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Abhimanyu Puranik on the verge of winning Fagernes GM Open 2023

by Shahid Ahmed - 09/04/2023

GM Abhimanyu Puranik defeated IM Tor Fredrik Kaasen (NOR) to inch closer to clinching Fagernes GM Open 2023. Abhimanyu maintains his sole lead 7/8, heading into the final round. He will Lithuania no.5 GM Eduardas Rozentalis in Round 9. Turkey no.4 GM Vahap Sanal is the sole player trailing by a half point at 6.5/8. He is followed by four players including two Indians - IM Koustav Chatterjee and GM Aditya Mittal at 6/8 each. WIM Savitha Shri B has become India's 25th Woman Grandmaster. Savitha, FM Tanmay Chopra, Sanket Chakravarty and WGM Nandhidhaa P V need a draw each in their respective final round games to score an IM-norm. Round 9 starts today at 9 a.m. local time, 12:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Anniken Vestby/SjakkTromsø

Savitha Shri B becomes India's 25th Woman Grandmaster

A day after India got its 24th Woman Grandmaster in the form of the reigning National Junior Girls champion, WIM Rakshitta Ravi, we have our 25th Woman Grandmaster - Savitha Shri B. She managed to achieve her final WGM-norm with a round to spare. A draw in the final round will earn her an IM-norm too. Rakshitta also scored her maiden IM-norm after becoming a WGM. Savitha has the same opportunity too. We will have separate articles about both Rakshitta and Savitha's journey towards the WGM title soon.

GM Abhimanyu Puranik is in a good place to win the tournament | Photo: Anniken Vestby/SjakkTromsø

GM Abhimanyu Puranik must win against GM Eduardas Rozentalis (LTU) in the final round, as his tie-break score is not the best. A draw will only suffice for a first place if GM Aditya Mittal wins or draws against GM Vahap Sanal (TUR).

Savitha Shri B becomes India's 25th Woman Grandmaster | Photo: Anniken Vestby/SjakkTromsø

Abhimanyu - Tor Fredrik

Position after 18.c5

A position inaccuracy by IM Tor Fredrik Kaasen (NOR, 2462) 17...Ne5 allowed his opponent GM Abhimanyu Puranik (2599) to gain a substantial advantage 18.c5! Since White couldn't take on b6 immediately due to a fork Nxc4, White went for a very nice move 18.c5. It forces Black to allow White having a passed pawn either on b or c-file. 18...Ra6 19.cxb6 Nc4 20.Qd3 White didn't need to hold on to the b-pawn. Why? Because his position remains good despite not having the b6-passed pawn. 20...Nxb6 21.Bg5 f6 22.Be3 Rd8 23.Bc5 Qc7 24.Qxa6! a temporary queen sacrifice. White gets two rooks for it. 24...Bxa6 25.Bxb6 Qe7 26.Bxd8 Qxd8 27.Rfd1 Qc7 28.Rdc1 and White won in another six moves with a pretty finish.

Final position after 34.Rb7

GM Abhimanyu Puranik scored another great victory in the penultimate round against IM Tor Fredrik Kaasen (NOR) | Photo: Anniken Vestby/SjakkTromsø

GM Aditya Mittal - GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (ARM): 0.5-0.5 | Photo: Anniken Vestby/SjakkTromsø

Koustav - Raja Rithvik

Position after 26.d5

IM Koustav Chatterjee (2520) played the thematic 26.d5! Black cannot take the pawn as 27.Bc1 drops the knight at f5. 26...Ne8 27.a5 White attempts to create another weakness b5 28.Nc5 attacks both the bishop at b7 and pawn at e6. 28...bxc4 29.Bxf5 Rxd5 30.Nxb7 Rd2 31.Bc1 Rxf2 32.Bxf4 Black is now behind in material without any compensation. White went on to win the game comfortably.

IM Koustav Chatterjee - GM Raja Rithvik R: 1-0 | Photo:  Anniken Vestby/SjakkTromsø

IM Vantika Agrawal - GM Sethuraman S P: 0-1 | Photo:  Anniken Vestby/SjakkTromsø

FM Tanmay Chopra (pictured) - GM Monika Socko (POL): 0.5-0.5 | Photo:  Anniken Vestby/SjakkTromsø

IM Kushagra Mohan - Sanket Chakravarty: 0.5-0.5 | Photo:  Anniken Vestby/SjakkTromsø

Round 8 GM Open at Scandic Valdres in Fagernes, Norway | Photo: Anniken Vestby/SjakkTromsø

Norm chances for the Indian players as mentioned on the official site:

IM Koustav Chatterjee needs a draw as black against GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan for a GM-norm.


WGM Vantika Agrawal has made another IM-norm before the last round. She has already become an IM.


WIM Savitha Shri Baskar has made a WGM-norm before the last round. She needs a draw as white against IM Erik Hedman (SWE) for an IM-norm.


FM Tanmay Chopra needs a draw as black against GM Stellan Brynell (SWE) for an IM-norm.


Sanket Chakravarty needs a draw as white against IM Sambit Panda for an IM-norm.


WGM Nandhidhaa P V needs a win as black against GM Monika Socko (POL) for an IM-norm.

A total of 92 players including 14 GMs, 21 IMs, 2 WGMs and a WIM are taking part from 25 countries across the world in the GM (>2000) Open section. The tournament is organized by IO IA Hans Olav Lahlum in cooperation with Sotra SK and Innlandet Sjakkrets from 2nd to 9th April 2023 at Scandic Valdres hotel in Fagernes, Norway. The nine-round Swiss league tournament had a time control of 100 minutes/40 moves + 40 minutes/rest with 30 seconds increment from move no. 1.

Replay Round 8 games

Round 8 results


Standings after Round 8


Round 9 pairings



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