Goan Chess

This blog is dedicated to the development of Goan Chess. Although in its nascent stages, Goan chess is poised to take off in a big way with the budding youngsters ready to rock the chess world with their talents. We look forward to your contribution ...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Vishy Anand hails Ivana's feat!

(Photo - Ivana receiving the Gold Medal from FIDE General
Secretary Ignatius Leong)

World Champion Viswanathan Anand congratulated
Ivana Furtado on her unique accomplishment of
winning two consecutive World Under 8 Girls
Championships in 2006 (Batumi, Georgia) and
2007 (Antalya, Turkey).

Ivana and Anand first met at the AICF felicitation function
of Vishy in Chennai. Ivana invited Aruna and Vishy to Goa
and the World Champion would have made it had it not
been for a bout of viral fever last minute. Thereafter, Ivana
called Anand to wish him for Diwali and Vishy inturn wished
her all the success for her upcoming tournament in Turkey.

Motivated by the kind words and gestures of this
great champion, Ivana who is a student of Our Lady of
Rosary, Dona Paula went on to be the only Gold medallist
in the large Indian contingent sent to Antalya. Her next goal
is to become the World Women's Champion one day, she states!

Bhakti, Anurag and Hari for Commonwealth Chess

Riding on the success of her victory in the
National Junior Girls Chess Championship in
Nagpur, WFM Bhakti Kulkarni will be participating
in the the Parsvnath Commonwealth Chess
Championship 2007, which would be hosted by the
Delhi Chess Association at 'Khelgaon' from 2nd to
10th December 2007. Also present with her from Goa
will be State Champion Anurag Mhammal and 4th
in the National Under 9 Mohanan Harikrishnan.
The tournament, which will be a full fledged norm
event, has attracted a record 275 players till
date with entries still pouring in.

The mini-version of the Commonwealth Games 2010,
which is scheduled at the same venue, has attracted
the cream of chess talents from 11 Commonwealth
countries; Australia, Bangladesh, England, Malaysia,
Pakistan, Republic of South Africa, Singapore,
Sri Lanka, Trinidad & Tobago, Maldives and host India.

The field includes 13 Grandmasters (GM);
5 Women Grandmasters (WGM), 40 International
Masters (IM), 5 Women International Masters (WIM),
5 FIDE Masters (FM) and 3 Women FIDE Masters (WFM),
which adds to nearly 70 titled players who would
be vying for a prize fund of US $ 20000 with
the winner pocketing US $ 4000 in this 10-round event.

There are more than 15 titled players and 20 FIDE
rated players from outside the country have confirmed
their participation in the tournament, which is
excellent news for norm seekers including Bhakti
and Anurag. Bhakti will be defending her Commonwealth
Under 18 Girls title which she won in Mumbai last year
as well as trying to earn some valuable ELO rating
points which will get her to cross 2200 mark.
This incidentally will be the first international
tournament for young Harikrishnan who won the
Sangli Under 9 Boys title in fine style.

The pride of seeding goes to Indian national champion,
GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly who is rated 2585 followed by
GM Gawain Jones of England (2567). However, the star
attraction of this tournament would undoubtedly be
hitherto world's youngest Grandmaster, 14-year old
Parimarjan Negi (2514) whose wonderful exploits has
made the chess world follow his progress. Jones and
Negi, who are below 20, are one of the world's
young exciting talents.

On the women's front, the glamour girl of Indian chess,
WGM Tania Sachdev (2413), who has recently won the
Indian national Women's championship for the second
consecutive time, would be posing tough challenge
to the top women's players, IM Dronavali Harika (2480)
and WGM Nisha Mohota (2416).

The tournament is sponsored by Parsvnath Developers Ltd,
which has made Delhi as the one of the top chess
destinations in the world. The travel partner of the
event is Indian Airlines.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ivana conquers the world - again!!!

