The 4th edition of the Teekay FIDE Rated chess tournament, organised by Teekay Chess Centre was held at a panoramic venue of the VOC Port Trust, Thoothukudi from 31st January to 3rd February 2018. One hundred and thirty one participants from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, U.P. Odisha and Pondicherry participated in the 8 round, 4 day event. The time control of the tournament was 90 minutes to each player with an increment of 30 seconds from move 1. Top seeded IM elect M. Kunal of Tamil Nadu was fresh from his victory in the just concluded rating tournament at Thindivanam. Former under 10 national champion Syed Anwar Shazuli of ICF, international master Ramnathan Balasubramniam of Tamil Nadu, national blitz champion Ram S Krishnan of BSNL, winner of several rating tournaments P. Saravana Krishnan of KarurVysya Bank, IA S. Ganesh Babu and many other leading players took part in the event.
The first round witnessed an upset, when H Infant Jose of Tamil Nadu IM Balasubramaniam, rated 900 points above him. The salient feature of the third round was the draw by P Uma Maheswaran of Madurai against seasoned N. Lokesh of Hosur. P. Phoobalan of ICF shocked second seeded Saravana Krishnan and N Surendran of Thiruvallur subdued Ram S Krishnan in the fourth round, which resulted in four players – Kunal, Phooblan, AL Muthaiah of Thiruvallur and Surendran leading with a 100% score at the end of the fourth round. Kunal emerged sole leader at the end of the fifth round by beating Phoobalan, as the other game between the co-leaders Surendran and Muthaiah was drawn. Five players – Surendran, Muthaiah, Syed Anwar, OT Anil Kumar of Kerala and IM Balsubramaniam were trailing half a point behind.
Kunal marched on with his sixth victory on trot, the victim being IM Balasubramaniam in the sixth round. Muthaiah and Surendran scored fluent wins to maintain their second position with 5.5 points each. Saravana Krishnan, SS Manigandan of Madurai and Phoobalan were on the third spot with 5 points each. Kunal maintained his half point lead at the end of the seventh and penultimate round by splitting the point with Surendran. The latter and Muthaiah also maintained their second position with 6 points.
Kunal did a Houdini act to escape from the clutches of defeat to carve out a draw against Muthaiah to clinch the trophy, collecting 7 points and Rs.60,000/- as first prize. 6.5 points,Muthaiah, Surendran, Saravana Krishnanand Ram S Krishnan tied for the 2nd to 5th places by scoring 6.5 points and were placed in that order. A total cash prize of Rs. 3,20,000/- was distributed as 54 prizes and 64 trophies were presented to various age category winners.
Shri. S. Natarajan, Deputy Chairman, VOC Port Trust was the chief guest for the inauguration and also the valedictory function. Shri IM Manuel Aaron, Vice President of Thoothukudi District Chess Association and nine times national champion was the guest of honour on the first day.