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Arul Anandh wins 3rd Little England Rating Open 2023 with a round to spare

by R Anantharam - 15/02/2023

16-year-old Arul Anandh S P K scored eight straight wins to become the winner of 3rd Little England Rating Open 2023. The 31st seeded 1678 rated teenager won the tournament 8/9 with one round to spare. Thus, a last round loss to the eventual runner-up Arpan Das 7.5/9 did not deter his championship chances. Top seed IM Ratnakaran K and Dhanush Ragav N S also scored 7.5/9. They secured third and fourth place respectively. . The total prize fund of the tournament was ₹500001. The top three prizes were ₹60001, ₹40000 and ₹30000 along with a trophy each. The tournament was organized by Viyugam Chess Academy and Ananthi Chess Academy. Check out the annotated game by the champion Arul himself. All photos in this article are by IA R Anantharam

Arul's first Rating tournament triumph

Untitled SPK Arul Anandh won the Little England 3rd FIDE rated chess tournament organised by Ananthi Chess Academy, Madurai and Viyugam Chess Academy, Hosur held at the Adhiyamaan College of Engineering, Hosur from 1st to 5th February 2023. He defeated five higher rated players including IM K Ratnakaran on his way to the summit. His success is phenomenal, as he was 31st seeded in the tournament, with a rating of 1678. The tournament was held the very next day after the National Schools in the same venue.

Champion Arul Anandh receives the trophy

Irrespective of the loss to West Bengal’s Arpan Das in the final round, Arul clinched the title, as he had a commanding lead of 1.5 points by the end of the eighth and penultimate round.

Arul Anandh's only loss came in the final round against Arpan Das of West Bengal, who is the runner up

With three international masters and three FMs in the fray, IM Ratnakaran K of Southern Railway was the top seed of the tournament. The other two IMs were M Chakravarthy Reddy of Telangana and R Balasubramaniam of Tamil Nadu; but the former withdrew from the tournament after conceding a draw to Niroshan Thanikachalam of Tamil Nadu, who is rated more than one thousand points below him.

IM Chakravarthy Reddy conceded a draw to Niroshan Thanikachalam in Round 1

33rd Tamil Nadu State under-12 Open champion, P Vignesh Kannan extricated half a point from the IM Ratnakaran in the fourth round. Ratnakaran had to be satisfied with the third place.

Ratnakaran analyses his position from a distance against TN under 12 champion P Vignesh Kannan. Ratnakaran finished third

Three players Arpan Das, IM Ratnakaran K of Southern Railway and Dhanush Raghav of Tamil Nadu scored 7.5 points and tied for the second to fourth places. Arpan pipped Ratnakaran by a whisker in the third tiebreak, both having same values in the first two. Dhanush finished fourth. Eight players collected seven points to rank themselves from fifth to twelfth places.

Dhanush Ragav N S of Tamil Nadu defeated higher rated Sreyas Payyapat of Kerala to secure the fourth place

Arul Anandh’s pyrotechnic display started from the fourth round when he defeated former national blitz champion Ram S Krishnan of BSNL. Ram was placed fifth

Dinesh Rajan M, elder brother of India's latest GM Pranesh M against Vijay Shreeram P of TN. Dinesh was declared sixth

Ratnakaran’s draw in the fourth round enabled IM R Balasubramaniam to pop up to the top, wherein he was also forced to split the point with Karnataka’s Apoorv Kamble.

Karnataka youngster Apoorv Kamble drew with IM Balasubramaniam in the fifth round

Arul Anandh and P Vijay Shreeram also of TN shot into the lead at the end of the fifth round by beating Selvamurugan B of TN and Raju J K of AP respectively. The duel between the two leaders ended in favour of Arul to surge ahead.


Arul celebrated his seventh win in as many rounds by inflicting a shocking defeat to the top seed IM Ratnakaran.

Arul Anandh's win over the top seed Ratnakaran in the seventh round opened up his chances to win the title

His win over Raju J K of AP in the eighth round made sure of his title, with one round to spare.

