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ChessBase India Power Group Tour makes a strong beginning in Montcada!

by Ankit Dalal - 12/07/2018

Somewhere around March we published an article on ChessBase India newspage about the ChessBase India Power (CBIP) group tour to Barcelona, Spain. Ankit Dalal, the head of CBIP, was going to be the tour manager and would not only ensure that all the logistics are in place but would also travel to Barcelona with the players to take care of their every need. This dream project began on 23rd of June when 20 members of the group tour landed in Barcelona, Spain. The first tournament was the Montcada International 2018. Indians simply dominated the event, with GM Shyam Sundar winning it. Ankit Dalal writes about his experience of managing a tour where he is with kids who are travelling to a tournament for the first time without their parents!

In February 2018 I did not even think that I will be touring any foreign country this year. For the past decade it was my dream to travel for International chess tournaments. For the mid rated players there are very less perks in the game, and we decided that we will make foreign tournaments more approachable and easy with safety, security and performance in mind. That's how we started ChessBase India Power group tour and planned our first trip to Catalan Circuit in Spain.


On ChessBase India we published an article inviting people to join us for a group tour to the Catalan circuit where I would accompany them and take care of all their needs and requirements. Initially we decided to plan only for 10 people but the response was amazing and we ended up with 20 players, some of them extremely talented, who registered with us. After all the formalities and hard work in application of visas we got over 90% approval. On 23rd and 24th of June we all reached Barcelona, many of us travelling to Europe for the first time. For some it was an International trip for the first time. There was so much excitement in the air!

Ankit Dalal (with the Ambig t-shirt) and the first batch of ChessBase India Power group tour players. From left to right: Kartavya Anadkat, Aagam Aditya, Kavisha Shah, Hriday Bhuta, Dhairya Ghelani. | Photo: Ankit Dalal

When we talk about kids travelling, parents think that their kids would be home sick. Even I thought that something similar would happen. But, here once we reached in Spain, it was absolutely different. All of them were excited, motivated and enjoying every moment of their trip. The connect started from day 1 and they took the entire team as a family.

Dhairya is not happy with the food?! Enjoying the self-cooked lunch! | Photo: Ankit Dalal

Physical fitness is a key component of our daily routine! | Photo: Ankit Dalal

Some relaxation on the Catalan beach! | Photo: Ankit Dalal

The entire idea was that players who were part of the group had to become not just stronger players but also individuals who could manage every little thing that was done by their parents until now. Of course, some of the kids had absolutely no idea of how to function when they didn't get everything ready on the table, but that's how improvement works! You first teach them, then you do it regularly until it becomes a habit. One very important and positive thing that I found in the kids was that everyone was ready to work and improve. At the end of the day that was what I was looking for. The ability to learn, adapt and grow. I never imagined that these teenagers would be able to handle house hold things plus manage them on their own along with stunning their opponents by giving some really good performance.

Rating gain of the ChessBase India Power Group Tour in Montcada 2018

Name Classical Blitz
Kavisha Shah 78 0
Hriday Bhuta 108.8 85.6
Dhairya Ghelani 40 82
Agam Aditya Erapalli Swaroop 13.6 14.8
KArtavya Anadkat 66.7 17.2
Harikrishnan RA 29.4 23.4
Saptorshi Gupta 9.2 31.2
Deepak Katiyar 18.4 0
Kumar Gaurav 28 55
Saurabh Anand -31.8 74.6
Atmika Gorti 78.4 0
Akshita Gorti 37.6 0
Michelle Cathrina 11.2 0
Ankit Dalal 0 54
Ishan Bansal 0 59.8
Raghav Bansal 0 58
Anshul Saxena 0 -7.8
  487.5 547.8


The total gain for the ChessBase India Power Group was 487 Elo points in Classical and 547.8 in Blitz. Not bad, if you ask me!


