Zalakaros Open: Three players lead

by Srinath Narayanan
6/3/2016 – After seven from nine rounds three players lead the strong open tournament in Zalakaros, Hungary: GM I. Ivanisevic, GM A. Rakhmanov and GM L. Vajda. But open tournaments are about more than the winner. In Zalakaros a number of young talents can still score a GM norm - and Indian GM Harika Dronavalli has the best chances to win the women's prize. Report, standings, analyses.

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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.

Things are heating up in open the little town of Zalakaros. Rounds five to seven have seen a few interesting turn of events. Initially, GM Vladimir Onischuk surged into the lead with the following positional squeeze:


Vladimir Onischuk - ‘first to lead, first to cede’

Then GM Ivanisevic seized the lead with this following beauty:


Ivan Ivanisevic

After seven rounds GM Ivan Ivanisevic, GM Aleksandr Rakhmanov, and GM Levente Vajda are in pole position with 5.5/7. The last two rounds promise to be interesting, particularly so because prizes won’t be shared.

Aleksandr Rakhmanov


Among the younger players, IM Rasmus Svane and IM Bogdan Daniel Deac have performed creditably with a performance rating above 2600 and both are close to making a GM norm. However, Indian IM Aryan Chopra and IM Abhimanyu Puranik did even better and both just require one draw from the two last rounds to make a GM norm.

IM Aryan Chopra

Here’s one of Aryan’s victories:


IM Abhimanyu Puranik

IM Abhimanyu Puranik has shown solidity and his trademark resourcefulness in worse positions - often outplaying strong opponents between moves 30 to 40. Two examples:


While it might seem as if IM Abhimanyu Puranik was quite fortunate in both games his success in these games is not due to ‘coincidence’ or ‘chance’. I, for one, know IM Abhimanyu’s amazing ability to bounce back from worse positions – in the five games we have played so far (all formats counted) he has managed to outplay me in the later part of the game no less than four times!

A rational person does not believe in coincidences, and there is usually a rational explanation to everything. In this case excellent defensive abilities and excellent nerves in critical moments.

GM Harika Dronavalli leads the Women Challenge with 5.0/7.


IM Nomin-Erdene Davaademberel from Mongolia

Another talented young player from Czech Republic: FM Nguyen Thai Dai Van


Things did not go too well for GM Viktor Erdos

Standings after seven rounds

Rk. SNo   Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1 
1 12 GM Vajda Levente ROU 2581 5,5 30,5
2 3 GM Ivanisevic Ivan SRB 2646 5,5 30,5
3 2 GM Rakhmanov Aleksandr RUS 2654 5,5 29,0
4 7 GM Berkes Ferenc HUN 2636 5,0 31,0
5 35 IM Puranik Abhimanyu IND 2452 5,0 31,0
6 9 GM Banusz Tamas HUN 2621 5,0 30,5
7 32 IM Aryan Chopra IND 2459 5,0 30,0
8 19 IM Svane Rasmus GER 2526 5,0 30,0
9 22 GM Harika Dronavalli IND 2514 5,0 28,5
10 11 GM Prohaszka Peter HUN 2593 5,0 28,5
11 1 GM Efimenko Zahar UKR 2656 5,0 27,5
12 10 GM Papp Gabor HUN 2596 5,0 27,0
13 25 IM Deac Bogdan-Daniel ROU 2501 5,0 27,0
14 14 GM Medvegy Zoltan HUN 2553 5,0 26,5
15 8 GM Onischuk Vladimir UKR 2628 4,5 30,0
16 5 GM Romanov Evgeny RUS 2641 4,5 28,5
17 4 GM Kravtsiv Martyn UKR 2641 4,5 28,5
18 40 FM Gazik Viktor SVK 2433 4,5 28,0
19 26 GM Mihok Oliver HUN 2498 4,5 26,0
20 15 GM Szabo Gergely-Andras-Gyula ROU 2548 4,5 26,0
21 21 GM Horvath Adam HUN 2515 4,5 25,5
22 31 IM Korpa Bence HUN 2461 4,5 25,5
23 6 GM Perunovic Milos SRB 2639 4,5 23,5
24 55 FM Costachi Mihnea ROU 2397 4,5 23,0
25 47 IM Dragnev Valentin AUT 2423 4,5 21,5
26 23 IM Andersen Mads DEN 2505 4,0 28,0
27 18 GM Horvath Jozsef HUN 2528 4,0 27,5
28 44 FM Livaic Leon CRO 2428 4,0 27,5
29 84 WGM Kulon Klaudia POL 2304 4,0 27,5
30 33 GM Czebe Attila HUN 2454 4,0 27,0

...113 players

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.


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