chessbase india logo

Karthik Gopal wins Goa B 2019, Petrosyan sole leader in A

by Sagar Shah - 22/06/2019

In A-category the fifth round was played. We now have a sole leader in the form of Manuel Petrosyan who has 5.0/5. Samvel Ter Sahakyan and Petr Kostenko follow with 4.5/5. While the fifth round in A group had a lot of draws, there was a lot of action in the B-group as the final round was being played. Karthik Gopal. G and J. Karthikeyan faced off against each other on the top board. It was Karthik Gopal who came out on top with and won the tournament as well as Rs 2,00,000. Second place went to Saranya Yuvraj while Karthikeyan J. had to be content with the third place. We have a detailed report on group B, as well as some interesting annotated encounters from group A like Neverov-Petrosyan, Gukesh-Sankalp, Idani-Srivatshav and more.

Karthik Gopal G. wins Goa 2019 B category, Saranya second and Karthikeyan J. third

The total number of players who took part in the Goa 2019 'B' Category tournament were 458, out of which the winner was Karthik Gopal G. of Andhra Pradesh. Karthik scored 9.0/10 and was the champion by margin of half point. In the last round he was up against J. Karthikeyan of Tamil Nadu. The match-up was interesting as the coach from AP took on a Software Engineer from Karnataka.

When software engineer Karthikeyan J (left) took on a chess coach Karthik Gopal (right) | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Karthik Gopal is a coach at the South Mumbai Chess Academy in Mumbai since last 5 years. Most of his time is spent training youngsters to get better at the game. On the other hand Karthikeyan left chess in order to pursure his academic ambitions. His job as a engineer left him with hardly any time to work on chess. However with sheer will power and passion he tried to practice for couple of hours each day. Karthik Gopal's friends helped him prior to the final round and gave him the confidence that his opponent was not a regular chess player and hence was prone to making errors. This gave Karthik the much needed boost before the game. His opponent Karthikeyan had maintained a very balanced approach throughout the tournament to give his best. In the final round, however, he changed his approach suddenly and started looking at tournament victory. This affected his play in an adverse way and he blundered deep into the middlegame giving his opponent a full point and the title of Goa GM 2019 B category champion. The heartening thing to note is that Karthik Gopal is going to use the sum of Rs 2 lakh that he has won for working on his chess and improving his game.

Karthik Gopal went back home richer by Rs.2,00,000 | Photo: Niklesh Jain
Interview with the winner of the B-group Karthik Gopal G.

Karthikeyan J finished third and won the prize of Rs.1,25,000 | Photo: Niklesh Jain
Interview with third placed Karthikeyan J

Y Saranya was the only female player in top 10. She along with Rutuja Bakshi were the only girls who finished in top 50. It was a refreshing change to see a girl finish at the top in an open event which otherwise are completely dominated by male.

Y Saranya won second place and went back richer by Rs.1,50,000  | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Top three spots of the 2nd Goa GM 2019 Category - B | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Category Tournaments: A boon or a bane?

A detailed discussion on this subject is beyond the scope of this article. However, I would like to touch on some aspects of it. The winner of the Goa GM 2019 'B' Category, Karthik Gopal won Rs 2 lakh. In the 'A' Group you have to finish 3rd so that you can match the prize money that Karthik has won. With 35 GM's playing in 'A' section, finishing 3rd is tremendously difficult when compared to the 'B' Category. This is where I see the need of some change coming in. The change must not be that the players of B category get lesser prize or that the B and C category events come to a close. Quite the contrary. I think these category events are able to bring chess to the masses and this should be continued. Instead the prizes in the A Category should be greatly enhanced. This would motivate many of the top players in the B and C category tournaments to make that next leap and start playing in A Category (Above 2000). For now, it just doesn't seem worthwhile for a player with a rating of 1800 to dream of reaching 2200 as then he lands up in a no man's land where he cannot compete in the B and C category events and is not strong enough to win top prizes in the A Category. While the category tournaments are surely bringing chess to the masses we must ensure that the prize difference between what professionals earn and what amateurs earn should be tangible in order to uplift the chess level of the nation.

Category A - Manuel Petrosyan is the sole leader

They say, in chess, superior player always wins. But what makes a player superior? Is it just the chess knowledge or are practical playing skills equally, if not more, important? When I was young and growing up I felt that chess was like science where the player who made most number of best moves would win the game. Since the last couple of years I have been analyzing innumerable games each day and I have realized that chess is more of a sport than science. The player who makes the most number of best moves is not the one who wins. But it is the player who does not make the last error, who wins!

Neverov (right) showed his class by playing an excellent game until a point. When the pressure began to mount, he slumped and Petrosyan won the game! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

After five rounds of the Goa GM International 2019, we have a sole leader, Armenian GM Manuel Petrosyan. The youngster didn't play the opening so well, was outplayed in the middlegame, but he just made sure that he was not the last one to err. That was good enough to beat his experienced Ukranian opponent Valery Neverov.

Neverov vs Petrosyan, Round 5

Neverov had set up a devious trap as ...Bxd1 loses now to Qf8+ Qg8 Rxh6+! But instead of taking the rook first, Petrosyan had a nice surprise up his sleeve! Can you find it?

Round 5 of the Goa GM International 2019 witnessed the most number of draws on top boards. Out of the first 10 boards 7 of them ended in draws with three decisive results all ending in Black's favour. Manual Petrosyan's win over Valery Neverov gives him the sole lead. The biggest upset of the day was defending champion Idani Pouya losing to Rahul Srivatshav.

