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Rilton Cup 07-09: Sasikiran stamps the Indian dominance

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 07/01/2017

The fantastically organized Rilton Cup came to an end in Hotel Clarion, Stockholm, Sweden. The tournament was practically decided by the all-India penultimate round clash between grandmasters Krishnan Sasikiran and Swapnil Dhopade. Sasikiran took the point and a final round draw meant that he won the tournament. We have an illustrated report.

Rilton Cup 07-09: Sasikiran stamps the Indian dominance

Photos by Lars OA Hedlund


After six rounds of play, the 46th edition of Rilton Cup had six leaders. The finish promised to be exciting and there were two Indians with serious winning chances. GM Krishnan Sasikiran is a veteran when it comes to winning tournaments, but winning this tourney would certainly have been a great boost to GM Swapnil Dhopade's career.

Could GM Swapnil Dhopade (2526) finish well in the crucial stage and win the tournament?

Swapnil was in fine form as he defeated Ivan Sokolov (2632) with the black pieces.

Sokolov blundered with 29.Rg3?? Instead, 29.Kh2 would have maintained a pleasant advantage. But now, Black to play and win.


But GM Krishnan Sasikiran (2661) defeated Swedish hope GM Erik Blomqvist (2567) with the black pieces.

Swapnil and Sasi led the tournament going into the penultimate round where they were facing each other. A draw would mean that the tourney would be thrown wide open while a win for either of the players meant that the winner would most likely win the Rilton Cup.

Sasi opened with 1.e4 and Swapnil entered a Dragon. But Sasi would have none of it and simply kept pressing against the younger grandmaster by using the now trendy h3 set-up.

White has threats along the h-file, especially with ideas like Qf5 brewing. Should Swapnil trust his Dragon bishop? Black to play.

Swapnil chose not to believe in his dragon bishop by playing 35...Rh8??. He paid the price by losing quickly. In the end, Swapnil drew with Kamsky to land at the fifth place with 6.5/9.


Krishnan Sasikiran won the crucial game against Swapnil and easily drew the final round against Sergey Volkov. He was clear first with 7.5/9, half a point ahead of the rest of the pack.


GM Shyam Sundar M (2532) scored 6.5/9 and was tenth.

IM CRG Krishna (2390) won a crucial last round game against Blomqvist to finish fourteenth with 6.0/9.

Results after Round 09:

Plac. SNr   Namn Nation RatingI Rp w K rtg+/-
1 2 GM Sasikiran Krishnan IND 2661 2789 7,5 10 13,3
2 8 GM Volkov Sergey RUS 2624 2679 7,5 10 10,7
3 1 GM Kamsky Gata USA 2661 2688 6,5 10 3,9
4 13 GM Urkedal Frode NOR 2557 2596 6,5 10 7,1
5 18 GM Swapnil S. Dhopade IND 2526 2651 6,5 10 15,6
6 21 GM Pavlovic Milos SRB 2500 2581 6,5 10 11,5
7 14 GM Kulaots Kaido EST 2556 2647 6,5 10 11,3
8 6 GM Sokolov Ivan NED 2632 2621 6,5 10 0,0
9 11 GM Antipov Mikhail Al. RUS 2580 2588 6,5 10 1,7
10 16 GM Shyam Sundar M. IND 2532 2620 6,5 10 11,3


13-year-old Sankalp Gupta (2093) had a memorable outing to score his first IM norm.

CM Prince Bajaj (2305) scored 4.5/9 for his IM norm.

FM Nihal Sarin (2340) came close to his final IM norm but missed out by a whisker. He made 5.0/9.

10-year-old Pranav Anand (2230) had a tough time in Sweden. 

 12-year-old Prithu Gupta (2219) scored 4.5/9.

FM Matta Vinay Kumar (2227) scored 5.0/9.

IM V. Saravanan (2306) could score only 3.5/9.

Raunak Sadhwani (2246) scored 4.0/9.

 GM Nils Grandelius gave a simultaneous exhibition towards the end of the tournament.


IM Awonder Liang (2495) is searching for his GM norms to become a grandmaster.

The video broadcast along with...

 ...LIVE commentary during the games was a treat to the fans.

 Chess books and DVDs for fans.

 The playing arena at the Hotel Clarion.

Special thanks to Mr. Ingemar Falk and the Swedish Chess Federation for hosting such a fantastic tournament on a regular basis. Special thanks to Mr. Lars OA Hedlund for the high-quality pictures that he has been delivering for years now. A notable point is that he names each and every picture with the names of the players making it infinitely more valuable.


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