ChessBase India – a mountain of content

by Priyadarshan Banjan
1/29/2016 – It has been around two months since the ChessBase India web portal came to life, dedicated to the Indian chess tournaments and news. The website is already making a big impact in Indian chess circles, with content that can only be termed humongous. We bring you a summary of all the important events and tournaments that ChessBase India covered in recent months, with links to the articles.

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Newsletter #1: ChessBase India

Since the website began on 13 November 2015, the aim has always been simple: quality chess infotainment. Our efforts are directed at powering chess in India and our method of doing so is simply to create more awareness among the Indian chess masses and foster a community of Indians held together by one game that cuts across religion, gender, age, cultures, geography, and even physical disabilities!

Tournament Coverage

We have been regularly covering almost all the important tournaments that have been taking place in India since a couple of months. In many cases, the players in the tournament or the organizers are sending us their reports, which we have been publishing on our website dutifully. In many cases, the tournament organizers are kind enough to invite our reporters, and that in turn help us report the tournament on a daily basis. Here is a brief summary of the tournaments that we have covered in-depth for the Indian audience of ChessBase:

2015 National Premier Championship

The 14-player round robin was among the stronger tournaments hosted in India. The tournament was provided with extensive coverage on a daily basis and the whole nation was glued to the action in Tamil Nadu as GM Murali Karthikeyan pulled off a miraculous victory despite beginning with two ducks.

Karthikeyan with his proud parents. Read the summary of the whole tournament
in two parts here and here. Individual reports are here and here.

2015 Indian Women’s Premier Championship

IM Padmini Rout won the 2015 Indian Women’s Premier Championship that was held at Kolkata in West Bengal, India. The tournament turned out to be a cakewalk to young Rout, who won with absolutely no difficulties. You will find all the report here.

2015 Indian Women’s Champion: Padmini Rout

London Chess Classic and Open

At the London Classic, Vishy Anand had a forgettable tournament as he managed to muster up only 3.5/9. Things were not too rosy in the FIDE Open held alongside the Classic either, where the best Indian performance came from GM Vishnu Prasanna (2514). You will find the reports here and here.


GM Vishnu Prasanna (2514)

2015 Qatar Masters Open

The best Indian performer at the event was Surya Shekhar Ganguly, who scored 6.0/9
and finished tenth in the final standings, bagging US $1650 for his efforts

The Qatar Masters 2015 was won by Magnus Carlsen. Nevertheless, what happened to the 28 Indian participants who went to Doha to play in this super strong event? They came back with some huge accomplishments: a top ten finish, two GM norms, four IM norms, two players completing their IM titles and some truly exquisite games of chess. ChessBase India reported this tournament with pictures, analysis, and video reports. You can find the daily reports here and the final report here.

2015 Indian Championship ‘B’ for the Visually Challenged

India’s National ‘B’ Champion for Visually Challenged: Soundarya Pradhan

The All India Chess Federation for the Blind (AICFB), in association with the Manipal University, hosted the National B Chess Championship for the Blind at T.M.A. Pai Hall in Manipal, a picturesque educational hub in Udupi, Karnataka. The Manipal University organized this tournament along with an open rating tournament, with a simple idea of building an audience for this sport, where the visually challenged player can truly play at a relatively higher level, compared to other games.

In the past, tournaments of such ilk used to go unnoticed and the organizers would be left lamenting about the lack of exposure and awareness of chess for the visually challenged. So is not the case anymore with the advent of ChessBase India. We reported the tournament with great gusto and it was clear that our reporting had an impact on the general chess audience in India. You can find the daily reports here and the final report here.

14th Delhi Open 2016

Winner: GM Ivan Popov

The 14th Delhi Open 2016 took was held in the Indian capital with a total of 1855 players (!) competing for their share of the 35 Lakhs prize fund that is up for grabs. The tournament was divided into three groups: Category A, Category B for the players rated below 1999 and Category C for players rated below 1599. The tournament witnessed bucket loads of upsets as a bunch of talented individuals were able to hold their own against their higher rated opponents. ChessBase India covered the tournament with daily reports and a big finishing report.

8th Chennai Open 2016

Russian GM Vladimir Belous (2557) won the 8th Chennai Open 2016 by a half-point margin after he scored 8.5/10. However, the 'hero' of the tournament was IM Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman who scored 8.0/10 to finish third on tiebreak. Her sublime show was the best among the Indians, by miles! Here's an illustrated report with pictures, games and tactics.

Other Tournaments

Of course, there are not the only tournaments of significance that were conducted during the period.
ChessBase India reported for important Opens held in India or otherwise with Indians competing.
You can read about the Penang Heritage City International Open held in Penang, Malaysia here.

IM Nisha Mohota recently played in a women’s tournament in Bhubaneshwar, which she reports here.

IM N. Srinath played in the 2nd Johor International Open 2015 and gave a witty account
of the Indian challenge in Malaysia, which you can read here.

IM Sagar Shah noticed that Indians collectively didn’t gain much in the Al Ain Classic 2015

The Indian juniors are known to be heavily underrated but what happens when they are pitted against each other? Niklesh Jain went to the Indian city of Nagpur to find out – at India’s National School Championship 2016, the report of which you can read here with pictures and videos.

Vishy Anand at the National School Championship 2016, taking a selfie ...

