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Kunal clinches Hatsun - Idhayam 6th SCS Rating Open 2022

by R Anantharam - 20/10/2022

Third seeded M Kunal scored an unbeaten 7.5/8 to win Hatsun - Idhayam 6th SCS Rating Open 2022. He finished a half point ahead of the field. Despite being held to a draw in the second round, Kunal registered six consecutive victories between round three and eight to become the champion. Dinesh Rajan M, R Shadhursshaan and Manigandan S S scored 7/8 each. They were placed second to fourth according to tie-breaks. This was Kunal's third tournament victory in-a-row. He won UDC Cup 2nd Rapid Rating Open and 1st SRM Rapid Rating Open in consecutive months. The total prize fund of the tournament was ₹500000. The top three prizes were ₹70000, ₹50000 and ₹35000 along with a trophy each. Photo: IA R Anantharam

Kunal scores a hat-trick of tournament wins

IM-elect M Kunal won the much awaited Hatsun - Idhayam 6th SCS FIDE Rated Chess Tournament organized by Sivakasi Chess Sparklers held at the Mepco Schlenk Engineering College, Sivakasi from 1st to 4th October 2022. A total of 324 players from various states, headed by Grandmaster Thej Kumar of South Western Railways in the seeding list took part in the eight round event.

M Kunal receives the winner’s trophy from Sri AMSG Asokan, MLA | Photo: IA R Anantharam

M Kunal  scored an unbeaten 7.5/8, featuring a double hat-trick of wins from round three to eight

The biggest upset of the day was produced by the 13-year-old girl MS Shanmuga Preethi of Thoothukudi, who upset the former Tamil Nadu junior champion fourth seeded FM Maheswaran P, the highest rated player from Sivakasi Postal in the first round. In the second round, another local boy, 14-year-old I Kirpesh who is being trained by GM Vishnu Prasanna at the Hatsun Chess Academy, Thiruthangal – Sivakasi extracted half a point from the third seeded Kunal.

I Kirpesh, a student of Hatsun Chess Academy drew with IM elect M Kunal in the second round. Hatsun CA, Sivakasi is headed by... | Photo: IA R Anantharam

...GM Vishnu Prasanna who is the trainer of India no.2 GM D Gukesh | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Fourth round witnessed the shocking debacle of the top seeded grandmaster Thej Kumar at the hands of S Mohamed Tharig of Madurai in an interesting game.

Mohamed Tharig of Madurai caused the biggest upset of the tournament beating the top seeded GM Thej Kumar of SW Railways in the fourth round | Photo: IA R Anantharam

M Dinesh Rajan, brother of IM Pranesh M stopped the winning spree of Mohamed Tharig in the fifth round and relatively lower rated Shadhursshaan, National Schools Under-15 champion outplayed higher rated Sa Kannan.

Dinesh his younger brother and IM Pranesh M

Five players – S Prasanna, R Shadhursshaan, Dinesh Rajan, MS Dharani Kumar and S Rohith had scored the maximum five points each in five rounds. Seven players were trailing by half a point. GM Thej Kumar had to shed half a point to 11-year-old A Prakul, rated 1377.


Prasanna and Dinesh Rajan scored outright wins on top boards to share the lead with six points each at the end of the sixth round. Dinesh Rajan, caused an upset in the seventh round, to emerge sole leader, beating the second seeded S Prasanna, a former Tamil Nadu champion.

M Dinesh Rajan, brother of IM Pranesh M plays against the giant slayer Mohamed Tharig | Photo: IA R Anantharam

M Kunal played a marathon against S Jai Sankar to post a win, lifting himself to the sole second position with 6.5 points. The game annotated by Kunal himself is an end game lesson to youngsters. Again, GM Thej Kumar had to be content with a draw against 1472 rated B Yashwant.

Kunal - Jai Sankar, Round 7

Position after 58...Bxg6

White had a winning rook vs bishop endgame with few more pawns present on the board few moves ago. Now it seems like the game is heading towards a draw. However, White has a winning plan. Black needs to provide correct defense to get a draw. Can you find that plan? Kunal found it and his opponent was unable to defend the position and lost the game.

IM-elect M Kunal vs S Jai Sankar of Hatsun Chess Academy, Sivakasi | Photo: IA R Anantharam

The hitherto unbeaten Dinesh Rajan was outwitted in a knight and pawn ending by Kunal, who claimed the title and a purse of Rupees seventy thousand. Three players Dinesh Rajan, Shadhursshaan and Manigandan scored seven points to finish from second to fourth respectively. Dinesh collected Rupees fifty thousand and Shadursshaan was richer by Rupees. thirtyfive thousand.

National Schools Under 15 champion, R Shadhursshaan of the host district against Sa Kannan. Shadhursshaan was placed third | Photo: IA R Anantharam

Manigandan S S (right), a former state junior champion from Golden Knights Chess Academy, Madurai finished fourth | Photo: IA R Anantharam

A special feature of the tournament is the participation of WIM Michelle Catherina, not as a player but as an arbiter to complete her FA norm requirements | Photo: IA R Anantharam

S Kanishka of Salem, a bright young talent, achieved the eleventh place and the best woman in the tournament | Photo: IA R Anantharam

A Tenzing making the inaugural moves against the top seed of the tournament, GM Thej Kumar M S | Photo: IA R Anantharam

Mr. A Tenzing correspondent, Mepco Schlenk Engineering College inaugurated the tournament, in the presence of Dr. Arivazhagan, Principal of the college, G Ramamoorthy, President of Sivakasi Chess Club and M Sundarrajan, Secretary, Virudhunagar DCA. The chief guests for the prize distribution function were Sri AMSG Asokan, Member of the Legislative Assembly of Tamil Nadu and Sri A Gopalsamy, President, VDCA.


