Surya Shekhar Ganguly

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Surya Shekhar Ganguly
Surya 5556.jpg
Surya at World Team 2010
Born (1983-02-24) 24 February 1983 (age 36)
Kolkata, India
FIDE rating2642 (June 2019)
Peak rating2676 (July 2016)
Surya Shekhar Ganguly
Medal record
Representing  India
Asian Games
Bronze medal – third place 2010 Guangzhou Men's Team

Surya Shekhar Ganguly (Bengali: সূর্য শেখর গাঙ্গুলী; born 24 February 1983 in Kolkata) is an Indian chess grandmaster, 2009 Asian champion and six-time Indian champion.

Ganguly became an International Master at 16 and a Grandmaster at 19. He worked in the team of seconds that assisted Anand in winning the World Championship matches against Vladimir Kramnik, Veselin Topalov and Gelfand in 2008, 2010 and 2012 respectively.

He was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2005 for his outstanding achievement in sports. He also got the "Shera Bangali" award in 2009 as the best Sportsperson of Bengal and the "Khel Samman" award in 2013 from the Government of West Bengal. He was awarded ″Bangabhusan″, the second highest civilian award of West Bengal, in 2015.

Personal life[edit]

He was born to Pankaj Ganguly and Aarti Ganguly on 24 February 1983. He has an elder sister who is a doctor by profession. He is working as Deputy Manager at the Indian Oil Corporation. He got married to his childhood sweetheart Sudeshna on 7 February 2011.

Early career[edit]

Ganguly's grand father, the late Anil Basumallick, taught him chess at the age of 5. Soon he became very popular in chess circles of Kolkata as he was the youngest player in most tournaments taking place during those days and also won prizes. In 1991, at the age of 8, he won both the Indian National U-10 and U-12 Championships. He won these Championships again in 1992 and 1995.

The following are his achievements in the World Youth Chess Championship in his age categories:

  • World U-10 Championship, Warsaw 1991: Won bronze medal in his first foreign trip, at the age of 8.
  • World U-10 Championship, Duisburg 1992: He was leading ahead of future stars such as Grischuk, Bacrot and Vallejo Pons only to falter in the last two rounds to finish 6th.
  • World U-10 Championship, Bratislava 1993: Shared bronze medal with Jakovenko, ahead of Grishchuk.
  • World U-12 Championship, Szeged 1994: Shared bronze medal with Ponomariev, Vallejo Pons behind Levon Aronian and Bacrot, and ahead of Grishchuk.
  • World U-12 Championship, St. Lorenzo 1995: Won silver medal behind Bacrot.[1]

In 1995, at the age of 11, he beat a Grandmaster, the youngest player ever to do so until that time.[2]

Notable achievements[edit]

Ganguly has played in many individual and team tournaments, both national and international. He achieved his IM (International Master) title at Goodricke International, Kolkata 2000 and the GM (Grand Master) title at the 35th Chess Olympiad, Bled 2002. Some of his notable achievements are given here.

National events[edit]

In addition to the National U10 and U12 championships mentioned above, Ganguly's achievements in other national events are as under.

  • National "A": He won the Indian National Championship for a record six consecutive times from 2003–2008.
  • National Team: His team won the championship in 2001, 2002 and 2007
  • National Rapid 2005: Champion
  • National Junior 1999/2000: Champion
  • National Cities 1999: His team won the championship.
  • National "B" 1999: Ganguly won this championship at the age of 16.[3]

Asian events[edit]

Olympiads and World Team 2010[edit]

  • Olympiads: He has represented India at six Chess Olympiads between 2000 and 2010.[5] He won his GM title at the 35th Olympiad in Slovenia 2002 and his team India got the 6th position at the 36th Olympiad in Spain 2004.
  • World Team Chess Championship 2010: His team India won bronze and he won the individual gold for himself.

