Indian Grandmaster Lalith Babu wins Vergani Cup

by Klaus Besenthal
1/10/2022 – The Indian Grandmaster Lalith Babu won the "Vergani Cup" in the Italian Adriatic resort of Cattolica which finished on Sunday. With 7.0/9 Lalith shared first place with Hans Moke Niemann (USA), Vitaliy Bernadskiy (Ukraine) and Nurgyul Salimova (Bulgaria), but he had the best tiebreak and therefore won the tournament and the first prize of €2,500. | Photos: Rupali Mullick

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"Vergani Cup"

Crucial for Lalith Babu's tournament victory was his theoretically interesting round eight win against Iranian Grandmaster Amin Tabatabaei, who was leading the tournament at that time.

 

Lalith Babu vs Amin Tabataei

In the 9th and final round Lalith Babu drew against the 18-year-old Bulgarian female player Nurgyul Salimova, who made her first GM-norm in Cattolica.

Nurgyul Salimova | Photo: Lennart Ootes (Archive)

American talent Hans Moke Niemann finished second on tiebreak. He started the tournament with 3.0/5 but then won his last four games to share first place with 7.0/9. In round 7 he won a theoretically and tactically interesting game against Bharath Subramaniyan from India.

 

If Niemann had a strong finish, Nigel Short had a bad one. After a difficult start into the tournament he was on 5.5/7 after seven rounds, but then first lost against Salimova in round eight and then against Bernadskiy in Round 9. On Twitter, the FIDE Vice-President, who had only just recovered from a Covid infection, candidly shared his feelings about his play:

Final standings after 9 rounds

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Lalith Babu M R 7,0 52,0
2 Niemann Hans Moke 7,0 51,5
3 Bernadskiy Vitaliy 7,0 50,5
4 Salimova Nurgyul 7,0 48,0
5 Korobov Anton 6,5 53,5
6 Lodici Lorenzo 6,5 52,0
7 Bharath Subramaniyam H 6,5 50,5
8 Ioannidis Evgenios 6,5 50,0
9 Lagarde Maxime 6,5 48,5
10 Tabatabaei M. Amin 6,0 53,5
11 Thybo Jesper Sondergaard 6,0 53,0
12 Pantzar Milton 6,0 51,5
13 Gilevych Artem 6,0 49,5
14 Dvirnyy Danyyil 6,0 48,0
15 Brunello Sabino 6,0 45,5
16 Klabis Rokas 6,0 45,0
17 Moksh Amit Doshi 6,0 42,5
18 Short Nigel D 5,5 50,0
19 Prraneeth Vuppala 5,5 49,5
20 Arjun Kalyan 5,5 49,5
21 Alsina Leal Daniel 5,5 49,0
22 Martinovici Ilia 5,5 46,0
23 Nikolov Momchil 5,5 45,5
24 Kozul Zdenko 5,5 45,0
25 Iniyan P 5,5 44,5
26 Cumming Rhys 5,5 44,5
27 Formento Paolo 5,5 43,0
28 Pasztor Balazs 5,5 42,5
29 Rakesh Kumar Jena 5,5 41,5
30 Hess Max 5,5 41,0
31 Bettalli Francesco 5,5 40,5
32 Mrithyunjay Mahadevan 5,5 39,5
33 Unuk Laura 5,5 39,5
34 Solomon Kenny 5,5 39,0
35 Frank Emanuel 5,5 38,0

... 124 participants

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Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.
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