Raunak Sadhwani triumphs at Serbia Open 2023 Masters
GM Raunak Sadhwani scored an unbeaten 7.5/9 to win Serbia Open 2023 Masters. He finished a half point ahead of the competition. GM Cristobal Henriquez Villagra (CHI) and IM Arystanbek Urazayev (KAZ) scored 7/9 each. They were placed second and third according to tie-breaks. Raunak drew against both podium finishers and gained 12.4 Elo rating points. GM Pranesh M is the only other Indian to make a top ten finish. He scored 6.5/9 to finish ninth. The total prize fund in the Masters section was €23500. The top three prizes were €5000, €3500 and €2500 along with a trophy each. 17-year-old Soham Bhattacharyya is the highest untitled finisher. He scored 6/9, gained 141.6 Elo rating points to secure his maiden IM-norm. 12-year-old Vihaan Dumir scored a perfect 7/7 to win the Beginners section. All photos are from official site unless stated otherwise.
Soham Bhattacharyya scores maiden IM-norm, Vihaan Dumir clinches Beginners section with a perfect 7/7
GM Raunak Sadhwani headed into the final round with a half point sole lead 7/8. IM Arystanbek Urazayev (KAZ) and GM Cristobal Henriquez Villagra (CHI) were the only two players trailing him by a half point at 6.5/8 each. Raunak drew against Arystanbek and Cristobal shared the point with the top seed GM Maksim Chigaev. Thus, Raunak became a clear champion 7.5/9. Cristobal and Arystanbek were placed second and third according to tie-breaks 7/9 each.
Raunak - Or Bronstein, Round 4
GM Raunak Sadhwani (2608) launched a beautiful and creative attack against IM Or Bronstein (ISR, 2448). First he brought his king to f3 to clear the path for the e2-rook 34.Kf3 Re8 35.g6 Rf6 36.gxh7+ Nxh7 37.Rg2 Bd8 38.Ng6 Rf7 39.h6 Bf6 40.Rh5 Bd4 41.Nh4 opening the g-file for his rook. Black was left without a choice. He sacrificed an exchange 41...Rxe3+ 42.Nxe3 Qe8 43.Nf1 and White won the game in another ten moves.
Despite getting a walk over in the first round, Soham Bhattacharyya (2146) scored 5/8 in the next eight games to secure his maiden IM-norm. The teenager defeated GM Sinisa Drazic (SRB), IM Georgios Mitsis (GRE), IM Or Bronstein (ISR) and drew against GM Jose Gabriel Cardoso Cardoso (COL).
Bronstein - Soham, Round 7
Soham had already launched a brutal attack f5-f4-f3 from 17th to 19th move. He punctuated it with a nice finish 36...Nf4+! 37.gxf4 exf4 38.Qd1 Bd4 39.Nb5 Rxf2+ 40.Kh1 Bxb5 41.cxb5 g3 42.Rxg3 fxg3 and it was over.
12-year-old Vihaan Dumir (1564) finished a full point ahead of the competition. He gained 28.34 Elo rating points in the process. The total prize fund in the Beginners section was €1000. The top three prizes were €250, €200 and €150 along with a trophy each.
A total of 230 players including 15 GMs, 26 IMs, 7 WGMs and 9 WIMs took part in the Masters section from 33 countries across the world. A total of 113 players took part in the Beginners (<1700) section. The tournament was organized by Serbia Chess Federation from 16th to 24th July 2023 at Metropol Palace hotel in Belgrade, Serbia. The nine-round Swiss league tournament had a time control of 90 minutes/40 moves + 15 minutes for whole game, 30 seconds increment from move no.1 in the Masters section. The Beginners section time control was 60 minutes for entire game + 30 seconds increment per move.
Replay all Masters games
Final standings in Masters
|2||2||GM||Henriquez Villagra, Cristobal||CHI||2618||7||0||49,5||54||7||6,18||0,82||10||8,2|
|4||10||GM||Avila Pavas, Santiago||COL||2499||6,5||0||50||55||6,5||5,43||1,07||10||10,7|
Final standings in Beginners