 

'But sir, nowhere in this station has it been mentioned that photography is not allowed...'

 

'Shut up! Has it been mentioned anywhere that you cannot kill people?'

 

With nothing suitable to counter, I resigned myself to be charge sheeted (the minor one for petty offences). Then, I was actually put behind bars with some other people who were caught crossing railway tracks or pissing on the bushes near them. Now, this was a particularly new experience for me, and to be honest, I found the whole thing funny -- the reason I wasn't worried too much is because a constable told me that it is a question of just appearing in the petty matters court and paying a fine.

 

After an hour of waiting they took me, along with some forty other 'criminals', to the petty matters court at Andheri in a local train. We were made to stand before a judge in a special 'Railway Court' and probed about our respective offences. I was asked if I admit to have committed the offence, and I sighed a big audible 'yes'.

 

I was let off after paying a Rs. 500 fine to the court. I called my colleague Shubham Kumthekar who carried the blazers and shoes to the venue of press conference, where I changed and got down to work.

 

Ironically, the pictures that got me inside the jail in the first place were not even deleted or asked to be deleted! So much for Indian policing.

...and that's how you go ahead in life.

 Photos for ChessBase India