Vidit Finishes Ahead Of Anand, Surya In World Rapid Chess
- Grandmaster Surya Sekhar Ganguly hogged the spotlight in his opening match where he gave world champion Magnus Carlsen a fright, but the real surprise of the World Rapid Chess tournament that concluded in Doha on Wednesday was GM Vidit Gujrathi who emerged as the top Indian performer in the three-day tournament. Ganguly had Carlsen on the ropes and came within three moves of checkmating him in the first round. The Norwegian, however, managed to hold on for a draw. Ganguly later failed to capitalize on his good show and lost his next three games (sixth to eighth rounds). Despite the presence of India's top-ranked player Viswanathan Anand in the field, it was Gujrathi who compelled attention in the 15-round tournament.
- The 22-year-old finished with 9.5 points - half-a-point ahead of Anand - in eighth place. Anand ended 16th. The Nashik boy, seeded 51st, gained 75 Elo points from this meet as his rapid rating rose to 2718. It capped a fine year for Vidit who had also enjoyed a very good outing at the Chess Olympiad. Vidit made a great start, winning his first three games in Doha. Although he lost to Carlsen in the 12th round, he drew against the Norwegian's World Championship challenger Sergey Karjakin of Russia and defeated Polish and French GMs Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, respectively.
- Anand too had his chances and would have been in contention for a podium finish had he not lost his 14th-round game against eventual winner Ukrainian GM Vassily Ivanchuk. That was the only match the five-time world champion lost in the meet, winning four and drawing 10. Vidit, on the other hand, recorded eight wins, three draws and 4 losses. Ganguly finished on a par with Anand on points but was placed 21st in overall standings. Carlsen staged a remarkable comeback to clinch the bronze after ending tied on 11 points with Ivanchuk and Russian GM Alexander Grischuk. Ivanchuk, however, edged past both on tie-break. In the women's section, India's Koneru Humpy finished 10th with 7 points while Dronavalli Harika (6.5) was placed 16th in the 12-round competition which was won by Ukrainian GM Anna Muzychuk with 9.5 points.
McIlroy Out To Keep Up Proud Dubai Classic Record
- DUBAI : World number two Rory McIlroy will be looking to maintain a proud record when he competes in the $2.65 million Dubai Desert Classic in February. The four-times major champion won the event in 2009 and 2015 and has finished in the top 10 in each of his seven previous visits to the Emirates Golf Club. "I have great memories of this tournament," McIlroy said in a news release on Monday. "I made the cut here for the first time in a European Tour event as a 17-year-old amateur in 2007 and it was here I secured my first professional win two years later.
- "I will always cherish those important moments in the early part of my career. That first win was a real stepping-stone for me, helping my confidence and leading to the successes that followed," said the Northern Irishman. British Open champion and world number four Henrik Stenson and US Masters winner Danny Willett, who lifted the Dubai Classic trophy last year, are also in the field for the February 2-5 tournament. The Dubai Classic is the last in the tour's three-event Middle East swing that also includes the Abu Dhabi Championship from January 19-22 and the Qatar Masters from January 26-29.
Apple Plans To Make iPhones In Bengaluru From April
- BENGALURU : Apple plans to make iPhones for the Indian market in Bengaluru. Wistron, a Taiwanese OEM maker for Apple, is setting up a facility in Peenya, the city's industrial hub, to manufacture the iPhones. The facility will start production from next April, according to industry sources. Top sources in the company confirmed to TOI that Apple is "very serious" about beginning assembly operations —and thereafter full manufacture — in India by the end of next year. "Bangalore is being looked at seriously," said multiple sources within the company. Local manufacture will help Apple price its phones competitively as full imports attract 12.5% additional duty. Foxconn, Apple's largest Taiwan-based OEM, earlier committed to setting up a manufacturing plant in Maharashtra.
- The assumption was the plant would make only Apple products. But sources say Foxconn has tied up with other players like Xiaomi and OnePlus for local manufacture and not necessarily to only make Apple products there. This will be Apple's second big announcement for Bengaluru. In May, Apple announced a design and development accelerator in the city to grow the iOS developer community and also to guide Indian developers to leverage Apple's programming language Swift and build apps for Apple TV and Apple Watch. The facility will open early next year.
- The Bengaluru manufacturing facility underscores India's importance for the Cupertino-based company. Apple CEO Tim Cook's multi-city India tour earlier this year signalled the growing importance of India powered by the demand for Apple products by a burgeoning middle class. Data from Hong Kong-based Counterpoint Technology Market Research showed that Apple sold 2.5 million iPhones in India from October 2015 to September 2016, a rise of more than 50% over the year-ago period. The revenue numbers speak for themselves. Apple India clocked robust sales touching Rs 9,997 crore in the 2016 financial year, up 56% from Rs 6,472 crore, previously.
- The company's net profit grew 21% to Rs 294 crore during the same period with deeper retail penetration and lower prices for older iPhone models that garnered a huge user base. An email sent to Apple didn't elicit a response till the time of going to press. Apple has published job openings on its portal for a few positions at its OEM's factory in Bengaluru like operations program manager and product quality manager. Faisal Kawoosa, principal analyst (telecom) at CyberMedia Research, said, "Apple coming to India is a big booster for the make in India initiative."
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj Helps Get Visa For NRI Whose Father Died In India
- NEW DELHI : The Indian Consulate in Chicago on Thursday helped an Indian man in getting an emergency visa following intervention by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Swaraj directed the consulate to reach out to Rohan Shah after he sought help saying father passed away in India. Rohan Shah from Chicago tweeted to Swaraj that his father passed away in India and needs an urgent visa from the Indian consulate in US. Prompt as she has been in the past, Swaraj directed the Indian consulate in Chicago to reach out to Shah. Within hours, she tweeted the confirmation of the issuance of visa to Shah.
- Since she took oath as external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj has used the Twitter as a platform to help Indians in other countries. Recently, the minister helped a man in Canada reach the Indian Consulate in Toronto and overcome difficulties relating to Persons of Indian Origin or PIO card. On December 19, Swaraj was admitted to Delhi's All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on November 7 after kidney failure. She was discharged on December 19, 10 days after a kidney transplant.