2nd Shaastra FIDE Rated Rapid Chess Tournament

The 2nd Shaastra FIDE Rated Rapid chess tournament, organised as a part of the Shaastra festival by the students of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras on 24th and 25th February, was a big attraction for strong players. Five Grandmasters, seven International Masters and one Women Grandmaster were in the fray. GM Vishnu Prasanna V of Tamil Nadu was the top seeded player, followed by GM Deepan Chakkravarthy of ICF, GM Tejas Bakre of Air India and Former National Rapid Champion Grandmaster RR Laxman of ICF. A total of 330 players from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, AP, Telangana, Maharashtra, Pondicherry, Bihar, U.P. and M.P. participated in the 10 round event.

There were many upsets on the card of the third round. Experienced IMs K Rathnakaran of Railways and several times National Women Champion S VIjayalakshmi of Air India suffered shock defeats at the hands of young M Pranesh of Tamil Nadu, an age category National Schools Champion and Ajay Karthikeyan also of TN Deepan, Ram S Krishnan and Chessbase India co-founder IM Sagar Shah had a perfect score of 5 points in as many rounds. Deepan defeated Sagar Sha to emerge sole leader, as the other co-leader Ram was beaten by Vishnu in the sixth round.

Deepan continued his good run to beat his team mate IM P Shyaam Nikhil to remain on sole lead with 7 points after 7 rounds and Vishnu was the only player to have scored 6.5 points. In the clash between the top two seeds, second seeded Deepan was in stoppable form to conquer Vishnu. IM R Siddharth of Tamil Nadu and Ram S Krishnan to rise to the second spot with 7 points each, a full point behind Deepan. Siddharth was the ninth victim in the ninth round to Deepan and five players – Vishnu, RR Laxman, P Karthikeyan of ICF, R Ashwath of TN and Ram shared the second position with 7.5 points.

In the final round, Deepan had a formal draw against his ICF mate IM P Karthikeyan to win the 2nd edition of the Shaastra Rapid tournament and a cash award of Rs.35,000/-. Vishnu had a win in the final round to secure the second place with 8 points.

Mr. Shivakumar M Srinivasan, Dean IIT inaugurated the tournament and also distributed the prizes in presence of Mr. K. Ganesan, Secretary, Chennai District Chess Association..