Naiditsch wins Delhi Open

by Sagar Shah
1/18/2018 – When the 2700+ rated GM confirmed his participation for the Delhi International 2018, questions arose whether he would be able to win the tournament or not. With the under-rated Indian players, it was not going to be easy. However, Naiditsch showed to the world that he was a class apart as he easily won the tournament with 8½/10. He paced himself in exemplary style and was never in danger of falling behind. Ziaur Rahman finished second and Nubairshah Shaikh was third. We bring you the final round report along with some pictures of the prize giving ceremony. | Pictured: Top three winners of the tournament with Bharat Singh Chauhan and Arkadij Naiditsch (centre), Ziaur Rahman (left) and Nubairshah Shaikh (right) | Photos: Niklesh Jain

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If the Delhi International 2018 was a 10-kilometre run, then Arkadij Naiditsch zoomed past everyone is the first 8 kilometres and then walked his way to the finish line in the last two. He seemed simply in control of everything during the tournament and scored a clinical 8½ / 10 (with draws against Ratnakaran, Akash PC Iyer and Alberto David).

The final round clash between Naiditsch and Alberto David ended in a quick draw. Naiditsch was happy with a draw, because even if Ziaur Rahman won, Naiditsch knew he would win the event due to direct encounter being the first tiebreak, and Arkadij had beaten Rahman in round seven.


Ziaur Rahman was one of the stars of the tournament, hugely out performing his initial seeding as number 23, and turning in a 2701 performance rating. The Bangladeshi number one revealed that he "was very scared" playing against Naiditsch, but he immediately bounced back with wins over GMs Ivan Rozum and Sergei Tiviakov.

For Rahman this was one of the most important performances of his chess career. Not only did he finish second and took home Rs. 4,00,000 (about €5,100 euro), but he also gained 31 Elo points. This means that he is back into the 2500 league! A place where he deserves to be.

GM Ziaur Rahman on how he beat two strong 2580+ GMs | ChessBase India on YouTube

Naiditsch vs. David

Arkadij Naiditsch vs. Alberto David | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Naiditsch turned in five straight wins before coasting to the finish with two draws:

Rd. Bo. SNo   Name Rtg FED Pts. Res.
1 1 133 WFM Varshini V 2062 IND 6,0 s 1
2 1 68 IM Kandil Adham 2294 EGY 6,0 w 1
3 1 45 IM Rathnakaran K. 2372 IND 6,5 s ½
4 6 49   Sammed Jaykumar Shete 2337 IND 6,5 w 1
5 2 22 GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. 2475 IND 7,5 s 1
6 2 16 GM Vaibhav Suri 2542 IND 7,5 w 1
7 1 23 GM Rahman Ziaur 2472 BAN 8,0 s 1
8 1 8 GM Karthikeyan Murali 2580 IND 7,5 w 1
9 1 35   Akash Pc Iyer 2415 IND 7,0 s ½
10 1 12 GM David Alberto 2553 ITA 7,5 w ½

In this interview with Niklesh Jain, Naiditsch talks about his tournament, how strong Indians are at chess and how to beat Magnus Carlsen:

Naiditsch: "It's easier to beat Magnus Carlsen than Karjakin or Giri" | ChessBase India on YouTube

Karthikeyan Murali and Ziaur Rahman fought very hard, but the game ended in a draw:


Power Play 21: A repertoire for black against the Anti-Sicilians

Accept the Morra Gambit with confidence. Tame the Grand Prix Attack. Put fear into the heart of every tedious 2 c3 player. You can make 1...c5 a dangerous weapon whether it's an open or closed Sicilian.

The find of the tournament was Nubairshah Shaikh who scored 8.0/10, earned his maiden GM norm and also finished third. Nubair's tournament was already very successful after he had achieved his GM norm in nine rounds. Hence, he offered his opponent Vignesh a draw after just three moves. But Vignesh was in a fighting mood and went for a full-blooded fight. Nubair played a model game in the Caro-Kann and won in style.


 First have a look at the game in our game viewer and then listen to the lad analyze the game.

Nubair Shah Shaikh shows his win against Vignesh along side IM Sagar Shah | ChessBase India on YouTube

IM Tania Sachdev was a special guest at the event. ChessBase India caught up with Tania to speak about the Delhi International 2018, her role at the Gibraltar Chess Festival and how chess can make it to the Olympics. 

Tania Sachdev, in Hindi and English | ChessBase India on YouTube

Final standings (top 25)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Naiditsch Arkadij 8,5 0,0
2 Rahman Ziaur 8,0 0,0
3 Mohammad Nubairshah Shaikh 8,0 0,0
4 Horvath Adam 8,0 0,0
5 Karthikeyan Murali 7,5 0,0
6 Vaibhav Suri 7,5 0,0
7 Tiviakov Sergei 7,5 0,0
8 David Alberto 7,5 0,0
9 Deepan Chakkravarthy J. 7,5 0,0
10 Tukhaev Adam 7,5 0,0
11 Deviatkin Andrei 7,5 0,0
12 Khusenkhojaev Muhammad 7,5 0,0
13 Harsha Bharathakoti 7,5 0,0
14 Czebe Attila 7,5 0,0
15 Amonatov Farrukh 7,0 0,0
16 Akash Pc Iyer 7,0 0,0
17 Pruijssers Roeland 7,0 0,0
18 Rozum Ivan 7,0 0,0
19 Gupta Abhijeet 7,0 0,0
20 Vignesh N R 7,0 0,0
21 Erigaisi Arjun 7,0 0,0
22 Sankalp Gupta 7,0 0,0
23 Sardana Rishi 7,0 0,0
24 Shyaamnikhil P 7,0 0,0
25 Nguyen Duc Hoa 7,0 0,0
26 Sammed Jaykumar Shete 6,5 0,0

...262 players in the A-Open

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Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India, the biggest chess news portal in the country. His YouTube channel has over a million subscribers, and to date close to a billion views. ChessBase India is the sole distributor of ChessBase products in India and seven adjoining countries, where the software is available at a 60% discount. compared to International prices.


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