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Karthik Rajaa and Lokesh N are the winners of 13th and 14th Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit 2024

by V Vijayaraghavan - 02/02/2024

FM Karthik Rajaa scored an unbeaten 7/9 to win 13th Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit Chess Tournament 2024. He finished a half point ahead of the competition, performed at 2427 to earn his second IM-norm. He also increased his Elo rating by 33.8 points. GM Manik Mikulas (SVK) scored 6.5/9 to secure second place. IM Muhammad Khusenkhojaev (TJK) was placed third 6/9. Lokesh N scored 7/9 to win the 14th edition. He secured his maiden IM-norm and also finished a half point ahead of the field. GM Evgeniy Podolchenko secured second place 6.5/9. CM Akshay Borgaonkar and IM Harikrishna A Ra scored 6/9. They were placed third and fourth according to tie-breaks. Photos: IA V Vijayaraghavan

Akshay Borgaonkar third in the 14th edition

Karthik Rajaa and Lokesh N won the 13th and 14th edition of Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit Chess Tournaments respectively. Both obtained their IM-norms by scoring 7 points necessary out of 9 rounds.  Karthik scored his second IM-norm and Lokesh got his first IM-norm. Karthik Rajaa on his way to the title beat FM Prasanna, GM Raset Ziatdinov (USA), IM Olivier Touzane (FRA), V Haribalu and IM Anton Sitnikov (UKR), drew the rest and remained undefeated.

13th IM Circuit Tournament Winner - FM Karthik Rajaa 7/9

FM Karthik Rajaa receiving the IM-norm certificate from Arjuna Awardee - Mr. V Baskaran, Olympian, International Hockey Player, On the stage, Dr. Sheela Rani, Research Director, Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology, Mr. D V Sundar, Former Vice President, FIDE, and Mr. Manoharan, International Volleyball player.

14th IM Circuit Tournament Winner - N Lokesh 7/9

N Lokesh, receiving the IM-norm certificate from Olympian, Mr. V Baskaran.

A Mahendran, making the inaugural move against IM Harikrishnan A Ra

The twin tournaments were held simultaneously at Hotel Chennai Le Palace from 16th to 21st January 2024. Organised by Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, the 13th and 14th edition of Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit Chess Tournament was inaugurated by Mr. A Mahendran, International Volleyball player along with Mr. P Stephen Balasamy, Secretary, TNSCA and other officials.

13th edition: Karthik - Prasanna, Round 1

Position after 20...Ne6

Karthik unleashed a nice combination 21.Bxg7! Kxg7 22.Qc3+ f6 23.Nxf6 Qxf6 24.Qxf6+ Kxf6 25.e5+ dxe5 26.Bxc6 Nac5 27.Nc3 Red8 28.Bxa8 Rxa8 29.Nd5+ Kf7 30.Rxe5 +-

FM Karthik Rajaa scored an unbeaten 7/9, finished a half point ahead of the field, performed at 2427 en route his second IM-norm and gained 33.8 Elo rating points

Karthik - Touzane, Round 6

Position after 38.Rg2

In this position Olivier blundered 38...Qxc4?? 39.Nxh7 Rxg2 40.Kxg2 Qxd5+ 41.Kg1 Nc6 42.Ng5 Rd8 43.Qh7+ Kf8 44.Qh8+ 1-0

Touzane - Sitnikov, Round 3

Position after 23.Bh4

Does 23...Rd2 end things for White?

Ziatdinov - Prasanna, Round 3

Position after 16.Nh4

Prasanna found the nice tactical continuation 16...Bxf2+! 17.Rxf2 Nxf2 18.Bxf5 Nxh3+ 19.Kh1 Nxf4 20.Bxh7+ Kh8 21.Rf1 Qe3 22.Qf5 Ne2 0-1

13th edition Runner-up - GM Manik Mikulas (SVK) 6.5/9

Manik made a quick work of IM Olivier Touzane in the fifth round.

Touzane - Manik, Round 5

Position after 14...cxd4

The game continued 15.Qf1 Bxe4 16.Bxd4 Bxd4 17.Rxd4 Bxf3 18.Rxd7 Rc1 19.Rd2 Rxf1+ 20.Bxf1 Qf6 0-1

13th edition Second Runner-up - IM Muhammad Khusenkhojaev (TJK) 6/9

Debutant Sachi Jain missed her WIM-norm by half a point. She scored 4 out 9 points. Here she had outplayed GM Raset Ziatdinov (USA) until she blundered in the final moments. This game cost her the the norm. Despite the loss, Sachi gained around 81.25 Elo rating points in this tournament.