Sivakasi Chess Sparklers takes special care to make it successful, not only from the players’ point of view, but also from the parents’ side. The players were relieved of their mounting tension, when many of them took part in the cultural programme, organised by the Sparklers, exhibiting their talents in singing and dancing. It conducted chess and badminton tournaments exclusively for the parents.

Dance programme by the players | Photo: IA R Anantharam

A chess tournament for the accompanying persons | Photo: IA R Anantharam

Parents are ready for action in a badminton tournament for them | Photo: IA R Anantharam

Mepco Schlenk Engineering College, Sivakasi, offers a helping hand to chess in various ways.

Administrative building of Mepco Schlenk Engineering College | Photo: IA R Anantharam

Besides organising the five lacs prize money tournament in association with Sivakasi Chess Sparklers regularly, it provides an excellent playing atmosphere to the participants. The college provides comfortable stay to the players and parents in the hostel free of cost, hygenic and quality food at a very nominal rate. It has also come forward to train the government school students at grass root level in chess, free of cost at the college, in addition to free transport to the college and free boarding to the participants. During the three decades of its existence, the college has many credentials: UG University Ranks - 745 (49 First Ranks); 10000+ students placed through campus placement; 138 R&D projects worth more than Rs.16.27 crores from various Government Funding Agencies and R&D Organizations etc. The college is a very green campus with lot of trees and also there are three Miawakki forests inside the campus itself.

Mepco Sclenk Engineering College welcomes the participants | Photo: IA R Anantharam

There are three Miawakki forests in the vast college campus | Photo: IA R Anantharam

A dancing peacock in the Miawakki forest of the college | Photo: IA R Anantharam

A total of 324 players including a GM took part in this four-day eight-round Swiss League Rating Open. It was organized by Sivakasi Chess Sparklers and Mepco Schlenk Engineering College, Sivakasi at the college from 1st to 4th October 2022. The tournament had a time control of 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment from move no.1.

Final standings

Rk.SNoNameTypsexFEDRtgIClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 nwwew-weKrtg+/-
13Kunal M.IND2165TN7,5394340,750787,57,56-0,0620-1,2
213Dinesh Rajan MIND1838TN741,545,538,0007875,601,404056
320Shadhursshaan RU15IND1736TN_V741,54436,5007875,221,784071,2
45Manigandan S SIND2085TN73640,535,0007877,54-0,5420-10,8
635Vignesh Kannan PU12IND1583TN6,539,543,534,750586,54,242,264090,4
710Selvamurugan BIND1867TN6,5384233,750586,56,93-0,4320-8,6
811AGMSa KannanIND1855TN6,537,540,530,250686,57,03-0,5320-10,6
98Nawin M SIND1885TN6,53740,531,250686,57,23-0,7340-29,2
106Badrinath S.IND1959PON6,5374030,750686,57,54-1,0420-20,8
1114Kanishka SF15wIND1837TN6,5364031,750586,57,28-0,7840-31,2
1239Aakash K PIND1547TN6,5343728,500586,55,181,324052,8
134FMMaheswaran P.IND2156Postal6,5323529,500675,56,87-1,3720-27,4
1415Dharani Kumar M SIND1808TN6404430,5006865,610,394015,6
159Mithun Anand VIND1868TN6394431,0006867,00-1,0020-20
1636Rohith SU15IND1581TN6394229,0006864,211,794071,6
1778Shyam Ganesh RU15IND1339TN6394026,5006751,553,4540138
1818Vengatesh Krishnan CU15IND1740TN638,54229,0006865,530,474018,8
191GMThejkumar M. S.IND2412Rlys63740,529,2505867,92-1,9210-19,2
2047Yashwant BU12IND1472TN636,539,529,0005752,422,5840103,2
2116Ayyappan P Santhana PrabuIND1803TN63639,528,2505867,29-1,2940-51,6
2253Haridev SU12IND1437TN63637,526,5006753,071,934077,2
2331Gokulakrishna SU15IND1618TN6353927,5006867,03-1,0340-41,2
2428Srihari K RIND1631TN63538,527,0006866,38-0,3840-15,2
2523Vigneshwaran SIND1654TN63537,526,0006866,06-0,0620-1,2
2619Alaguraja M.A.IND1737TN634,537,527,0005867,11-1,1120-22,2
2738ACMMadhavakrishnan RU15IND1562TN632,53626,2504866,86-0,8640-34,4
2840Balaji PIND1544TN632,535,525,7505866,78-0,7820-15,6
2945Karthikeyan SakthivelU15IND1487TN6323627,0006866,63-0,6340-25,2
3012Jai Sankar SubramanianU15IND1847TN5,5424628,750585,56,31-0,8140-32,4
3134Pranav K PU15IND1585TN5,5404428,250585,54,061,444057,6
3225Arjun Sidharth SU15IND1633PON5,54042,526,250485,54,291,214048,4
3322Chujeeth Vignesh AIND1692TN5,538,54327,250585,55,60-0,1020-2
3466Sanjeeth PU15IND1372TN5,5384124,000574,53,261,244049,6
3537Gokul SIND1564TN_V5,5374127,250485,54,780,722014,4


About the Author

Prof. Rathinam Anantharam is an A-grade international arbiter. Member of FIDE Arbiters’ Commission, Chairman of Titles Commission in All India Chess Federation, Vice President of Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, Chief Arbiter for six world championships, many Asian, International and National Championships.


The article was edited by Shahid Ahmed

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