Mumbai Mayor’s Cup 2016 – pictorial impressions

by Priyadarshan Banjan
7/14/2016 – Now into its ninth edition, this annual event is held in a city teeming with furious energy, one that never sleeps. The first three places in the ratings tournament were occupied by Indian player, the "best foreigner" was Russian GM Boris, 2639, in place four. Makes you wonder: which is the great super-power in chess these days? Priyadarshan Banjan's richly illustrated report contains a deadly dangerous song and some devastating advertising puns. Utterly butterly.

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Mumbai Mayor’s Cup 2016

Report by Priyadarshan Banjan


If the littérateurs had to come up with an elegant synonym for 'anomaly', they could very well anoint it 'mumbai'. When I first read in the newspapers that Mukesh Ambani is constructing Antilia, a 27-storey residence at Altamount Road, Mumbai, I found it amusing—this city has some of the world's biggest slums, and now she was hosting the most expensive residential house on the planet! Mumbai is the pulse point of India's financial, political, religious, and even fashion trends.

The Mumbai Mayor's Cup, now into its ninth edition, is annually held in this city teeming with furious energy, a city that never sleeps.

Zara hatke, zara bachke, ye hai Bombay meri jaan – "Be alert, be street wise, this is Bombay, my love".
This famous yesteryear song of Hindi cinema sums up the spirit of Mumbai. Warning: start the video at your own peril – you will not be able to get the song out of your head for hours – or days.

The maximum city [photo: Raskalov-vit Journal]

The Mumbai Mayor's Cup is into its ninth edition and it has been growing in size ever since its inception. For years now, it has been a reason behind the rise of many a talent in India. The ninth edition, held from 02 June 2016 to 09 June 2016, carried a prize fund of Rs. 27 lakhs (US $40,000, €36,000), Rs. 11 lakhs of which was earmarked for the Elite category, a ten-round Swiss with the time control of 90 min. + 30 sec. per move increment.

Himal Gusain (2440) had a regal tournament...

With 8.0/10, he finished third on tiebreak, winning a cool Rs. 1 lakhs ($1500) for his effort.

You would think Himal scored his final IM norm as well, but no, he didn't! Because he had not met enough number of titled players from non-host countries in the tournament! He would have got the norm had he been paired with a non-Indian player in the final round.

GM Diptayan Ghosh (2562) finished at 8.0/10 as well but was second in the tiebreak. He was leading after seven rounds but settled for draws in the final three, which allowed the eventual winner to catch up.

IM N.R. Visakh (2400) was a full point behind Diptayan going into the eighth round, but then
he gained on his rival. He defeated IM Saptarshi Roy (2435) in the antepenultimate round.

In the penultimate game he defeated GM Farrukh Amonatov (2614, above) who finished fifth with 7.5/10

Visakh held GM Diptayan Ghosh to a quick draw and was adjudged champion on the tiebreak. Despite his tournament winning performance, he did not receive a GM norm due to the same technicality — he had not played enough players from different non-Indian federations.

The top-seed GM Ivan Popov (2645) did not even make it to the prize list! Why?
After losing to Ram Krishnan and Srinath Rao he plummeted to a defeat against...

... M. Vinoth Kumar (2154) of Tamil Nadu, who was having a bad tournament until then!

What is love for the game? An unfortunate fall left ten-year-old Aditya Mittal (2034) with a fractured leg.
But he braved the pain to still play the Mayor's Cup 2016, scoring 6.10/10 and gaining 107 Elo points!

IM Rahul Sangma (2305) defeated GM Karen Grigoryan (2604) of Armenia

Despite dropping out for a round early in the event, GM R.R. Laxman (2379) scored 7.0/10

GM Swapnil Dhopade (2504) could not work his usual charm and finished seventh with 7.5/10

GM Sandipan Chanda (2585) was eighth with 7.5/10

The biggest surprise of the tournament was WFM Tarini Goyal (1951) of Chandigarh

The 15-year-old girl started as the 120th seed and had scored only 1.0/3. But then she chalked up 6.5 points in the next seven rounds to increase 191 Elo points with a 2360 performance. She finished 11th in the ranking list but did not receive a norm for her performance, again thanks to the same technicality — she did not play enough players from the foreign federations!

With 7.5/10, Russia's GM Boris Grachev (2639) was the best among the non-Indians, finishing fourth.
If things move at this pace, soon Indian norm tournaments will be carrying 'Best Foreign Player' prizes.

Pawan Dodeja (2165) held three GMs and two IMs to draws and scored 5.5/10

77-year-old Ishwar Ramteke (1405) was a strong player in his heyday and still plays chess. He took part in the B-category of the festival and was selling books and chess clocks and other equipment at the same time. In fact, he plays and sells equipment in almost every tournament he attends, and let me tell you: he plays a lot!

The arbiters’ team led by IA B.H. Vasanth did a commendable job in organising this tournament

FM K.S. Raghunandan of Karnataka with one of India's top coaches, K. Visweswaran, based in Chennai.
15-year-old Raghunandan completed his norm requirements, clinching the only norm
the event could produce, to become an International Master.

Varun Bhatt (1915) of Gujarat was the winner of the Category-B (below 2000 – final standings)

P. Hruthik Lokesh of Andhra Pradesh, seen here with his coach,
won the Category-C (below 1600), Mumbai Mayor's Cup – final standings.

Axis Bank Vice-President Amruta Fadnavis (left), the wife of Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, was the chief guest at the closing ceremony, along with Mumbai's Deputy Mayor Alka Kerkar.

