Abhijeet Gupta wins FIDE Open in London

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In the FIDE Open held alongside the London Chess Classic Abhijeet Gupta emerged as sole winner. The Indian grandmaster finished on a splendid 8/9 and a 2785 performance rating. His compatriot IM Sahaj Grover couldn't complain either with a clear second place ahead of several grandmasters.

Abhijeet Gupta first in the FIDE Open, part of the London Chess Classic | All photos © John Saunders for the official website


EventLondon Chess Classic 2011 | FIDE Open PGN via TWIC
DatesDecember 3rd-11th, 2011
LocationLondon, UK
System9-round Swiss
PlayersTop seeds were Abhijeet Gupta, Gawain Jones, Hans Tikkanen, Emanuel Berg, Nicholas Pert, Matthieu Cornette, Tiger Hillarp Persson, Mark Hebden, Sahaj Grover and Peter Wells
Rate of play2 hours for 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from move 1
PrizesGuaranteed - 1st prize £2500, 2nd prize £1500, 3rd prize £750, 4th prize £500, 5th prize £500, 6th prize £500 Rating Prizes: <2000: £250 £150 £100 2000-2200: £250, £150, £100. 2201-2300: £250, £150, £100.

The London Chess Classic was not 'just' a super tournament, but in fact a whole festival with many side events. Arguably the most important one was the FIDE Open, held in a different are of the Olympia Conference Centre. It was a 9-round Swiss with one round per day at a time control of 90 minutes for 40 moves + 30 minutes for all remaining moves, with a 30 second increment starting at move 1.

By John Saunders

The two top seeds, Abhijeet Gupta and Gawain Jones, were among the five players in the lead after seven rounds. The other three on 6 points were Peter Wells, IM Bjorn Thorfinsson and IM Jovanka Houska, with the latter two having very good GM norm chance.

In the showdown between the leaders and top seeds, Gupta defeated Jones to move into the sole lead with 7/8. Four players were on 6,5: Keith Arkell, Peter Wells, Sahaj Grover and Jovanka Houska. The latter needed a draw with IM Arghyadip Das in the final round to secure a GM norm.

The last round proved fruitful for India but barren for the home nation. Top seed GM Abhijeet Gupta beat Keith Arkell to secure the £2500 first prize with 8/9.

Last round, board 1: Arkell-Gupta 0-1

IM Sahaj Grover, also of India, finished second on his own with 7½ after beating Peter Wells. Completing the English misery, IM Arghyadip Das beat Jovanka Houska and thus deprived her of a GM norm.

[FEN "3b4/3P2k1/4Rrp1/4N3/8/8/6K1/8 w - - 0 1"]

After many adventures, this position was reached, with Black needing a draw to secure a full GM norm:

61 Re8 Ba5 62 Ra8 Bb6??

After 62...Bc7, it is hard to see how White can chase the bishop from the a5-d8 diagonal. And 63 d8Q Bxd8 64 Rxd8 is a drawn endgame. But sadly the text move is a losing blunder.

63 Nc4! Bc7 64 Rc8

There is nothing to be done.

64...Rc6 65 d8Q 1–0

Das - Houska

Third place was shared by Gawain Jones, Tiger Hillarp Persson, Arghyadip Das, Aaron Summerscale and Lorin D’Costa with 7. Tom Weber of Luxembourg achieved an IM norm.

Selection of games

PGN file

Round 9 (final) standings

RankNameScoreFed.M/FRatingTPRW-We
1GM Gupta, Abhijeet8.0INDM26402785+1.24
2IM Grover, Sahaj7.5INDM25152651+1.50
3GM Jones, Gawain C B7.0ENGM26352632+0.08
4GM Hillarp Persson, Tiger7.0SWEM25302530+0.08
5IM Das, Arghyadip7.0INDM24702535+0.79
6GM Summerscale, Aaron P7.0ENGM24222434+0.15
7IM D`Costa, Lorin A R7.0ENGM24092601+1.95
8GM Cornette, Matthieu6.5FRAM25482476-0.62
9GM Wells, Peter K6.5ENGM24922543+0.75
10IM Smith, Axel6.5SWEM24802412-0.52
11IM Hunt, Adam C6.5ENGM24582475+0.35
12IM Pert, Richard G6.5ENGM24552477+0.38
13GM Arkell, Keith C6.5ENGM24182429+0.37
14IM Houska, Jovanka6.5ENGF24152573+2.03
15IM Slavin, Alexei6.5RUSM24002529+1.46
16IM Bates, Richard A6.5ENGM23862365-0.05
17IM Mikkelsen, Nikolaj6.5DENM23812379+0.13
18FM Weber, Tom6.5LUXM23552486+1.68
19Stoma, Pawel6.5POLM23162294-0.02
20GM Tikkanen, Hans6.0SWEM25862389-1.81
21GM Pert, Nicholas6.0ENGM25632452-1.08
22GM Hebden, Mark L6.0ENGM25152395-1.12
23IM Roy Chowdhury, Saptarshi6.0INDM24112383-0.21
24IM Thorfinnsson, Bjorn6.0ISLM24022460+0.82
25IM Rendle, Thomas E6.0ENGM23892410+0.34
26IM Buckley, Graeme N6.0ENGM23832395+0.25
27IM Ferguson, Mark6.0ENGM23742451+0.96
28IM Getz, Nicolai6.0NORM23692420+0.67
29IM Crouch, Colin S6.0ENGM23662424+0.78
30Gislason, Gudmundur6.0ISLM23182393+0.94
31FM Alfred, Nathan S W6.0ENGM22942302+0.22
32CM Coleman, David J6.0ENGM22442170-0.41
33FM Smith, Andrew Philip6.0IRLM21672404+2.50
34Tozer, Philip A A6.0ENGM21592199+0.44
35GM Berg, Emanuel5.5SWEM25662405-1.61
36IM Cox, John J5.5ENGM24232260-1.60
37IM Ansell, Simon T5.5ENGM23892234-1.57
38FM Richardson, John R5.5ENGM23312314-0.05
39FM Berry, Neil5.5SCOM23122277-0.27
40FM Radovanovic, Jovica5.5ENGM23092306+0.05

GM Gawain Jones (England) shared third place

IM Sahaj Grover (India), an excellent second place

The winner: Abhijeet Gupta

Women's Invitational

Like last year there was a Women's Invitational where a WGM norm was at stake. The participants were Ciuksyte, Dagne (2327, ENG); Lalic, Susan (2279, ENG); Mirzoeva, Elmira (2244, RUS); Daulyte, Deimante (2238, LTU); Nakhbayeva, Guliskhan (2227, KAZ); Srebrnic, Ana (2219, SLO); Vovk, Oxsana (2213, DEN); Steil-Antoni, Fiona (2104, LUX); Lauterbach, Ingrid (2075, ENG) and Grigoryan, Meri (2026, ENG). (Strangely, last year's convincing winner WIM Arlette van Weersel wasn't offered serious conditions to make an attempt to retain her title attractive enough. )

Eventually IM Dagne Ciuksyte of England and WIM Guliskhan Nakhbayeva of Kazakhstan both scored 7.5/9 and share first place. For the Kazakh player it brought a WGM norm.

WIM Guliskhan Nakhbayeva of Kazakhstan

IM Dagne Ciuksyte of England

WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni of Luxemburg

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