Goa's Ivana Furtado guaranteed herself a place
in chess history by drawing the last round of the World
Youth Chess Championships being played
at Antalya, Turkey and thus retaining the world title
that she won in Batumi, Georgia last year. Considering the
fact that the Russians and Chinese were in Turkey in
full force, Ivana's second World championship can be rated as
even more commendable than the first one.

Dronacharya awardee Raghunandan Gokhale advised
Ivana to use the Pirc Defence for the second consecutive time
in two days and she won a pawn in the opening itself. Thereafter,
she gradually outplayed her opponent - Zhansaya Abdumalik
of Kazhakastan - to come up with a winning position. However,
when her opponent offered her a draw which was sufficient for
her title, Ivana agreed and thus won her 7th International Gold
medal in two and a half years!

This eight year old girl from Our Lady of Rosary High School, Dona Paula
has won two World Championships, one Asian Title, two World Schools
Gold medals and two Asian Schools Gold Medals. Her coach Raghunandan
Gokhale, India's first Dronachraya awardee was full of praise for Ivana and
said that we can expect even greater things from her in the future.

A special show was organised at the Sharada Mandir High School,
Miramar wherein the last round game was webcast live to the students
and teachers of the school. Goa State Chess Association officials
including the President Sameer A. Salgaocar and Secretary Suhas Asnodkar
were present to explain the intricacies and subtleties of the game.

Ivana's efforts were praised by the AICF Honorary Secretary D.V. Sundar
who said that she had showed her 'fighting qualities' to come back strongly
after losing to compatriot C.H. Meghna during the tournament. Chief
Minister of Goa Digamber Kamat also applauded Ivana for her stupendous
accomplishment of winning the World Championship for the second
consecutive time.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Umang is Runner Up in Sangli Under 17

(Photo - Umang Kaisary receiving prize from R Chitale, 91 years old Bhausaheb Padsalgikar is also present)

13 year old Umang Kaisary, student of Sharada Mandir,
Miramar Panaji, added yet another feather in his cap by taking the
runnerup spot in the Kanetkar Memorial All India Under 17 Chess
Tournament held at Sangli, Maharastra from 15th to 17th Nov. 2007.

Sameer Kathmale (Elo 2099), and Andhra Pradesh U 17 Champion
Anand Reddy (Elo 2035) also took part in the tournament. Umang was
tied with Anand Reddy for 2nd place on points but won the tiebreaker blitz
game in a cool and collected fashion.

Earlier, Pranav Zantye won the Under 11 section in which Goan Rishabh
Naik stood second. Goans, who had swept all the top 3 in the Under 9
section thus were dominant in this section as well!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ivana continues to dominate, Bhakti held to a draw

Ivana Furtado continued her fine form with a win over
P. Preethy in the third round of the World Youth
Chess Championships being played in Antalya,
Turkey. However, the other Goan in the fray,
WFM Bhakti Kulkarni was unlucky not to win a full point
against her highly rated opponent and had to remain
content with a draw.

In her game against 6th seed WFM Abby
Marshall (ELO 2208) of the United States,
National Junior Girls Champion Bhakti (ELO 2112) used
a novelty on the twelfth move of the Queen's
Gambit Declined, Tarrasch Variation prepared
by her coach Dronacharya awardee Raghunandan
Gokhale. Her opponent was obviously caught offguard and
fell behind on time while preparing her replies
to this unusual choice of plan. Bhakti developed
her advantage positionally and won a pawn as well.
She looked all set to win the game except that she
blundered in the last stages of the endgame and
had to settle for half the point.

What was unfortunate was that Bhakti missed the chance
to put away a high quality opponent. Abby Marshall has
has won two national invitational girls' chess tournaments
over the past two years and tied for eight place (along
with GM Hikaru Nakamura!) at this year's U.S. Open.
Nevertheless, credit must be given to both the players
for the fighting spirit shown in this remarkable encounter.

