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Karnataka State Open: Viani is the champion

by IA Vasanth BH - 27/05/2017

Karnataka State Open has a distinction for having the highest prize fund for a state selection tournament in India. 205 players participated in the event to fight for top four spots. Four players will be representing their home state in the upcoming National Challengers Championship which will commence from August 13-23 this year. IA Vasanth BH sends us an illustrated report. Read this report to find out the qualifiers.  

Karnataka State Open: Viani is the champion 

Viani Antonio D’Cunha emerged as the champion in Karnataka State Open FIDE Rated Chess Championship 2017 which has been jointly organized by Chess Shoots Academy, Bangalore and Rotary Club Bangalore South at Osteen College.

The championship was inaugurated by Mr. Srikumar B V, President Osteen College.

The Chief Guest of the occasion were Mr. Sathish P S, President of Rotary Bangalore South. Mr. Sunil Kumar, Secretary, Rotary Bangalore South, Mr. Jayachandra Aradhya, Rotary Bangalore South, Mr. Aravind Shashtry, Secretary of the United Karnataka Chess Association. Mr. Hanumantha R, Joint Secretary of All India Chess Federation were the other dignitaries on the dais.


The ten round swiss league format championship attracted 205 players from different parts of Karnataka state out of which 128 were rated players. International Master Viani Antonio D’cunha (2408) of Mangalore was the top seed followed by Sanjay N (2356) of Income Tax, Bangalore, Gahan MG (2304) of Mangalore, Yashas D (2281) of Shimoga.


A 12 year boy, Pankaj Bhat (1541) of Puttur drew with 8th seeded Manjunath J (2003) of Bangalore in the 3rd round. Pankaj opted Sicilian Dragon variation for Manjunath’s Kings pawn opening. They signed the score sheet after 31 moves. Another 12 year boy, Karthikay C (1451) from Bangalore surprised a well-experienced player M Raju (1826) of Income Tax, Bangalore by forcing him to draw the game. M Raju played Bogo defense and tried all possible tactics to get upper hand, but the game ended in draw after 71 moves.

Arhan Chethan Anand (1454), a nine-year boy of Bangalore defeated 7th seeded Abhishek Singh (2062) of Bangalore in the 5th round. Arhan Chetha Anand played Kings Pawn Opening on the 9th board. Abhishek Sing opted Kings Indian defense. Arhan managed to retain his knight and passed pawn against Bishop in the endgame. Abhishek resigned after 54th move after seeing the checkmate. Arhan was silver medalist in the Under 9 category of National Schools Chess Championship 2017 held in Nagpur.

[Event "Karnataka State Open"]
[Site "Bengaluru"]
[Date "2017.05.12"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Arhan"]
[Black "Abhishek Singh"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E97"]
[WhiteElo "1454"]
[BlackElo "2062"]
[PlyCount "107"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Be2 O-O 6. Nf3 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. Be3
Ng4 9. Bg5 f6 10. Bc1 Nh6 11. dxe5 Nxe5 12. Nd4 Nc6 13. Nxc6 bxc6 14. Be3 f5
15. Bd4 f4 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Bf3 Nf7 18. Be2 Ne5 19. f3 Qg5 20. Kh1 Nd7 21. Rg1
Rb8 22. Rb1 Qc5 23. a3 Ne5 24. b4 Qe3 25. Qc1 Qxc1 26. Rgxc1 Be6 27. Nd1 c5 28.
bxc5 dxc5 29. Rb5 Rxb5 30. cxb5 c4 31. Nc3 Rd8 32. Rd1 Rxd1+ 33. Bxd1 Kf6 34.
Kg1 Nd3 35. Kf1 Ke5 36. Ke2 Kd4 37. Kd2 g5 38. h3 Bd7 39. Ba4 Nb2 40. b6 Bc8
41. bxa7 Bb7 42. Bc2 c6 43. Ne2+ Kc5 44. Kc3 Nd3 45. Bxd3 cxd3 46. Kxd3 Kb6 47.
Kd4 c5+ 48. Ke5 Kxa7 49. Kd6 Kb8 50. e5 Kc8 51. e6 Kd8 52. e7+ Ke8 53. Nc3 Ba6
54. Nd5 1-0



Karnataka State Champion Viani Antonio D’Cunha [File photo]

ChessBase India's Halsagar Chincholimath caught up with the champion shortly after the tournament. Here's the interview.


Halsagar: Hi Viani, Congratulations on behalf of Chessbase India for becoming the Karnataka state champion 2017, How was your experience in this tournament?

Viani: Well I played state championship after a long time, the competition was not really tough but after the fourth round I started meeting good players, there were few ups and down and I got some minus positions in few games but then I managed to convert in the middle game and win in the endgame.


Halsagar: Which was the crucial game of the tournament where you felt a positive result would get you close to the title?

Viani: That was the penultimate round when I was playing with N Sanjay( 2356) and I think that was real crucial because he is a very good player and I managed to draw the game as I was not really in a good position and was lucky too. I felt the pressure in this round and again last round was crucial too and I managed to win against Raghavendra V.

