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Boris Savchenko registers second consecutive tournament victory this month

by Satanick Mukhuty - 28/08/2019

Russian Grandmaster Boris Savchenko is the winner of Tetrasoft Hyderabad Marriott GM Tournament 2019 that came to conclusion yesterday on the 27th of August. This was his second tournament victory in a row this month after Athens of the East International Open which was held in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. The Hyderabad Tetrasoft GM was dominated by foreign players as the top places were all acquired by them, but as is customary these days several Indians stole the limelight from time to time by unexpectedly toppling their higher rated opponents. Particularly noteworthy were performances by Odisha's Utkal Ranjan Sahoo, Tamil Nadu's Hari Madhavan N B, and West Bengal's Kaustuv Kundu all of whom finished just half a point behind the leaders. IM Raja Rithvik R and thirteen-year-old Pranav V also managed to grab eyeballs by beating top seeded Savchenko and Pavel Smirnov in the fifth and fourth rounds of the event. 

The Tetrasoft Hyderabad Marriott Grandmaster Chess Tournament 2019 was held from the 20th to 27th of August in Marriott Hyderabad, Telangana. Organized by Mr. Srikanth Sharma, this was a ten-rounds swiss event following a time control of 90 minutes for the entire game with 30 seconds increment per move starting from move one. Both Boris Savchenko of Russia and Adam Tukhaev of Ukraine finished with 8.0/10 points each but the former was declared champion based on better tie-break score.

Boris Savchenko defeated Adam Tukhaev, who was leading hitherto, in the final round of the event to emerge as the champion | Photo: chessdom

Savchenko started slow, drawing his first round game against 1811 rated Rakshith Srinivasan, and in the fifth round he was dealt a heavy blow by IM Raja Rithvik R. 

IM Raja Rithvik R. in action against Boris Savchenko in round five | Photo:

IM Raja Rithvik R. had the white pieces against top seed Boris Savchenko in round five of the event. The game opened with 1.Nf3 d6 and the position remained dynamically balanced till move 45 when a grievous error turned the tables on Black.


Raja Rithvik R - Boris Savchenko, Round 5

This was the most critical moment of the encounter. White is up two pawns but has a vulnerable king on h4 that gives Black a small window of opportunity. 45...Be4 was played in the game, can you do better?

Adam Tukhaev of Ukraine too didn't find the ideal start as he was held to draw by WFM Potluri Supreetha in the very first round!  

But from round two onwards he cruised through to the top of the leaderboard only to be halted by Savchenko in the final round.

Tukhaev's final round game against Savchenko started off with an unusual line of the Zukertort opening. The Ukrainian Grandmaster had the chance to take initiative more than once during the encounter but instead he blundered which enabled the Russian to finish things off in a mere thirty-nine moves. Let's have a look at how the game ended.


Adam Tukhaev - Boris Savchenko, Round 10

White played 32.e5 and after 32...dxe5 went for a simplification with Rg5 Rxg5 Qxg5 but this sort of made his king look more vulnerable than before. Black's king was certainly much safer on d7. 

The g8 knight is a devil in disguise in this position, it is ready to spring to life and assemble a deadly attack along with the black queen.

36.Qh8?? - the final blunder! White was forced to resign the game only after three moves from here, can you find how?

Six players followed just half a point behind the leaders scoring 7.5/10. The Indians among these six players were Utkal Ranjan Sahoo from Odisha, India's blitz king Laxman Rajaram, Tamil Nadu's Hari Madhavan, and West Bengal's Kaustuv Kundu. Grandmaster Laxman Rajaram's last round victory against IM Rathnakaran K., who is famously dubbed as the Indian Tal, is particularly noteworthy.


Rathnakaran K - Laxman Rajaram, Round 10

Rathnakaran truly lived up to his reputation and played the crazy 30.Kg3 in the above position. The idea is to keep the h-file open for the rooks but however the move isn't really sound. Black wasn't able to find the most punishing continuation here and went 30...Rf7, can you do better?

The best way would have been to go 30...e3! after which White really runs out of options. If 31.fxe3 then 31...Nf6 looks devastating, White's bishop on c1 is completely boxed in. 31.f3 is no remedy either as then simply 31...Rh8 32.Rh1 Bd3 renders White absolutely helpless. In the game however, after 30...Rf7 31.Be3 etc Rathnakaran was able to fight on. 

Sixteen-year-old Hari Madhavan N B from Tamil Nadu created a stir with his unbeaten performance in this event as he beat two Grandmasters back-to-back in rounds seven and eight and went on to gain a whopping 58.4 Elo points!