Ivana, with 3 points from 3 rounds, looks good to go
all the way as per Coach Gokhale. She next faces
Narmin Mammadova of Azerbaijan in the 4th round
in her quest to become the youngest Indian to win two
World Championships and the first Indian to win a World
Championship in two consecutive years. Altogether six players
share the lead after the 3rd round in the Girls Under Eight
section, and eight more rounds remain in this prestigious

In the Under 18 Girls Section, India has a bright chance
as both 2nd seed WIM Kiran Manisha Mohanty and WIM Mary
Ann Gomes are on top of the table with 3 points each (along
with 3 others). In the Under 14 Open section, IM S.P. Sethuraman
would be rated as a strong contender after he disposed off former
World Champion FIDE Master Narayanan Srinath. Altogether
1450 players from 103 countries are taking part in this mega event.

Finally a quote from Bhakti's opponent (Abby)
on the endgame -
'The end game is where you have to be precise,
where you have to be fast and smart.
You have to make sure that you what want
to do happens faster than what your opponent wants'.

Well said Abby!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Bhakti and Ivana both win 2nd round games

Goa's both players - Ivana Furtado and
WFM Bhakti Kulkarni - won their second round
games in the World Youth Chess Championships
being played at Antalya, Turkey.

Bhakti (ELO 2112) defeated Turkish girl
Berfu Dincok (ELO 1945) in 70 moves of a
Ruy Lopez (Spanish Opening) game. She won
a piece in the opening itself and gradually wore
her opponent down. When we contacted Bhakti,
she expressed satisfaction with the conditions in
the tournament and was happy with the overall
facilities provided by the organisers. Bhakti had a
slice of good luck as well when top seeded Russian
WFM Olga Giriya (ELO 2338) was held to a draw and 2nd
seeded WFM Sopiko Guramishvili (ELO 2305) of Georgia
lost to an unfancied opponent.

Ivana, Goa's other medal hope, also won her game
against Helin Melek Saim of Turkey. Ivana is
trying to defend the crown that she won in Batumi,
Georgia last year and in the process she stands to
become India's youngest double World Champion!

One other defending champion, FIDE Master Girish
Kaushik (ELO 2086) was not so lucky when he lost
to unrated Ayan Akhmetov of Kazhakastan in the
Boys Under 10 Section. Playing his favourite Dragon
Variation of the Sicilian Defence, Girish faced a blistering
attack on his castled King. Although he survived that, the
price he paid was too high in terms of material, and he
eventually succumbed on the 71st move. Indian hopes were
kept alive in the same section, when Asian Champion Shardul
Gagare (ELO 2080) mated his opponent Aksel Sena Bicer
of Turkey in just 31 moves of an English Opening game.

No prizes for guessing the coach of all the three winners -
Ivana, Bhakti and Shardul. He is none other than Dronacharya
Awardee Raghunandan Gokhale who will be trying to
make it a Golden tournament for his students in Antalya!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ivana and Bhakti start off with wins

Both the Goans - World Under 8 Champion Ivana Furtado
and National Junior Champion Bhakti Kulkarni - started with
victories in the World Youth Chess Championships
which got underway in Antalya, Turkey.

Commonwealth Under 18 Girls Champion Bhakti (ELO 2112),
who is starting as the 19th seed in the Girls
section, defeated unrated Salama Al Khelaifi of Qatar
with the black pieces. She will next be playing Berfu
Dincok (ELO 1945) of Turkey in the second round.

Ivana, who is also the Asian Under 8 Girls Champion,
defeated Samantha Revita Glo of the Philippines
in the first round. She will be playing Melek Helin Saim
in the second round. Ivana will be fancying her chances
now as both the top seed Valentina Fiesco (ELO 2048)
of Colombia and the third seed Agnieszka Dmochowska
(ELO 1463) of Poland lost in the first round.

In other results, in the Girls Under 14 section,
2nd seeded Padmini Rout (ELO 2226) could be
considered lucky to escape with a draw
against Reka Kantor (ELO 1780) of Slovakia.
After the opening, Reka was a pawn up and had a double
Bishop advantage as well, but could not somehow
find the technique to convert her superior
position into a victory.

