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Aahan Sharma wins LBHM Chess Festival 8th Below 1600 Rating Tournament 2023

by R Anantharam - 22/05/2023

Aahan Sharma, Varad Walde and Saket Kumar - all three scored an unbeaten 8/9 each at Late Bharatbai Halkude Memorial Chess Festival 8th Below 1600 Rating Tournament 2023. Aahan won the tournament due to better tie-breaks. Varad and Saket were placed second and third respectively. Aahan drew against Varad in the final round. This was the third tournament of the festival which had a combined total prize fund of ₹3000234. The total prize fund for this event was ₹1400022. The top three prizes were ₹122001, ₹111000 and ₹51000 along with a trophy each. This was Aahan's first tournament triumph of his nascent career. He played his first rating tournament a little over two years ago. Photo: IA R Anantharam

Aahaan's first-ever rating tournament triumph

Aahan Sharma of Pune won the LBHM Below 1600 rated tournament, the last leg of the Late Bharatbai Halkude Memorial Chess Festival, which carried mammoth prize money of 30 lacs rupees and the rating restricted tourney offered 14 lacs and 22 rupees.

Aahan Sharma of Pune collected his best gift as on date by winning the LBHM below 1600 tournament. He receives the trophy and ₹122001 from Mr. Malpani, owner of Dhruv Global School. At the left extreme is Nagnath Halkude, the organiser | Photo: IA R Anantharam

Varad Walde scored same points as that of Aahan Sharma and was placed second which fetched him ₹111000 | Photo: IA R Anantharam

Saket Kumar of Bihar was declared third | Photo: IA R Anantharam

The three proud winners of the first three places | Photo: IA R Anantharam

Mr. Malpani, Chairman of Dhruv Global School, Pune and Mrs. Malpani were the guests for the prize distribution function. International Master Anup Deshmukh and Jayant Gokhale were the guests of honour.

Aahan Sharma scored an unbeaten 8/9 and gained 131.2 Elo rating points

Friends and foes Aahan Sharma and Varad Walde of Pune drew their final round game and Saket Kumar of Bihar defeated Ritish Chander A of Telangana. The trio scored eight points each and the other contenders for the title drew their game. This left the three players to vie for the honours and the tiebreaks pointed Aahan Sharma as the champion. The 15-year-old boy from Pune increased his bank balance by ₹122001 and a beautiful trophy, which he probably would have never dreamt.

Dakshraj Shadanan Bole drew with Ishaan A Tendolkar to reach fourth place | Photo: IA R Anantharam

Varad and Aahan had a 30 move draw in the final round. Varad won ₹111000 as the runner-up | Photo: IA R Anantharam

Saket Kumar of Bihar (right) beat Ritish Chander A of Telangana to tie for the first place and pocketed ₹51000 being the second runner-up | Photo: IA R Anantharam

Of the top 24 seeded players, only the first seed Soham Khasbardar of Maharashtra stood firm to be one among the seven leaders at the end of the fifth round. While Soham defeated Vedant Gadge of Pune, fifth seeded Siddhant Nath Jha of Haryana was a victim to Aahan Sharma. Akshaj Patil of Pune, Ishaan Tendolkar, Raunak Godbole – both from Maharashtra, Rohith N and Satvik Andabatla, both from Telangana are the others to score their fifth win to share the lead with five points each.


The Pune player Aahan Sharma put a halt to the winning streak of the top seed Soham Khasbardar and shared the lead with Satvik, who also registered a double hat-trick of wins at the end of the sixth round. Varad Walde of Pune and Rohith N of Telangana scored fluent wins in the seventh round to rise to the summit with Satvik and Aahan, as the latter two drew their encounter between them. All four players had conceded one draw to score 6.5 points each.

