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Sant Marti Open 2017: An event of glorious achievements and missed opportunities

by Niklesh Jain - 03/08/2017

The third event of the Catalan Circuit concluded in Sant Marti, Spain on July 21, 2017. After nine gruelling rounds, the Peruvian IM Fernando Fernandez won the title prize with a score of 8.0/9. In the final round, he beat India's Himanshu Sharma and pushed the Haryanvi GM down to the sixth spot. Vantika Agrawal, on the other hand, became India's latest WIM while many other upcoming Indian talents also made their mark at the event. All of this happened amid the refreshing landscape of the Barcelonian mountains and a breathtaking sunset. Here's another article full of all the action within and the splendour without! Our very own Niklesh Jain reports.

 Wondering what this is? It is the venue of the Saint Marti International Open Chess Tournament – The Civic Center of Saint Marti Barcelona.

And this time, let’s start with examining the performance of the emerging Indian women power. In the girls’ section, many of India’s upcoming talents made the nation proud. One of them was the 15-year-old Delhiite, Vantika Agrawal. With yet another norm winning performance, she is now India’s brand new Woman International Master! Many congratulations to her.

Delhi’s young talent, Vantika, not only fulfilled one of her dreams by completing all requirements for her WIM title, but she also won the first place in the women’s section. In this tournament, she won her final WIM norm while the first two came from the IIFL Mumbai Open and the Sharjah Chess Open earlier this year. As icing on the cake, she won her last round game against a player as solid as IM P Iniyan. 

[Event "XIX Obert Internacional Sant Martí 2017"]
[Site "Barcelona. Carrer Selva de Mar"]
[Date "2017.07.21"]
[Round "9.10"]
[White "Vantika, Agrawal"]
[Black "Iniyan, P."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E63"]
[WhiteElo "2230"]
[BlackElo "2380"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2017.07.13"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "CAT"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. O-O d6 6. c4 Nc6 7. Nc3 a6 8. Qd3
Bd7 9. d5 Nb4 10. Qd1 a5 11. a3 Na6 12. Be3 Qc8 13. Bd4 e5 14. dxe6 fxe6 15.
Ng5 Bc6 16. Bh3 Bd7 17. Bg2 Nb8 18. Nge4 Nxe4 19. Nxe4 Nc6 20. Bxg7 Kxg7 21.
Qd2 a4 22. Rad1 b6 23. c5 bxc5 24. Nxc5 e5 25. Nxd7 Qxd7 26. Qc3 Ra6 27. Qc4
Nb8 28. f4 Qe7 29. fxe5 Rf5 30. e6 c6 31. Bh3 Qa7+ 32. Kh1 d5 33. Qc3+ d4 34.
Rxd4 Rxf1+ 35. Bxf1 Kf8 36. Rf4+ Kg8 37. Qf6 1-0

 If she continues this form, the WGM title too isn't very far away from Vantika's reach. Read the story of Vantika's journey to the WIM title in a recently published interview on our newspage.

Pune's Saloni Saple, who finished on the podium at the World Amateurs Tournament, also scored an WIM norm in Saint Marti. It won't be long until she also clinches the WIM title.

 Saloni's father was ecstatic seeing his daughter score a norm!

Jammu Kashmir's Meenal Gupta is yet another young Indian female who is chasing the WIM title. 

What would be Indian chess without the contribution of these mothers!

This gang of South American WIMs was specially invited by FIDE. Stay tuned for our next article if you want to know why!
India’s GM Himanshu Sharma fumbled in the last round and lost to the Peruvian IM Fernando Fernandez. With this loss, he not only missed his second title prize in a row but also slipped down to the sixth spot in the final standings.

