Aravindh and Vaishali Indian Junior Champions

by Priyadarshan Banjan
8/5/2015 – In its 45th edition the Indian Junior and Girls Chess Championship 2015 was open to the Indian juniors younger than nineteen years of age. The open section was won by GM Aravindh Chithambaram with 9.5/11, a full point ahead of the field, and the Girls section by R. Vaishali, with 8.5/11. Aravindh is fifteen and Vaishali is fourteen! She has annotated one of her games for us.

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Aravindh, Vaishali win 2015 Indian Junior Championships

The PSNA CET National Junior & Girls Chess Championship 2015 was open to the Indian juniors younger than 19 years of age, in Boys and Girls categories. The 45th edition for boys and 30th for girls were held at the picturesque campus of PSNA College of Engineering and Technology at DIndigul, a small town in Tamil Nadu state. Into its This tournament has always been a gateway for top Indian talents to make their mark in the chess world. 1999 born GM Aravindh Chithambaram won this tournament (for the second time!) with 9.5/11, while the R. Vaishali with 8.5/10 won the Girls section. Both the champions are coached by Grandmaster R.B. Ramesh.

Into its 45th edition, the PSNA College, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu (picture above) and Golden Knights Chess Academy hosted this tournament from 23rd July, 2015 to 31st July, 2015. The time control was 90 minutes per player for the whole game plus 30 seconds increment per move.

Fifteen-year-old GM Aravindh Chithambaram dropped only three draws, massacring the rest of his opposition, to win the tournament with 9.5/11. He managed to register crucial victories in the eighth and the ninth round, in the latter winning against another bright Indian hope, GM Murali Karthikeyan. He eventually finished a full point ahead of the remaining field to be crowned the champion.

A view of the spacious playing hall

Top final ranking (after 11 rounds)

Rk. SNo Ti. Name Rtg Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 2 GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2507 9.5 73.0 67.0 67.50
2 4 IM Akash G 2354 8.5 75.0 69.0 58.50
3 1 GM Karthikeyan Murali 2509 8.0 75.5 68.5 55.00
4 5   Sai Vishwesh.C 2318 8.0 71.5 65.5 53.50
5 3   Harsha Bharathakoti 2368 8.0 71.0 65.0 55.00
6 9   Kumaran B 2254 8.0 70.5 65.0 54.25
7 6   Sammed Jaykumar Shete 2267 8.0 68.0 62.0 52.00
8 17   Dhulipalla Bala Chandra Prasad 2207 7.5 72.5 66.5 47.50
9 19   Krishna Teja N 2192 7.5 69.5 64.0 49.75
10 11   Pranavananda V 2246 7.5 66.5 61.0 47.25
11 7 IM Chakravarthi Reddy M 2260 7.5 65.5 59.5 47.75

IM G., Akash (above), who has previously won even the National Premier title, finished runner-up with 8.5/11. Akash had a terrific start to his campaign, with seven consecutive victories. However, two consecutive losses towards the end of the tournament derailed his assault on the title.

GM Murali Karthikeyan (2509) had a subdued tournament losing to both the winner and the runner-up, finishing with 8.0/11. But that was enough to finish third on tiebreak.

Girls Section

The Girls section of the National Junior Championship was into its 30th edition and three players were tied for the first place with 8.5/11. Just as in the recently concluded National Women’s Challengers tournament, WFM Vaishali R. (2276) took home the trophy on tiebreak, this time ahead of WFM G.K. Monnisha (2288) and Harshita Guddanti (1785).

Top final ranking (after 11 rounds)

Rk. SNo Title Name Rtg Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 2 WFM Vaishali R 2276 8.5 71.5 66.0 57.25
2 1 WFM Monnisha G K 2288 8.5 70.5 64.5 57.25
3 29   Harshita Guddanti 1785 8.5 67.0 61.0 54.25
4 3 WIM Michelle Catherina P 2220 8.0 76.0 69.5 56.75
5 5 WFM Mahalakshmi M 2149 8.0 73.5 67.0 55.50
6 13 WFM Varshini V 1958 7.5 70.5 65.0 50.75
7 14   Lasya.G 1955 7.5 70.0 64.5 46.25
8 12 WCM Sapale Saloni 1981 7.5 69.5 63.5 50.25
9 15   Bala Kannamma.P 1948 7.5 66.0 60.5 46.00

The winner, WFM R. Vaishali (2276), who annotated one of her games for us:

[Event "u-19 nationals dindigul "] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.07.26"] [Round "6.1"] [White "Vaishali, R."] [Black "Michelle , Catherina"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A18"] [WhiteElo "2276"] [BlackElo "2220"] [Annotator "Vaishali"] [PlyCount "103"] [EventDate "2015.07.26"] {Catherina was half point in the lead, and this was a double round day. In the morning round she had won playing the English. I wanted to surprise her, so I too played the English as well.} 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. e4 d5 4. e5 d4 5. exf6 dxc3 6. bxc3 Qxf6 7. d4 c5 8. Nf3 cxd4 9. Bd3 {I don't want to play normal chess with lines decided before the game.} h6 (9... dxc3 10. Bg5 c2 11. Bxc2 Qc3+ 12. Bd2 Qxc4 13. Ne5 Qd5 14. Qe2 {I thought this will be difficult to play from the black side.}) 10. cxd4 Bb4+ 11. Kf1 $5 {11.Bd2 would be normal, but 11.Kf1 keeps the tension in the position, and White can always play g3 and Kg2.} (11. Bd2 Bxd2+ 12. Qxd2 O-O (12... Nc6 13. Qe3 {Tomashevsky, E-Iljin, A. (2006)}) 13. O-O Nd7 $5 14. Qe3 $1 {Nepomniachtchi, I-Aleksandrov, A(2012)}) 11... Bc3 $5 (11... O-O {The main reply, bringing the king to safety.} 12. h4 { threatening Bg5 and planning to bring the king's rook into the attack.} Qe7 ( 12... Nc6 $2 13. Bg5 $1 hxg5 14. hxg5 Qe7 15. Bh7+ Kh8 16. Ne5 Qxg5 {(forced)} 17. Bg6+ Kg8 18. Bxf7+ $1 Rxf7 19. Rh8+ $18) (12... Rd8 $2 13. Bg5 $1 hxg5 14. hxg5 Qf4 15. Rh4 Qc7 16. Ne5 g6 17. Qf3 $18) 13. Qe2 $14 {[%cal Yh1h3,Yh3g3, Ye2e4]}) 12. Rb1 Nc6 {Grabs a hot pawn.} 13. Ba3 {[%csl Re8] Trapping the king in the centre.} Nxd4 (13... Bxd4 $2 14. Be4 e5 (14... Be5 15. Qa4 Rb8 16. Rxb7 $1 $18) 15. Qa4 $14) 14. Be4 Nxf3 (14... Nc6 $6 15. Qa4 $1 e5 16. h3 $16) 15. Bxf3 (15. gxf3 $16) 15... Qd4 $2 (15... Bd4 $8 16. g3 {[%csl Re8][%cal Yf1g2, Yh1e1]}) 16. Qb3 Qb6 17. Qxc3 $1 Qxb1+ 18. Ke2 Qg6 {This is an only move, other moves lose immediately.} 19. Rd1 (19. Qb4 {was winning} Qg5 20. Bxb7 $18) 19... f5 20. Qb4 Qg5 21. Bxb7 (21. h4 $1 {saw h4} Qxh4 22. Rh1 $3 {missed Rh1} Qg5 23. Bh5+ $18) 21... Bxb7 22. Qxb7 Qg4+ 23. f3 {Already we were both in time trouble here.} Qxg2+ 24. Kd3 $2 (24. Ke3 f4+ 25. Kd4 Rd8+ 26. Kc3 $18 {I thought: what is the difference between both.}) 24... Rd8+ 25. Kc3 Qg5 26. Rxd8+ Kxd8 27. Qb8+ Kd7 28. Qd6+ (28. Qxh8 Qe3+ {draws. In the previous variation the f4-pawn blocks the e3 square.}) 28... Kc8 29. Qc6+ Kd8 30. Qa8+ Kd7 31. Qxa7+ $2 {After messing a clearly winning position I don't want draw.} Ke8 32. f4 Qf6+ 33. Kb3 Rg8 34. h4 (34. Qa4+ Kf7 35. Qd7+ Kg6 {escapes. so I planned to cover the g6 square.}) 34... g5 ({She could have taken:} 34... Qxh4 $19) 35. h5 gxf4 $4 {She took immediately, and now my plan works:} 36. Qa4+ Kd8 37. Qa8+ Kd7 38. Qb7+ Kd8 39. Qb8+ {Gaining time.} Kd7 40. Qxg8 {atlast become piece up} f3 41. Qg3 e5 42. Qxf3 e4 43. Qf4 Qe6 44. Bc5 Qf7 45. Qd6+ Kc8 46. Qf8+ Qxf8 47. Bxf8 e3 48. Kc3 f4 49. Bxh6 e2 50. Kd2 f3 51. Be3 Kd7 52. h6 1-0

Second: WFM G.K. Monnisha (2288)

Surprise of the event: Untitled Harshita Guddanti (1785) left many of her higher rated peers
behind to finish third on tiebreak. She increased a hefty 210 points in the process – truly inspiring.

Some choice tactics

White looks to be in trouble, or is he? White to play.

