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P. Karthikeyan and Tania Sachdev are the Commonwealth Champion 2018

by Sagar Shah - 05/07/2018

It was an exciting final day at the Commonwealth Championships 2018. At the end of penultimate round we had four leaders with a score of 6.5/8. P. Karthikeyan was the only one who won his game. With 7.5/9, he became the Commonwealth Champion. Tania Sachdev scored 6.0/9 and took the women's title. Including all the age group medals and senior medals, there were 51 at stake. India won 47 medals. One gold went to Sri Lanka for under-16, One gold to Bangladesh for under-8 and one gold and a bronze to South Africa and Bangladesh in the seniors section. ChessBase India brings you the entire coverage of the last day of Commonwealth 2018.

As the last day began, 51 Commonwealth medals were at stake. Who would go back with them was the question? | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The final round begins with the most important clash on top two boards | Photo: Amruta Mokal

GM Lalith Babu, GM Debashis Das, IM G. Akash and IM P. Karthikeyan started the last round with a score of 6.5/8. On the top board the game between Lalith and Debashis ended in a draw. It was now in the hands of Karthikeyan to win. He played a fine game from the black side of the Sicilian Najdorf and scored the win. With 7.5/9 he became the Commonwealth Champion 2018.

The top three places in the Commonwealth Championship 2018 - P. Karthikeyan - gold, Vaibhav Suri - silver (left), Debashis Das - bronze (right)  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

It can be said that Karthikeyan was a tad lucky with the pairing. He was 4.5/6 and one point behind the leaders at that point. However, he zoomed ahead in the last three rounds beating three IMs - Watu Kobese, S. Nitin and G. Akash. I would say that last two - Nitin and Akash were in great form in the tournament and had beaten many GMs. To outplay them with ease, showed that Karthikeyan was the deserving champion. After the event we spoke to Karthikeyan about how he felt, "What I understood recently is that these GM norms, rating, titles will spoil your game. It is for commercial purposes only. If you improve your game, everything will follow." Karthikeyan practised calmness and meditation before tournament. At the start of every game you could see him with his eyes closed trying to focus and meditate. "I practised calmness before the tournament and that is the reason why I am still in the zone, it seems. If you would have interviewed me tomorrow, perhaps I would be more excited!", says Karthikeyan. 

Karthikeyan's usual pose at the start of the round, and sometimes even in between the rounds! | Photo: Sagar Shah

It comes as no surprise that which such a calm and clear head, Karthikeyan is able to calculate much better. Here's a position from his game against South African IM Watu Kobese.

Watu Kobese has just moved his king to h8. White to play. What did Karthikeyan do here? Check the answer in the video below:
Interview with the Commonwealth Champion 2018 - P. Karthikeyan

The women's section was keenly contested as well. It was not a separate event. The top three finishers in the open section would win the gold, silver and bronze medals. Tania Sachdev won the gold, M. Mahalakshmi - silver (the only one to win two medals. Open and under-20) and Kiran Manisha Mohanty went back home with the bronze!  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Commonwealth Champions - Karthikeyan and Tania Sachdev  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

After her first round loss to V.S. Negi Tania recovered admirably and finished with 6.0/9 to take home the gold. For Sachdev this was the second consecutive Commonwealth title. Adding to her growing list of achievements, Tania was extremely pleased with the trophy. "This is a beautiful trophy and it is going with me to the bed tonight!"

The organizers designed these trophies splendidly  | Photo: Amruta Mokal
Interview with the women's Commonwealth Champion - Tania Sachdev

What better way to celebrate your success! Tania's family - her husband Viraj Kataria (right), brother in law and mother in law  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The winner of best senior was Andrey Southey, second place went to Wazeer Ahmad and third was won by Rani Hamid  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Final rankings after round 9:

Rk.SNo NameTypsexFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
IMKarthikeyan P.IND2456Railways7,50,043,547,0
GMVaibhav SuriIND2556Delhi7,00,049,052,5
GMDebashis DasIND2522Odisha7,00,048,052,0
GMLalith Babu M RIND2529PSPB7,00,047,552,0
GMSengupta DeepIND2565PSPB7,00,047,550,5
GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.IND2531Railways7,00,042,546,0
IMAkash GIND2391Tamil Nadu6,50,051,055,5
IMNitin S.IND2441Railway6,50,049,053,0
GMLaxman R.R.IND2438Railways6,50,046,549,5
AGMJubin JimmyIND2113Kerala6,50,046,050,0
GMSundararajan KidambiIND2425PSPB6,50,045,550,0
IMRathnakaran K.IND2386Kerala6,50,045,549,5
GMSwapnil S. DhopadeIND2495Railways6,50,043,047,5
GMKunte AbhijitIND2494PSPB6,50,042,546,5
GMBakre TejasIND2439Air India6,50,041,545,0
GMThipsay Praveen MIND2405Maharashtra6,00,047,551,5
IMMohammad Nubairshah ShaikhIND2441Maharashtra6,00,046,550,5
IMVisakh N RIND2467Tamilnadu6,00,046,050,5
GMVishnu Prasanna. VIND2525Tamilnadu6,00,046,050,5
IMKarthik VenkataramanIND2475AP6,00,045,048,5
Navalgund NiranjanIND2282Karnataka6,00,044,548,5
IMSiva MahadevanIND2346Tamil Nadu6,00,044,048,0
IMTania SachdevwIND2393Air India6,00,043,047,0
CMKushagra MohanIND2307Telangana6,00,042,046,5
IMSharma Dinesh K.IND2283Uttar Pradesh6,00,040,543,5

