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Sethuraman S P wins Rotachess Rapid Rating Open 2023

by Shahid Ahmed - 21/06/2023

Top seed of the tournament, GM Sethuraman S P scored 8/9 to win Rotachess Rapid Rating Open 2023. Despite losing the penultimate round game against GM Bharath Subramaniyam H, he bounced back by winning the final round game against IM Ravi Teja S. Four more players, GM Bharath Subramaniyam H, GM Karthikeyan Murali, GM Arjun Kalyan and IM Bala Chandra Prasad Dhulipalla also scored 8/9 each. They were placed second to fifth according to tie-breaks. Bharath, Karthikeyan and Bala remained undefeated. The total prize fund of the tournament was ₹550000. The top three prizes were ₹75000, ₹50000 and ₹35000 along with a trophy each. The tournament was organized by T Nagar Chess Academy, presented by YMCA Madras in association with Rotary Club of Madras Industrial City. All photos in this article are by Shahid Ahmed

Top five score 8/9

The second day started with only decisive games in the top 15 boards. The sixth round also had a similar situation - only two draws out of top ten boards. This round also witnessed the longest game of the tournament between WGM Rakshitta Ravi and San Hariharan which went for nearly two hours. Arbiter intervened and declared it a draw, after no progress was made in a rook and knight vs rook endgame. The defender did not claim a 50-move draw either, hence the rare draw by arbiter intervention. Rotary clubs are known for their philanthropic gestures. Apart from having a huge waiting area for the parenst and accompanying persons, this tournament had the following facility free for them - dental treatment, cardiac screening and eye check-up, on a first-come first-serve basis.

Champion - GM Sethuraman S P 8/9
GM Sethuraman S P: It feels great to win a tournament in my hometown in front of my family | Video: ChessBase India

Runner-up - GM Bharath Subramaniyam H 8/9
"I wasn't expecting much" - GM Bharath Subramaniyam secures second place | Video: ChessBase India

Second Runner-up - GM Karthikeyan Murali 8/9
"Backward moves are the toughest" - GM Karthikeyan Murali | Video: ChessBase India

The tournament flex

Round 8: Bharath topples Sethuraman

Just when it seemed like the top seed GM Sethuraman S P (2533) will have a cakewalk towards the first place finish, GM Bharath Subramaniyam H (2389) had something in his mind. IM Bala Chandra Prasad (2420) played his best game of the event when he beat GM Deep Sengupta (2439).

Bharath - Sethuraman

Position after 28...Kf4??

In a post-tournament interview, GM Bharath described the game to be a dry one, until his opponent GM Sethuraman started to move his king in the opposite direction 28...Kf4?? This gave White a decisive advantage 29.Kxc5 Ke3 30.Nh3 g4 31.fxg4 Nxg4 32.g3 computer suggests a4 to be better as White can afford to drop the h2-pawn to gain some valuable time. 32...hxg3 33.hxg3 e5 34.b4 Kf3 35.a4 Nf6 36.Ng5+ Kg4 37.Kd6 and here Black had a computer-like draw which was not easy to find in time pressure.

Position after 37.Kd6

Find out what was Black's final chance to salvage a half point in the above diagram. The game continued 37...e4?? 38.Nxe4+- Nxe4 39.Kc6 and White went on to win the game.

GM Bharath Subramaniyam H did what no one else managed to do in the entire tournament, beat the eventual champion, GM Sethuraman S P

GM Deep Sengupta - IM Bala Chandra Prasad Dhulipalla: 0-1

Karthikeyan - Sai Agni

Position after 1.Nc6

GM Karthikeyan Murali (2523) played a nice move 1.Nc6 against IM Sai Agni Jeevitesh J (2135). However, he mentioned in the interview that it actually is not a good move if Black goes 1...bxc6 2.dxc6+ Nxb3 3.Rxd8+ Kf7 4.axb3 fxg5 and now Black gets two minor pieces for a rook. It would have been a better choice for Black instead of the game continuation 1...Nxb3 2.Nxe7+ Kf7 3.axb3 fxg5 4.Nxc8 Raxc8. Soon the position liquidated into a rook endgame which Karthikeyan went on to win. The rook endgame is the reason behind this being Karthikeyan's favorite game of the event.