Kumaresh A -  Manigandan SS. The latter finished seventh

The pride of Bihar Reyan's win over Andhra's Raju J K in the final round propelled him to eighth place

The third round draw by Sreyas Payyappat of Kerala, the second runner-up in the Asian Under 14 Nations Cup 2022, with Pranay Akula of Telangana pushed him to the 13th place.

A draw in the third round with Pranay Akula of Telanagana pushed Kerala's Sreyas Payyapat to 13th place

View of the top boards

Why Little England? The city Hosur’s nearby village Thally, about 40 km from Bengaluru is popularly known as Little England, because of its similar climate and cultivation of vegetables, flowers and fruits as in England.

Hosur is popular for its variety of rose cultivation

The tournament organiser Pragadesh used to name his tournaments in an interesting manner. His GM tournament, Athens of the East is named after Madurai, which had cultural and business ties with Athens, Greece, several hundreds of years back.

Abhijeet Gupta, four times Commonwealth champion at the Athens of the East GM tournament, Madurai 2019. Pragadesh and his sister are on the right

A salient feature of the Little England tournament is the introduction of idchess, used to digitize the game using just a mobile phone. The device is being tested by Mr. B Arasu, a member of the Technical commission and a team leader in an Australian software company. No extensive and complicated connections are required. It captures the images of piece movement even on a vinyl or ordinary wooden board.

idchess technology is used to capture games only using a phone camera

According to the idchess publication, the app allows to record and save games played on a normal board (not digital) in pgn and gif formats, conduct live broadcasts, download pgn files, share games with anybody, track and analyse progress in the games and view selction of best games.

IA B Arasu is using the new technology of idchess

A total of 274 players including three IMs participated from various parts of the country and one from Sri Lanka and USA each. The nine-round Swiss league Rating tournament took place from 1st to 5th February 2023. It was organized by Viyugam Chess Academy and Ananthi Chess Academy at Adhiyamaan College of Engineering, Hosur, Tamil Nadu. The time control of the tournament was 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment from move no.1.

Replay all available games

Final standings

Rk.SNoNameTypsexFEDRtgRtgIClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
131Arul Anandh S P KIND16781678TN85053,546,5008
210Arpan DasIND19431943WB7,549,553,543,7506
31IMRatnakaran K.IND22902290S.Rlys7,549,553,542,2507
416Dhanush Ragav N SIND18711871TN7,5485344,5006
58Ram S. KrishnanIND20022002BSNL7495338,2506
613Dinesh Rajan MIND18941894TN748,553,541,2505
74Manigandan S SIND21202120TN74852,539,7506
827Reyan Md.U13IND17071707BIH7485238,0005
922Rohith SU15IND17381738TN74851,538,2506
1115Aakash GU13IND18811881TN7444836,7506
1269Adhiraj MitraU11IND14551455JHAR7434736,0007
135FMSreyas PayyappatU15IND21052105KER6,5515537,7505
147FMAyushh RavikumarIND20322032TN6,54953,537,2505
1535Agarwal Mukund HU15IND16511651GUJ6,548,552,537,0004
1617Selvamurugan BIND18581858TN6,54852,533,7506
1757Sri Charan SandipaguU15IND14951495TEL6,547,55133,7505
1837Sathvik AdigaU13IND16171617KAR6,5475134,5005
1928Swarna NihalU15IND17031703AP6,544,548,535,2505
2034Kumaresh AIND16561656TN6,544,548,532,5005
2114Mithun Anand VIND18841884TN6,54448,532,7506
2219Vignesh Kannan PU13IND17931793TN6,542,546,531,2506
239IMRamnathan BalasubramaniamIND19681968TN65054,533,0005
2418Apoorv KambleU15IND18561856KAR648,55333,2505
2541Mitul K HU13IND15861586KAR648,552,530,0006
26152Aarit KapilU09IND12141214DEL647,551,532,2505
2751Pranay AkulaU15IND15321532TEL646,550,525,7505
2832Anirudh RU15IND16731673TN6465031,5004
2912Priyankara ChamilSRI19121912SRI6465031,0006
3011Raju J.K.IND19421942AP6465027,0006


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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