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Niraj Saripalli wins Goa State Championship 2018

by Sagar Shah - 01/08/2018

The Goa State Championship 2018 was held from the 8th to the 12th of July 2018. It was a strong event where there were four clear contenders for the title. Top seed Ameya Audi who has a rating of 2399, talented youngster Leon Mendonca (2241), Ritviz Parab (2235) and Niraj Saripalli (2179). It was an extremely hard fought event where in the end it was Niraj Saripalli who emerged victorious. In this article we tell you more about the event, but also have two deeply annotated games by the winner. Niraj shows us his wins over Ameya Audi and Ritviz Parab and also tells us his thought process behind the moves he had chosen. Checking these high intensity games with comments from the winner is sure to help you improve your chess understanding. 

Goa is becoming one of the most prominent states in Indian chess. Recently they had their first GM in the form of Anurag Mhamal. WGM Bhakti Kulkarni is one of the best woman players in our country. Little Leon Mendonca is a big talent to watch out for. Goa is also holding the first GM international event later this year in October. It comes as no surprise that the state championship of Goa was looked forward to with great interest by players all over the country. The event had four players who were very strong.

The top seed of the event was Ameya Audi

Youngster Leon Mendonca was the second seed | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Ritviz Parab was the third seed | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Niraj Saripalli was the fourth seed! | Niraj's Facebook profile

Starting rank

1FMAudi Ameya25034430IND2399Salcette
2CMMendonca Leon Luke35028561IND2241U13Tiswadi
3Ritviz Parab5073367IND2235Salcette
4Niraj Saripalli5045657IND2179Salcette
5Barde Om35068881IND1731U13Bardez
6Devesh Anand Naik45005702IND1688U13Ponda
7Tanvi Vasudev Hadkonkar46643613IND1674wF13Tiswadi
8WCMChopdekar Gunjal25099450IND1657wF13Tiswadi
9Parsekar Anirudh25095196IND1645Mourmugao
10Colaco Reuben45035512IND1530U11Salcette

The State Championship was a nine round Swiss event and was held from 8th to 12th of July in CADA hall, Curchorem, Goa. A total of 104 players participated in the event. The tournament director was Kishor Bandekar.

Final rankings:

Rk.SNoNameTypsexGrFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
14Niraj SaripalliIND2179Salcette8,01,053,052,045,757
23Ritviz ParabIND2235Salcette8,00,056,052,048,008
36Devesh Anand NaikU13IND1688Ponda7,50,054,050,542,007
42CMMendonca Leon LukeU13IND2241Tiswadi7,00,055,552,540,256
59Parsekar AnirudhIND1645Mourmugao6,50,057,052,538,006
61FMAudi AmeyaIND2399Salcette6,50,053,549,035,506
710Colaco ReubenU11IND1530Salcette6,50,053,049,034,256
85Barde OmU13IND1731Bardez6,50,050,045,535,255
913Aryan Shamrao RaikarIND1496Salcette6,50,047,044,031,006
1014Paarth P SalviU11IND1495Bardez6,00,052,048,530,505
1112Ishan Sanjay PagiU15IND1510Salcette6,00,051,048,030,006
1216Gaude SachinIND1426Ponda6,00,048,545,529,505
138WCMChopdekar GunjalF13wIND1657Tiswadi6,00,048,544,529,255
147Tanvi Vasudev HadkonkarF13wIND1674Tiswadi6,00,048,044,529,506
1519Audi SaieshIND1403Salcette6,00,047,043,527,506
1623Vivaan Sunil BallikarU11IND1216Salcette6,00,047,043,028,755
1715Porob VrajU15IND1435Salcette6,00,045,543,526,255
1811Shirodkar AayushU13IND1530Salcette6,00,044,544,027,005
1948Ali AmanatU09aIND0Mourmugao6,00,043,540,026,506
2035Lad Mandar PradipU13IND1085Salcette6,00,043,040,027,006

Complete list

The tournament was hard fought and in the end it was a tie at the top between Niraj Saripalli and Ritviz Parab. However, in their personal encounter Niraj was able to beat Ritviz and hence won the event.

Niraj Saripalli with the winner's trophy

Niraj Saripalli's performance

Niraj's best games from the tournament:

Niraj sent us two games which were his favourite in the event and has annotated them in quite some depth. The first one is against the top seed Ameya Audi, which was a long positional battle where Niraj was able to outplay Ameya with some nice tactics at the end.

The second game sent to us by Niraj is against his best friend Ritviz Parab in the sixth round. At this point both of them were leading with a score of 5.0/5. Saripalli managed to play a nice game from the black side of the Ruy Lopez and became the sole leader of the event:

Goa International 2018:

1st Goa International Open GM Tournament will be played from 13th to 20th Oct. 2018 at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium in Taleigaon, Goa. October also happens to be one of the best times to visit Goa. So once you’re done playing, you can kick back and enjoy a sunset at the beach, hit the casino or just ride around on a rented motorbike.


Category A (GM Open): 13th to 20th October 2018

Category B (Below 2000): 13th to 16th October 2018

Category C (Below 1600): 17th to 20th October 2018

Prize Fund:

The total prize fund for all events will be ₹ 34,00,000 (USD 29,100 or €24,900).

Category A: ₹ 14,00,000 (USD 20,400 / € 17,400)

Category B: 10,00,000 (USD 14,500 / € 12,500)

Category C: 10,00,000 (USD 14,500 / € 12,500)

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