GM Karthikeyan Murali scored a convincing victory over IM Sai Agni Jeevitesh J

FM R Ashwath - GM Visakh N R: 0.5-0.5

Brother vs Brother: GM Arjun Kalyan - Rohit S: 1-0

IM Ilamparthi A R lost to Aakash G in a sharp skirmish

Round 9: Bala Chandra and Bharath draw, Sethuraman wins

IM Bala Chandra Prasad Dhulipalla (2420) drew his final round game against GM Bharath Subramaniyam H (2389). GM Sethuraman S P (2533), GM Karthikeyan Murali (2523) and GM Arjun Kalyan (2387) won their respective games against IM Ravi Teja S (2293), Aakash G (1980) and IM Rathanvel V S (2315). Thus, five players ended up having the same score 8/9.

Sethuraman - Ravi

Position after 3...g6?

IM Ravi Teja S already had an inferior position. 3...g6? only made things easier for his opponent, GM Sethuraman S P (2533). 4.Bf3 a6 5.axb5 cxb5 6.Bxd5 exd5 7.exf6 Rae8 8.Nxf5 gxf5 9.Qg5 and Black resigned as the dark square weakness has become overwhelming. This win ensured Sethuraman's triumph of the tournament.

GM Sethuraman S P bounced back by winning against IM Ravi Teja S in the final round

IM Bala Chandra Prasad Dhulipalla - GM Bharath Subramaniyam H: 0.5-0.5

Former National Under-9 Open champion, Aakash G blundered in time pressure in a difficult position against GM Karthikeyan Murali

IM Rathanvel V S - GM Arjun Kalyan: 0-1

IM Avinash Ramesh held GM Karthik Venkataraman to a solid draw and denied him a double hat-trick

Prize distribution ceremony photos

4th GM Arjun Kalyan 8/9
"It was my aim not to lose any game on my birthday" - GM Arjun Kalyan | Video: ChessBase India

5th IM Bala Chandra Prasad Dhulipalla 8/9

IM Bala Chandra Prasad is the top non-GM finisher at Rotachess Rapid Rating Open 2023 | Video: ChessBase India

6th GM Visakh N R 7.5/9

7th GM Karthik Venkataraman 7.5/9

8th IM Avinash Ramesh 7.5/9

9th FM R Ashwath 7.5/9

10th FM Harshad S 7.5/9

11th IM Hari Madhavan N B 7/9

12th IM Rathanvel V S 7/9

13th IM Srihari L R 7/9

14th IM Ravi Teja S 7/9

15th GM Deep Sengupta 7/9

16th IM Ilamparthi A R 7/9

17th Rohit S 7/9

18th FM Karthik Rajaa

19th Srihari L 7/9

20th Sham R 7/9

Top female finisher: 21st Harini S 7/9

Best Veteran 1st - Sridhar C S 6.5/9

Best Veteran 2nd - CM Joseph Ebenezer 6.5/9

Best Veteran 3rd - K Ganesan 5.5/9

Group photo of kids with GMs, IMs, WGM, organizer and guests

Glimpses of the Closing Ceremony

The guests present at the closing ceremony were - Tournament Chairman : Rtn. R Gopinath, Tournament Secretary: Rtn. K Saravana Prakash, Club President: Rtn Emily Sujirtha Titus, Club Secretary: Rtn. V S Srinivasan, YMCA Chairman Royappetah branch: Kumar Asirvatham, Guest of Honour: Past District Governor: Rtn. Abirami Ramanathan, Guest of Honour: Rtn. Vinod Sarogi, District Governor Nominee, Chief Guest: Justice Sunder Mohan, Madras High Court, and Chennai District Chess Association Secretary: K Ganesan.

Photo Gallery

Round 9: The reigning three-time National Rapid and Blitz, two-time Dubai Open champion - GM Aravindh Chithambaram was present to meet his friends

Round 6: WGM Rakshitta Ravi - San Hariharan went for nearly two hours and the game ended in a draw after no progress was made for 75 moves in a Rook and Knight vs Rook endgame, when arbiter declared it a draw

Round 7: Board no.3 and 4 had very similar rook and two pawns vs rook and a pawn endgame, both of them ended in draws

The last game of the tournament between Suvradeepta Das and Badri Narayan B went for over 75 minutes

All trophies and prizes were displayed on the stage on second day for extra motivation for the participants

The Head Coach of T Nagar Chess Academy - Srinivasa Rangan and Founder of the same - A L Kasi, gifted 'The Chess Course' by Praful Zaveri to the Chief Guest

A L Kasi founded T Nagar Chess Academy in 1996

Srinivasa Rangan partnered with A L Kasi, created two GMs and an IM, produced many state, national and international champions

For more Prize distribution ceremony photos, please click here and here. More game videos will be published, stay tuned.