Rahul Srivatshav managed to defeat the defending champion Idani Pouya | Photo: Niklesh Jain

It doesn't seem like Pouya Idani would be able to defend his title this year! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Abhijeet Gupta got back to his winning ways by defeating Slovakian GM Manik Miklaus | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Sankalp Gupta managed to beat Gukesh with the black pieces | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Another minor upset of the day was India's latest IM Sankalp Gupta beating world's youngest GM D.Gukesh. This game is definitely worthy of detailed analysis as it contains mind boggling complications. Gukesh is an excellent calculater and with his fine blitz playing skills he can outwit just about any opposition in time pressure. The fact that Sankalp could trick him in mutual time scramble shows the depth and talent pool of Indian Chess.

Don't miss Sankalp Gupta's instructive analysis. The most important part is that Sankalp remembers all of his analysis during the video and has great clarity, something not many players are able to maintain after the game.

Results of round 4

Bo.No. NameRtgPts. ResultPts. NameRtg No.
GMNeverov Valeriy 24703 1 - 03 GMPantsulaia Levan 2614
GMTer-Sahakyan Samvel 26113 1 - 03 IMMohammad Nubairshah Shaikh 2436
GMPetrosyan Manuel 25733 1 - 03 Sammed Jaykumar Shete 2431
IMViani Antonio Dcunha 23623 ½ - ½3 GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J. 2557
IMIniyan P 25253 ½ - ½3 FMMitrabha Guha 2341
Sankalp Gupta 23593 0 - 13 GMKostenko Petr 2473
GMIturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo 2637 ½ - ½ IMShyaamnikhil P 2434
GMGupta Abhijeet 2606 ½ - ½ IMGusain Himal 2404
Koustav Chatterjee 2404 ½ - ½ GMIdani Pouya 2597
GMJojua Davit 2580 1 - 0 CMBharath Subramaniyam H 2383
GMTukhaev Adam 2527 ½ - ½ FMRathanvel V S 2314
IMRahul Srivatshav P 2395 ½ - ½ GMBurmakin Vladimir 2526
IMRaja Rithvik R 2381 0 - 1 GMMalakhatko Vadim 2505
CMRohith Krishna S 2347 ½ - ½ GMAnurag Mhamal 2497
IMSidhant Mohapatra 2351 ½ - ½ GMKunte Abhijit 2478

Rank after round 5

Rk.SNo NameTypsexFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 nwwew-weKrtg+/-
111GMPetrosyan ManuelARM2573ARM5,00,014,516,516,505553,841,161011,6
23GMTer-Sahakyan SamvelARM2611ARM4,50,514,016,514,25454,53,940,56105,6
328GMKostenko PetrKAZ2473KAZ4,50,514,016,013,75454,53,441,061010,6
469FMMitrabha GuhaIND2341WB4,00,015,016,512,753542,481,522030,4
59GMJojua DavitGEO2580GEO4,00,014,516,512,503543,960,04100,4
629GMNeverov ValeriyUKR2470UKR4,00,014,516,511,504543,160,84108,4
719IMIniyan PIND2525TN4,00,014,016,012,003543,660,34103,4
862Sankalp GuptaIND2359MAH4,00,014,016,011,504431,701,302026,0
980FMRathanvel V SIND2314TN4,00,014,015,511,753541,902,102042,0
1040Sammed Jaykumar SheteIND2431MAH4,00,013,515,510,504543,840,16101,6
115GMGupta AbhijeetIND2606DEL4,00,013,015,011,503544,07-0,0710-0,7
1212GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.IND2557TN4,00,013,015,011,003543,780,22102,2
1360IMViani Antonio DcunhaIND2362KAR4,00,013,014,010,003542,611,391013,9
1415GMFier AlexandrBRA2543BRA4,00,012,515,011,504544,07-0,0710-0,7
1522GMAnurag MhamalIND2497GOA4,00,012,514,511,253543,840,16101,6
1620GMMalakhatko VadimBEL2505BEL4,00,012,014,511,253543,830,17101,7
178GMStupak KirillBLR2584BLR4,00,012,014,011,003544,23-0,2310-2,3
32IMNguyen Van HuyVIE2456VIE4,00,012,014,011,003543,540,46104,6
1925GMRahman ZiaurBAN2481BAN4,00,012,013,59,504543,920,08100,8
2035IMKhusenkhojaev MuhammadTJK2446TJK4,00,011,513,510,753544,13-0,1310-1,3

Photo Gallery by Niklesh Jain

When youth meets experience - Anup Deshmukh has been inspiring a generation of chess player in Indian chess. Here he is with the Goan youngster Leon Mendonca | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Look at those eyes! Laxman's intensity at its best! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Shardul Gagare is back to the chess board after quite a long academic break. He is still unbeaten and is on 3.5/5 | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Youngster Pranav V is on 3.0/5. Did you know - the 12-year-old is also the Tamil Nadu state champion? | Photo: Niklesh Jain

I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of that stare! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The boy who never gives up - Aditya Mittal is slowly recovering from the accident that took place two years ago! What a fighter! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Shahid Ahmed helps me as I record the position for the day! | Photo: Niklesh Jain
Try your hand at these five positions from round 4

12-year-old Pranav Anand held Adam Tukhaev to a draw | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Veteran D.V. Prasad started off slowly with three draws and a loss, but is now back with a fine win! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Making sure nothing goes wrong - Anandh Babu and Vivek Sohani | Photo: Niklesh Jain

AICF Vice President and still an active chess player - Sekhar Sahu! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Wearing the ChessBase India colours! | Photo: Niklesh Jain

GM Pravin Thipsay has had three draws, but is still unbeaten with 3.5/5 | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Top seed Iturrizaga has been held to three draws until now by Anuj Shrivatri, Shyaamnikhil and Mitrabha Guha. He is on 3.5/5 | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Contact Us