Kerala's present (K. Ratnakaran) with the future (Jubin Jimmy) in one frame!  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Jubin Jimmy is one boy who requires a special mention for his performance in this tournament. He is just 12 years old and had a rating of 1950 just a month ago. At the Kolkata GM Open 2018 he gained 150 Elo points and now once again at the Commonwealth open section he gained another 162 Elo points. This has propelled his Elo to nearly 2270! Analyzing a few things with this young boy I have realized that he has a great tactical feel. His positional decisions may not be the best, but tactically he is very sharp and takes every little advantage of his opponent's inaccuracies. Most of the times he cannot explain his moves, but that's the thing about intuitive players - the feel is always more than logic. An interview with Jimmy and his father will be published very soon on the newspage.

Jubin's perfect performance!

Jubin's 10th place in the open section was met with rapturous applause by the audience!  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-8 Open:

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
11CMManon Reja NeerBAN1618Bangladesh6,01,027,528,5
224Rosh JainIND1095Delhi6,00,030,531,5
33Adireddy ArjunIND1440Telangana5,50,027,530,0
44Abhinav RajIND1385Delhi5,50,026,529,5
56CMKiaan AgrawalIND1255Chattisgarh5,50,024,026,5

Top three in the under-8 open: Manon Reja Neer (center) - gold, Rosh Jain (left) - silver, Arjun Adireddy (right) - bronze  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-8 girls:

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
116WCMShriyana S MallyaIND0Karnataka6,00,529,532,0
236Shah HiyaIND0Maharashtra6,00,527,530,0
35Shresthi GuptaIND1058Punjab5,50,025,528,0
43Sri Harini AIND1073Karnataka5,00,027,029,5
56Shreya G HipparagiIND1057Maharashtra5,00,025,525,5

Top three in the under-8 girls: Shriyana Mallya (center) - gold, Hiya Shah (left) - silver, Shreshti Gupta (right) - bronze  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-10 Open:

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
12Arhan Chethan AnandIND1626Karnataka6,00,030,534,0
223Jaidambareesh N RIND1383Tamil Nadu6,00,030,031,0
31Kadam Om ManishIND1842Maharashtra6,00,029,533,5
45Bharadia YashIND1578Rajasthan6,00,027,030,0
54Viswak Sen MIND1585Telangana5,50,028,532,0


Top three in the under-10 open: Arhan Anand (center) - gold, Jaidambareesh (left) - silver, Om Kadam (right) - bronze  | Photo: Amruta Mokal  

This boy will surely go places - Arhan Chethan Anand | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-10 girls:

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
12Anupam M SreekumarIND1376Kerala6,50,029,032,5
216Sani DeshpandeIND1109Maharashtra5,50,029,531,5
37Sneha HalderIND1197West Bengal5,50,025,528,5
411Stuti AishwaryIND1150Delhi5,50,025,027,0
53Rout YashitaIND1333Odisha5,00,029,532,5


Top three in the under-10 girls: Anupam Sreekumar (center) - gold, Sani Deshpande (right) - silver, Sneha Halder (left) - bronze  | Photo: Amruta Mokal  

Under-12 Open:

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
12Sreeshwan MaralakshikariIND2064Telangana6,50,028,531,5
24Pranesh MIND1983Tamil Nadu5,50,029,032,0
35Manish Kumar (2006)IND1878Odisha5,00,028,531,5
47Aditya Varun GampaIND1704Telangana5,00,028,531,5
56Harshad SIND1809Tamil Nadu5,00,025,028,0


Top three in the under-12 open: Sreeshwan Maralakshikari (center) - gold, M. Pranesh (right) - silver, Manish Kumar (left) - bronze  | Photo: Amruta Mokal  

Under-12 Girls:

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
12Savitha Shri BIND1720Tamilnadu6,00,027,029,5
25Boramanikar Tanisha SIND1579Maharashtra5,50,026,029,0
34Meenatchi Rajam VIND1613Tamilnadu5,50,025,028,5
49Ratnapriya KIND1488Tamilnadu5,50,023,526,0
519WCMKriti Mayur PatelIND1339Maharashtra5,00,029,531,5

Top three in the under-12 girls: Savitha Shri (center) - gold, Tanisha Boramanikar (right) - silver, Meenatchi Rajam (left) - bronze  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-14 Open:

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
18Karthik Sai ChIND1789Telangana6,00,027,530,0
21CMKushagra MohanIND2307Telangana5,50,529,032,5
34AGMRathneesh RIND1893Tamilnadu5,50,526,028,5
43Soham KamotraIND2074Jammu&Kashmir5,00,027,030,5
52Panda SambitIND2187Odisha5,00,026,530,0


