I returned from India last week - I was satisfied with my performances there, and I'll start writing up some posts on some game themes and snippets.
The Commonwealth Championships was held in Chennai from November 22-December 1. The largest tournament I've played in by far, with 455 players (around 400 being Indian).
|1||50||277||Sai Kiran Y||1654||IND||AP(ISOG)||5.0||w 1||15||1.20|
|2||46||165||Siva Mahadevan||1935||IND||TN||6.0||s 1||15||1.50|
|3||38||115||Raghunandan K S||2042||IND||KAR||4.5||w 1||15||2.70|
|4||7||11||GM||Arun Prasad S.||2513||IND||PSPB||8.0||s 0||15||-3.45|
|5||37||133||WFM||Srija Seshadri||1990||IND||TN||5.5||w ½||15||-5.40|
|6||40||113||Dhulipala Bala Chandra Prasad||2043||IND||AP||6.5||s 1||15||2.70|
|7||16||13||GM||Deepan Chakkravarthy J.||2500||IND||TN||8.0||w 1||15||11.25|
|8||14||29||IM||Himanshu Sharma||2417||IND||RLYS||7.5||s ½||15||2.25|
|9||19||34||IM||Vijayalakshmi Subbaraman||2400||IND||AI||7.5||w ½||15||1.95|
|10||14||12||GM||Grover Sahaj||2509||IND||DEL||7.5||s ½||15||3.90|
|11||20||23||IM||Narayanan Srinath||2438||IND||TN||7.5||w ½||15||2.70|
My most solid performance to date, with 5 wins, 5 draws and 1 loss and 7.5/11. My performance rating was 2441, just short of an IM norm performance, and I picked up 21 rating points. I was quite happy with my play overall, as I held my own against the genuinely strong GMs and IMs. Final standings are here - starting as 50th seed, I placed =28th-51st (41st on ties).
The Rose Valley Open was held in Calcutta from December 3-13. The strongest tournament I've played in by far, where there were 29 GMs and 34 IMs out of the 100 participants!
|1||25||26||GM||Vaibhav Suri||2494||IND||6.0||w 0||0.25||-0.25||15||-3.75|
|2||50||99||Madhurima Shekhar||1955||IND||2.0||s 1||0.89||0.11||15||1.65|
|3||29||44||FM||Ghosh Diptayan||2425||IND||6.5||w 0||0.34||-0.34||15||-5.10|
|4||33||48||IM||Saravanan V.||2402||IND||6.0||s ½||0.37||0.13||15||1.95|
|5||33||51||IM||Karavade Eesha||2385||IND||5.5||s 0||0.39||-0.39||15||-5.85|
|6||44||96||Rishi Sardana||2173||IND||4.5||w 1||0.68||0.32||15||4.80|
|7||38||66||IM||Murali Krishnan B.T.||2345||IND||4.0||s 1||0.44||0.56||15||8.40|
|8||29||49||Sagar Shah||2393||IND||5.0||w 1||0.38||0.62||15||9.30|
|9||21||31||IM||Debashis Das||2464||IND||6.0||s 0||0.29||-0.29||15||-4.35|
|10||26||37||IM||Thejkumar M. S.||2442||IND||5.0||w ½||0.31||0.19||15||2.85|
|11||25||42||IM||Rathnakaran K.||2435||IND||5.0||s 1||0.32||0.68||15||10.20|
I had a shaky first half, playing poorly in Rounds 3 and 5, but was able to fight back in the second half, ending up with 5 wins, 2 draws and 4 losses and 6/11. My performance rating was 2404, and I picked up 20 rating points. Final standings are here - starting as 75th seed, I placed =27th-47th (45th on ties).
I'm very glad I went to play in these tournaments as I had the chance to play with strong players day in and day out, preparing hard for each game, and I've learnt a lot in the process. India is a true chess nation, and I was amazed at the depth and breadth of the talent there - young kids blitz into the middlegame (good knowledge of openings), have sharp tactical awareness and play 'correct' chess, having a feel for what are good and bad moves. 8 Indian players scored norms at the second event alone, with a junior player becoming India's 31st GM by picking up the points to get over 2500.
With strong government support all over the country (including chess schools, chess programs in the school curriculum, strong events throughout the year and support for professional players enabling young players to aspire to choosing it as their career path), I'm sure India will continue to flourish as one of the top chess nations. I look forward to playing there again in the future.