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Leon Luke Mendonca clinches Baku Open 2023 with a 2732 performance

by Shahid Ahmed - 13/05/2023

GM Leon Luke Mendonca scored an emphatic victory over GM-elect IM Prraneeth Vuppala in the final round of Baku Open 2023. He finished with the same score 7/9 as GM Aleksandar Indjic (SRB) and GM Vladislav Kovalev. Leon won the tournament due to better tie-breaks, Indjic and Kovalev were placed second and third. GM Sethuraman S P scored an unbeaten 6.5/9 to finish fourth. IM Prraneeth Vuppala and GM Aditya Mittal secured sixth and seventh place scoring 6/7 each. India's latest IM Divya Deshmukh secured third place in the Women's category scoring 5/9. This is Leon's third rating open triumph in less than 2.5 months and five podium finishes in his last six strong open events. His performance this year is the definition of impressive. Photo: FA Lana Afandiyeva

Leon's third tournament triumph in 71 days

The Brand Ambassador of Geno and Microsense, teenager GM Leon Luke Mendonca has been performing fantastic in this year. Here are his performances since February 2023:

1. 3rd - 6th Kragero Resort Open 2023 - 22nd to 26th February.

2. 1st - 38th ChessOrg Festival Bad Woerishofen 2023 - 3rd to 11th March.

3. 1st - 27th Hit Open 2023 with a perfect 9/9 - 16th to 23rd March.

4. 4th - 6th La Nucia Open - 5th to 10th April. (Seven players scored the same points as the champion 7.5/9 including Leon).

5. 3rd - 2nd Chessable Sunway Formentera 2023 - 18th to 28th April.

6. 1st - Baku Open 2023 - 4th to 12th May.

Champion - GM Leon Luke Mendonca 7/9 | Photo: FA Lana Afandiyeva

Top 3 (L to R): 2nd GM Aleksandar Indjic (SRB), 1st GM Leon Luke Mendonca and 3rd GM Vladislav Kovalev | Photo: FA Lana Afandiyeva
Leon Mendonca wins Baku Open and US$12,000 with a 2732 rating performance | Video: ChessBase India

The total prize fund of the tournament was US$ 50000. The op three prizes were $12000 + Cup, $8000 and $6000 each respectively.

Leon gained 81 Elo rating points since February 2023 FIDE Rating list, taking his live rating to 2622 | Photo: FIDE

Prraneeth - Leon: 0-1

GM Leon Luke Mendonca (2603) scored a crucial victory in the final round against GM-elect IM Prraneeth Vuppala (2442).

Position after 26.Qg3

Black captured the d5-pawn 26...Nxd5 27.Bxb5 axb5 no need to hurry in regaining the exchange. 28.Rd1? e3!

Position after 28...e3!

28...e3! decided the fate of the game. It can be compared to a goal scored by retired Brazillian footballer, Ronaldo Nazario (since Leon was wearing Brazil no.10 jersey). 28.Re1 would have made e3 ineffective. Anyway, the game continued 29.Ne7+ one final attempt to fight back. 29...Nxe7 30.Qxe3 Qxe3 31.fxe3 Nf6 32.Rc7 Ned5 and Black won the game soon.

GM Leon Luke Mendonca played excellent in the final round against GM-elect IM Prraneeth Vuppala | Photo: FA Lana Afandiyeva

GM Leon Luke Mendonca scored an unbeaten 7/9, gained 14.6 Elo rating points with a performance of 2732

The one and only, Vishy Anand congratulated his WACA mentee

4th GM Sethuraman S P 6.5/9 | Photo: FA Lana Afandiyeva

6th IM Prraneeth Vuppala 6/9 | Photo: FA Lana Afandiyeva

7th IM Aditya Mittal 6/9 | Photo: FA Lana Afandiyeva

India's latest International Master, WGM Divya Deshmukh won third prize in the Women's category | Photo: FA Lana Afandiyeva

Women Top 3 (L to R) - 2nd WGM Khanim Balajayeva (AZE) 5/9, 1st IM Nurgyul Salimova (BUL) 6/9 and 3rd IM Divya Deshmukh 5/9 | Photo: FA Lana Afandiyeva

Levan - Jubin

Position after 37...Qe8

The above position seems quite pleasant for GM Levan Pantsulaia (GEO, 2570). White has a firm grip of the position and his opponent IM Jubin Jimmy (2455) has no counterplay. However, White made an incorrect decision of forming up a battery on the b1-h7 diagonal by sacrificing a couple of pawns. 38.Bb1 Qxb5 39.a4 Qxa4 40.Qd3 Kf8 41.Qh7 Ke8 the king moved away to a safer place. 42.Rh1 Bf8 43.Rh4 Nd8 44.Bd3 Nc6 45.Be3 Nxe5 White sacrificed his bishop on h6 but he was unable to generate any substantial counter-attack. Jubin utilized his extra material and played quite well to win the game eventually.