Hari Madhavan in action against Grandmaster and the event's second seed Pavel Smirnov in round seven | Photo:

Hari beat two grandmasters in rounds seven and eight and also held two higher-rated IMs to draw in the last two rounds to score an unbeaten 7.5/10 in the event!

Let us have a look at the highlights of his eighth round encounter against GM Vasquez Schroeder Rodrigo. Hari had the White pieces in this game and opened with 1.Nf3 but the position transposed into a Slav after the second move itself. 


Hari Madhavan - Vasquez Schroeder Rodrigo, Round 8

18...g5 looked a bit too committal and premature on Rodrigo's part. Can you find a logical way ahead for White?

Hari calmly maneuvered his king to c1 where it was absolutely safe. White could now think of opening up more lines on the kingside and play full-fledged on the semi-open h-file.

White, at this point, seized the winning initiative with 28.g4! All he needed now was to switch the queen over to the kingside.

This plan was realized in the next three moves. Not long after Black was compelled to resign.

Another noteworthy achievement came from thirteen-year-old Pranav V who managed to outwit Grandmaster Pavel Smirnov in a Sicilian Rossolimo. Pranav scored a commendable 7.0/10 and finished eleventh, gaining 16.4 Elo points.

Pranav kept pushing throughout the game until the Russian GM blundered on move 42 to lose an exchange. Resignation came not long after on move 59 | Photo: 

Final standings of the event after ten rounds

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
GMSavchenko BorisRUS2576Russia8,01,059,563,050,507
GMTukhaev AdamUKR2541Ukraine8,00,060,565,051,007
IMKhusenkhojaev MuhammadTJK2442Tajikishtan7,50,063,066,548,005
IMTriapishko AlexandrRUS2519Russia7,50,059,565,547,256
Sahoo Utkal RanjanIND2278Odisha - India7,50,058,563,545,506
GMLaxman R.R.IND2426ICF7,50,057,560,041,756
Hari Madhavan N BIND2231Tamil Nadu - India7,50,053,557,041,755
Kaustuv KunduIND2295West Bengal - India7,50,052,556,541,256
GMMosadeghpour MasoudIRI2509Iran7,00,060,566,043,505
IMRaja Rithvik RIND2364Telangana - India7,00,058,062,541,006
Pranav VIND2316Tamil Nadu - India7,00,057,059,538,006
GMSmirnov PavelRUS2574Russia7,00,056,059,539,006
FMAaryan VarshneyIND2272Delhi - India7,00,055,060,040,755
CMKushagra MohanIND2252Telangana - India7,00,053,557,537,006
Sammed Jaykumar SheteIND2416Maharashtra - India7,00,052,556,537,006
GMZiatdinov RasetUSA2228USA7,00,051,555,537,255
Ayushh RavikumarIND1907Tamil Nadu - India7,00,050,554,536,005
Baivab MishraIND2215Odisha - India7,00,049,553,534,756
FMRamakrishna J.IND2155Andhra Bank7,00,046,550,034,756
IMRathnakaran K.IND2337S Rly6,50,060,564,540,005

Complete standings 

Overview of performances by Indian players

8GMLaxman R.R.2426IND111½1½½0117,56
9GMKarthikeyan P.2422IND1111010½106,521
10Sammed Jaykumar Shete2416IND½11001111½7,015
11IMMuthaiah Al2384IND1½1½½1½½016,522
12IMRaja Rithvik R2364IND111½10011½7,010
13IMRathnakaran K.2337IND110111½½½06,520
14Pranav V2316IND1111½½00117,011
15Bharat Kumar Reddy Poluri2299IND110111½½0½6,523
16Kaustuv Kundu2295IND10111½½11½7,58
17Bhambure Shantanu2288IND1110101½005,545
18Sahoo Utkal Ranjan2278IND111½011½½17,55
19FMAaryan Varshney2272IND111½½0½½117,013
20CMKushagra Mohan2252IND1110101½1½7,014
21Varun V2251IND1101101½016,527
22Nayak Rajesh2250IND110110001½5,548
23Hari Madhavan N B2231IND½1½1½111½½7,57
25Patil Pratik2216IND1101½101016,526
26Baivab Mishra2215IND1100½1111½7,018
27CMPrraneeth Vuppala2207IND10010000002,0145
28FMRamakrishna J.2155IND1011½½01117,019
29Surendran N2152IND11½00111016,525
30Pimpalkhare Vedant2123IND110½½1½½106,033

Complete overview 

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Meet the 16-year-old Hari Madhavan who beat two Grandmasters in a row!

@ 22/09/2019 by Satanick Mukhuty (en)