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Back to back GM Tournaments in Madurai and Chennai

by R Anantharam - 10/11/2023

The year 2023 ends with two consecutive GM tournaments in Tamil Nadu. It is the only state to have consecutive GM tournaments in India. Velammal Hospital presents Madurai Chess Thiruvizha (Festival) Athens of the East 3rd GM Open tournament from 23rd to 30th December 2023. The total cash prize fund is ₹40 lacs + trophies, bicycle and bikes are there. Category A has a total prize fund of ₹2000000, the top three prizes being ₹300000, ₹200000 and ₹150000 along with a trophy each. Category B and C have a total prize fund ₹1000000 each. The 14th Chennai GM Open will take place from 31st December to 7th January 2024. It offers a total prize fund ₹2000000. The top three prizes are ₹400000, ₹300000 and ₹175000. Check out the article for all details and register if you haven't yet. Photo: Tournament circular

Unimaginable prizes of 100 bicycles and 8 bikes at stake in Madurai

Tamil Nadu is acclaimed as the chess capital of India; not for a single reason; but in many aspects. Besides the top three Indian players are from Tamil Nadu, the state has contributed about one third of the Indian Grandmasters and International Masters. Why Tamil Nadu stands above the rest? One of the prime reasons is that the number of district, state, national and international tournaments organized in Tamil Nadu is countless. It is the only state where two international GM-norm tournaments are organized every year. The series of IM-norm tournaments in progress has also added a new dimension.

Gukesh, Anand and Praggnanandhaa - three of the top five players of India are from Tamil Nadu

The Velammal Hospital, a part of the Velammal Group of Institutions, which has produced 18 grandmasters including Praggnanandhaa, Gukesh, B Adhiban, S P Sethuraman, M Shyam Sundar, GM-elect R Vaishali and Pranav V, presents the Madurai Chess Thiruvizha (festival) – Athens of the East 3rd International Grandmaster Chess Tournament at Madurai from 23rd to 30th December 2023. The total cash prize is 40 lacs rupees for the three tournaments - A, B and C category events put together, the winner of the GM tournament will receive three lacs rupees and the glittering Chairman Mr. M V Muthuramalingam trophy. The tournament will be held at Velammal College of Engineering & Technology, Viraganoor, six kilometers from the famous Meenakshi temple, Madurai.

The Madurai Chess Festival offers huge prize money of ₹40 lacs

Ananthi Chess Academy, under the captaincy of P Pragadesh, Joint Secretary of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association organizes the tournament.


The 14th Chennai Open for the Sakthi Group Dr. N Mahalingam trophy will be held at Hotel Ambassador Pallava, a star hotel in the heart of Chennai from 31st December to 7th January 2024. It offers a cash prize of 20 lacs rupees; the champion will be richer by four lacs rupees.

14th Chennai Open offers ₹2000000

The Tamil Nadu State Chess Association itself organizes the tournament under the leadership of its General Secretary - P Stephen Balasamy.

Madurai, the Most Attractive GM Tournament of the Year in India

Why should you participate in the Madurai tournament? Because it is the most attractive tournament of the year in India. Besides the main and rating category cash prizes in the three tournaments, B and C category tournaments offer four bikes and 50 bicycles each. In total, there are 100 bicycles and eight bikes as incentives to players.

GM tournament carries ₹2000000 rupees prize money

Entry fee structure of Madurai GM tournament

Mindboggling 50 cycles for Below 1700 and 50 cycles for Below 1600 tournaments

This is not the complete story. All players will be provided free accommodation and food at the venue.

All players of all the three tournaments will be provided free boarding and lodging

The B and C categories carry prize money of ten lacs rupees each.

₹10 lacs for the below 1700 category and ₹10 lakhs for the below 1600 categories

The Traditional Chennai Open

Oragnising such a high level international norm tournament for 14 years is a Herculean task. But it has been made easier by the efficient and effective administration of TNSCA headed by the philanthropist Dr. M Manickam. He has also been instrumental in initiating the ongoing mega project of 50 international norm tournaments.

Dr. M Manickam, President of TNSCA

Apart from the 45 main prizes in the tournament, the winners of the first three places in each of the five rating categories also get decent cash prizes.

Prize Structure in 14th Chennai Open

The entry fee is very reasonable and if a player needs accommodation, nominal charges will be collected.

Entry fee and the last date for entries – Chennai

Already players from 18 countries have confirmed their entries, including 9 GMs and 19 IMs.

