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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.



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.


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.  


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