Other international tournaments[edit]

  • 2017 O2C Doeberl Cup Premier: Won with a score of 8/9 ahead of Krasenkow, Zhao Zong-Yuan etc.
  • 11th Edmonton International-Main 2016: Equal first with Shankland, ahead of Shirov, Sethuraman etc.
  • 16th Bangkok Chess Club Open 2016: Won ahead of Vallejo Pons, Nigel Short, Van Wely etc.
  • 2016 O2C Doeberl Cup Premier: Second ahead of Melkumyan Hrant on tie-break.
  • 25th Keres Memorial 2016: Equal second with Gelfand and Howell behind Kovalenko but ahead of Svidler, Vitiugov, Matlakov, Eljanov etc.
  • Member of the winning team of the Spanish League 2015, Solvay, along with teammates Pentala Harikrishna, Baskaran Adhiban, Aleksander Delchev, Sergio Cacho Reigadas, Jesus Maria De La Villa Garcia, and Elizbar Ubilava.
  • 2015 Edmonton International: Equal second with Ivanchuk and Wang Hao behind the winner Harikrishna.
  • 2015 Thai Open Chess Championship: Equal first with Nigel Short and Gragun Kamil ahead of Wang Hao, Vallejo Pons etc.
  • O2C Doeberl Cup 2015 Premier: Equal second with Johansen behind Zhou Weiki but ahead of Van Wely etc.
  • LIC 2nd International Grand Masters Chess Tournament 2015: Won this tournament in Kolkata, India ahead of Nigel Short and 25 other GM's.
  • Fujairah INT Masters Tournament 2012: Won this strong Open tournament in UAE ahead of 30 GM's, including several 2700+ players such as Jobava, Le Quang, Bacrot and Moiseenko. [1]
  • Indonesia Open Chess Championship 2011: Joint winner with Li Chao, ahead of Wang Yue, Dreev, Tkachiev and others.[2]
  • Parsvanath International: After winning silver in 2008, he won gold in the tournament in 2009.[6][7]
  • Commonwealth Open: After winning Gold (Junior) in 2000 and 2003/2004, he went on to win Silver in the Open in 2007 and 2008.
  • Sydney International 2008: Champion[8]
  • Canberra International 2008: Second
  • ONGC International 2006: Champion[9]
  • Bangladesh International 2005: Champion
  • Kolkata Open 2004: Joint Champion
  • Amsterdam International 2004: Second
  • Delhi International 2004: Joint Champion
  • Gibtel International 2004: Second
  • World Junior 2002: Bronze
  • Goodricke International 2000: Won IM title

Team Anand[edit]

Ganguly has been a member of the team of seconds that helped Anand win his World title matches against Kramnik, Topalov and Gelfand in 2008, 2010 and 2012 respectively. Other members of the team were GM Peter Heine Nielsen, GM Radosław Wojtaszek and the former FIDE World Champion GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov.

Anand has praised Ganguly for being very effective as a team member. About Ganguly, he says, "He is a very good chess player and analyst who works really hard. We (have worked) together for six-seven years and will work together for a long time. Why change formula when it's working."[10]

Sample Games[edit]

Ganguly vs. Svidler
a8 black rook
c8 black queen
f8 black rook
g8 black king
b7 black bishop
c7 black pawn
e7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black bishop
a6 black pawn
d6 black pawn
b5 black pawn
e5 white pawn
g5 white knight
h5 black pawn
d4 white pawn
f4 black pawn
h4 white pawn
d3 white bishop
e3 white queen
g3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
c1 white king
d1 white rook
The position after 18...f4. Here white plays 19.Bh7!! Apparently, Svidler missed this move and that may be the reason he allowed Ganguly to play 15.f5.

While Ganguly is a fine positional player, he also relishes complicated positions. The following game is taken from the World Team Chess Championship 2011. Here Ganguly (white) plays Peter Svidler of Russia in the final round. Shortly thereafter, Svidler went on to win the Russian Chess Championship a record sixth time and then the Chess World Cup 2011.