Aahan Sharma (left) halted the winning streak of the top seed Soham Khasbardar in the sixth round | Photo: IA R Anantharam

Varad Walde of Pune who registered a win over Satvik Andabatla of Telangana | Photo: IA R Anantharam

Rohith N (left) of Telangana overcame Satheesh Kumar G of Tamil Nadu. He was one among the four leaders after seven rounds. Anyhow, he finished fifth | Photo: IA R Anantharam

Both Pune lads Aahan Sharma and Varad Walde put an end to the hopes of the Telangana boys Rohith N and Satvik Andabatla to share the lead with 7.5 points each at the end of the eighth and penultimate round. Five players – Saket Kumar of Bihar, Ritish Chander Aof Telangana, Ishaan A Tendolkar of Maharashtra and Dakshraj Shadanan Bole & Akshaj Patil both from Pune were breathing on the shoulders of the joint leaders with seven points each.

Akshaj Patil of Pune drew against Anushka Bapu Kutwal to claim sixth place | Photo: IA R Anantharam

The Pune boy Aahan Sharma (right) overwhelmed Rohith from Telangana in the penultimate round | Photo: IA R Anantharam

Aahan and Varad drew their final round game and Saket Kumar of Bihar defeated Ritish Chander A of Telangana. The three players scored eight points each and tied for the first place. The tiebreaks pointed Aahan Sharma as the champion. Aahan Sharma won a cash prize of ₹122001 and a beautiful trophy. Ishan A Tendolkar, Dakshraj, Akshaj Patil, Sohum Pawar and Rohith N scored 7.5 points each. Varad and Saket had to be content with the second and third places, receiving a cash prize of ₹111000 and ₹51000 each respectively.


There were many VIPs during the tournament.

Ms. Supriya Sule, Member of Parliament and daughter of Mr. Sharad Pawar, former defense minister of India and chief minister of Maharashtra visited the tournament | Photo: IA R Anantharam

Rohit Pawar MLA, Pune made a visit to the tournament | Photo: IA R Anantharam

A total of 538 players participated from various parts of the country and two from USA. The three-day nine-round Swiss league Below 1600 Rating tournament was held from 19th to 21st May 2023. It was organized by Aryan Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. at Dhruv Global School, Handewadi, Undri in Pune, Maharashtra. The time control of the tournament was 30 minutes + 30 seconds increment from move no.1.

Final standings

Rk.SNo NameTypsexGrFEDRtgIClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 Krtg+/-
Aahan SharmaIND1393MHP852,55850,500740131,2
Walde VaradIND1377MHP85154,546,750740124,4
Saket KumarIND1493BR848,552,546,00072032
Dakshraj Shadanan BoleIND1438MHP7,552,55746,25064065,2
Rohith NIND1468TG7,551,55644,25072028,8
Patil AkshajU15IND1376MHP7,54851,540,50074092
Ishaan A TendolkarU13IND1358MH7,546,55039,500640115,6
Pawar SohumIND1405MH7,542,546,540,50072025
Khasbardar SohamIND1574MH752,55843,500620-0,6
Andabatla SatvikU13IND1460TG75256,541,50064040,8
ACMBalanandan AyyappanU11IND1417KL751,55641,50064055,6
Ritish Chander AIND1508TG750,55338,7506407,6
Iyer AaravU15IND1443MH748,552,539,50054049,6
Wadke SuyogU15IND1465MHP747,551,535,7506408,4
Shejal Sahil SanjayIND1498MHP747,55138,2506204,2
Anushka Bapu KutwalF15wIND1549MHP7475239,750540-8
Jayanth SuravarapuU15IND1345TG7475134,75064092
Kabnurakar RushikeshIND1431MH746,550,537,75064026
Suhaib AhmadIND1297UP746,550,535,50072058,8
Deshpande OmkarIND1176MHP745,549,533,50062080,4
Shubham Rahul KambleIND1356MH7454937,00072015,6
Om Nilesh DeorukhakarIND1387MH744,548,535,50074036,4
Mayuresh Laxlabh DesaiU15IND1345GA744,54834,75064094
Viswajith Sai BU15IND1302TG744,54834,00064098,4
Vasireddy ArjunU11IND1356AP74347,535,75064066,4


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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