September 02, 2013 8:22

Adhiban wins Barcelona Sants Open

Adhiban wins Barcelona Sants Open

With a crushing 23-move victory in the final round over Vladimir Burmakin, young Indian Grandmaster Baskaran Adhiban (21) Sunday won the massive 2013 Barcelona Sants Open tournament. The event took place 23 August-1 September at the Auditori del Centre Cívic de les Cotxeres de Sants in Barcelona.

Report by Onno van Keulen | Photo Onno van Keulen & courtesy of the official website

With a score of with 8.5 out of 10 the former World U16 and 2010 Indian champion edged out a field that included 23 GMs and 28 IMs. Elo favorite Lazaro Bruzon ended a full point behind Adhiban. Second place went to the talented Peruvian GM Jorge Cori (2569) who beat former European Champion Vladimir Potkin (Russia, 2647) in the blitz playoff that’s traditionally used to determine the top eight of the ranking and more importantly, the thickness of the envelopes with prize money at Sants.

International flags and a big screen with the live boards inside the playing hall

The big loser of Sunday’s last round was aforementioned Burmakin, who was co-leading the field Saturday evening but after next morning’s quick loss and a bad performance in the blitz, finished eighth for a 300 euro check instead of a 2,500 one that seemed within reach just a short night’s sleep before.

The winning combination of Barcelona, chess, the beach, the sun and the partying drew over 600 players from over 40 countries to this year’s main event of the Catalan Open circuit, a series of twenty-plus tournaments running from April to the end of September, alternating between classical, rapid and speed chess formats.

Barcelona's Port Vell (Photo Wikipedia)

Eight of the participants flew in straight from the World Cup in Tromsø after being eliminated there in the early rounds. Adhiban suffered this fate in the third round at the hands of Hikaru Nakamura, but was nonetheless satisfied with his performance in Norway.

I knocked out two extremely strong players, Evgeny Alekseev and Alexandr Fier, and got the feeling I can compete at this level, which is very important psychologically.


I’m extremely happy with my result here of course. I originally planned to go back to India after the World Cup but my trainer suggested that I play just one more tournament. And here we are.

He denies that his bashing of Burmakin was the result of home preparation.

Beforehand I doubted if I should even enter a theoretical line of the Caro-Kann against him because he is so solid in them and a great theoretician. So I just worked on some general ideas and took it from there at the board. Obviously if you win a miniature your opponent has made some mistakes. He shouldn’t have allowed my plan with b4 and I think he exchanged his white square bishop too easily.

Adhiban's games

PGN string

Players that finished (just) out of the spotlights in Barcelona include former world championship candidate Kevin Spraggett from Canada (10th rated with 2568) and Sweden’s Tiger Hillarp Persson, now at 2528, down almost 150 Elo points from his peak rating of 2667 90 points from his peak rating of 2618.

The under 2000-section was won by Spaniard Aitor Martinez with the convincing score of 9.5 out of 10, only conceding a draw in the last round, when victory was already assured. The best game prize was awarded to Turkish GM Baris Esen (2559) for his 4th round victory with Black over Spanish FM Jaime Santos (2436).

PGN string

Slightly disappointing for a field packed with grandmasters, only one GM-norm was scored, by 20-year old IM Burat Firak, also from Turkey, whose next tournament will be the World Junior Championship, starting in two weeks. Twelve-year-old Indian prodigy Aryan Chopra (2147) was one of six players scoring an IM norm.

Sants 2013 | Final standings (top 40)