IM Fernandez, on the other hand, won the tournament with a score of 8.0/9. The Armenian GM Karen Grigoryan took the second prize while the GM Jaime Alexander from Columbia clinched the third spot.
[Event "XIX Obert Internacional Sant Martí 2017"]
[Site "Barcelona. Carrer Selva de Mar"]
[Date "2017.07.21"]
[Round "9.1"]
[White "Fernandez, Fernando"]
[Black "Himanshu, Sharma"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C00"]
[WhiteElo "2424"]
[BlackElo "2498"]
[PlyCount "105"]
[EventDate "2017.07.13"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "CAT"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. Qe2 d6 6. O-O Be7 7. Rd1 O-O 8. d4
cxd4 9. Nxd4 Nxd4 10. Rxd4 Qb6 11. Rd1 Bd7 12. c4 Rac8 13. b3 Rfd8 14. Be3 Qa5
15. Bd2 Qc7 16. Nc3 Ne8 17. Rac1 a6 18. Bf4 Bf6 19. Qd2 b5 20. c5 Qxc5 21. Nd5
Qa3 22. Rxc8 Bxc8 23. Nxf6+ gxf6 24. e5 fxe5 25. Bxe5 f6 26. Bd4 d5 27. Bb6 Qe7
28. Bxd8 Qxd8 29. Qc3 Bd7 30. Qc5 Kf7 31. Bf3 Qe7 32. Qe3 Ng7 33. Qh6 Kg8 34.
Bg4 Be8 35. Qe3 Qd6 36. Qa7 h5 37. Bf3 Kh7 38. Rc1 f5 39. Rc8 Bg6 40. Qa8 Bf7
41. Rc6 Qe5 42. Qf8 Kg6 43. Qb4 Ne8 44. Rxa6 d4 45. Ra7 Qf6 46. Qxb5 Nd6 47.
Qb4 Ne4 48. h4 e5 49. Qf8 Nd2 50. Bxh5+ Kxh5 51. Rxf7 Nf3+ 52. Kg2 Ne1+ 53. Kh3

Peruvian IM Fernando Fernandez after his win

GM Himanshu Sharma had the highest tiebreak among those who had scored 6.5/9 and finished sixth in the final standings.

50-year-old Anup Deshmukh's passion for chess leaves us all inspired!
[Event "XIX Obert Internacional Sant Martí 2017"]
[Site "Barcelona. Carrer Selva de Mar"]
[Date "2017.07.14"]
[Round "2.5"]
[White "Deshmukh, Anup"]
[Black "Burmakin, Vladimir"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2241"]
[BlackElo "2505"]
[PlyCount "99"]
[EventDate "2017.07.13"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "CAT"]

1. c4 e6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d4 Be7 4. Bf4 Nf6 5. e3 O-O 6. Rc1 c6 7. Nf3 Nbd7 8. h3
Re8 9. Bd3 Nf8 10. O-O Ng6 11. Bg3 Bd6 12. Ne5 dxc4 13. Bxc4 Nd5 14. Ne4 Be7
15. Bb3 Nf6 16. Qf3 Rf8 17. Nxf6+ Bxf6 18. Rfd1 Qe7 19. Bc2 Rd8 20. Be4 Bd7 21.
a3 Be8 22. Nc4 Bh4 23. Bh2 f5 24. Bb1 Bf6 25. b4 Rac8 26. Ba2 Kh8 27. Bg3 Nf8
28. Be5 Ng6 29. Bg3 b6 30. Bb3 Qf8 31. Ne5 Bxe5 32. dxe5 Qe7 33. e4 Rxd1+ 34.
Rxd1 fxe4 35. Qxe4 c5 36. Rd6 Nf8 37. Kh2 Bg6 38. Qe2 Bf5 39. bxc5 bxc5 40. Bc4
Qg5 41. Ra6 Qc1 42. a4 h6 43. Rd6 Rb8 44. Bb5 Ng6 45. Qd2 Qa1 46. Rd8+ Rxd8 47.
Qxd8+ Kh7 48. Be8 Nh8 49. Qc7 Qc1 50. Qxa7 1/2-1/2

