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Ramesh is the Commonwealth Chess Champion

1/2/2008 – He hails from Chennai, India, just like Vishy Anand, Krishnan Sasikiran, and thousands of other strong chess players. In the tradition of the "Chennai Chess Factory" R.B. Ramesh won the Commonwealth Championship 2007, which had 282 entries, with 13 GMs, 35 IMs and 12 titled women players, from eleven Commonwealth countries. Big pictorial report by Praful Zaveri.
 

GM R.B. Ramesh is the Commonwealth Chess Champion

Report by Praful Zaveri

GM R.B. Ramesh hails from Chennai, India – the same city as that of World Champion Viswanathan Anand, another Indian Super GM, K. Sasikiran, and thousands of strong players. Well, Chennai has the reputation of churning out chess champions! If you see the composition of any Indian team, you will find that Chennai has most representations, which shows the good chess cult. I would term this as "Anand Effect" or, as my friend, IM Vishal Sareen had summed this in one simple word in one of his earlier ChessBase report – the “Chennai Chess Factory”!

Well, the "Anand Effect" or the success story for "Chennai Chess Factory" continued as Ramesh surprised everybody by winning Parsvnath Commonwealth Chess Championship 2007. It is not that Ramesh was not capable of achieving such a feat, as he was touted as one of the best young challenge to emerge in India. In the past he had won the Indian National Championship convincingly and went on to win the British Open Championship. However; the big guns, top-seeded GM S.S. Ganguly, second seeded Gawain Jones, third seeded Abhijit Kunte and the fourth seeded local hero Parimarjan Negi were in good touch and were considered favorites to win this event.


Commonwealth Champion 2007: GM R.B. Ramesh

But, all the calculations went astray from the start as Ramesh pressed on the accelerator to take a lead at the half-way stage. He lost his way for a while but recovered the last ground with a fantastic rear-guard charge to score three consecutive wins in the last three rounds to finish with a score of 8½. He became richer by Rs.137,500 (approximately Euro 2400).


Second place for GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly

Top-seeded GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly, also from India, finished with an identical score of 8½ but had to content with the second place due to an inferior tie-break. He however; had the consolation of getting the same prize money of Rs. 137,500.


Grandmaster norms fulfilled: IM Abhijeet Gupta

IM Abhijeet Gupta, who finished his Grandmaster title requirement in this tournament to become India’s 17th Grandmaster, had a double celebration by clinching the Bronze Medal with a fantastic performance of 8 points. He bagged the cash prize of Rs.75,000. Abhijeet also won Gold in the Under-20 category.


Women's Commonwealth Champion Harika Dronavalli

IM Harika Dronavalli retained her women’s title, which she had won at the last edition of this event at Mumbai. She finished seventh overall in this very strong combined event, which had 13 men’s Grandmasters. By virtue of this performance she got the cash prize of Rs. 40,000. WGM Tania Sachdev finished behind Harika while WGM Nisha Mohota had to be content with the 3rd place.


Second seed Gawain Jones from England

The Indians also dominated the various age-groups categories as their players won 44 of the 45 medals available. In absence of the defending champion GM Nigel Short, it was left to English GM Gawain Jones to prevent the clean sweep by winning a Bronze in the Under-20 category. Otherwise, the second seeded GM would like to forget this tournament as he found the going very tough.


Below-par performance by GM Parimarjan Negi

The big disappointment for the Indian fans was the below-par performance of the prodigal GM, 4th seeded Parimarjan Negi.  The pressure of playing in front of his home ground proved quite heavy for his young shoulders as he just crashed in the second half of the tournament after being well placed with a score of 5/6. However, the Indian playing conditions are said to be tough and, this experience would help Negi to perform to his standards in future tourneys.

