Serious chess players put in hours of hard work and dedicated practice in order to perfect their art. They spend not only their time but also their money and resources in order to improve at the game. After sleeping, drinking and eating chess, the one thing they expect is for the organizers to respect this hard work and dedication towards chess.
Every chess player hopes for a wonderful playing hall and nice accommodation so that they can play chess to the best of their abilities.
Absolute high level of organization was on show at the 1st Deltin Rapid rating tournament held in Goa on 28th February and 1st Match 2015. The tournament had a total prize fund of Rs. 2,00,000.
Have you seen a better playing hall than this? The Panjim Community Center hosted the tournament.
The boards had sufficient space in between them and was not at all cramped!
The tournament was extremely strong. Among 215 participants was one GM and 13 IMs. And two players, Swayams Mishra and Srinath Narayanan had an Elo higher than 2500!
The titled players were given accommodation at a very high end property called the Deltin Suites!
Just in case you are wondering, Deltin is the same group that has the biggest casino in Goa called the Deltin Royale. Unfortunately the Deltin Suites were not on the ship! The organizers must be commended for getting such big guys to sposnsor the event.
The rooms were top notch....
...And had a gas stove in it for the enthusiastic chefs!
I have played many tournaments but these conditions trump the rest
The tournament was a 10 round event with a time control of 20 minutes + 5 second increment. Being spread over two days meant that it wasn't excruciatingly tiring for the players who had to play five rounds a day. It must be mentioned that the rounds started on time and as per schedule. This is quite uncommon in rapid events.
The first day ended really well for me as I finished with 5.0/5. I was joined by Swayams, Srinath and Joydeep Dutta. The latter playing competitive chess after quite some time.
On the next day in round six, Swayams was able to defeat Joydeep
And Srinath was able to get the better of me by underpromoting his pawn to a knight!
Black to play and win
I had just played my queen to e6 in the above position. My idea was to play Rf2, uncover an attack on the g8 rook and win the f2 pawn. The problem for black is that he cannot really move is rook on the last rank. Any rook move on the last rank is met with d3-d4! and the e2 pawn is lost. A move like Qd2? is met with Rf2 and now even underpromotion to a knight doesn't help.
Srinath found a very pretty idea with 36...Qd1! (36...b5! deflecting the bishop also wins) 37. Rf2. At this point I was wondering as to what Srinath had up his sleeve.
He played e1=Knight! And it was all over! Kg1 is met with Nf3+, Kh3 with Qh5# It's not every day you see an underpromotion deciding the outcome in the middlegame.
This meant that the top two seeds were now the sole leaders with 6.0/6. Round seven witnessed a mouth watering clash between the two 2500s.
Two of the most talented rapid players of the country played a typical French IQP position
The game ended in a draw. As Srinath told me after the game: "Swayams didn't play so well but I returned the favour and hence the draw was a fair result."
Srinath slowed down a little with a draw but Swayams ploughed on and scored another victory to become the sole leader at 7.5/8.
Himanshu Sharma was Swayam's next victim
The penultimate round was filled with action as Swayams beat Stany and Srinath was able to overcome Rakesh Kulkarni. Going into the final round things became extremely interesting. Swayams 8.5 and Srinath 8.
The job of stopping Swayams in the final round fell on Swapnil Dhopade's shoulders who did a pretty good job by holding the top seed to a draw.
Meanwhile on the second board, Chinmay Kulkarni who was playing extremely well and was unbeaten at that point was finally vanquished by Srinath. What a brilliant finale!
The first and second seeds finished the tournament with a score of 9.0/10!
The tie break was buch-holz and at the end of the penultimate round, Srinath was two points ahead of Swayams
But it seems Swayam's opponents did exceedingly well in the final round as he edged past Srinath by a mere half buch-holz point.
Final ranking list
The complete list can be found here
The top three prize winners: Swayams Mishra (center), Srinath Naryanan (left) and S. Nitin. They went home richer by Rs 35,000, Rs 25,000 and Rs. 20,000 respectively.
At stake were so many glittering trophies which were won by....
...Cute and talented little kids!
What better way to spend time with your spouse than analyzing! Sriram Jha with S. Vijayalakshmi
Seeing this picture might give you the feeling that owning a mobile is the secret to happy life! From left to right: M.G. Gahan, Srinath, Stany and Swapnil
The best players of Andhra Pradesh: CRG Krishna, Abhilash Reddy, Ravi Teja, Chakravarthi Reddy and Mehar China Reddy
The two buddies from Bangalore: Joydeep Dutta and Himanshu Sharma
ChessBase author Priyadarshan Banjan (left) with Goa's talented siblings, Niraj and Nandini Saripalli
The strongest rapid players from Maharashtra: Sameer Kathmale. Rakesh Kulkarni and Chinmay Kulkarni
The first Deltin All India Rapid tournament was an amazing event. To tell you the truth I have never really played such a well organized tournament. Just in case you were wondering who the organizers were?
It was the Mumbai based Chanakya Chess Club led by Salil Ghate
Apart from Chanakya Chess Club, the Tiswadi Taluka Chess Association and the Goa Chess Association played an important role in making this tournament a grand success
I must take this opportunity to congratulate the organizers for hosting such a wonderful event. Not only were they able to give high quality playing conditions to the participants, they were also able to bring in corporate sponsorship (Deltin Group) into the game of chess. This was a tournament where one feels proud about being a chess player! This tournament might well usher in a paradigm shift in chess organization in the country.
On a parting note, I leave you, dear readers, with the final position of my 8th round game against Niranjan Navalgund.
Sagar Shah- Niranjan Navalgund, White to play
In the game I had very little time left (around 7 seconds) and I played 40.Bc7? which was met with 40...Nf1+ 41.Kg1 Nd2+ when I lost the rook. Now that you know the threat, the question to you is what should White play in this position?
The answer will be published soon in a separate blog post.