Luke Mendonca's rapid progress makes us see him as a strong Grandmaster in the making. Take a look at his game below and you'll know for yourself.
[Event "XIX Obert Internacional Sant Martí 2017"]
[Site "Barcelona. Carrer Selva de Mar"]
[Date "2017.07.15"]
[Round "3.17"]
[White "Mendonca, Leon Luke"]
[Black "Oliva Castaneda, Kevel"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D45"]
[WhiteElo "2222"]
[BlackElo "2497"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventDate "2017.07.13"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "CAT"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. b3 Bb4 7. Bd2 O-O 8. Bd3
Qe7 9. O-O dxc4 10. Bxc4 e5 11. dxe5 Nxe5 12. Nxe5 Qxe5 13. Ne4 Ng4 14. Ng3 Rd8
15. Bxf7+ Kh8 16. Bxb4 Rxd1 17. Raxd1 Be6 18. Bxe6 Qxe6 19. Rd2 h6 20. Rfd1 Re8
21. Ba3 Kh7 22. h3 Nf6 23. Bb2 Nd5 24. e4 Nf4 25. Rd6 Qf7 26. Nf5 Rxe4 27. Rd7
Re1+ 28. Rxe1 Qxd7 29. Re7 Qd1+ 30. Kh2 Qb1 31. Rxg7+ Kh8 32. Be5 Nd3 33. Bf6
Qc1 34. Rxb7+ Kg8 35. Rg7+ Kf8 36. Be7+ Ke8 37. Nd6+ Kd7 38. Bg5+ 1-0

Anuj from Madhya Pradesh will soon be reaching 2200 Elo. The way he has performed at the event makes us sure that Madhya Pradesh will not have to wait too long to see its first GM

Ashwin Daniel, who beat GM Deepan Chakkravarthy at the National Teams Championship, proved with his performance that his win against the GM was no fluke. He will soon be crossing the 2200 rating mark!

International Master Sameer Kathmale was seen after a long time in Spain, at the Sant Marti Open. With a score of 5.5/9 he finished 38th.

 Final Ranking

Final Ranking after 9 Rounds          
Rk. SNo   Name FED RtgI Club/City Pts.  TB1
1 17 IM Fernandez Fernando  PER 2424 PERÚ 8 52
2 2 GM Grigoryan Karen H.  ARM 2555 ARMENIA 8 52
3 8 GM Cuartas Jaime Alexander  COL 2501 Peona i Peó 7 53
4 6 IM Asis Gargatagli Hipolito  ESP 2505 La Lira 7 53
5 5 GM Arizmendi Martinez Julen Luis  ESP 2511 Paterna 7 49
6 9 IM Himanshu Sharma  IND 2498 INDIA 7 53
7 7 GM Burmakin Vladimir  RUS 2505 RUSSIA 7 51
8 1 GM Peralta Fernando  ARG 2564 Escola Escacs de BCN 7 49
9 4 GM Narciso Dublan Marc  ESP 2516 Escola Escacs de BCN 7 49
10 10 IM Oliva Castaneda Kevel  CUB 2497 CUBA 7 47
11 63   Vantika Agrawal  IND 2230 INDIA 7 44
12 29 IM Tissir Mohamed  MAR 2354 MOROCCO 6 53
13 3 GM Henriquez Villagra Cristobal  CHI 2532 CHILE 6 53
14 11 IM Rios Cristhian Camilo  COL 2477 COLOMBIA 6 52
15 85   Xu Zhihang  CHN 2140 CHINA 6 50
16 21 IM Oblitas Carlomagno  PER 2395 PERÚ 6 50

Most of the pictures used in this article are the fruits of Pau Pascal's (left) amazing photography! 

Glittering trophies awaiting to go into the hands of their winners

Another little Grandmaster!

 When the king bowed down to a pawn!

There's strength in unity. Therefore, it's always a good idea to keep all your pawns together!! 

True story!!  

Life in Spain ! 

Now let's show you the picturesque Spanish sunset! To capture this, I had to wake up at 5 in the morning!

The magnificence of the rising sun is enough to fill you to the brim with energy!
I hope you liked the sunrise as much as I did.
We'll meet again soon at my next destination, Sitges!

Previous articles Catalan circuit:

Shyam Sundar wins XXV Montcada Open, Iniyan scores a GM norm

Himanshu Sharma bags top prize at Barbera Del Valles Open

Articles in Hindi:

Spanish diary part I - life in Spain

Spanish diary part II - Montcada Open

Spanish diary part III - Barbera Del Valles Open

Spanish diary part IV - Sant Marti Open


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