Aravindh Chithambaram clinches 19th International Chess Solving Contest 2023
When it comes to competitions and championships related to chess, tournaments is the first thing that comes to mind. However, the multifarious nature of chess has another type of competition - puzzle solving. On Sunday 29th January 2023, Mount Chess Academy organized 19th International Chess Solving Contest 2023. The event saw the participation of Grandmasters and youngsters. The reigning National Rapid and Blitz champion, GM Aravindh Chithambaram and former National champion, GM Karthikeyan Murali secured the first two places. Both of them well known for their puzzle solving abilities apart from their usual skills at the conventional chess. Doctor S Manikumar secured the third place. Photo: CM FT IA V Ravichandran/Mount Chess Academy
A unique chess event
GM Aravindh Chidambaram, the reigning National Rapid and Blitz champion, took the first place in the World Chess Federation of Composition's (https://www.wfcc.ch/) 19th International Chess Solving contest 2023 which concluded recently at T Nagar, Chennai. The contest was organised by Mount Chess Academy under the aegis AICF & FIDE in association with 64 Squares Chess Academy at the later's premises within the C D Nayagam Thyagaraya Nagar Higher Secondary School, Chennai on Sunday 29th January 2023. The second place was also taken by another Grandmaster and former National champion Karthikeyan Murali of Indian Oil Corporation while the third spot went to Doctor S Manikumar.
January 4th of every year is celebrated as the International Day of Chess Composition and in that month contests related to Chess Problem Solving, Problem Composition and other activities are held throughout the world.
World Federation of Chess Composition awards titles similar to FIDE titles for over the board players such Grandmaster of Chess composition, International Master of Chess Composition, Honorary Master, International Judges of composition and similar titles for Problems solvers including the title of World Champion of Chess Problem Solving.
The series of tightly packed events on the 29th January was inaugurated with an introductory lecture on Chess Problem Solving and Composition by renowned International Master of Chess Composition, Septuagenarian CGS Narayanan. CGS as he is fondly known in Chennai chess circles has over the decades penned columns in various periodicals & newspapers including the AICF Chronicle, "The Hindu" etc. as well as personally promoted the chess compositions through lectures and conduct of contests.
On the 29th January, there were solving contest for Advanced, Intermediate solvers as well as for newcomers to the world of chess problem solving. While these continued into the day, organisers also introduced a novelty in the afternoon session with an Under-13 category contest in order to welcome juniors into the wonderful world of chess problem solving and composition.
The intermediate category and the Junior category were won by Rishiadithya Murali and Sanjay Narayanan respectively. FIDE Masters S Mari Arul (Indian Railways), FM Harsh Suresh and Veteran Solver Seetharaman Kalyan finished among the winners in the advanced category of the solving contest.
The problem solving contests had a total of 119 participants across all categories filling up the venue hall and carried a total prize amount of ₹10,000- and ₹5000 worth of cups for 10 prize winners in the Junior category.
A notable participant was Doctor N Balaji, an ardent chess problem solver and a long standing player since the days of the Tal Chess Club. Dr. Balaji is the founder of a popular online Chess Problem Solving whatsapp group called "Chess Nuts" with members from all around the globe actively engaging themselves in problems solving each day and night.
As customary in Chennai, no event is complete without a blitz at the end. Hence, in spite of paucity of time, a blitz tournament (3 Minutes + 2 Seconds for each player) was conducted by 64 squares Chess Academy in which 102 players participated. Winner's purse of ₹3000 was bagged by FM Harsh Suresh and a total of ₹12,000 were awarded at the prize distribution function that followed. Participants included GM Laxman R R who is known for his fascination with high speed chess and goes by the nickname "Indian Elephant" in the online chess portals. Former TN State team captain and member of Indian Railway team, A Sankar also took part.
The Chief Guest of the Valedictory function K K Mahesh Kumar, Income Tax Officer who is a chess player himself, distributed the prizes to winners of the Problems solving contests and the Blitz tournament in the presence of Dr. Francis Xavier, Principal, Jeppiaar College of Engineering. Guests of honour CGS Narayanan, International Master for Chess Composition, FIDE Trainer K Visweswaran and Dr. N Balaji were thanked for their support by the organisers & event Coordinators International Arbiter, FIDE Trainer V Ravichandran, Founder, Mount Chess Academy and FIDE Instructor S C Subramanian, Founder 64 Squares Chess Academy. Grandmasters Aravindh Chidambaram, Karthikeyan Murali and Laxman R R were felicitated by the Chief Guest for inspiring everyone by their participant in the day's events.
Prize winners list as under.
19th International Solving Contest 2023 organised by Mount Chess Academy
|2||GM Karthikeyan Murali||47.25|
|4||FM Harsh Suresh||26|
|7||FM Mari Arul S||19.75|
|7||Pranava Selvan M V||9|
|8||Pradhiksha P S||7.5|
Junior Category - Under-13
|3||Shashank V S||24|
|10||Aatif N A||13.75|
The Blitz Chess event was organised by 64 Squares Chess Academy. The total number of participants were 102, including a GM and 30 FIDE rated players.
Final standings (Top 12)
|1||FM Harsh Suresh||7|
|2||FM Ram Alagappan S||6|
|4||GM Laxman R R||6|
|8||Krithin Durai D||5½|
|11||Sai Abhinav Kuchibhotla||5|
About the Author
V Ravichandran is an International Rated Chess player, FIDE Trainer, Candidate Master and International Arbiter. He is also a Research & Development Committee Member, All India Chess Federation. He has officiated as an Arbiter in the 44th Chess Olympiad 2022, officiated as Indian team chess coach at Commonwealth Chess Championship in Sri Lanka 2022. Furthermore, he is a founder member of Mount Chess Academy, Chennai which organised many Nationals and International rated chess tournaments.