IIFL Wealth Open - Rounds 1 to 4: It’s a minefield!

The IIFL Wealth 3rd Mumbai International Open Chess Tournament organized by EKA by IIFL IM is being held at the Mount Litera School International in Bandra, Mumbai. The event is truly a global one, as a total of 315 players from 23 countries spanning 6 different continents have come together to battle on the 64 squares. The event boasts a prize fund of Rs.12 lacs, with a handsome sum of Rs. 3 lacs being awarded to the champion of the tournament.

The tournament was inaugurated by Mr. Ronak Sheth, Chief Client Experiences Officer, IIFL Wealth, who played a short game of chess with Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta, four-time Commonwealth chess champion and the highest-ranked player of our event, to mark the tournament open.

Mr. Ronak Sheth playing the customary inaugural game against Grandmaster Abhijeet Gupta.

Round One

The event followed an accelerated pairing system for the first two rounds. This meant that the difference in ratings between the top players and their opponents was not as big as it is generally in the traditional system. On the top-board, GM Abhijeet Gupta was up against WGM Kiran Manisha Mohanty. In a back-and-forth game that lasted 51 moves, Abhijeet Gupta was on the ropes but managed to escape with a draw in the end.

Kiran Manisha Mohanty (2159) ½-½ Abhijeet Gupta (2610)

However, this was just one of the many games in which Grandmasters were unable to score a full point. Six other Grandmasters were also held to draws by opponents rated more than 300 points below them.

In another important result, Delhi’s WFM Tarini Goyal scored an upset victory over IM Aditya Udeshi. The latter, who is making a comeback to competitive chess after a long layoff, dominated the game from the start. A series of errors, however, not only equalised the position but eventually also led to a loss for Aditya.


Round Two

Once again, the top board game produced an upset. American GM Timur Gareyev, who is renowned as the ‘blindfold chess king’, suffered a shock defeat to Egyptian IM Kandil Adham. Timur played positively from the beginning and was able to obtain a slightly preferable position in the middlegame. However, Kandil was spot on with his moves and prevented Timur from gaining any real advantage. When the battle entered the endgame phase, Timur was unable to keep Kandil’s Queen and Rook at bay and eventually succumbed to a defeat.

Timur Gareyev sported a quirky hat on the new year’s eve…

but had a bad day at the office and lost his game to Egyptian teen Kandil Adam.

In other notable results of the round, Saurabh Anand from Bihar notched an upset victory over GM Attila Czebe while 11-year-old Aditya Mittal from Mumbai held GM Shyam Sundar to a draw.


Round Three

The third round of the tournament saw the end of the accelerated pairing system. As a result, many of the top players were able to score easy victories.

Nevertheless, there were exceptions. Hungarian GM Czebe lost his consecutive game as he succumbed to a determined performance by Shyam Kumar M, who is rated a modest 1863. Czebe’s slight lack of ambition in the opening gave his less-fancied opponent a comfortable position. From there on, the tide was on Shyam’s side, and he was able to increase his advantage slowly but steadily. Czebe threw in the towel on move 69.

Amongst other notable results were draws by Shyam Prasad Reddy and Karthik Gopal, both 1800 players, against Grandmasters Nguyen Duc Hoa and RR Laxman respectively.

After the third round, defending Champion Adam Tukhaev, third seed Ivan Rozum and 18 other players were in lead with a perfect score.

The in-form GM Nguyen Duc Hoa had to settle for a second draw in three games.

Round Four


Just as in the second round, the top-board pairings were tough. Russian GM Ivan Rozum, playing on board four, was only able to score a draw against the talented 13-year-old Arjun Erigaisi. Defending champion Adam Tukhaev, Iranian prodigy Parham Maghsoodloo, and Malaysian talent Yeo Li Tian were amongst the many strong players held to draws by their relatively lower-rated opponents.

However, the result of the day was Indian teen Rathanvel’s systematic victory over Russian GM Andrey Deviatkin. While the latter was pawn down going into a minor piece endgame, a draw was definitely on cards. With a beautiful Knight retreat on move 35, Rathanvel exploited his opponent’s inaccuracy and eventually went on to convert his advantage into a full point.

GM Andrey Deviatkin suffered a loss with the White pieces in round four against Indian youngster Rathanvel VS.

Going into round five, GM David Alberto, GM Deepan Chakkravarthy, GM Horvath Adam, IM Nitin S and FM Rathanvel VS are leading with 4/4. It is interesting to note that David Alberto, who is seeded fifth, is the only top-10 player of the tournament with a perfect score.

The fifth round will witness the first GM vs GM clash of the tournament as Adam Horvath will lock horns against David Alberto. On board two, Nitin S will be up against Deepan Chakkravarthy while on board three, Rathanvel VS will take white pieces against top seed Abhijeet Gupta, who is back in contention with three straight wins.