The Indian players who won the Gold in various categories are; Meghna C.H. (Under-8), Vaibhav Suri (Boys U-10), Sahaj Grover (Boys U-12), Pratyusha Bodda (Girls U-12), Priyadarshan K (Boys U-14), Padmini Rout (Girls U-14), GM Parimarjan Negi (Boys U-16), Pon N Krithika (Girls U-16), P. Karthikeyan (Boys U-18), WIM Kiran Mohanty (Girls U-18), GM Abhijeet Gupta (Boys U-20) and IM S.C. Sahu (Seniors).

The championship, which was organized by the Delhi Chess Association on behalf of the All India Chess Federation and Commonwealth Chess Association had attracted a record 282 entries in a very strong field, consisting of 13 Grandmasters (GM), 5 Women Grandmasters (WGM), 35 International Masters (IM), 7 Women International Masters (WIM), from 11 Commonwealth countries: Australia, Bangladesh, England, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Republic of South Africa, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Trinidad & Tobago and host India. A total of 56 foreign participants from the member Commonwealth Countries have created new records on all fronts in this US $20,000 prize fund tournament with the winner pocketing US $4,000.


Ignatius Leong, FIDE General Secretary, with Bharat Singh Chauhan, Treasurer of All India Chess Federation and organizer of this event

The prize distribution ceremony was presided over by Pradeep Jain, Chairman of Parsvnath Developers Ltd., the Sponsors of this event. On this occasion Pradeep Jain said that "Parsvnath is always very supportive of chess which is pegged as a 'Thinkers Game'. Our association with chess championship is to promote the game and take it to the masses. In last six years of our contribution in the game, we have experienced the growing interest of amateurs and eminent players in chess championships. The Parsvnath Commonwealth Championship has emerged as a platform to represent India as the key participant on the global arena". The special guest for this event was Mr. Ignatius Leong, FIDE General Secretary.


Flew in from Khanty-Mansiysk: GM Krishnan Sasikiran

The tournament also had an unexpected visitor in GM Sasikiran, who had returned from the World Cup at Khanty wherein he had a creditable outing. Sasi is getting married early next month and everybody is expecting the lady luck to smile on him! The tournament also had unexpected participation from Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies, which is basically remembered as the hometown of the ‘Prince of Cricket’ – Brian Lara or their football team.

Overall Prize Winners

No.

 Ti.

Name

Rtg

FED

Pts

TB

Cash Prize

1

GM

Ramesh R B

2473

IND

47

Rs. 137,500

2

GM

Ganguly Surya Shekhar

2585

IND

46

Rs. 137,500

3

IM

Gupta Abhijeet

2470

IND

8

43

Rs. 75,000

4

IM

Himanshu Sharma

2408

IND

47½

Rs. 20,200

5

IM

Rathnakaran K

2433

IND

46½

Rs. 20,200

6

IM

Kamble Vikramaditya

2374

IND

45½

Rs. 20,200

7

IM

Harika Dronavalli

2480

IND

43½

Rs. 20,200

8

IM

Sriram Jha

2459

IND

43

Rs. 20,200

9

GM

Abdulla Al-Rakib

2506

BAN

43

Rs. 20,200

10

GM

Kunte Abhijit

2547

IND

41

Rs. 20,200

11

GM

Murshed Niaz

2428

BAN

40½

Rs. 20,200

12

IM

Laxman R R

2395

IND

39

Rs. 20,200

13

IM

Arun Prasad S

2423

IND

7

43½

Rs. 10,000

14

IM

Sundararajan Kidambi

2442

IND

7

43

Rs. 10,000

15

Thejkumar M  S

2355

IND

7

42½

Rs. 10,000

Category Prize Winners

Seniors (Above 50 Years)

Rank

SNo.

 

Name

 

Rtg

Typ

Pts

Fide

71

89

IM

Sahu Sekhar Chandra

IND

2250

S50

6

34½

93

136

Dilip Das

IND

2102

S50

34½

139

79

IM

Hegde Ravi Gopal

IND

2277

S50

5

29½

Best women

Rank

SNo.

 

Name

 

Rtg

Typ

Pts

Fide

7

11

IM

Harika Dronavalli

IND

2480

43½

20

29

WGM

Tania Sachdev

IND

2413

7

40

28

27

WGM

Mohota Nisha

IND

2416

42

Boys Under 10

Rank

SNo.

