Surya Sekhar Ganguly became one of the few Indian chess players to win such a high prize money in a tournament after he finished at the top of the Belt and Road International Open in Changsha city of Hunan Province, China, on Tuesday. Apart from him, six other Indians participated in category A.
It wasn’t an easy journey for Ganguly who not only had to face higher ranked opponents but also in bad health as he was suffering from severe cold. He revealed that he had fallen ill while playing the Chinese League before the Open meet and his health deteriorated with time.
"I am down with a bad cold and have almost lost my voice… Sudeshna (his wife) came over with medicines and helped me with my recovery," Ganguly informed, reported TOI.
However, the 2638 Elo rated Indian, who was seeded 15th, overcame the challenge of three higher-rated players to end with seven points in the nine-round Swiss event. He finished ahead of Chinese Grandmaster Yu Yangyi, and Egypt's Amin Bassem (6.5 each), and the win fetched Ganguly 27 rating points.
It is quite ironic that while winning the tournament was not his first few priorities, the GM produced one of his career-best best performances, winning five matches and drawing four. "The Chinese League didn't go well for me. So both performance and health-wise, I was not there," said Ganguly, who represented Jiangsu side in the 12-team Division A competition.
"This is no doubt one of my best shows. And of course the winner's cheque is an added bonus. I am happy with my games, especially since I was able to come out on top from a number of difficult positions," added the 36-year-old.
Ganguly was richer by a whopping $50,000 (Rs 35 lakh). Apart from him, B Adhiban, SP Sethuraman, SL Narayanan, Harshit Raja and Himal Gusain also competed in category A of this event.
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