[Event "State Championship 2017"]
[Site "Dubai UAE"]
[Date "2017.05.14"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Viani Antonio, D'cunha"]
[Black "Raghavendra, V."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C07"]
[WhiteElo "2408"]
[BlackElo "1939"]
[Annotator "Viani Antonio D'cunha"]
[PlyCount "103"]
[EventDate "2017.04.03"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
{The last round was very crucial to win the Championship. I had played a long
game in the penultimate round and decided just to relax to play the last round.
} 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. Ngf3 Nf6 6. Bc4 Qd6 7. dxc5 Qxc5
8. Qe2 Nc6 $6 {The queen on c5 is vulnerable to threats. Black will lose a
move in transferring his queen to a safer square.} (8... Be7 9. Nb3 Qc7 {
was much better}) 9. Nb3 Qd6 10. O-O Be7 {In this position, the c8 bishop is
passive. The bishop can be activated by planning e5 or b6 or a6 b5.} 11. Re1 {
Carrying out my plan by confining his bishop to c8.} O-O 12. a4 Bd7 (12... b6
13. a5 {white still has the initiative}) 13. Bg5 Qc7 {All the white pieces are
activated, but the b3 knight has to be placed on a better square.} 14. c3 Rac8
15. Bd3 Rfd8 16. Nbd4 Nxd4 17. Nxd4 Re8 $6 18. Nb5 Bxb5 19. axb5 {The passive
bishop has been exchanged. But now a new weakness! The a7 pawn is vulnerable.}
Qb6 20. Ra4 $1 {The threat is now even more dangerous.} Red8 21. Rea1 Ra8 (
21... Bc5 22. Bxf6 gxf6 23. Rg4+ Kh8 24. Qe4 Bxf2+ 25. Kh1) 22. Qf3 {Here my
pl an is simple. Exchange the dark squared bishop, place the queen on e3 and
target a7 pawn.} Rd5 23. Be3 Bc5 24. Bf1 Rf5 25. Bxc5 Qxc5 (25... Rxc5 26. Ra6
$1) 26. Qe3 a6 27. bxa6 $18 bxa6 28. Rxa6 Rxa6 29. Qxc5 Rxc5 30. Rxa6 g6 31. c4
Rc8 32. b4 Ne4 33. c5 Nxc5 {I was surprised at the knight sacrifice! I quickly
realized a good plan and few accurate moves should do the job.} 34. bxc5 Rxc5
35. g3 h5 36. Kg2 Kg7 37. Rb6 Rc3 38. Rb7 Kf6 39. h4 Rc5 40. Bb5 Kg7 (40... Rc8
41. Kf3 Rd8 42. Ke4 Kg7 43. f3 {is also a win!}) 41. Be8 Rf5 42. Rb5 Rf6 43. f4
Kf8 44. Bd7 Ke7 45. Bc8 Kf8 46. Re5 Ke7 47. Ba6 Kd6 48. Bd3 Kc6 49. Kf3 Kd6 50.
Ke3 Kc6 51. Kd4 Kd6 52. Ra5 1-0


Halsagar: What is your next plan and goal in chess?

Viani: Next I want to be a grandmaster very soon and my goal in chess is to become a WORLD CHAMPION one day.


Halsagar: How were the tournament conditions?

Viani: It was quite good. Karnataka is now supporting chess much more then what they were doing before and they keep organising lot of tournaments, before this event they organised BRDCA Rating tournament and many rapid events also. I think Karnataka is doing a lot in chess. We had Vasanth sir as our arbiter and he was very good in managing the tournament.


Halsagar: After two major accomplishments, Achieving the international master title and winning the State championship. Are you planning to choose chess as a career or being a successful engineer? (Viani has completed his final year engineering and awaiting for his results)

Viani: (Laughs) Of course I am continuing chess as a career and if it doesn’t go well I can shift to engineering, that’s always a positive point for me but right now I am only focusing on chess.


Halsagar: Which is your favourite book in chess which you would like to read over and over again?

Viani: The book that immediately comes to my mind is ”Practical Chess Endings” by Paul Keres, though I have gone through once I refer few positions from time to time.

Halsagar: Which is your next tournament?

Viani: Currently I have applied for spain and france. I am waiting for the mail confirmation from the organiser and based on that I will decide.

Halsagar: Thank you Viani. We wish you good luck in your upcoming tournaments and Congratulations once again!



Special thanks to Halsagar Chincholimath for conducting this interview. He was present at  the venue, and he had regularly sent photos plus updates for ChessBase India's FaceBook followers.  


Viani Antonio D’Cunha, Vivek Nambiar, Yashas D, Gahan M G will represent Karnataka State in the 55th National Challenger Chess Championship to be held at Gujrat from 13th Aug to 23rd Aug 2017

Mr. Srikumar B V, President Osteen College. Mr. Sathish P S, President, Rotary Bangalore South. Mr. Sunil Kumar, Secretary, Rotary Bangalore South, Mr. Jayachandra Aradhya, Rotary Bangalore South, Mr. Aravind Shashtry, Secretary, United Karnataka Chess Association. Mr. Hanumantha R, Joint Secretary, All India Chess Federation distributed prizes to the winners.

Winners with ChessBase India's special prizes. 

 A message from India's top 3 rated player:


About the Author


Vasanth BH is one of the well respected arbiters in the country. Kids love him and adults don't hate him. He has a reputation of conducting tournaments in a smooth manner.