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2074 rated Balkishan checkmates two opponents, moves to 5.0/6 at the Mayor's Cup 2019

by Sagar Shah - 13/06/2019

In a GM event where you have 26 grandmasters and 13 IMs taking part, the chances of a 2074 rated player doing well are quite less. But Balkishan from Karnataka is changing this perception. He has 5.0/6 and is already gaining 53 Elo points. He has beaten Rohith Krishna (2347), Subhayan Kundu (2373) and GM Deepan Chakkravarthy (2557). Against Subhayan and Deepan, he was quite lucky, as in both the games his opponents were better but blundered in direct mates! The tournament is being led by GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan with 5.5/6, followed by a group of eleven players on 5.0/6. This group includes two Indians - Balkishan and Niranjan Navalgund. An illustrated report from Mumbai with pictures by Amruta Mokal. 

Grandmaster Open events in India are usually dominated by International GMs and the Mumbai Mayors Cup 2019 is no exception. Right at the top we have Samvel Ter Sahakyan who has scored 5.5/6. He is followed by eleven players on 5.0/6. In the group of these eleven players we have nine international players and two Indians - Niranjan Navalgund and Balkishan. While Niranjan's achievement is great, one cannot really be surprised, as the Karnataka lad has scored a GM norm in the past and also has a rating of 2326. But Balkishan's performance has been truly astounding. He is rated just 2074 and scoring 5.0/6 in such a tough field is never easy.

Balkishan is playing the chess of his life and is on 5.0/6 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

So what has been Balkishan's journey in this tournament until now? He started with a win over Vishwa Shah (1616) in round one, and then lost to P. Shyaam Nikhil in the second round. In the third round Balkishan scored a win over 1680 rated opponent and was on 2.0/3. Everything was going normally, just like any other tournament. But then things began to pick up speed. First he beat Rohith Krishna (2347). This was already a good achievement as Rohith is just 14 years old and an upcoming talent of Indian chess. However, you can always win one game against a higher rated opponent. This is not uncommon. Balkishan wasn't ready to stop just as yet. He beat Suhbhayan Kundu (2374) in round 5 and now things were getting serious. In the evening round on the same day Balkishan was up against Deepan Chakkravarthy and everyone felt that the dream run would come to an end here. Nothing of that sort happened. Balkishan beat Deepan as well and moved to 5.0/6.

Beating Deepan Chakkravarthy is never easy! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

How have been Balkishan's games? Well, he has definitely shown inspired chess at the event, but without the luck being on his side he would not have been able to come this far.


Subhayan Kundu - Balkishan, Round 5

White is dominating the position. He is a piece up and can simply win the game with Qe4! Instead Subhayan played Qf5?? and simply got checkmated in one move with Qg2.

Balkishan vs Deepan Chakkravarthy, Round 6

Balkishan has just captured the pawn on g5. Black should take it back with his knight and Deepan would be slightly better. But fatigue clearly got better of the Indian GM and he played ...fxe5, a terrible mistake as Qh6+ came in and ended the game.

Here are both the games:

Niranjan Navalgund is the other Indian on 5.0/6. He beat GM Vadim Malakhatko in round six. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Check out the finish of the game. Was extremely exciting!

Samvel Ter-Sahakyan is in the lead with 5.5/6. He beat GM Aleksej Aleksandrov in round 6. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Manuel Petrosyan is on 5.0/6 and in second place | Photo: Amruta Mokal

After a second round loss to Raahul VS, Iturrizaga, the top seed of the event, has made a comeback and is on 4.5/6 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Mumbai's Nubairshah Shaikh played a powerful game to beat GM Deepan Chakkravarthy in round 4. However, it was a bad day for him on 12th of June as he lost both his games. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Farrukh Amonatov checks the game of his Afghan student Sepehr Sakhawaty | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Laxman behind the bars?! The Indian GM is on 4.5/6 | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Divya Deshmukh has found the going pretty tough in this event. She is on 3.5/6 and has already lost 17 Elo points | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Please no photo! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

IM Sharad Tilak missed round 2 and in third round was not paired. He is on 3.5/6, but effectively 3.5/4. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Playing a good game is often a fine balancing act! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Standings after round 6

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgIClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
14GMTer-Sahakyan SamvelARM2611ARM5,50,021,525,022,755
210GMPetrosyan ManuelARM2573ARM5,00,021,523,518,754
324IMKhusenkhojaev MuhammadTJK2446TJK5,00,021,023,518,754
43GMPantsulaia LevanGEO2614GEO5,00,021,023,518,504
56GMAleksandrov AleksejBLR2588BLR5,00,021,023,518,005
62GMAmonatov FarrukhTJK2624TJK5,00,020,523,519,254
718GMVasquez Schroeder RodrigoCHI2476CHI5,00,020,523,018,254
814GMTukhaev AdamUKR2527UKR5,00,020,022,518,504
912GMPaichadze LukaGEO2557GEO5,00,020,021,016,754
1013GMFier AlexandrBRA2543BRA5,00,019,021,017,004
1146FMNavalgund NiranjanIND2326KAR5,00,018,521,517,505
1288Balkishan A.IND2074KAR5,00,018,020,516,505
1333Koustav ChatterjeeIND2404WB4,50,022,025,017,503
1429IMMuthaiah AlIND2420TN4,50,021,524,017,003
159GMTurov MaximRUS2579RUS4,50,021,524,016,753
1674WIMSrija SeshadriwIND2174DEL4,50,021,021,514,504
177GMStupak KirillBLR2584BLR4,50,020,023,016,503
1817GMRahman ZiaurBAN2481BAN4,50,019,522,014,754
1992Utsab ChatterjeeIND2067WB4,50,019,521,014,504
2021IMNguyen Van HuyVIE2456VIE4,50,019,021,514,504

Pairings of round 7

Bo.No. NameRtgClub/CityPts. ResultPts. NameRtgClub/City No.
GMTer-Sahakyan Samvel 2611ARM 5 GMAmonatov Farrukh 2624TJK
GMPantsulaia Levan 2614GEO5 5 GMTukhaev Adam 2527UKR
GMVasquez Schroeder Rodrigo 2476CHI5 5 GMAleksandrov Aleksej 2588BLR
IMKhusenkhojaev Muhammad 2446TJK5 5 GMPetrosyan Manuel 2573ARM
FMNavalgund Niranjan 2326KAR5 5 GMPaichadze Luka 2557GEO
GMFier Alexandr 2543BRA5 5 Balkishan A. 2074KAR
GMIturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo 2637VEN IMMuthaiah Al 2420TN
FMMitrabha Guha 2341WB GMStupak Kirill 2584BLR
GMTurov Maxim 2579RUS GMLaxman R.R. 2437TN
GMBurmakin Vladimir 2526RUS Koustav Chatterjee 2404WB

Round 7 begins at 2.30 p.m. IST


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