Players list

No. NameFideIDFEDRtgIsex
IMAronyak, Ghosh25072846IND2545
Sviridov, Valery4120680RUS2526
GMSavchenko, Boris4147332RUS2513
IMAtabayev, Saparmyrat14000571TKM2481
GMFedorov, Alexei13500465BLR2447
GMAtabayev, Yusup14001128TKM2435
GMGlek, Igor4100484BEL2435
GMVishnu, Prasanna. V5030692IND2413
IMKushagra, Mohan25033638IND2397
GMPodolchenko, Evgeniy13504134BLR2395
IMNitin, S.5018277IND2385
IMTologon Tegin, Semetei13800574KGZ2376
IMKhusenkhojaev, Muhammad14700247TJK2368
IMBuscara, Sevan650234FRA2362
GMManik, Mikulas14900734SVK2340
GMLaxman, R.R.5005361IND2338
IMKandil, Adham10618490EGY2331
IMAbdyzhapar, Asylbek13800337KGZ2326
IMGochelashvili, David4161203RUS2304
IMSkurygin, Anton13702068KAZ2297
IMMorchiashvili, Bachana13602535GEO2293
IMGeidarli, Kanan13404423RUS2255
IMTouzane, Olivier602906FRA2243
IMRatnakaran, K.5005507IND2232
IMElgabry, Mohsen10600531EGY2215


Confirmed Players of Madurai Tournament

9 GMs and 15 IMs so far have confirmed the entries for the Madurai tournament.

Players list

No. NameFideIDFEDRtgIsexTypClub/City
IMAronyak, Ghosh25072846IND2545IND
GMSavchenko, Boris4147332RUS2513RUS
GMIljin, Artem4156021MNE2504MNE
IMSahidi, Samir14936372SVK2476SVK
GMAtabayev, Yusup14001128TKM2461TKM
IMAtabayev, Saparmyrat14000571TKM2456TKM
IMShyaamnikhil, P5024218IND2442IND
GMGlek, Igor4100484BEL2429BEL
GMVenkatesh, M.R.5005779IND2428BPCL
IMKushagra, Mohan25033638IND2397IND
GMPodolchenko, Evgeniy13504134BLR2395BLR
IMNitin, S.5018277IND2373S.RLYS
IMTologon Tegin, Semetei13800574KGZ2368KGZ
IMBuscara, Sevan650234FRA2367FRA
GMNeelotpal, Das5003512IND2350IND
GMManik, Mikulas14900734SVK2332SVK
IMKandil, Adham10618490EGY2331EGY
IMAbdyzhapar, Asylbek13800337KGZ2314KGZ
IMSkurygin, Anton13702068KAZ2297KAZ
IMGochelashvili, David4161203RUS2277RUS
IMSaravana, Krishnan P.5018382IND2269KVB
IMTouzane, Olivier602906FRA2249FRA
FMHafiz, Arif Abdul7104227INA2243INA
GMZiatdinov, Raset2015323USA2081USA
WIMNguyen, Thien Ngan12414816VIE1894wVIE
WFMNguyen, Thi Minh Oanh12404080VIE1880wVIE
IMMamombe, Kudzanai11000147ZIM1841ZIM
Sivathanujan, S9977104SRI1828SRI
Vaidyanathan, Kannan30987245USA1571USA
Dayal, Samar366111277ENG1546ENG


What to see in Madurai and Chennai

Madurai is a major city and also the cultural capital of the Tamil Nadu state, having a history of more than 2500 years.

What to see in Madurai, the city of temples

The Meenakshi Amman temple built about a thousand years back on the bank of Vaigai river. It attracts millions of tourists every year from all over the world. Thirumalai Nayak palace built in 1636 was considered as one of the wonders of the south. The interior is richly decorated, whilst the exterior is treated in a more austere style. It is also famous for the jasmine flower and 24-hours eateries.

Madurai Meenakshi Temple

Chennai, on the Bay of Bengal in south India, is the capital of the state of Tamil Nadu. The city is home to Fort St. George, built in 1644 and now a museum showcasing the city’s roots as a British military garrison and East India Company trading outpost, when it was called Madras. Religious sites include Kapaleeshwarar Temple, adorned with carved and painted gods, and St. Mary’s, a 17th-century Anglican church.

Central Railway station, Chennai | Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Marina beach is the second-longest beach in the world | Photo: istock

The Philanthropists who have evinced keen interest in the Chennai and Madurai tournaments

Dr. N Mahalingam has supported the tournament since its inception. After him, his son Dr. M Manickam continues the legacy.

Dr. N Mahalingam

Dr. Mahalingam plays a game with Vishy Anand, who achieved his final GM-norm in the tournament organized by him in Coimbatore

Mr. M V Muthuramalingam's contribution to chess is immense. Most of the recent grandmasters not only of Tamil Nadu but from other states hail from his group of schools.

Mr. M V Muthuramalingam

Grandmasters from Velammal Schools

The Organisers

Mr. P Stephen Balasamy, the Tournament Director as well as the Organizing Secretary, is the General Secretary of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association. After his advent, he has lifted the status of the Chennai open by organizing in posh star hotels. Under his dynamic leadership, Tamil Nadu has reached its pinnacle in producing world-class players.

P Stephen Balasamy, the General Secretary of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association

The proprietor of Ananthi Chess Academy, Madurai – P Pragadesh has been into the limelight in the chess activities of Tamil Nadu recently. With vibrant energy, he has conducted many tournaments, including the GM tournament, national and state championships and rating tournaments beyond comparison.

P Pragadesh Inaugurates the game of GM Deepan Chakkravarthy

About the Author

Prof. Rathinam Anantharam is an A-grade international arbiter. Member of FIDE Arbiters’ Commission, Chairman of Titles Commission in All India Chess Federation, Vice President of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, Chief Arbiter for six world championships, many Asian, International and National Championships.


The report was edited by Shahid Ahmed

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