Sachi Jain outplayed GM Raset Ziatdinov (USA), however a blunder in the final moments cost her the game

14th edition

Lokesh started with a loss against Hemanth Raam, but rallied to beat IM Mithrakanth, IM David Gochelashvili, GM Evgeniy Podolchenko, IM Kudzanai (ZIM), IM Sevan Buscara (FRA) & K P Pranav, drew with IM Harikrishnan A Ra and CM Akshay Borgaonkar to finish on top with 7 points.

After a loss in the first round, Lokesh made a great comeback by scoring 7/9, performed at 2441, earned his maiden IM-norm and gained 69.6 Elo rating points in the process

14th edition Runner-up - GM Evgeniy Podolchenko (BLR) 6.5/9

Round 5: IM Harikrishnan A Ra - GM Evgeniy Podolchenko: 0-1

The game between the top rated player of the event - IM Harikrishnan (2454) and GM Evgeniy Podolchenko (2357) ended in latter's favour. Hari's pseudo two knight sacrifice for a rook and pawns misfired and he lost the game in 48 moves.

Candidate Master Akshay Borgaonkar finishes second runner-up in his debut

Akshay scored 6 points and gained 64.22 Elo rating points. He beat IM David in the first round.

Gochelashvili - Akshay, Round 1

Position after 16...dxe4

17.f4? the game fell apart quickly for White Qh6 18.Rxc6 bxc6 19.Kf2 Bh4 20.gxh4 Qxh4+ 21.Kg1 Qh2+ 22.Kf2 Bh3 23.Rg1 Qxf4+ 24.Bf3 e3+ 0-1

CM Akshay Borgaonkar started the tournament with a victory over IM David Gochelashvili

Debutant Pranav K P (right), scored 3.5 points and had a creditable win against IM Kudzanai (ZIM), drew against the eventual runner-up GM Podolchenko, IM Gochelashvili, IM Mithrakanth and second runner-up, CM Akshay Borgaonkar

Chief Arbiters, Deputy Chiefs and Coordinators team

L to R: FA P Arumugam, Dy. Chief, 14th TN IM-norm, Dr. G G Sathiesh, Chief Arbiter, 14th TN IM-norm, IA N K Nandakumar, Live Coordinator, IA V Vijayaraghavan, Tournament Coordinator, IA Srivatsan, Chief Arbiter, 13th TN IM-norm, and FA R Sundar Rajan, Dy. Chief, 13th TN IM-norm.

Replay all games of 13th edition

Replay all games of 14th edition

Final standings at 13th edition

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
12FMKarthik, RajaaIND2289INDIA7027,0053
21GMManik, MikulasSVK2342SLOVAKIA6,5026,0042
310IMKhusenkhojaev, MuhammadTJK2379TAJIKISTAN6021,7553
47Sai, Vishwesh.CIND2228INDIA5,5119,0043
68IMSitnikov, AntonUKR2356UKRAINE5017,7532
73Sachi, JainIND1842INDIA4017,2511
84GMZiatdinov, RasetUSA2100USA2,5010,2511
95IMTouzane, OlivierFRA2242FRANCE203,5021
106Haribalu, V.IND2161INDIA103,2500


Final standings at 14th edition

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
13Lokesh, N.IND2140INDIA7026,5064
22GMPodolchenko, EvgeniyBLR2357BELARUS6,5025,2551
310CMBorgaonkar, AkshayIND2206INDIA60,521,5042
58Hemanth, RaamIND2161INDIA5,5023,5022
67IMBuscara, SevanFRA2359FRANCE4013,2531
76Pranav, K PIND2115INDIA3,50,512,5011
81IMGochelashvili, DavidRUS2287RUSSIA3,50,510,7522
99IMMithrakanth, Poorna SharmaIND2252INDIA2,508,7510
105IMMamombe, KudzanaiZIM1797ZIMBABWE0,501,2500


About the Author

V Vijayaraghavan is an International Arbiter and Vice President of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association. He was also the Tournament Coordinator for 13th and 14th Tamil Nadu IM-norm Closed Circuit Tournaments. 


The report was edited by Shahid Ahmed

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