In the Boys Under 14 Section, topseeded
IM S.P. Sethuraman (ELO 2427) had no
problems whatsoever in disposing off
Jonathan Tordeur (ELO 1988) of Switzerland
in just 29 moves of an English Attack
in a Sicilian Defence Opening. However, in the
Boys Under 12 section, National Under 11 Champion
Fenil Shah (ELO 2124) was shocked by unrated
Iskandar Aripov of Uzbekistan and Asian Under 8
Champion G.V. Revanth Reddy (ELO 1625) went down
to unrated De Li Derek Lim of Singapore in
what could be perceived as major blows to
the Indian contingent's chances!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Goan kids sweep Sangli Under 9

Goan kids created a record of sorts
when they swept the top three places
in the traditional All India Open tournament
which takes place in Sangli every year.

In the Under 9 section, wherein both boys
and girls take part, M. Harikrishnan of Goa
won the first prize. He has been on a tear of
late and following his 4th place finish in the
National Under 9 in Bangalore, he added one more
feather in his cap by winning the Sangli crown.
He is being presently coached by V. Sivaswamy of
Bambolim Chess Club.

Following him was Anirudh Bhat of Margao who is
also a very strong, upcoming player. In third
place was Gauri Keshav Hadkonkar who enabled an
unprecedented Goan 'sweep' of the top 3 spots in
this prestigious competition. Finally there was
even more cheer for the Goan contingent when Rishabh
Naik stood 5th. Following in the footsteps
of Bhakti and Ivana, these youngsters will now hope
to carve out a niche for themselves at the national
and international level!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Bhakti's felicitation

National Junior Girls Champion Woman
FIDE Master being felicitated at
the Annual General Meeting of the
Goa State Chess Association by
AICF Vice President Sameer A. Salgaocar
in the presence of her father Pradip Kulkarni.

Also present are GSCA officials - Secretary
Suhas Asnodkar, Acting Secretary Augusto
Pinto and Treasurer Sachin Arolkar.

The meeting was attended by more than 75
life members of the GSCA.

Bhakti will also participate in the Girl Under 16
Section of the World Youth Chess Championships
in Antalya later this month along with World Under
8 Girls Chess Champion Ivana Furtado.
They will subsequently play in the Commonwealth
Championships in New Delhi where Bhakti will
defend her Under 18 Girls Gold Medal which she
won in great style last year.

Both the players will be having the benefit of their coach
Dronacharya Awardee Raghunandan Gokhale guiding
them personally in Turkey!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Riya Sawant stands fourth In National Under 7

Goa's Riya Sawant stood 4th in the
Girls section of the National
Under 7 Chess Championships
which concluded in Lucknow today.
This exceptional performance
follows her brilliant effort in the National
Under 9 tournament in Bangalore last month
where she stood 8th in a very tough field.
Goan kids have been on a tear recently
with half a dozen top ten performances
in the Nationals over the last 1.5 months -
(Riya Sawant twice, Niraj Saripalli, Bhakti Kulkarni,
Ivana Furtado and Mohanan Harikrishnan).
Add to that we have Anurag Mhamal (12th),
Cyrus Perreira (14th), Tatvesh Sawant (15th)
and Urvi Bandekar (16th) and the entire
scenario in Goa becomes crystal clear!

Riya finished with 7.5 points and will have
the satisfaction of having finished
in the top 10 of two National tournaments
in the same calendar year. She is presently
being coached by V. Sivaswamy of Bambolim
Chess Club, the cradle of many Goan champions.

The President and the Secretary of the
Goa State Chess Association
congratulated Riya and her coach on her unique
accomplishment and wished her continued success
in the future. There will be a separate felicitation
function for Riya on her return to Goa.

