Mohan Turaga
17th Aeroflot Open (Group A) 2019

The 17th Aeroflot Open ran from 19-27 February 2019 in the Cosmos Hotel in Moscow. The A Open, for players rated 2550+ and talented juniors, saw Wei Yi as top-seed fighting for the €18,000 first prize and a place in the Dortmund 2019 Supertournament, while the total prize fund for the three opens and blitz was €140,000. Players received 90 minutes for 40 moves, followed by 30 minutes to the end of the game, plus a 30-second increment starting from move one. The event was sponsored by Aeroflot and organised by the Russian Chess Federation in cooperation with the Association of Chess Federations.

The event was won by Estonian grandmaster Kaido Kulaots, who scored 7 points out of 9 and edged out GM Haik Martirosyan of Armenia via tiebreak. GM Krishnan Sasikiran took third place by himself with 6.5 points. By winning the main event, GM Kulaots has qualified for the Super Tournament this summer in Dortmund, Germany, scheduled to be held from July 12-23, 2019.

GM Kaida Kulaots score was (+5 -0 =4; He drew games with White and secured wins with Black pieces against top seed Wei Yi, D. Dubov, Maghsoodloo, A Firouzja and with White he had one win against D Khismatullin.

GM Kaida Kulaots, source:

Ed: 43 year old Kulaots’ with a 2542 rating (62nd seed) had an incredible 2872 ELO performance in this tournament. Carlsen himself praised his fairy tale performance. There is a little side story. Carlsen said "19 years ago, he shared a flat with my father and I was at the Gausdal tournament, and inspired an unrated 9 year old by predicting that he would one day be rated 2650!"