For our second tournament in Barbera Del Valles, we have the little bomb, 10-year-old Om Kadam who travelled all the way from Mumbai. He landed at the airport at 10 a.m. I went to pick him up and brought him home. He ate his lunch and at 3 p.m. we went to the playing hall. He was facing an opponent who was rated 200 points higher than him. He walked in to the hall with his customary confidence and walked out of it within an hour winning the game! Absolutely no tiredness! More about this young champ will follow in our next article.

How many parents would allow a 10-year-old to travel alone from Mumbai to Barcelona! Kudos to Om and his parents. | Photo: Ankit Dalal

Four separate apartments have been arranged for all the members of the ChessBase India Power Group Tour. We have also arranged for Indian food flying from India. At first I wasn't sure about the logistics of flying down food to Spain via courier. But there has been absolutely no problem and from now onwards whenever a player needs Indian or vegetarian food outside India we will be able to provide the same. More specifically Rotlis and Theplas.

Doesn't that look sumptuous! | Photo: Ankit Dalal

Interview with Harikrishna RA

Harikrishnan R.A is rated 2204, 17 years old. He scored 5.5/9 and finished 31st at the Montcada International 2018

Ankit Dalal (AD): How are you feeling after the first tournament?

HRA: Feeling good but not excellent.


AD: So tell me one of your best games of the tournament

HRA: I played one of the best games against GM Munoz Miguel where I won playing the Scandinavian and his position was passive. I found brilliant combination in the end game to win the game.  

The grandmaster is holding his fort with the move ...Ke7. How did Harikrishnan breakthrough? Check out the game below for the solution:

AD: You got prize in every tournament - 960, open category and blitz tournament ahead of lot of GMs. Specially in blitz, you were just 1/3 and then you went on to win 6 out of 6! How did that happen?

HRA: I just forgot the game that I had lost against the 1700 opponent. I got back my focus back in the game which helped me to win.


AD: Normally players struggle with psychology. How do you manage this?

HRA: It was just blitz and for me it was about enjoying the game and that's what I did.


AD: How did you like ChessBase India Power managing your trip?

HRA: It has been good. The apartment is good and the location chosen is really nice. The metro being just 200m away really helps!

Akshita Gorti makes her maiden IM norm:

Askhita Gorti is one of the top junior players in USA. She wanted to play in Spain but no one was able to give her authentic information. That's when she read the article on ChessBase India and decided to be a part of our group tour. Until now she has had an excellent run. She played some fantastic chess and scored her maiden IM norm. Of course, she is an amazingly strong chess player and in the video below, you can understand her thought process and level of play.

Akshita Gorti shows her win over a 2468 opponent

Shyam Sundar won the Montcada International 2018 for a second year in a row | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Interview with GM Shyam Sundar by ChessBase India Editor-in-chief Niklesh Jain

The past champions of Montcada International 2018

Top three finishers of the Montcada International 2018 | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Shyam won the crucial last round encounter with the black pieces against Akash P.C. Iyer to win the first place | Photo: Niklesh Jain

GM Himanshu Sharma won the Fischer 960 tournament held in Montcada | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Atul Dahale had a fine tournament as he finished 14th and gained nearly 50 Elo points | Photo: Niklesh Jain

A player to watch out for will he UP's Deepak Katiyar, who has come to Europe for the first time in his life. He finished 38th and gained 18 Elo points | Photo: Niklesh Jain

About the author:

Ankit Dalal is the head of ChessBase India Power. He completed his Masters in HR and PR from University of Central Lancashire in UK. He is the youngest Joint Secretary in Gujarat State Chess Association and was also awarded as youngest organizer in Gujarat. He started organizing tournaments at the age of 17 and has staged various levels of tournaments. Recently he was a part of the World Chess Youth Olympiad. He is also a FNI and has a work experience of more than 15 years. He is the manager of the ChessBase India Power Group Tour to the Catalan Circuit.

...Because Chess players must play Chess!

If you are a chess player, you should be worried about the Ruy Lopez, or the Najdorf or learning endgames and not spend your time in booking tickets, or finding an accommodation or doing your visas. Let ChessBase India Power handle that for you. Know more.