... which was published in Marathi newspapers

Articles and Interviews

Tournament Reporting is not the only facet ChessBase India is focusing on – we have loads of other chess articles as well. Here are a few of them:

When chess becomes a language: Most titled players in India agree that Nihal Sarin is a super-talent. Last year, he was crowned the World U-10 champion at Durban, South Africa. In November 2015, aged eleven, he started the World U-12 at Halkidiki, Greece, as the twenty-eighth seed and yet was silver, missing the gold on tiebreak due to an O'Henry twist. Those who have seen him know that he is heavily underrated, bringing forward his A-game when he plays those rated above him. Welcome to the amazing world of Nihal Sarin.

India’s 40th grandmaster: Swapnil Dhopade, above being inverviewed by a ten-year-old boy, became India's 40th GM on 9th of October 2015. His story is one of immense hard work and determination. After achieving his final GM norm in the year 2012, he played nearly 350 more games in the next three years to reach an Elo of 2500! No wonder we can learn so much from this dedicated and disciplined yet at the same time a genial grandmaster! Read the interviews here and here.

Love thy neighbor as thyself: Chennai witnessed a natural/man-made disaster of an unprecedented scale when the wrath of nature descended upon the unsuspecting city. You and I know that Chennai, since its Madras days, has been the capital of the Indian chess scene and home to the best of Indian talents right from kids taking their baby steps to the former world champion himself. Our dear reader Muthu Alagappan, a Chennai resident, sent us his first-hand account of what he witnessed in his city. In addition, we have comments from some of India's best players who reside in Chennai and ended up missing their tournaments.

The Da Vishy Code: Anand has been playing chess for four decades now, out of which, he has stayed at the absolute top of the world for more than two decades. Vishy learned the rules of our game at the age of six, and today he is forty-six. For Anand, it has been a journey from being labeled with adjectives to himself becoming one. Countless articles, interviews, and shows have documented his story. ChessBase India brings you a selection of pictures from Anand’s early career and his recent resurgence, with games and more. A heartfelt tribute to the man who put India on the world chess map.

Harika in the 2015 Chinese League: One of the main reasons why countries like China are a step ahead of us is their national league system where teams consisting of an optimum mixture of players rated above 2700, talented players in the 2500-2700 range and women players compete together. Indian GM Dronavalli Harika played seven games across two legs of the 2015 Chinese League that began in April and ended this month. Here's a report comparing the Indian chess scene with the Chinese league system and Harika's contribution in Team Beijing's victory!

New Year 2016 Puzzle – Black to play and win! As the year 2015 came to an end ChessBase India left you with a hard nut to crack. The study which we ask you to solve in this article took IM Sagar Shah 24 days to work out the entire solution. We hope that you will not only enjoy the process of solving the problem but also fare much better than he did.

The solution occurred to him in the picturesque location, nhaled the fresh air. Read the article here.

Tania Sachdev at IIT-Saarang 2016: She is bold, she is beautiful and, on the chessboard, even lethal. IM Tania Sachdev was invited to the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras for their annual college festival Saarang 2016. Tania delivered a lecture and did an insightful Q&A with the students that as she confesses, she enjoyed no end. Our dear friend Nitin Pai, an IIT-M student, was amongst the audience and brings us the excerpts from the lecture and the Q/A session in this eloquent article for you to enjoy.

IM G.A. Stany: IM G.A. Stany of Karnataka recently won the Manipal Open Tournament, which we had covered extensively. ChessBase India caught up with him for a not-too-long but crisp interview that we present to our readers. It is replete with some useful chess information, pictures, and analysis!

Blind chess in India: We had actively reported the National-B for the Blind held in Manipal. Ever since its inception, the AICFB has never charged entry fees from any of the participants in any tournament organized by them. Nor does the government support blind chess in India. How does the system work? In the first part, we bring you a report on the status of blind chess in India detailing the problems our visually impaired friends face.

Vishy Anand achieved his final GM norm here! The oldest chess association in India, Coimbatore District Chess Association celebrated its Platinum Jubilee just a few days ago. Apart from creating huge stars in the country, CDCA was also responsible for Vishy Anand becoming a GM – the five-time World Champion made his final GM norm in the Sakthi Finance GM tournament in Coimbatore! This article by India’s top arbiter R. Anantharaman pays homage to the wonderful talents produced and the incomparable work done by this Association.

Follow top Indian players LIVE! When was the last time you saw Vishy Anand play in an open tournament. Well, you will be seeing him in action starting 26th of January 2016 at the Gibraltar Masters 2016. Anand will face a stiff challenge from the likes of Nakamura and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave for the first place. We also have a lot of top Indians in the field – Harikrishna, Ganguly, Gujrathi, Sethuraman, Gupta and many more! We bring you an introductory article.

Not to forget: Adhiban is the only Indian playing in Wijk aan Zee this year
and he is leading the B-group with 6.5/8. Follow Adhiban LIVE here!

IIFL Wealth Mumbai International Open 2016: If the litterateurs had to come up with an elegant synonym for 'anomaly', they could very well anoint it as 'mumbai'. On January 28, IIFL Wealth, in association with the Indian Chess School, welcomes you to Bombay for the IIFL Wealth Open and IIFL Wealth Juniors Tournament, which is on its way to being crowned the highest prize-money junior tournament in chess history. An invitation.

Check out the ChessBase India website at – a responsive news page that runs on notebooks, tablets, smartphones, practically everything. You can also visit and "like" the ChessBase India Facebook page

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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