14th Delhi International Chess Tournament : Sayantan Das makes Grandmaster norm; Popov wins title

International Master Sayantan Das defeated Vitaliy Bernadskiy of Ukraine to make a Grandmaster norm after the end of the tenth and final round of 14th Parsvnath Delhi International Chess Festival that concluded here.

Sayantan Das in his match against Vitaliy Bernadskiy
Sayantan Das in his match against Vitaliy Bernadskiy

It was an intense drama in the final round of Rs. 12.5 lakh prize money tournament as overnight sole leader Ivan Popov suffered a shock defeat at the hands of veteran Grandmaster Valeriy Neverov of Ukraine.

Match between Valeriy Neverov and Ivan Popov
Match between Valeriy Neverov and Ivan Popov

While it did not alter the final rankings, it counted for a thrilling day as Neverov defeated Popov in a class act with white pieces. At the end it was a three-way tie for the top spot on eight points each with Hungarian Grandmaster Attila Czebe who also reached the magical eight points.

As the tie was resolved, Popov still had the best tiebreak and the Russian walked away with the winner’s cheque of Rs. 300000/-. For the records, Czebe came second second and Neverov had to be content with a third place finish.

Amongst the Indians, M R Lalith Babu scored a fine victory in the last round over Yuri Solodovnichenko of Ukraine to tie for the fourth spot and finish sixth overall. Also ending in this set on 7.5 points were Sayantan Das and Vaibhav Suri who finished seventh and ninth respectively.

The day however belonged to Sayantan who made a Grandmaster norm with a commendable show. Vitaliy Bernadskiy was outdone in the middle game where he lost a couple of pawns without much compensation and slowly but surely Sayantan converted his advantage.

Sayantan Das thus added a fifth norm to the tournament after R A Pradip Kumar, Himal Gusain and Mehar Chinna Reddy made International Master norms while Srija Sheshadri got her Women International Master norm.

Winner in C Category Srihari N
Winner in C Category Srihari N

In the category ‘C’ that also concluded here simultaneously, N Srihari emerged victories scoring a whopping 9.5 points out of a possible ten. Srihari won Rs. 150000/- for his efforts. In a three-way tie for the second spot on nine points, Ashutosh Bannerjee finished second, Shanya Mishra was declared third while Manish Kumar Sharma finished fourth. The category ‘C’ had a prize fund of Rs. 1100000/- (Rupees Eleven Lakhs)

The event is set to get bigger next year as the prize fund has been increased to a massive 51 lakhs in three categories combined. A total of 1855 players took part in three categories this year and next year the participation is expected to cross the 2500 mark.

Important Results Round-10 (Indians otherwise stated) :- GM Valeriy Neverov of Ukraine (8) beat GM Ivan Popov of Russia (8); GM Vitaly Sivuk of Ukraine (7.5) drew with GM Attila Czebe of Hungary (8); GM Yuri Solodovnichenko of Ukraine (7) lost to GM Lalith Babu M R (7.5); GM Boris Grachev of Russia (7) drew with IM Vignesh NR (7); GM Anton Demchenko of Russia (7.5) beat GM Sriram Jha (6.5); GM Mikhail Mozharov of Russia (7.5) beat IM Rathnakaran K (6.5); GM Vaibhav Suri (7.5) beat Himal Gusain (6.5); GM Vitaliy Bernadskiy of Ukraine (6.5) lost to IM Sayantan Das (7.5); GM Nguyen Huynh Minh Huy of Vietnam (6.5) lost to GM Nguyen Duc Hoa of Vietnam (6.5); IM Himanshu Sharma (6.5) drew with GM Vladmir Belous of Russia (6.5); IM Krishna CRG (7) beat GM Ernst Sipke of Netherlands (6); IM Srinath N (6.5) drew with IM Somak Palit (6.5); Akash Thakur (6.5) drew with IM Ramnath Bhuvanesh (6.5) ; Pradeep Kumar R A(6.5) drew with IM Akash G (6.5); IM Visakh N R (6) lost to Sammed Jaykumar Shete (7).

Top Ten (Category ‘A’) :-

1 GM Popov Ivan Russia 8
2 GM Czebe Attila Hungary 8
3 GM Neverov Valeriy Ukraine 8
4 GM Sivuk Vitaly Ukraine 7½
5 GM Demchenko Anton Russia 7½
6 GM Lalith Babu M R India 7½
7 IM Das Sayantan India 7½
8 GM Nguyen Duc Hoa Vietnam 7½
9 GM Vaibhav Suri India 7½
10 GM Mozharov Mikhail Russia 7½

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