The Fiji Chess Federation successfully hosted a two-day FIDE standard rated tournament in Suva over the weekend.
The six-player round-robin event was organised to allow Fiji’s top players to activate their international rating and two new players to attain a FIDE rating.
Candidate Master (CM) Calvin Prasad took out first place by dominating the field and finishing with maximum five points.
National champion CM Manoj Kumar settled for second place after losing his fifth-round fixture to Prasad.
USP student Zen Borg finished third with three wins and two losses.
The third-round encounter between Prasad and Borg had 95 moves played over almost four hours before Prasad secured the full point in a minor piece endgame.
In the tournament’s only upset, Nadi’s Avinesh Nadan beat Labasa’s Rajiv Raj to finish fourth.
Raj finished fifth, while Kiran Khatri finished sixth.
Nadan is projected to be the next Fijian player to get a FIDE rating. He has to play only one more rated game and should attain an international rating of at least 1537.
FCF President Prasad was happy with the format of the competition.
“We will be holding more FIDE standard tournaments this year, and it will be open to all players,” said Prasad.
“Starting in February, our domestic competitions will feature both a standard and rapid schedule running simultaneously.”
“This will allow more players to gain a FIDE rating and provide valuable exposure to local players.”
“Fiji’s world ranking should dramatically improve once more players get FIDE ratings.”
Fiji is currently ranked 173 and is expected to move up 20 places after FIDE processes the weekend’s tournament.
World rankings are determined by the average rating of a country’s top ten players who have played at least one FIDE standard rated game during the preceding twelve months.
In February, Prasad (2020), Kumar (1944), Borg (1668) and Raj (1405) are expected to be in Fiji’s top list with Damian Norris (1876), John Caldeira (1708), Cydel Terubea (1434), and Taoba Natu (1394).
Photo: (L-R) Zen Borg, Manoj Kumar, and Rajiv Raj during the Fiji Rating Invitational tournament in Suva on 28 January, 2018.