The Tata Steel Super GM gets underway this weekend in Wijk aan Zee, Holland. There are stellar fields in the two 14-player round robins. The Masters has Magnus Carlsen, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Ding Liren, Anish Giri, Vladimir Kramnik, Viswanathan Anand, Ian Nepomniachtchi,Teimour Radjabov, Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Richard Rapport, Sam Shankland, Vladimir Fedoseev, Vidit Gujrathi, and Jorden van Foreest. That’s three world champions, eight Top-20 players, and an average rating of 2753.
The Challengers has an average rating of 2582. Four youngsters worth watching would be world junior champion, Parham Maghsoodloo, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, German prodigy Vincent Keymer and Lucas van Foreest. There will be the usual monster Open played side-by-side.
Kudos to Arkady Dvorkovich for fulfilling a promise. A Women’s Candidates event will be held from May 29, in Kazan, Russia. Hou Yifan, Anna Muzychuk, Mariya Muzychuk, Kateryna Lagno, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Tan Zhongyi, Nana Dzagnidze and Valentina Gunina, (with reserve, Aleksandra Goryachkina) will contest for the right to challenge Ju Wenjun. Hou must be the favourite but her long hiatus (she’s studying at Oxford) means uncertain form. This brings the format back to a normal World Cup, Candidates , Title Match sequence.
The Indian winter circuit is in full swing with the Bhopal Open concluding in late December. Vietnamese GM Tran Tuan Minh won with 9.0/10. Another Vietnamese GM, Nguyen Van Huy took second place, with a quick draw against Utkal Ranjan Sahoo, who got his final IM norm.
The IIFL Wealth Open, which has several sections has just concluded in Mumbai. This has a special Under-13 section with Rs 800,000 in prizes and a total fund of above Rs 20 lakh. The U-13 saw top seed Gukesh D and WIM Divya Deshmukh (both 7/9) relegated to 6th and 7th with Aryan Varshney (8/9) winning. There was a four-way tie in the GM event between Rishi Sardana, Tran Tuan Minh, Abhimanyu Puranik and Gukesh (all 7/9).
The 17th Delhi International Open also started on Wednesday. This is another monster with over 2,500 players spread across three categories with over Rs 1 crore in prize money. There are nearly a 100 titled players in the top section.
The Diagram, White to Play (White: Kashish Jain Vs Black: Gukesh, IIFLW U-13 Mumbai 2018-19) showcases another underrated talent. IM Gukesh (Elo 2466) is the strongest U-13 player in the world and, with two GM norms, is within a whisker of becoming a GM. Kashish Jain is rated 1853. White avoided 39. Nxe8? Nf4+
He played 39. •xe6! •xe6 40. •xe6 fxe6 41. •c1 •e7 42. •c6 •b4 43. •xb6 •c8 44. •g4! •c4 45. •e3 •h7 46. •xe6 g5 47. b6 (1-0). You would be forgiven for imagining that White was the prodigy.
Devangshu Datta is an internationally rated chess and correspondence chess player