Top three in the under-14 open: Karthik Sai (center) - gold, Kushagra Mohan (right) - silver, Rathneesh (left) - bronze  | Photo: Amruta Mokal  

Under-14 Girls:

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
13WCMJyothsna LIND1871Tamilnadu5,50,528,532,0
24WCMBristy MukherjeeIND1817West Bengal5,50,526,529,5
31WCMJain NityataIND2015Madhya Pradesh5,00,028,531,5
49Adane NarayaniIND1666Maharashtra5,00,027,030,0
510Arushi KotwalIND1661Jammu&Kashmir5,00,026,527,0

Top three in the under-14 girls: Jyothsna L (center) - gold, Bristy Mukherjee (right) - silver, Nityata Jain (left) - bronze  | Photo: Amruta Mokal  

Under-16 Open:

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
15FMThilakarathne G M HSRI2188Sri Lanka6,01,027,530,5
23Raahul V SIND2234Tamilnadu6,00,027,530,0
31Koustav ChatterjeeIND2365West Bengal5,50,527,530,5
410Sibi Visal RIND1879Tamilnadu5,50,527,530,0
56Tarun V KanthIND2087Tamilnadu4,50,024,526,5

Top three in the under-16 Open: Thilakarathne (right), Raahul VS (left)  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-16 Girls:

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
11WFMDivya DeshmukhIND2139Maharashtra6,00,028,030,5
23Meenal GuptaIND1934Jammu & Kashmir5,50,026,029,5
32WFMLakshmi CIND1954Tamilandu5,00,028,532,0
44Sanskriti GoyalIND1898UP5,00,026,530,0
56Tejasvi MIND1731Tamil Nadu5,00,024,526,5

Top three in the under-16 girls: Divya Deshmukh (right) - gold, Meenal Gupta (center) - silver, Lakshmi C (left) - bronze  | Photo: Amruta Mokal  

That's where Divya belongs! Fighting against strong grandmasters! The girl has almost every age group tournament that she has participated in.  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-18 Open:

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
12Harshavardhan G BIND2194Tamilandu6,01,027,530,5
21FMRathanvel V SIND2301Tamilnadu6,00,027,531,5
34Grahesh YIND1902Andhra Pradesh5,00,028,531,0
49Gokulraj KIND1755Tamilnadu4,51,027,529,0
56Arjun C KrishnamachariIND1883Tamil Nadu4,51,026,028,5

Top three in the under-18 open: Harshavardhan GB (center) - gold, Rathanvel (right) - silver, Y.Grahesh (left) - bronze  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-18 Girls:

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
12WIMTejaswini SagarIND2103Gujarat6,50,027,531,0
23Priyanka KIND2052Tamilnadu5,50,026,529,5
31WIMAakanksha HagawaneIND2297Maharashtra5,00,529,032,5
45WFMTarini GoyalIND1973Chandigarh5,00,526,529,5
54Harshita GuddantiIND2038Andhra Pradesh4,50,527,030,0


Top three in the under-18 girls: Tejaswini Sagar (center) - gold, K Priyanka (right) - silver, Aakanksha Hagawane (left) - bronze  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-20 Open:

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
11IMKarthik VenkataramanIND2475Andhra Pradesh5,50,027,029,5
22IMMohammad Nubairshah ShaikhIND2441Maharashtra5,01,026,028,5
33IMKrishna Teja NIND2389Andhra Pradesh5,00,027,531,0
47Pranavananda VIND2184Andhra Pradesh4,50,028,030,5
54IMSidhant MohapatraIND2369Odisha4,50,026,029,0


Top three in the under-20 open: Karthik Venkatraman (center) - gold, Nubairshah Shaikh (right) - silver, Krishna Teja (left) - bronze  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Under-20 Girls:

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
13WFMVarshini VIND2129Tamilnadu6,00,025,527,5
21WIMMahalakshmi MIND2238Railways5,50,026,028,5
32WIMChitlange SakshiIND2162Maharashtra5,00,025,528,0
46Divya Lakshmi RIND1934Tamilnadu4,50,026,528,5
54WIMChandreyee HajraIND1981West Bengal4,50,025,527,5

Top three in the under-20 girls: Varshini V. (center) - gold, Mahalakshmi (right) - silver, Sakshi Chitlange (right) - bronze  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Photo gallery by Amruta Mokal

Prateek and Paritosh from the Nurtr Team. Nurtr were the dream partners of the event and have also helped to launch the Delhi Chess Association App.  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The Delhi Chess Association app was launched at the closing ceremony. You can download the app from here.  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

The prize distribution ceremony was attended by a lot of people  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

We seem to have motivated a lot of people to take up chess journalism! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Lakshana, the little journalist!  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Two of the senior most people of Indian chess - GM Pravin Thipsay and R.S. Tiwari | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Karthikeyan with the Indian flag  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Can you name the two gold medal winners here and one bronze medal winner. All future champions for sure!  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

I love India!  | Photo: Amruta Mokal

An article will soon be published with all the interviews of the winners of different sections of Commonwealth 2018. So stay tuned!