IM Jubin Jimmy made a strong finish scoring 5/6 in his last six games | Photo: FA Lana Afandiyeva

Aradhya - Sivuk

Final position after 65.Bc6+

IM-elect FM Aradhya Garg (2305) scored a nice win over GM Vitaly Sivuk (SWE, 2489). It is not everyday we get to see three minor pieces delivering a checkmate to a king in the endgame and that also against a GM.

FM Ayush Sharma (left) and FM Aradhya Garg defeated IM Arystanbek Urazayev (KAZ) and GM Vitaly Sivuk (SWE) respectively in the final round | Photo: FA Lana Afandiyeva

The tournament hall | Photo: FA Lana Afandiyeva
Replay Round 9 Live Commentary | Video: Azerbaijan Chess Federation
Closing Ceremony | Video: Azerbaijan Chess Federation

A total of 119 players including 32 GMs, 29 IMs, 11 WGMs and 7 WIMs took part from 14 countries across the world in Group A. The nine-day nine-round Swiss League tournament was organized by Azerbaijan Chess Federation and the Ministry of Youth & Sport of the Republic of Azerbaijan from 4th to 12th May 2023 at Baku Crystal Hall in Baku, Azerbaijan. The time control of the tournament was 90 minutes for 40 moves + 30 minutes + 30 seconds per move from the first move.

Replay Round 9 games

Round 9 results

Rd.Bo.No. NameRtgPts.ResultPts.NameRtg No.
IMPrraneeth Vuppala244260 - 16GMMendonca Leon Luke2603
GMMamedov Rauf2646½ - ½GMAditya Mittal2522
GMSethuraman S.P.26261 - 0IMGokerkan Cem Kaan2500
IMSamant Aditya S2501½ - ½GMSafarli Eltaj2609
GMChanda Sandipan24605½ - ½5GMSanal Vahap2600
GMPantsulaia Levan257050 - 15IMJubin Jimmy2455
GMRaja Rithvik R247651 - 05FMSuyarov Mukhammadzokhid2255
IMPadmini Rout23750 - 1GMAsadli Vugar2584
IMSamunenkov Ihor2501½ - ½WGMDivya Deshmukh2372
FMAradhya Garg228441 - 04GMSivuk Vitaly2489
FMAyush Sharma226741 - 04IMUrazayev Arystanbek2460
IMMoksh Amit Doshi240141 - 04FMEynullayev Atilla2281
WFMAllahverdiyeva Ayan205540 - 14IMIlamparthi A R2388
WIMNurgali Nazerke215041 - 04IMDushyant Sharma2355
IMShahaliyev Ismayil24001 - 0WIMChitlange Sakshi2211


Final standings

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
GMMendonca, Leon LukeIND2603725120548
GMIndjic, AleksandarSRB2618724760549
GMKovalev, VladislavFID2612724260644
GMSethuraman, S.P.IND26266,524760446
GMMuradli, MahammadAZE25316,524270546,5
IMPrraneeth, VuppalaIND2442625510549,5
GMAditya, MittalIND2522625340448
GMSuleymanli, AydinAZE2560625220447
IMNogerbek, KazybekKAZ2474625070346,5
GMAbasov, NijatAZE2634624910352,5
IMAhmadzada, AhmadAZE2488624860448,5
GMSanikidze, TornikeGEO2475624840547,5
IMAnsat, AldiyarKAZ2311624820545,5
GMSafarli, EltajAZE2609624810347,5
IMSamant, Aditya SIND2501624720445,5
GMMamedov, RaufAZE2646624720347
GMPetrov, NikitaMNE2547624610545,5
IMSamadov, ReadAZE2469624470443,5
Kushko, DmitriyUKR2391624110441,5
IMSalimova, NurgyulwBUL2391624100341,5



Official site

Tournament regulations

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