Zalakaros: A small town with a strong open

by Srinath Narayanan
5/31/2016 – Zalakaros is a small town in Hungary but the traditional Zalakaros Open grows continually. This year 261 players - among them 29 GMs of which nine have a rating of 2600+ - and 38 IMs travelled to the spa town to take part in the A-Group of the 35th Zalakaros Open. After four rounds six players share the lead with 3.5/4. Report, pictures, highlights...

ChessBase 17 - Mega package ChessBase 17 - Mega package

ChessBase is a personal, stand-alone chess database that has become the standard throughout the world. Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it.


The 35th Zalakaros Open is 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 (quite a contrast for someone like me, as my street back home in Chennai is probably more populated!).

The delightful Hotel Karos Spa in Zalakaros is the host of the tournament.

Six years ago the tournament had a modest presence in the chess sphere. But the tournament has progressively grown in stature and this year boasted a record number of players.

The Tournament Hall

This year, a total of 261 players flocked to the charming town, with 29 GMs and 38 IMs taking part in the A-group. As expected, host Hungary has the most number of players, however, as many as 14 Indians are taking part in this tournament! Zalakaros Open has grown to become one of the top open tournaments in Europe!

Rounds 1 and 2

Rounds 1 and 2 saw several interesting moments. Out of 9 GMs above 2600, only GM Berkes survived to make it to 2/2.

White just played Bd2. How would you respond with Black?



Hungarian GM Tamas Banuscz (2621) is on 2.5/3.

The biggest upset was of the first two rounds was Indian IM Abhimanyu Puranik’s
victory over top seed GM Zahar Efimenko (2656) of Ukraine.

 The Ukrainian is struggling at 1.5/3. However, you can always expect him to bounce back. As he showed with Black against Del Rey.

Black to move. The position appears balanced, but Black
found an interesting strategic plan and five moves later had a winning position.


In the game Aczel-Mesaros White had just played 18.e4.
Is this strategically correct? What would you do with Black?


IM S. Nitin

India’s IM S. Nitin (2377) is playing excellent chess, has made it to 2.0/3, all three games against 2600 opposition — a win over GM Milos Pernovic (2639), and draws with GM Kravtsiv Martyn (2641) and GM Gabor Papp (2596). Here is his draw against GM Martyn...


...and his win against GM Pernovic.


After three rounds GM Shyam Sundar M. (2530) (right)
was on 2.0/3. Here he plays against Hungarian GM I. Farago and is deep in thought.

Black to move. The position seems balanced, but Black found an
interesting maneuver to gain the upper hand. What would you do with Black?


Should Black play …Nd4 to go for mate with …Qg4 or play something else?


Round 3

IM Aryan Chopra (2459; right)

After three rounds IM Aryan Chopra and GM Levente Vajda led the field with 3.0/3. In round 3 IM Aryan won against GM Viktor Erdos, who blundered after a long fight.


Meanwhile, GM Vajda decimated the author of these lines within one and half hours.

The B-tournament attracted 130 players

Round 4

The two leaders leaders Vajda and Aryan drew their game in round 4, which allowed GM Ivanisevic, Banusz, Berkes and Onischuk, who all won their games, to catch up with them.

Standings after four rounds

Rk. SNo   Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1 
1 12 GM Vajda Levente ROU 2581 3,5 10,5
2 32 IM Aryan Chopra IND 2459 3,5 10,0
3 7 GM Berkes Ferenc HUN 2636 3,5 9,5
4 3 GM Ivanisevic Ivan SRB 2646 3,5 9,0
5 8 GM Onischuk Vladimir UKR 2628 3,5 9,0
6 9 GM Banusz Tamas HUN 2621 3,5 8,5
7 19 IM Svane Rasmus GER 2526 3,0 9,0
8 5 GM Romanov Evgeny RUS 2641 3,0 9,0
9 10 GM Papp Gabor HUN 2596 3,0 9,0
10 35 IM Puranik Abhimanyu IND 2452 3,0 8,5
11 14 GM Medvegy Zoltan HUN 2553 3,0 8,5
12 2 GM Rakhmanov Aleksandr RUS 2654 3,0 8,0
13 22 GM Harika Dronavalli IND 2514 3,0 8,0
14 29 IM Narayanan Srinath IND 2469 3,0 7,5
15 17 GM Shyam Sundar M. IND 2530 3,0 7,5
16 31 IM Korpa Bence HUN 2461 3,0 7,5
17 33 GM Czebe Attila HUN 2454 3,0 7,0
18 25 IM Deac Bogdan-Daniel ROU 2501 3,0 5,5
19 23 IM Andersen Mads DEN 2505 2,5 10,0
20 13 GM Erdos Viktor HUN 2577 2,5 10,0
21 60 IM Nitin S. IND 2377 2,5 10,0
22 4 GM Kravtsiv Martyn UKR 2641 2,5 10,0
23 53 FM Csonka Balazs HUN 2400 2,5 9,5
24 26 GM Mihok Oliver HUN 2498 2,5 9,0
25 18 GM Horvath Jozsef HUN 2528 2,5 9,0
26 40 FM Gazik Viktor SVK 2433 2,5 9,0
27 93 IM Saravanan V. IND 2272 2,5 9,0
28 56 GM Farago Ivan HUN 2391 2,5 8,5
29 42 FM Nguyen Thai Dai Van CZE 2431 2,5 8,0
30 15 GM Szabo Gergely-Andras-Gyula ROU 2548 2,5 8,0

Complete standings at…

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.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register