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Pranesh M dominates Rilton Cup 2022-23, becomes India's 79th Grandmaster

by Shahid Ahmed - 06/01/2023

16-year-old IM Pranesh M scored 8/9, finished a full point ahead of the field to win Rilton Cup 2022-23. He took a no-draw approach. After losing his second round game, he won the next seven games to finish first, cross 2500 in the live ratings and become India's 79th Grandmaster. The teenager also became Tamil Nadu's 28th GM. Pranesh won a memento and SEK 22000 (approx. ₹170282). The last time an Indian won this event was in 2016-17 when Krishnan Sasikiran became champion. GM Raja Rithvik R is the only other Indian to make a top ten finish. He scored 6/9 to finish at eighth place. 15-year-old Manmay Chopra scored 7/9 to finish second in the Rilton Elo section (<2200). Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

The first Grandmaster of India in 2023

India got its latest Grandmaster on 5th January 2023 in the form of Pranesh M. This was just days after, IM Koustav Chatterjee became India's 78th GM. Pranesh started the event with three GM-norms and 2475 Elo rating. He needed 25 Elo rating points to become India's next GM. He was gaining about 23 points heading into the last round. A draw probably would have sufficed for him to complete the title requirements, championship was guaranteed though. However, the teenager decided to clinch the tournament with a surety by winning the game and ensuring the GM and the first place at the same time. We will have a detailed article about Pranesh's journey towards the GM title soon.

Champion - GM Pranesh M 8/9 | Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

Rilton Cup 2022-23 is the first event of the FIDE Circuit. Pranesh is now the early leader with 6.8 points. The player who accumulates the most point at the end of the year, qualifies to the next FIDE Candidates.

Pranesh - Elham, Round 8

Position after 30.Kf4

One does not need to play most accurately all the time, it's the willingness to take the risk and do as per the position's requirement is what matters the most. White could have opted for the safer 30.Kg2, yet he chose the exciting 30.Kf4. Computer says it's not a good idea which is true as the white king is now more susceptible to Black's attacks. 30...f6 31.exf6 Nh4 32.Bxh4 Rxh4 33.Kg3 and White landed himself in a lost position in no time. However, Black eventually blundered a checkmate in one move in a winning position and lost the game. Pranesh's risk paid off and he headed into the final round with a half point lead 7/8.

Round 8: IM Pranesh M - IM Elsham Abdrlauf (NOR, not in the picture): 1-0 | Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

Urkedal - Pranesh, Round 9

Position after 38...f4

Once again Pranesh shows an intent to take risk and go for a win. Black is not forced to break. A draw makes Pranesh the winner of the tournament, However, it probably might not have been enough to cross 2500. It could possibly be the reason why he wanted to play for a win. Once again, he bet on himself and it rewarded him handsomely. 39.Qc2+ Qf5 40.Qxf5 Kxf5 41.gxf4 Bd5 42.c5 and Black eventually won the rook and opposite color bishop endgame. Thus, Pranesh won the tournament, crossed 2500 in the live ratings and became India's 79th Grandmaster.

Round 9: GM Frode Olav Olsen Urkedal (NOR) - IM Pranesh M: 0-1 | Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

IM Pranesh M scored 8/9, performed at 2775 and gained 28.9 Elo rating points to become India's latest GM

India's latest GM Pranesh M spectating the games | Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

Vishy Anand tweeted on Pranesh becoming India's 79th GM

8th GM Raja Rithvik R 6/9 | Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

Best Woman - WGM Nandhidhaa P V 5.5/9 | Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

The Asian Continental Women 2022 champion, WGM Nandhidhaa congratulated Pranesh

Runner-up in Rilton Elo category (<2200): Manmay Chopra 7/9 | Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

The tournament hall at Scandic Continental in Stockholm, Sweden | Photo: Lars OA Hedlund

A total of 136 players participated including 21 GMs, 41 IMs, a WGM and 3 WIMs took part from 29 countries all over the world including Sweden in the Rilton Cup (>2200) of Rilton Cup 2022/23, held at Scandic Continental in Stockholm, Sweden from 27th December 2022 to 5th January 2023. Rest day was on 1st January 2023. The tournament was organized by Stockholms Chess Federation. The time control for the Cup section was 90 minutes for the first 40 moves; followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game; with an increment of 30 seconds per move from the start.

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Final standings in Rilton Cup

Rk.SNo NameGrFEDRtgRtgIBdldPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 Rpnwwew-weKrtg+/-
IMPranesh MIND24752475839,541372775985,112,891028,9
IMKucuksari KaanSWE2492249274649,535,52656975,171,831018,3
GMMeshkovs NikitaLAT256625667373930,52570976,820,18101,8
GMUrkedal Frode Olav OlsenNOR253625366,54547,536260196,55,720,78107,8
GMGalperin PlatonUKR253025306,5444732,5257996,55,890,61106,1
IMGorshtein IdoISR246924696,543,54732,5255396,55,471,031010,3
IMSokolovsky YahliISR241524156,54345,531260096,54,242,261022,6
GMRaja Rithvik RIND24532453646,548,534,52564964,691,311013,1
IMParkhov YairISR2470247064649,5332544965,100,90109
IMSouleidis GeorgiosGRE24102410643,547,5302504964,891,111011,1
GMLivaic LeonCRO25722572643,547322561966,13-0,1310-1,3
GMThybo Jesper SondergaardDEN25152515643,547322527965,870,13101,3
IMAbdrlauf ElhamNOR25182518643,546,5342551965,570,43104,3
IMHorvath DominikAUT25022502643,545352533965,610,39103,9
FMOlsson William2SWE22902290642,545,5302578852,042,962059,2


Final standings in Rilton Elo

Rk.SNo NameGrFEDRtgRtgIPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 Rpnwwew-weKrtg+/-
Kunz AndreGER212521257,5404333,5217997,56,750,752015
Manmay Chopra3IND1915191574751382190863,092,9140116,4
Myagmarsuren Evsuld3NOR1899189974649,5382203973,383,6240144,8
CMSaif MalekJOR211321136,5505436,5211296,56,290,21408,4
sarantos vasileiosGRE211221126,5495336207296,56,56-0,0620-1,2
Azizi HaroonSWE215721576,54650,533210696,56,83-0,3320-6,6
WIMKrasenkova ElenaFID214721476,5464734,5211896,56,71-0,2120-4,2
Pit-Rada Mihail-CosminROU210321036,5434734209396,56,52-0,0220-0,4
WFMCramling Bellon Anna1SWE207220726,54346,532,5202196,56,80-0,3020-6
Patil Harshal2IND192819286,542,543,532,5211785,52,772,732054,6



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