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Alexei Fedorov wins 10th Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit 2023, Suyog Wagh second

by R Anantharam - 22/12/2023

GM Alexei Fedorov scored 7.5/9 to win 10th Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit Chess Tournament 2023. He finished a full point ahead of the competition. FM Suyog Wagh and IM Asylbek Abdyzhapar scored 6.5/9 each. They were placed second and third according to tie-breaks respectively. Suyog became the sole player to beat the eventual champion, Alexei. He gained 56 Elo rating points. However, he missed an IM-norm by a half point. The series goes on a break as there are two Open GM tournaments slated to take place in Tamil Nadu. One of them is starting tomorrow in Madurai. The eleventh event of the series will start next year, Tuesday 9th January 2024 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Photos: IA R Anantharam

Only Suyog beats the champion

Grandmaster Alexei Feodorv (BLR) won his third title in ten tournaments of the Tamil Nadu IM-Norm closed circuit chess tournament series. In the tenth tournament organised by Sri Kaliswari College and Sivakasi Chess Club at the college premises, Alexei emerged clear winner scoring 7.5 points, one point ahead of Suyogh Wagh and IM Asylbek Abdyzhapar (KGZ), who finished second and third respectively.

GM Alexei Fedorov collected his third trophy of the TN IM-norm tournament series at Sivakasi

Suyogh Wagh of Maharashtra missed his IM norm by half a point. He had the consolation of winning the second place

IM Asylbek secured the third place. Mr. A Gopalsamy, President of Virudhunagar District Chess Association and Mr. G Ramamoorthy, President, Sivakasi Chess Club distributed the prizes

The tournament was inaugurated in an innovative way. Players selected their numbers by choosing a cracker and lighting it up, which had a mild explosion blossoming with papers containing their number. As more than 90% of the fireworks products of India are manufactured in Sivakasi, it was an innovative way of selecting the starting numbers of players in a round-robin tournament.

All players selected one cracker each and lighted it. The number of the player popped up from the cracker - An innovative and characteristic Sivakasi way. IM Asylbek watches his number coming out from the cracker

GM Evgeniy Podolchenko lights up the cracker to get his number

All players were gifted with the Tamil Nadu traditional dhoties and turban, to wear in the inaugural function.

All players in the traditional dress during the inauguration - a different kind of reception

Mr. A P Selvarajan, Managing Partner, Sri Kaliswari group of industries, inaugurated the tournament in the presence of Mr. S Rajesh, industrialist, Mr. M Ephrame, Vice President, Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, Mr. V Vijayaraghavan, Vice President, TNSCA and Dr. P K Balamurugan, Principal, Sri Kaliswari College.

Mr. A P Selvarajan, Secretary, Sri Kaliswari College, inaugurated the tournament. His son S Rajesh is on the black side

Karthik Rajaa of Chennai played a good game against the Nimzo-Indian Defence of his city mate S Rohit. His deep calculations in sacrificing his queen fetched the point to Karthik, after ten more moves.

Karthik Rajaa sacrificed his queen to defeat S Rohit

Top seed Alexei Fedorov defeated IM David Gochelashvili (RUS), champion of the previous edition at Yercaud, in an Italian opening.  In the endgame, Alexei having rook and two knights to those of two rooks by Davis, exhibited good tactics to outplay David.

IM David Gochelashvili took advantage of a few weak moves by FM Rosh Jain of Delhi to force a checkmate in 35 moves in a Giuco Piano game in the second round.

IM David Gochelashvili checkmated FM Rosh Jain of Delhi in 35 moves

In the third round, N Surendran of Chennai had an improper attack, bringing the queen early into the attack in the King's Indian Defence by IM David Gochelashvili. Surendran's queen was trapped on the edge of a board, which he had to lose for the sake of a rook. Surendran resigned immediately.

IM David trapped the queen of Surendran

Karthik Rajaa of Chennai once again exhibited fine technique to outwit Suyogh Wagh of Maharashtra in an English Opening. Wagh had to resign on the 28th move, when he had to lose either his game or the queen.

Karthik Rajaa exhibited fine technique to outwit Suyog Wagh

Suyog Wagh bounced back to outplay the top seed GM Alexei. He chose the fianchetto variation against the King’s Indian variation of Alexei in the fifth round. Suyog, kept his king in the centre, went for the castled king of black as early as 13th move. Fedorov, misplayed the position by inaccurate counter moves and succumbed to a winning attack of Wagh to lose the game in 27 moves.

Suyog Wagh upset the top seeded GM Alexei in the fourth round

GM Raset Ziatdinov (USA) played a nice end game to beat Karthik Rajaa in the fifth round.

GM Raset played a nice endgame to beat FM Karthik Rajaa

In a battle of International Masters, Asylbek outplayed David from the white side of King’s Indian Classical variation in the sixth round. David's pieces were out of breath after an earlier kingside attack on the white king was less impressive. Asylbek moved the queen to f5 square, forcing a loss of piece for black. The game ended in 37 moves.

The battle of international masters - Asylbek is the winner against David

N Surendran of Chennai managed to split the point with GM Evgeniy Podolchenko of Belarus from a losing position.

Surendran drew a losing game with GM Podolchenko

In the Catalan Opening, Suyog Wagh committed many errors to present the advantage to S Rohit within twelve moves and Rohit kept his winning advantage through the doubled pawns outside passer and was poised to win. Rohit’s blunder on the 47th move completely changed the pattern of the game. Wagh gained confidence and kept on making good moves to pocket the game.

A turn of events helped Suyog Wagh to win against Rohit S

Rosh Jain of Delhi registered his first win of the tournament over GM Raset Ziatdinov (USA) with a good endgame technique in the final round.

Twelve-year-old Rosh Jain of Delhi defeated 65-year-old GM Raset (USA)

Replay all games

Final standings

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
14GMFedorov, AlexeiBLR24547,5028,507
21FMWagh, SuyogIND22106,50,528,005
39IMAbdyzhapar, AsylbekKGZ23406,50,525,005
47IMGochelashvili, DavidRUS22915,5016,505
52GMPodolchenko, EvgeniyBLR23765019,752
63FMKarthik, RajaaIND23033,5013,253
76Surendran, NIND21843010,752
85FMRosh, JainIND22362,5110,001
910GMZiatdinov, RasetUSA21062,519,252
108Rohit, SIND22122,518,002


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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