Neelash Saha wins Late Bharatbai Halkude Memorial Chess Festival 7th Rating Open 2023
IM Neelash Saha, IM Kushagra Mohan, GM Saptarshi RoyChowdhury and IM Chakravarthi Reddy M - all four scored 8/9 each. Neelash won Late Bharatbai Halkude Memorial Chess Festival 7th Rating Open 2023 due to better tie-breaks. The remaining three were placed second to fourth. Neelash defeated Kushagra and drew against Saptarshi. Apart from Kushagra, the remaining three out of top four remained undefeated. The total prize fund of the tournament was a staggering ₹1400212. The top three prizes were ₹122222, ₹101111 and ₹55555 along with a huge and beautiful trophy each. This is Neelash's second tournament triumph of the year after he won the Vezerkepzo Winter Carnival GM where he scored his maiden GM-norm in February this year. Photo: IA R Anantharam
Top four score 8/9
Second seeded International Master Neelash Saha of South-Eastern Railway won the Late Bharatbai Halkude Memorial FIDE rated tournament, a part of the LBHM Chess Festival. Of the total prize money of ₹14,00,022/- for the open tournament, he received ₹1,22,222/-.
The Late Bharatbai Halkude Memorial Chess Festival, Pune had added a new dimension to rating tournaments in India. Apart from offering a never before 30,00234 rupees prize money in rating tournaments, the event was held in an air-conditioned hall, which can accommodate more than 800 players, with equally big parents’ waiting hall and the canteen of same size. No wonder, two grandmasters – 81st GM of India Sayantan Das of Kolkata and his city mate GM Saptarshi Roy Choudhuri deicded to play here, in addition to four International Masters – second seeded Neelash Saha also of Kolkata, Kushagra Mohan and Chakravarthy Reddy of Telangana and the Southern Railway’s evergreen Ratnakaran.
The tournament is a boon to the upcoming players of Pune who constituted more than fifty percent of the total number of players.
Plethora of upsets started from the third round itself, when young guns, especially from the host city Pune extracted at least half a point from the titled or higher rated players. The Pune youngster Aaryan Singla forced IM Chakravarthy Reddy to shed half a point in the third round. It was the turn of Yash Abhijit Patil of Karnataka and Sushanth Kamabathula of Telangana in the fourth round, to extract half points from GM Saptarshi RoyChowdhury and IM Ratnakaran K respectively.
The top seed GM Sayantan Das was not spared in the fifth round, as Pune based Nameet Chavan forced him to settle for a draw.
Neelash Saha and Kushagra Mohan defeated Kartik Kumar Singh of Maharashtra and Jai Sankar Subramanian of Tamil Nadu to emerge joint leaders at the end of the sixth round.
Kushagra met his Waterloo at the hands of Neelash, enabling the latter to emerge sole leader after seven rounds.
Neelash drew with his city mate GM Saptarshi to maintain his half point lead over seven others. The top two seeds Sayantan and Neelash met in the final round and drew quickly, leaving other title holders to fight for the win and title of the tournament.
Neelash scored eight points, same as that of IM Kushagra Mohan of Telangana, GM Saptarshi RoyChowdhury and IM Chakravarthy Reddy of Telangana. But tiebreak scores favoured Neelash to win the title and a cash prize of one lakh twenty-two thousand two hundred and twenty-two rupees. Kushagra, Saptarshi and Chakravarthy finished from second to fourth in that order. Kushagra received one lakh one thousand one hundred and eleven rupees for his efforts and Saptarshi Roy Chodhury was richer by ₹55555.
Top seed GM Sayantan Das could finish only sixth, with three draws and Kerala’s Nithin Babu stood one slot ahead with the same score, but a better tiebreak.
A total of 463 players including 2 GMs and 4 IMs participated from various parts of the country. The nine-round Swiss league Rating tournament was held from 13th to 17th May 2023. It was organized by Aryan Enterprises Pvt. Ltd. at Dhruv Global School, Handewadi, Undri in Pune, Maharashtra. The time control of the tournament was 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment from move no.1.
|3||5||GM||Roy Chowdhury Saptarshi||IND||2273||Rly||8||50,5||54,5||47,25||0||7||10||-0,9|
|4||4||IM||Chakravarthi Reddy M||IND||2279||TG||8||50,5||54||47,50||0||7||10||-5,7|
|10||23||Jai Sankar Subramanian||IND||1755||TN||7||49,5||53,5||39,50||0||7||40||48|
|19||53||Dhruv Swapnil Haldankar||U15||IND||1622||MH||7||45||49||37,00||0||7||40||25,6|
|22||12||Om Nagnath Lamkane||IND||1858||MHP||7||43||47||35,00||0||6||20||-18|
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 report was edited by Shahid Ahmed