 

Name

 

Rtg

Typ

Pts

Fide

89

186

Vaibhav Suri

IND

1969

U10

36

121

142

FM

Girish A  Koushik

IND

2086

U10

29½

141

198

Mohineesh C H

IND

1925

U10

5

29

Boys Under 12

Rank

SNo.

 

Name

 

Rtg

Typ

Pts

Fide

59

98

FM

Grover Sahaj

IND

2239

U12

6

36

107

116

FM

Sai Krishna G V

IND

2167

U12

32

120

129

Fenil Shah

IND

2124

U12

30

Girls Under 12

Rank

SNo.

 

Name

 

Rtg

Typ

Pts

Fide

197

244

Pratyusha Bodda

IND

U12

1736

20½

198

206

Priyanka Kumari

IND

U12

1899

20½

210

183

WFM

Kotepalli Sai Nirupama

IND

U12

1977

4

22

Boys Under 14

Rank

SNo.

 

Name

 

Rtg

Typ

Pts

Fide

42

67

FM

Priyadharshan K

IND

2298

U14

36

61

93

Mehar Chinna Reddy C H

IND

2246

U14

6

36

65

50

Udeshi Aditya

IND

2355

U14

6

35½

Girls Under 14

Rank

SNo.

Name

 

Rtg

Typ

Pts

Fide

75

101

Padmini Rout

IND

U14

2226

6

34

126

202

Shristi J  Shetty

IND

U14

1916

28

143

177

Gagare Shalmali

IND

U14

1988

5

28

Boys Under 16

Rank

SNo.

 

Name

 

Rtg

Typ

Pts

Fide

30

4

GM

Negi Parimarjan

IND

2514

U16

41

39

42

Ashwath R

IND

2374

U16

37½

73

57

FM

Nitin S

IND

2321

U16

6

34

Girls Under 16

Rank

SNo.

 

Name

 

Rtg

Typ

Pts

Fide

76

123

WFM

Pon N  Krithika

IND

U16

2140

6

33

86

187

Tejaswini Reddy S

IND

U16

1967

6

28

125

152

Divyasri Ch

IND

U16

2050

28½

Age group Under 18

Rank

SNo.

 

Name

 

Rtg

Typ

Pts

Fide

18

53

Karthikeyan P

IND

2340

U18

7

40

22

12

Ashwin Jayaram

IND

2478

U18

7

38½

35

8

IM

Rohit Gogineni

IND

2491

U18

38

Under 18 Girls

Rank

SNo.

 

Name

 

Rtg

Typ

Pts

Fide

45

83

WIM

Kiran Manisha Mohanty

IND

2263

U18

35

47

128

Preethi R

IND

2125

U18

32½

60

84

WIM

Gomes Mary Ann

IND

2262

U18

6

36

Age group Under 20

Rank

SNo.

 

Name

 

Rtg

Typ

Pts

Fide

3

15

IM

Gupta Abhijeet

IND

2470

U20

8

43

13

25

IM

Arun Prasad S

IND

2423

U20

7

43½

16

2

GM

Jones Gawain C B

ENG

2567

U20

7

41

Under 20 Girls

Rank

SNo.

 

Name

 

Rtg

Typ

Pts

Fide

74

107

WIM

Nadig Kruttika

IND

U20

2208

6

34

98

56

WGM

Karavade Eesha

IND

U20

2331

34

111

126

Priya P

IND

U20

2129

31

Age group Under 8

Rank

SNo.

Name

 

Rtg

Typ

Pts

Fide

227

247

Meghna C H

IND

1716

U8

4

15½

230

248

Harshal Shahi

IND

1708

U8

4

14

242

275

Ravi Haria

ENG

0

U8

18


Praful Zaveri is based at Mumbai, India. He is a FIDE Instructor (FI) and runs a chess academy. He is author of the chess book for beginners The Chess Course. He is a freelance writer on chess. His ChessBase.com articles include:

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