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S. Nitin wins Rotolawyer's Cup 2015

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 30/10/2015

Rotolawyer's Cup 2015 was a strong event held in Belthangady taluka in Karnataka. The tournament attracted two grandmasters and five International Masters. S.Nitin won the tournament with a score of 8.0/9. Our reporter Priyadarshan Banjan was at the venue and has sent us a illustrated report with pictures. We also have a game annotated by the winner.

Rotolawyer's Cup 2015

Dakshin Kannada (South Canara) is one of the most pleasant places one can visit in India. The district is a picture of narrow, winding streets, fringed with coconut palms, quaint houses with terracotta-tiled roofs, pristine beaches, temples and churches, and the aroma of spicy coconut curries. It has preserved its old-world charm.

The Belthangady Taluka, the least urbanized among the district’s five taluks, witnessed a five-day chess festival when the local Rotary Club and the BAR Association, Belthangady teamed up to host the Rotolawyers Cup, 2015. The tournament was a nine-round Swiss with the time control of 90 minutes per player, with 30 seconds increment per move from move one. 283 players from around India, and one from Austria, made it to the temple-town to participate in the tournament. The event attracted two grandmasters and five International Masters.

The tournament had an impressive Rs. three lakhs prize fund and a wide array of trophies up for grabs

Winner: IM Nitin S. (2416) of Southern Railways

IM S. Nitin began the tournament as the fifth seed, however, coasted through the games with seven wins and two draws. He won the Rotolawyers Cup, 2015 with 8.0/9, half-a-point clear off the remaining field.

IM S. Nitin kindly annotated one of his better games from the tournament:

[Event "Roto Lawyer's Cup"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.10.16"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Nitin, S."]
[Black "Thejkumar, MS."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B18"]
[WhiteElo "2416"]
[BlackElo "2450"]
[PlyCount "104"]
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. N1e2 Nf6 (6... e6) 7.
Nf4 {This move, I recently saw played by Svidler vs Anish in the World Cup
2015.} (7. h4) 7... Nbd7 (7... e5 8. dxe5 Qa5+ 9. c3 Qxe5+ 10. Qe2 {Anish vs
Svidler World Cup 2015.}) 8. h4 e5 9. dxe5 Nxe5 10. Qxd8+ Kxd8 (10... Rxd8 {
was a normal way to capture the queen. I was totally surpried by Kxd8!}) 11.
Nxg6 hxg6 12. Bf4 Bd6 13. O-O-O Kc7 14. Kb1 Rae8 15. Be2 Bc5 {Okay till now I
was not able to guess his moves. I had just 28 minutes and he had 1:31.} 16. h5
$1 {I was happy to find this move to equalise!} (16. Bc4 Kc8 17. Bxe5 (17. Bb3
Bxf2 18. Rhf1 Bb6 $15) 17... Rxe5 18. Bxf7 (18. f3 Bf2 (18... Re7) 19. Ne4 Nxe4
20. fxe4 f6 21. Bf7 Rh6 $15) 18... Bxf2 $15) 16... Kb6 (16... Nd5 17. Bxe5+
Rxe5 18. hxg6 Rxh1 19. Rxh1 fxg6 20. Bf3 Bxf2 21. Ne4 $11) 17. Bxe5 Rxe5 18.
hxg6 Rxh1 19. Rxh1 fxg6 20. Rf1 Nh5 (20... Rg5 21. Bf3 Bxf2 22. Ne4 Nxe4 23.
Bxe4) 21. Bxh5 (21. Nxh5 gxh5 (21... Rxe2 22. Nf4 Rxf2 23. Rxf2 Bxf2 24. c3 Be3
25. Nxg6 Kc5 26. Kc2 Kd5 27. Kd3 $11) 22. Bd1 h4 $11) 21... gxh5 22. f4 Rd5 23.
Ne4 Be7 24. c3 Kc7 (24... Rd3 25. Re1 (25. Kc2 Re3) 25... Bh4 26. Rh1) 25. Kc2
h4 26. g3 hxg3 27. Nxg3 Kd7 28. Rd1 Ke6 29. Rxd5 cxd5 30. Kd3 Bh4 31. Nf1 (31.
Ne2 Kf5 32. Ke3 Kg4) 31... Kf5 32. Ke3 (32. Ne3+ Kxf4 33. Nxd5+ Kf3) 32... Kg4
33. Nh2+ Kg3 34. Nf1+ Kg2 35. Ke2 Bf2 36. f5 Bb6 (36... a6 $5) 37. a4 a6 38. b4
Ba7 39. b5 axb5 40. axb5 d4 (40... Bc5 41. Nd2 Kg3 42. c4) (40... Bb6 41. Ne3+
Bxe3 42. Kxe3 Kg3 43. Kd4 Kf4 44. Kxd5 Kxf5 45. c4 $11) 41. cxd4 Bxd4 42. Kd3
Bf2 43. Nd2 Kh3 44. Nc4 Kg4 45. Ke4 Kg5 46. Nd6 g6 (46... b6 47. Ne8 Kh6 (47...
g6 48. f6 Bc5 49. Kd5 Kf5 50. f7) 48. Kd5) 47. fxg6 Kxg6 48. Nxb7 Kf7 49. Kd5
Ke8 50. Nc5 (50. Kc6 Ba7) 50... Kd8 51. b6 Kc8 52. Kc6 Bxc5 1/2-1/2


Second (on tiebreak): GM Sriram Jha (2404) of LIC

GM Sriram Jha was off to an excellent start, winning all of his first six games. He then cooled off to grant three draws in the final rounds to finish at 7.5/9, half-a-point behind the winner; although one may argue that, he faced opponents with a higher average rating than anyone else in the tournament.

Third: GM Deepan Chakkravarthy (2477) of ICF scored 7.5/9

Fourth: IM Rathnakaran K. (2442) also scored 7.5/9


Fifith: Kunal M. of Tamil Nadu with 7.5/9

Sixth: Veteran IM Ravi Hegde (2209) of Karnataka

Seventh: IM Ramnath Bhuvanesh (2422) of Tamil Nadu suffered a loss in the penultimate round to IM Rathnakaran, derailing his tournament

Eighth: Karnataka’s pride IM M.S. Thejkumar (2450) scored 7.0/9

Ninth: Niranjan Navalgund (2213) scored 7.0/9

Final Standings after Round 9

The playing arena was a spacious hall with ample space between the chessboards. The organizers also provided free fooding to all the participants of the tournament on all five days. You cannot cook a rice-pot by hanging it in the ceiling, even though the fire has been alighted below it.The players only had one complaint in an otherwise perfectly organized tourney: the ceiling-fans were not close enough to cool the tournament hall adequately.

Arjun Adappa (1957), an upcoming talent from Dakshin Kannada district

Ojas Kulkarni (1945), Karnataka State U-17 and U-25 champion

Former Karnataka State Women’s Champion Shalon J. Pais

Iniyan P. (2280) National Sub-Junior Champion, 2015

Bhavik Bharambe (2088) Runner-up at National U-13 Championship, 2015

This pretty lady needs four chairs to sit on, to play her favourite game

While this kid takes Chess fandom to a grandmasterly level

The ever-affable IA Vasanth BH, the Chief Arbiter of the event

Pictures by Priyadarshan and Shabdik