The man behind the show: Ravindra Dongre

Top final ranking (6.5 and higher, after ten rounds)

Rk. Sd Title Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 19 IM Visakh N R IND 2400 8.0 64.0 58.5 52.00
2 6 GM Ghosh Diptayan IND 2562 8.0 63.0 57.5 52.50
3 14   Gusain Himal IND 2440 8.0 60.5 55.5 49.50
4 2 GM Grachev Boris RUS 2639 7.5 61.5 56.0 47.25
5 3 GM Amonatov Farrukh TJK 2614 7.5 61.5 56.0 46.25
6 12 GM Gleizerov Evgeny RUS 2506 7.5 61.5 55.5 49.50
7 13 GM Swapnil S. Dhopade IND 2504 7.5 59.0 53.5 45.75
8 5 GM Sandipan Chanda IND 2585 7.5 55.5 51.0 43.25
9 17 IM Krishna C R G IND 2411 7.5 55.0 50.0 44.75
10 18 IM Girish A. Koushik IND 2406 7.5 54.5 50.0 43.25
11 120 WFM Tarini Goyal IND 1951 7.5 53.5 50.0 38.75
12 16 IM Shyaamnikhil P IND 2415 7.0 60.5 55.0 42.00
13 36 IM Kulkarni Vikramaditya IND 2278 7.0 57.5 52.5 41.00
14 22 GM Laxman R.R. IND 2379 7.0 56.5 51.5 41.75
15 41   Sammed Jaykumar Shete IND 2256 7.0 56.0 52.0 36.50
16 9 GM Rahman Ziaur BAN 2521 7.0 55.5 50.0 41.00
17 37   Aradhya Garg IND 2274 7.0 53.5 48.5 38.25
18 24 CM Erigaisi Arjun IND 2351 7.0 53.0 48.0 38.00
19 31 IM Sangma Rahul IND 2305 7.0 52.0 48.0 36.75
20 51   Mithil Ajgaonkar IND 2200 7.0 46.5 42.5 32.75
21 10 GM Ulybin Mikhail RUS 2520 6.5 59.0 53.5 40.00
22 33 FM Raghunandan K. S. IND 2295 6.5 58.0 53.0 34.50
23 4 GM Grigoryan Karen H. ARM 2604 6.5 56.5 51.0 37.75
24 40   Hemant Sharma (del) IND 2257 6.5 55.5 51.0 36.50
25 44   Ram S. Krishnan IND 2234 6.5 54.0 50.0 33.00
26 29 FM Ahmed Sk. Nasir BAN 2319 6.5 54.0 49.5 35.75
27 47 FM Srinath Rao S.V. IND 2218 6.5 54.0 49.5 34.25
28 30   Muthaiah Al IND 2308 6.5 54.0 49.0 34.50
29 45   Deshpande Aniruddha IND 2230 6.5 53.5 49.0 36.75
30 11 GM Gagare Shardul IND 2509 6.5 53.5 48.5 37.00
31 23   Kunal M. IND 2354 6.5 53.0 48.5 34.75
32 20 IM Ravi Teja S. IND 2399 6.5 52.5 47.5 34.75
33 62 IM Hegde Ravi Gopal IND 2157 6.5 52.0 47.0 34.00
34 7 GM Mozharov Mikhail RUS 2560 6.5 51.0 46.0 34.75
35 89   Gandhi Anish IND 2046 6.5 50.0 46.0 29.75
36 34 FM Hamdani Rudin INA 2292 6.5 50.0 45.0 35.25
37 32 GM Ziatdinov Raset USA 2304 6.5 48.0 43.5 34.25

Amul and chess

Amul is an Indian dairy cooperative, based at Anand in the state of Gujarat, India (yes, Anand is also a place, known as the "Milk Capital of India"). Amul is famous for its highly imaginative posters that can be seen all over Mumbai (and all over the country). Most of them feature the legendary Amul girl.

There is a lot of cricket and tennis in Amul's advertising, but they also looked for a chess theme. Then some genius in the ad section of the company hit on it:

The trademark of Amul advertising is the many clever (and sometimes painful) puns

"Maska" is Hindi for butter, "Maskarlsen" is a more or less recognizable opponent Anand faced

The first ad in the above series translates to "World Ruler – none in India?", the second is pretty self-explanatory (remember: maska=butter), the third is a recent one celebrating Portugal's win in the European Football Championship. If you want to spend a challenging hour or two trying to solve the puns on this Amul adverts page.

The most recognizable monument in Mumbai [photo: Amruta Mokal]

Photos unless mentioned by Priyadarshan Banjan. Oh wait, that’s me.



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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Mr TambourineMan Mr TambourineMan 7/15/2016 11:56
Cool comercials!
chessbibliophile chessbibliophile 7/15/2016 10:52
Wonderful images. I only hope politicians, film stars, politicians and their wives are not called to "grace" the occasion. There are veteran chess players and their widows who have made immense sacrifices for the game. Let them be called.
abhishekab1 abhishekab1 7/15/2016 07:19
Are we treating foreign players well?

I remember participating in the Mayor's cup tournament a few years back and we had a whole bunch of them. The peak rating used to be in higher 2600's (2670 or so).

I m sure that our federations are trying their best to provide good conditions for players.

However, I do feel if we improve the playing conditions further we might get better representation from foreign players that will eventually benefit our own players to get Norms.
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