Ivan Ivanisevic triumphs in Zalakaros

by Srinath Narayanan
6/14/2016 – The open in Zalakaros has a long tradition and there are a number of good reasons why people like to visit the small Hungarian spa town to play chess. The surroundings are beautiful, the tournament is well organised and the field is strong. The 35th edition of the Zalakaros Open was won by the Serbian GM Ivan Ivanisevic with 7.0/9.

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The 35th Zalakaros Open was played from 27th May to 4th June in the Hotel Karos Spa in Zalakaros, a beautiful little spa town in the Balaton lake region of Hungary. Zalakaros is the smallest town in the country: 1791 people live on an area of just 17.17 square kilometers.

The decision about the victory in the Zalakaros Open fell in the penultimate round. After seven rounds GM Levente Vajda, GM Ivan Ivanisevic and GM Aleksandr Rakhmanov were leading the field with 5.5/7 each. In the eight round Ivanisevic and Rakhmanov were paired and Ivanisevic won this crucial game:

The decisive game: Ivan Ivanisevic (right, with White) against Aleksandr Rahkmanov


This game helped Ivanisevic to win the tournament with 7.0/9 - he drew in the last round. Levente Vajda won silver, Viktor Berkes third. Rakhmanov fell back to ninth place.

Place four went to the Ukrainian GM Vladimir Onischuk.

Here's his last round win against Indian IM Abhimanyu Puranik:


GM Martyn Kravtsiv from Ukraine finished fifth.

GM Zahar Efimenko recovered well after a bad start and
completed the Ukrainian trio that took places four to six.

The women's prize went to GM Harika Dronavalli from India and there was never a doubt that she would win this prize though WGM Kulon Klaudia also played impressively and made her third IM Norm. If she reaches the Elo 2400 mark she will get the title.

Best woman: GM Harika Dronavalli (right, with White)

Among the junior players the Indians Abhimanyu Puranik and Aryan Chopra made GM norms with a round to spare.

IM Aryan Chopra

IM Aryan Chopra was so kind to annotate his wins against GMs Viktor Erdos...


... and his win against Evgeny Romanov.


German IM Rasmus Svane and the Romanian IM Bogdan-Daniel Deac made grandmaster norms.

Rasmus Svane (right, with White) scored 6.0/9 and remained undefeated

Bogdan Daniel Deac lost the first round but finished with 6.0/9 to make a GM norm

Final standings

Rk. SNo   Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1 
1 3 GM Ivanisevic Ivan SRB 2646 7,0 52,0
2 12 GM Vajda Levente ROU 2581 6,5 52,0
3 7 GM Berkes Ferenc HUN 2636 6,5 49,0
4 8 GM Onischuk Vladimir UKR 2628 6,5 48,0
5 4 GM Kravtsiv Martyn UKR 2641 6,5 45,0
6 1 GM Efimenko Zahar UKR 2656 6,5 44,0
7 9 GM Banusz Tamas HUN 2621 6,0 50,5
8 32 IM Aryan Chopra IND 2459 6,0 49,5
9 2 GM Rakhmanov Aleksandr RUS 2654 6,0 48,5
10 22 GM Harika Dronavalli IND 2514 6,0 47,5
11 11 GM Prohaszka Peter HUN 2593 6,0 47,0
12 19 IM Svane Rasmus GER 2526 6,0 46,5
13 25 IM Deac Bogdan-Daniel ROU 2501 6,0 45,0
14 59 IM Hnydiuk Aleksander POL 2381 6,0 42,0
15 6 GM Perunovic Milos SRB 2639 6,0 41,5
16 54 IM Ben Artzi Ido ISR 2399 6,0 40,5
17 35 IM Puranik Abhimanyu IND 2452 5,5 50,5
18 10 GM Papp Gabor HUN 2596 5,5 47,0
19 5 GM Romanov Evgeny RUS 2641 5,5 46,5
20 23 GM Andersen Mads DEN 2505 5,5 45,5
21 13 GM Erdos Viktor HUN 2577 5,5 45,0
22 60 IM Nitin S. IND 2377 5,5 45,0
23 14 GM Medvegy Zoltan HUN 2553 5,5 44,5
24 26 GM Mihok Oliver HUN 2498 5,5 44,5
25 17 GM Shyam Sundar M. IND 2530 5,5 43,5
26 21 GM Horvath Adam HUN 2515 5,5 43,0
27 15 GM Szabo Gergely-Andras-Gyula ROU 2548 5,5 43,0
28 41 GM Lalic Bogdan CRO 2431 5,5 39,5
29 45 IM Vertetics Attila HUN 2425 5,5 36,5
30 46 IM Kantor Gergely HUN 2424 5,5 35,5

...113 players

Complete standings at chess-results.com…

Personally, I had a great time at Zalakaros though I did not play successfully. But I enjoyed the beautiful surroundings and the nature of Zalakaros. And the organisers did everything to make the players feel comfortable. For instance, the players were picked up and brought to the airports in Budapest and Vienna by ‘Trans Air Zala’, one of the sponsors of the event. Host of the tournament was the Hotel Karos Spa, which took care to provide a superior Zalakaros experience.




This year, the tournament was already very strong and offered good opportunities to make norms or to increase one's rating. Next year, the tournament is expected to be even bigger and stronger!

Srinath is a 23-year-old Indian Grandmaster. A former World Under 12 champion, at the age of fourteen he became an IM and had shown surprising and unswerving loyalty to the title ever since, until March 2017, when he crossed the 2500 mark and completed the requirements to become a grandmaster. He loves chess and likes to play in tournaments all around the globe.


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