The two-day Rapid Rating Open observed the total participation of 528 players including 8 GMs, 11 IMs and a WGM from various parts of India and two from USA. The tournament was organized by T Nagar Chess Academy at YMCA Royapettah in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on 17th and 18th June 2023, presented by YMCA Madras in association with Rotary Club of Madras Industrial City. The time control was 15 minutes + 15 seconds increment.

Round 9 results

15IMDhulipalla Bala Chandra Prasad2420½ - ½GMBharath Subramaniyam H23897
21GMSethuraman S.P.253371 - 07IMRavi Teja S.229314
333Aakash G198070 - 17GMKarthikeyan Murali25232
411IMRathanvel V S231570 - 17GMArjun Kalyan23878
59GMKarthik Venkataraman23867½ - ½7IMAvinash Ramesh225516
63GMVisakh N R24661 - 0WIMRakshitta Ravi200430
734Arnav Maheshwari1953½ - ½IMSrihari L R233710
815IMHari Madhavan N B22751 - 0FMVinoth Kumar M.184946
935Siddharth Sabharishankar19450 - 1FMHarshad S218019
1061Pranav K P17260 - 1FMAshwath R.217620
1151Harini S.1799½ - ½FMKarthik Rajaa212924
1245Vijay Shreeram P185160 - 16GMSengupta Deep24394
1349Nawin M S180460 - 16IMIlamparthi A R230112
1417FMRitviz Parab223761 - 06FMAyushh Ravikumar185144
1557My Aditya175460 - 16Srihari L218918
1621IMSaravana Krishnan P.217561 - 06Hari Ganesh T178953
1723IMSai Agni Jeevitesh J213561 - 06Naveen K S169464
1825FMRam Aravind L N210961 - 06Gokulakrishna S166770
1956Mithun Anand V17546½ - ½6IMPraveen Kumar C209926
2028Sai Vishwesh.C206661 - 06AIMMohit S165972


Standings after Round 9

Rk.SNoNameTypRtgIClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
11GMSethuraman S.P.2533Tamil Nadu8566052,0008
27GMBharath Subramaniyam H2389Tamil Nadu85458,550,5007
32GMKarthikeyan Murali2523Tamil Nadu853,558,551,0007
48GMArjun Kalyan2387Tamil Nadu853,557,550,0008
55IMDhulipalla Bala Chandra Prasad2420Andhra Pradesh8515446,7507
63GMVisakh N R2466Tamil Nadu7,5535847,5006
79GMKarthik Venkataraman2386Andhra Pradesh7,550,55544,7507
816IMAvinash Ramesh2255Tamil Nadu7,550,55544,0006
920FMAshwath R.2176Tamil Nadu7,5505442,2507
1019FMHarshad S2180Tamil Nadu7,548,55343,7507
1115IMHari Madhavan N B2275Tamil Nadu7,547,551,538,7507
1211IMRathanvel V S2315Tamil Nadu755,56044,5006
1310IMSrihari L R2337Tamil Nadu7535742,0006
1414IMRavi Teja S.2293Andhra Pradesh75356,540,5007
154GMSengupta Deep2439PSPB752,557,542,5006
1612IMIlamparthi A RU142301Tamil Nadu75257,543,5006
1731Rohit S1998Tamil Nadu75054,538,5007
1824FMKarthik Rajaa2129Tamil Nadu7505438,2506
1918Srihari L2189Puducherry749,55440,5007
2043Sham R1860Kanchipuram74952,537,5007
2151Harini S.1799Tamil Nadu748,551,537,7506
2225FMRam Aravind L N2109Tamil Nadu74852,539,0007
2321IMSaravana Krishnan P.2175KVB7485237,5007
2438Sarveshwaran V1904Tamil Nadu7485236,5007
2517FMRitviz Parab2237Goa747,55239,0007
2623IMSai Agni Jeevitesh J2135Telangana747,551,536,0007
2733Aakash GU141980Tamil Nadu7475137,5007
2828Sai Vishwesh.C2066Tamil Nadu7465038,0007
2934Arnav Maheshwari1953Tamil Nadu7465036,2506
3041CMDaakshin ArunU141877Tamil Nadu7444835,5006



T Nagar Chess Academy: Official site and fb page

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