This game was selected the fifth best in Chess Informant 113, with a jury member giving it a score of 10/10.[11]

1. e4 g6 Totally unexpected from Svidler but Russia was in a must win situation! 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Be3 a6 5. Qd2 Nd7 6. O-O-O b5 7. h4 h6 8. f4! h5 9. Nf3 Bb7 10. Ng5 Nh6 11. e5 Nb6 12. Bd3 Qc8 13. Rhf1 Nd5 Black wants to have his bishop on d5 and does not wish to play e6 at all. 14. Nce4! O-O? 15. f5! Nxf5 16. Rxf5 gxf5 17. Ng3 Nxe3 18. Qxe3 f4 (Diagram)

19. Bh7+!! Apparently, Svidler missed this move and that may be the reason he allowed Ganguly to play 15.f5. Without this combination black is doing fine here. Kh8 20. Qd3 dxe5 21. dxe5 f6 22. Bg8! f5 23. Be6 Qe8 24. Bxf5! 1-0

The following game is from 11th Edmonton International Tournament 2016, a 10-player round robin event. Ganguly (White) was paired against Alexei Shirov (Black) in the last round. It was a must-win situation for both players, Ganguly to finish equal first with Shankland and Shirov to finish equal second with Ganguly.

Ganguly vs. Shirov
b8 black rook
c8 black bishop
f8 black rook
h8 black king
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
d6 white pawn
g6 black queen
h6 black bishop
a5 black pawn
b5 white pawn
d5 white queen
e5 white rook
g4 white pawn
h4 white pawn
c3 white knight
b2 white pawn
e2 white bishop
e1 white king
h1 white rook
The position after 28...Bc8.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 Bg5 12.Nc2 Rb8 13.a4 bxa4 14.Ncb4 Nxb4 15.cxb4 0-0 16.Rxa4 a5 17.h4 Bh6 18.b5 Bd7 19.Nc3 d5 20.exd5 e4 21.Be2 f5 22.d6 Kh8 23.g3 f4 24.Rxe4 Bf5 25.Re5 Qf6 26.Qd5 fxg3 27.fxg3 Qg6 28.g4 Bc8 (Diagram)

29.Ne4!! Following Gelfand’s teaching that it is not important how quickly you win but it’s more important how safely you win. (Boris Gelfand: Positional Decision Making in Chess, Quality Chess UK, 2016). The computer says 29.Qd4 is the fastest route but Ganguly trusts Gelfand. Bb7 30.h5 Qxe4 31.Qxe4 Bxe4 32.Rxe4 Rfd8 33.Rd4 Finally, all complications are over and White is two pawns up. While calculating 29.Ne4 Ganguly had to just make sure that he didn’t lose his vital 'd6' pawn that restricts Black's activity. Bc1 34.d7 This is again the safest way as it totally restricts Black. Bxb2 35.Rd5 Rb7 36.0-0 g6 37.h6 Ba3 38.Rf7 a4 39.Re5 Rbb8 40.Bc4 Bf8 41.Kg2 a3 42.Ba2 Bd6 43.Re6 Bf8 44.b6 White will play b7 when Black will be able to move nothing but his bishop. Shirov decided not to continue any further. 1-0


  1. ^ Arvind Aaron. "Surya Sekhar Ganguly - New National Junior Champion". Archived from the original on 23 January 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  2. ^ Arvind Aaron. "Surya Sekhar Ganguly - New National Junior Champion". Archived from the original on 23 January 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  3. ^ Arvind Aaron. "Surya Sekhar Ganguly - New National Junior Champion". Archived from the original on 23 January 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  4. ^ "Chess News - Ganguly, Zhang win Asian Championships". 31 May 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  5. ^ "Men's Chess Olympiads: Surya Shekhar Ganguly". OlimpBase. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  6. ^ "Ganguly wins Parsvnath chess title". 31 December 2004. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  7. ^ "Chess News - Ganguly wins 7th Parsvnath Open in New Delhi". 20 January 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  8. ^ "Chess-Results Server - Tournament-Database". 29 March 2008. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  9. ^ "ONGC Cup Intl GM Open July 2006 India FIDE Chess Tournament report". 26 February 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  10. ^ "I played fast and furious near climax: Anand". 14 June 2010. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  11. ^

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