Diptayan big favourite to win Saturday online blitz series

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
4/14/2020 – With four out of five tournaments completed, the Saturday online blitz series organized by ChessBase India has a clear leader in Diptayan Ghosh. The 21-year-old got back-to-back second places in the first events, but finally scored his first tournament victory on the third Saturday. That was enough to get an eight-point lead over Raunak Sadhwani in the overall standings (tournament victory gives ten points). | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

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Two teenagers with outside chances

The massive group of talented young Indian players are showing their prowess at the Saturday online blitz series which is taking place on the PlayChess server. Five tournaments decide who gets a piece of the ₹10000 prize fund, with each event giving points to the top ten qualifiers (from 10 points to 1 point). 

The sole leader in the overall standings is Diptayan Ghosh, who at 21 feels almost like a veteran compared to his compatriots currently placed second and third — 14-year-old Raunak Sadhwani and 16-year-old Arjun Erigaisi. Diptayan has collected 28 points, eight more than Arjun and nine more than Raunak. GM Arjun is the only player to have won two events, so if he ends up tied with Diptayan he will take first prize (of course, he could not catch up with the current leader if Diptayan wins the fifth tournament).

Below the three grandmasters stands IM Aronyak Ghosh (b. 2003) on 18 points. Other well-known players like Praggnanandhaa, Gukesh and Elshan Moradiabadi are in the top ten but have no chances of catching up with the leader.  

All four events so far have attracted over two-hundred players, with around fifty of them having official FIDE titles. Each tourney is a nine-round Swiss open with a time control of 3 minutes per game, without increment. Entry is free for all players, however an active ChessBase Premium subscription is mandatory to participate.

The 5th and final event of this series will take place on Saturday, April 18th at 20:00 IST (15:30 CET).

Raunak Sadhwani

Raunak Sadhwani in Gibraltar | Photo: Niki Riga

The third tournament was won by Diptayan, who had finished second in the previous two. Coincidentally, all the events had a sole winner, and every single time the winner collected 8 out of 9 points. This was no exception. Gukesh, Visak N R, Raunak Sadhwani, Harshit Raja and Alan Pichot all ended up a half point back. 

The victory put Diptayan in the overall lead with a massive margin of  12 points over Praggnanandhaa. It seemed totally plausible for him to get the title with one tournament to spare, but in the fourth Saturday he did not get a single point for the series standings, as his 6 out of 9 was not enough to reach the top ten. The winner was Arjun Erigaisi, who had also won the second event. Jakhongir Vakhidov from Uzbekistan, Pranav V and Raunak Sadhwani — a.k.a. "devil1234" — all got 7½ points.


Shahid Ahmed serves as tournament director of each tournament, and has analysed some of the highlights: 

 

By now, most people following chess know that the ChessBase India team, led by Sagar Shah, works tirelessly to popularize the game. As usual, they have done a great job in organizing these online events. The participants had the following to say about the tournaments:

Elshan Moradiabadi: It was a fantastic tournament and brought me back several fond memories from the days I was considered young. As for a suggestion, I think it would be nice if the event would have an extra round and start 10-15 minutes earlier. It is just a suggestion!

D Gukesh: I am extremely happy to have participated in my first online blitz tournament conducted by ChessBase India and loved the experience and thrill. From the start to the finish it's professionally conducted, and I got the rare opportunity to play several high-class players in a single event, and I'm looking forward for the next event.

Anuj Shrivatri: The Tournament was excellent — as always, nothing more can be expected. But I have a suggestion, that is it possible to make 3+2 Tournament instead of 3+0? That will make the quality of play superior and players will not play for flagging.

Visakh N R: The tournament was held in a excellent way without any kind of issues. Nice job by Chessbase India team and thank you for inviting me to take part in the event.


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Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.

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