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Venkatesh M R clinches 21st Dolomitenbank Open Lienz 2023

by Shahid Ahmed - 21/02/2023

GM Venkatesh M R defeated GM Sandipan Chanda in the final round to win 21st Dolomitenbank Open Lienz 2023. There were five players at 6.5/8 each heading into the final round. Venkatesh was the only person to win his game among the pack. A well-timed exchange sacrifice allowed Venkatesh to create and seize the opportunity for a first place finish. Venkatesh won €2000 and a trophy. The only other Indian to make a top ten finish is Sandipan. A last round loss pushed him back to seventh place. He received €250 as his prize. Venkatesh has already started his next event at 6th Cannes Games Festival 2023 in France. Photo: Georg Weiler

Venkatesh's first triumph since May 2019

India's 28th GM Venkatesh M R is a very strong player. Last year, he made a couple of podium finishes. Yet a tournament triumph is something he had not achieved since winning his last rating tournament in May 2019. This tournament victory is certainly going to boost his confidence. He has played some fantastic games in this event. Nikolov Rumen (BUL, 2219) scored an IM-norm. WIM Dr. Gundula Heinatz (SUI, 2162) is the top finisher among female participants. She scored 6/9 to finish 16th overall.

Champion - GM Venkatesh M R 7/9 with Elisabeth Blanik (Mayor of Lienz) and Georg Weiler (Tournament Director) | Photo: Georg Weiler

Runner-up - Nikolov Rumen (BUL) 7/9 | Photo: Georg Weiler

Second Runner-up - GM Evgeny Romanov (NOR) 7/9 | Photo: Georg Weiler

Five players were - Nikolov Rumen (BUL, 2219), GM Venkatesh M R (2452), GM Sandipan Chanda (2453), FM Pascal Karsay (GER, 2327) and GM Robert Zelcic (CRO, 2497) were at 6.5/8 heading into the final round. Apart from Robert, the remaining four were unbeaten then.

Sandipan - Venkatesh, Round 9

Position after 26.Nc5

26.Nc5 cannot be called a mistake. However, it creates a promising opportunity for Black. When a draw in the final round does not guarantee a first place finish and your opponent is such a strong player like GM Sandipan Chanda, you have to seize every tiny chance you get. GM Venkatesh M R just did that. He sacrificed an exchange and had huge play as a compensation. 26...Rxc5 27.Qxc5 Nxa4 28.Qa3 Nxb2 29.Qxb2 e4 30.Qe2 White makes one final attempt to not give a second piece for the exchange. Black was determined to get it 30...Bc3 and now White needed to return the exchange. Instead, he decided to go for rook against two bishops which gave Black a decisive advantage. Venkatesh became the sole player to win his final round game among the leaders. Thus, he won the tournament.

GM Venkatesh M R pondering over his plan | Photo: Georg Weiler

GM Venkatesh M R scored an unbeaten 7.5/9 to win the tournament and gain 13..6 Elo rating points

7th - GM Sandipan Chanda 6.5/9 | Photo: Georg Weiler

Best Senior (>70) - Dieter Hilbig (GER) 5.5/9 | Photo: Georg Weiler

The tournament hall at Handelsakademie Lienz in Lienz, Austria | Photo: Georg Weiler

A total of 132 players including six GMs, eight IMs and two WIMs took part from 24 countries all over the world. The eight-day nine-round Swiss league Rating tournament was organized by Schachklub DolomitenBank Lienz at Handelsakademie Lienz in Lienz, Austria from 11th to 18th February 2023. The time control of the tournament was 40 moves in 90 minutes followed by 30 minutes with 30 seconds increment from move no.1.

Replay Round 1-9 games

Final standings

Rk.SNo NameTypsexFEDRtgIRtgNClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
GMVenkatesh M.R.IND245225047,553,54244,25
Nikolov RumenBUL22192243Satranç Club 2000 E. V.753,542,540,00
GMRomanov EvgenyNOR26012640Vålerenga7524140,25
FMChkhaidze NikolozGEO21652317747,53835,00
GMZelcic RobertCRO24972524Sv Schwarzach747,53736,75
FMStijve TheoSUI23382245Payerne6,55240,534,25
GMChanda SandipanIND245306,551,54134,25
FMLumachi GabrieleITA237522426,54938,534,50
FMKarsay PascalGER23272296Sv Worms 18786,54937,533,75
IMSong JulienFRA235806,5473632,25



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