The final standings of the all the Goans
participating in the tournament were as follows -

Girls section - Riya Sawant 4th, Urvi Bandekar 16th,
Vidula Dempo 25th.

Boys section - Tatvesh Sawant 15th, Sumukh Pinge 62nd.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Bhakti interviewed by Chessfm.com

National Junior Girls champion, Bhakti Kulkarni of Goa is this week's guest on Chess.FM India's weekly show. The "India this Week" report by Arvind Aaron, we have the Indian team in action at the Asian Indoor games at Macau, the National Under-11 championship at Kozhikode, the upcoming National Women "A" Chess Championship at Pune and much more...

The Saturday show begins at 7PM IST and is available right through the week on the following link and website for your listening pleasure. You can listen to Chess.FM India directly heard through the web browsers at http://www.chessclub.com/chessfm/India.asx or visit www.chess.fm for more.

Chess.FM India, the exclusive India channel of Internet Chess Club's www.chess.fm was inaugurated during the Anand Charity Simul for Vidyasagar charity organisation. The previous Saturday show guests include various chess personalties, former World Junior champion GM Harikrishna, World's youngest Grandmaster Parimarjan Negi, Grandmaster Sandipan Chanda, Indian Women champion WGM Tania Sachdev, GM Dibyendu Barua, WGM Dronavalli Harika, IM Prathamesh, WGM S Vijayalakshmi, IM GN Gopal, WIM Kiran Manisha Mohanty, IM D V Prasad, R V Gokhale, WGM Swathi Ghate, GM Praveen Thipsay, GM Surya Sekhar Ganguly,GM Abhijit Kunte.

Chess.FM India is a free service and apart from the Saturday weekly show, has broadcasts Grandmaster commentary and analysis of world class Chess events such M Tel Super category tournament, Bulgaria and the Sparkassen Chess Festival, Dortmund, the Mainz Rapid and the World Chess Championship at Mexico. Viswanathan Anand.

For futher information on Chess.FM India & ICC:
K Visweswaran, India Representative,

The Internet Chess Club, Inc. www.chessclub.com

email: IccIndia@chessclub.com Ph: +91-9444934036 .

Star Players felicitated at GSCA Annual General Meeting

(Photo - National under 9 4th place winner Mohanan Harikrishnan
being presented a digital chess clock by AICF Vice President
Sameer A. Salgaocar in the presence of his parents and GSCA

Goan star players were felicitated with cash prizes
and certificates at the Annual General Meeting of
the Goa State Chess Association which took place
at the BPS Sports Club in Margao today.

The players honoured by the Association included

1. Bhakti Kulkarni who won the National
Junior Championship in Nagpur and stood 2nd in the Asian
Under 16 Championships in Uzbekistan;

2. Ivana Furtado who won the Asian Under 8
Championships in Al Ain, U.A.E.;

3. Mohanan Harikrishnan who stood 4th in the
National Under 9 in Bangalore;

4. Riya Sawant who stood 8th in the National Under 9
in Bangalore;

5. Niraj Saripalli who stood 8th in the National Under 11
in Kozhikode.

Agasti Tari was also given a cash prize for having accomplished
his rating and having won a board prize in the National Schools
Tournament in Vishakapatnam.

The Association also decided on hosting the National "B"
tournament next year as well as conducting some coaching camps
with some reputed players as part of the 30th Anniversary celebrations.
Also the A.N. Naik Memorial All India Open tournament will be revived
and the main sponsor will be the Monginis Group.

The Association thanked the Goa government and the Sports Authority
of Goa for all the assistance and financial help sanctioned throughout
the year and also the AICF for having allotted the prestigious National
"B" next year to Goa.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Anand's felicitation - 2

Photo 1 - World Champion Viswanathan Anand with World Under 8
Champion Ivana Furtado and AICF Vice President Sameer A. Salgaocar

Photo 2 - World Under 8 Champion Ivana Furtado with her idol and
chess legend Super Grandmaster Koneru Humpy