[Event "PSNA CET 45th National Junior (U-19) Ch"] [Site "PSNA College of Eng"] [Date "2015.07.27"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Aravindh, Chithambaram Vr"] [Black "Sahoo, Utkal Ranjan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A00"] [WhiteElo "2507"] [BlackElo "2215"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "6k1/p4p1p/6p1/8/2qp1Q2/R7/5PPP/4rBK1 w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "7"] [EventDate "2015.07.23"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "IND"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] 1. Qb8+ $1 Kg7 2. Qe5+ $1 {A pretty deflection.} Rxe5 3. Bxc4 {White is a piece up and there's no back rank mate.} Re1+ 4. Bf1 $18 1-0

If 1…h6, White has a cute mate with 2.Qxh6.
However, Black (to play) can obviously one up that.

[Event "PSNA CET 45th National Junior (U-19) Ch"] [Site "PSNA College of Engineering &"] [Date "2015.07.23"] [Round "1.7"] [White "Dave, Sneh"] [Black "Chakravarthi Reddy, M."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A00"] [WhiteElo "1806"] [BlackElo "2260"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "6rk/1p3p1p/p1q2Pr1/4p3/1nPpN2Q/7R/P1P4P/R6K b - - 0 31"] [PlyCount "1"] [EventDate "2015.07.23"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "IND"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] 31... Rh6 (31... h6 $4 32. Qxh6+ Rxh6 33. Rxh6#) (31... Rh6 32. Qxh6 Qxe4+ 33. Rf3 Qxf3#) 0-1

Tricky knights. Black to play.

[Event "PSNA CET 45th National Junior (U-19) Ch"] [Site "PSNA College of Engineering &"] [Date "2015.07.26"] [Round "5.4"] [White "Hemanth, Raam"] [Black "Harsha, Bharathakoti"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A00"] [WhiteElo "2103"] [BlackElo "2368"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/5pp1/4p3/3nPkPR/5P2/8/r3N2P/5K2 b - - 0 36"] [PlyCount "1"] [EventDate "2015.07.23"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "IND"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] 36... Rxe2 $1 {[%csl Re2,Rh5][%cal Rd5f4,Gf1e2]} 0-1

It's time to drag the king out – White to play

[Event "PSNA CET 30th National Junior (U-19) Gi"] [Site "PSNA College of Engineering &"] [Date "2015.07.31"] [Round "11.6"] [White "Bala, Kannamma.P"] [Black "Priyanka, K."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A00"] [WhiteElo "1948"] [BlackElo "2035"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "4R3/5Bbk/pq1p1ppp/n1p5/2P3P1/5Q1P/P4P2/6K1 w - - 0 35"] [PlyCount "5"] [EventDate "2015.07.23"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "IND"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] 35. Bxg6+ Kxg6 36. Qf5+ Kf7 37. Qh5# 1-0

WIM Michelle Catherina (2220) finished fourth in Girls category with 8.0/11

WFM M. Mahalkshmi (2149) was fifth with 8.0/11

In the final three rounds, B. Kumaran (2254) beat the runner-up IM G. Akash
and held both GM Aravindh and GM Murali to draws to score 8.0/11.

One of India’s brightest hope eleven years old Nihal Sarin (2248) had a forgettable
tournament. The best way to heal old wounds is to fight new battles.

The host state of Tamil Nadu, the home province of the Madras Tiger, is a cradle for the best Indian talents

Fide Trainer & Fide Arbiter V Hariharan, Secretary of All India Chess Federation (third from left) inaugurated the tournament. Others from left to right are IA S ganesh Babu, Tournament Organiser, Abdul Nazar Joint Secretary of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, IA R. Anantharam Tournament Co-ordinator, IA V Vijayaraghavan Joint Secretary of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association and Nagarajan coach

Dindigul is a small city, about 450 KMs south of Chennai. It is the gateway to salubrious Kodai hills, adorned with flora and fauna. The climate of Kodaikanal matches that of summer in Europe.

Silver Cascade falls with heavy icy water

A beautiful view of Kodaikanal lake

Devil's kitchen a deep narrow valley looks like small trenches but are deceptively deep

Variety of birds move to Kodaikanal from different parts of the world

Palani, a popular pilgrimage centre in India is about 40 KMs from the playing venue

Hostel of PSNA Engineering College, where the tournament was played

WGM Soumya Swaminathan recounts in her report here that thanks to Vishy, Chennai (capital city of Tamil Nadu) has been the epicenter of Indian chess for a long time now. Just to emphasize the point, during a recent auto-rickshaw (read Indian taxi) ride in Chennai, the driver revealed that he was a chess fan and actually played the game.

All photos from the official Facebook page of PSNA 45th National Junior
and 30th National Junior Girls Chess Championship, 2015


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Topics India, Juniors

Priyadarshan Banjan is a 23-year-old club player from India. He works as an editor for ChessBase News and ChessBase India. He is a chess fanatic and an avid fan of Vishy Anand. He also maintains a blog on a variety of topics.
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snooper snooper 8/6/2015 02:01
Congratulations to Arvind. May he soon get to 2600 and then 2700 and ...
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