Hyderabad: Hyderabad chess whiz R. Raja Rithvik scored 6.0 points at the Elllobregat Open to claim his first Grand Master Norm in Spain. The city lad is now just two steps away from becoming a Grand Master.
Rithvik got his first GM Norm by scoring six points out of the nine rounds that he played. In the tourney, he earned three wins and drew six of them for the title.
The class 10 student of Orchids International School in Jubilee Hills was up against some of the top players from countries such as Georgia, Spain, Argentina, Israel among others.
In the tournament, the 15-year-old competed against six Grand Masters, defeating one of them while drawing with the other five.
Of the two International Masters that he was up against, the Hyderabadi defeated one of them and drew with the other. Rithvik was also among the few players who went undefeated through the 11-day tournament.
Rithvik earned a name for himself in the second round of the tourney, defeating local Grand Master Narciso Dublan Mark. Playing with white pieces, Rithvik sacrificed his Bishop and Rook and captured the Queen in the middle of the board to eventually checkmate the Spanish Grand Master by the 34th move.
Playing aggressively with black pieces in the fourth round, Rithvik beat Argentina’s Sosa Tomas, an International Master, in 38 moves.
Rithvik drew his games against Grand Masters who are much higher rated players such as GM Arizmendi Martinez Julen Luis (Spain), GM Alonso Rosell Alvar (Spain), GM Del Rio De Angelis Salvador (Spain) and IM Zana Evgeny (Israel).
With his superb performance in this tournament, Rithvik has improved his rating by 26 points from 2381 to 2407.
As many as 130 players — including 20 Grand Masters and 35 International Masters — from 28 countries such as Russia, Germany, India, China, France, Ukraine, Poland, Israel, Singapore, Georgia, Argentina have participated in the tournament.
Rithvik has been undergoing advanced coaching at RACE Chess Academy under reputed coach N.V.S. Rama Raju. Sports Authority of Telangana State (SATS) chairman A. Venkateshwar Reddy, SATS VC & MD Dinakar Babu, Telangana State Chess Association Presi-dent A. Narasimha Reddy and General Secretary K. S. Prasad congratulated Rithvik for the feat....