Rk. Fed Name Rtg FED Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 GM Adhiban Baskaran 2567 IND 8,5 0 52 63,5
2 GM Cori Jorge 2569 PER 8 1 50,5 62,5
3 GM Potkin Vladimir 2647 RUS 8 2 48,5 61
4 GM Gustafsson Jan 2619 GER 8 3 54,5 67
5 IM Firat Burak 2416 TUR 8 4 52,5 64
6 GM Bruzon Batista Lazaro 2698 CUB 7,5 1 53 64,5
7 GM Hillarp Persson Tiger 2529 SWE 7,5 2 54 66,5
8 GM Burmakin Vladimir 2565 RUS 7,5 3 53 65,5
9 GM Esen Baris 2559 TUR 7,5 4 52 64
10 GM Aroshidze Levan 2565 GEO 7,5 5 51,5 65
11 GM Vocaturo Daniele 2549 ITA 7,5 6 51 62,5
12 GM Cruz Cristhian 2498 PER 7,5 7 48 60,5
13 IM Arribas Lopez Angel 2494 ESP 7,5 8 42,5 53
14 GM Alsina Leal Daniel 2538 ESP 7 2 48 59,5
15 GM Iturrizaga Eduardo 2660 VEN 7 0 56 69,5
16 GM Filippov Anton 2630 UZB 7 0 52,5 65
17 GM Ortiz Suarez Isan Reynaldo 2609 CUB 7 0 51,5 63,5
18 IM Guerra Mendez Jose Angel 2516 CUB 7 0 50,5 62,5
19 FM Vittorino Carlo Giovanni 2296 COL 7 0 49 60
20 IM Lorenzo De La Riva Lazaro 2449 ESP 7 0 48 60,5
21 GM Spraggett Kevin 2568 CAN 7 0 47 60
22 GM Vila Gazquez Xavier 2461 ESP 7 0 47 58,5
23 IM Kjartansson Gudmundur 2434 ISL 7 0 46,5 58,5
24 GM Popilski Gil 2508 ISR 7 0 46 57
25 IM Mascaro March Pedro 2421 ESP 7 0 45,5 57
26 WGM Goryachkina Aleksandra 2409 RUS 7 0 43,5 54,5
27 IM Valdes Romero Leonardo 2440 CRC 6,5 0 52,5 65
28 IM Bailet Pierre 2474 FRA 6,5 0 51,5 65
29 GM Hansen Eric 2584 CAN 6,5 0 51 63,5
30 IM Pardo Simon David 2441 ESP 6,5 0 51 63,5
31 FM Pile Richard 2375 FRA 6,5 0 51 63,5
32 IM Wehmeier Stefan Dr. 2433 GER 6,5 0 51 61,5
33 IM Prasca Sosa Rafael 2426 VEN 6,5 0 50,5 64
34 GM Kulaots Kaido 2581 EST 6,5 0 50,5 63
35 FM Hernando Rodrigo Julio Antoni 2327 ESP 6,5 0 50,5 62,5
36 IM Aloma Vidal Robert 2410 ESP 6,5 0 50 62
37 IM Kalegin Evgenij 2417 RUS 6,5 0 50 62
38   Timmermans Mark 2287 NED 6,5 0 49,5 60
39 WGM Cori T. Deysi 2434 PER 6,5 0 48,5 60,5
40   Malka Samuel 2170 FRA 6,5 0 48,5 60,5

Full final standings here

The venue was the Auditori del Centre Cívic de les Cotxeres de Sants

The blitz game between Potkin and Cori

Baskaran Adhiban came straight from the World Cup to win the first big open he played in Europe

Onno van Keulen is a Dutch chess player living in Barcelona. He is a former editor for the Associated Press and currently works as an editor for another press agency.

Editors's picture
Author: Editors


harami's picture

Congrats! Solid performance in Spain after good performance at World Cup in Tromso.

ShockeR's picture

2 GM Cori Jorge 2569 PER 8 1 50,5 62,5
3 GM Potkin Vladimir 2647 RUS 8 2 48,5 61
4 GM Gustafsson Jan 2619 GER 8 3 54,5 67
5 IM Firat Burak 2416 TUR 8 4 52,5 64

according to the TB1 shouldn't it be - Burak 2nd Place, Gustafsson 3rd, Potkin 4th and Cori 5th ? or even to the TB2 - Gustafsson 2nd, Burak 3rd, Cori 4th and Potkin 5th ?

Either this or Im completely missing something..

Jorge's picture

In the article says that they played blitz to define the positions. Jorge Cori beat Potkin in blitz, so he is second.

C's picture

Yes, you didn't read the article.

ShockeR's picture

Yeah.. I didn't read it all.. :P

my bad, sorry. Now I see that they played blitz to determine final standings.

ShockeR's picture

But if they played blitz, then why even bother with the Tiebreaks.. weird ;)

Thomas Oliver's picture

I guess these numbers are automatically generated (for this tournament and other Swiss events at They still define the ranking for places 14-26 [no idea why Alsina Leal has TB1=2, all others are ranked by TB2]. They also give a rough idea on what type of opposition the players in 2nd to 5th place faced: Potkin's low TB2 is because he lost against a Spanish FM in round 3 and got relatively weak opponents in rounds 4-6.

Tarjei's picture

Not sure where this comes from, but Tiger Hillarp Persson's peak is 2619, not 2667. :)

Onno's picture

Hello Terje: the Tiger Hillarp elo number comes from this source:

Tarjei's picture

Absolutely sure he has never been that high. But nice report!

Peter Doggers's picture

Maybe that was before the year 2000... Can't check so I'll stick to FIDE's info (and have corrected it). 

Septimus's picture

Congrats on a fantastic result! I figured Potkin was the huge favorite here.

-:)'s picture

I'd never heard of this indian before WC. seems a decent player.

PircAlert's picture

To outright win a strong tournament like this, Adhiban must have some talent. He should be in 2700 club soon.

sundararajan ganesan's picture

congrats adhiban! great performance ; keep it up with more victories!

Chess Fan's picture

I just played his game against Burmakin and was quite impressed.
Hope this young GM keeps this kind of play consistently. All the best to him.

Aditya Kishore's picture

Adhiban is very talented and is known to be a very tough guy to deal in Indian chess circle. On his return he would be joining Anand's camp alongwith other old timers like Rustam, Surya, Neilson etc

Chess Fan's picture

I assume that he is a tough guy to deal with wrt his OTB chess abilities?
I hope he is grounded and a gentleman like the World Champion as I like such human qualities. I guess he would be awesome addition as one of the World Champion's seconds with his loss of Neilson from his camp, who I think is quite irreplaceable.

Anonymous's picture

Adhiban looks very happy.

Chess Fan's picture

He should rightfully be! Would you not be in his position?

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