November 30, 2023
The series of Tamil Nadu IM Norm Closed Circuit Chess Tournaments is off to a flying start, with four international master norms already achieved in the first six tournaments.
The Tamil Nadu State Chess Association, under the dynamic leadership of Dr.M.Manickam, the president and Mr. P. Stephen Balasamy, the general secretary launched a dream project of organizing a series of international norm tournaments. Participation in these tournaments is a key factor for a player to become an international master in chess, catering to the need of deserving and needy youngsters of Tamil Nadu and other states of India. It is a big boon to the players who cannot spend several lakhs of rupees in pursuit of these norms by playing tournaments in abroad.
The first tournament of the series commenced in Chennai on 16th October. Each tournament is conducted for six days and generally comprised of five foreign players and five Indians. Mostly, the foreigners are invited players and they are provided with boarding and lodging at the venue itself, at the cost of the organisers. The Indian players are looking after their won arrangements for stay and food.
Nandhidhaa has already completed three norms and the IM title will be awarded to her once she reaches 2400 rating. While Harsh has earned his second norm, Arjun and Arnav have won their maiden IM norms.
The 7th tournament is under progress at Alankar Grande, Coimbatore and the next three tournaments are scheduled at Erode, Salem and Sivakasi respectively, which conclude on 22nd December. There is a gap after the ten tournaments, as the players are participating in the Velammal Hospital Madurai GM norm international tournament (from 23rd to 30th December) and Sakthi Group GM norm international tournament, Chennai (31st December to 7th January).
The five foreign players participating in the first ten tournaments are:
1) GM Raset Ziatdinov, USA
2) IM Asylbek Abdyzhapar, Kyrgyzstan
3) IM David Gochaleshvili, Russia
4) GM Evgeniy Podolchenko, Belarus (from the Kodaikanal tournament)
5) GM Alexei Fedorov, Belarus (from Chennai).
A new set of foreign players will take part from tournaments 11 to 20, who will be picked up from the list of players participating in the Chennai Open, as more than forty foreign players are in the Chennai field. Tournaments 11, 12 & 13 will be held simultaneously at Chennai from 9th to 14th January, followed by the venues at Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Nagercoil, Karaikudi, Pollachi, Coimbatore and Tirupur.
The next ten tournaments from 11 to 20 have been tentatively fixed and the registration of these tournaments with the World Chess Federation will be done today or tomorrow. Tournaments 11 to 13 have been planned to be held at Chennai from 9th to 14th January 2024, followed by the venues at Tirunelveli, Nagercoil, Thoothukudi, Karaikudi, Pollachi, Tirupur and Coimbatore, until the end of February.
As of now, the organisers and Tamil Nadu State Chess Association are sharing the financial aspects of the tournaments, which may be approximately seven lakhs per tournament. We have applied for the grant from the government of Tamil Nadu. Our Chief Minister had earlier announced during the Olympiad 2022, the target of hundred grandmasters from Tamil Nadu. Hope our project will be of immense help in achieving the government’s goal. The government of Tamil Nadu’s timely support and help by providing funds will boost our morale and encourage to foster chess in the state more and more.