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Rilton Cup 07-09: Sasikiran stamps the Indian dominance

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 07 January 2017

The fantastically organized Rilton Cup came to an end in Hotel Clarion, Stockholm, Sweden. The tournament was practically decided by the all-India penultimate round clash between grandmasters Krishnan Sasikiran and Swapnil Dhopade. Sasikiran took the point and a final round draw meant that he won the tournament. We have an illustrated report.

Rilton Cup 07-09: Sasikiran stamps the Indian dominance

Photos by Lars OA Hedlund

 

After six rounds of play, the 46th edition of Rilton Cup had six leaders. The finish promised to be exciting and there were two Indians with serious winning chances. GM Krishnan Sasikiran is a veteran when it comes to winning tournaments, but winning this tourney would certainly have been a great boost to GM Swapnil Dhopade's career.

Could GM Swapnil Dhopade (2526) finish well in the crucial stage and win the tournament?

Swapnil was in fine form as he defeated Ivan Sokolov (2632) with the black pieces.

Sokolov blundered with 29.Rg3?? Instead, 29.Kh2 would have maintained a pleasant advantage. But now, Black to play and win.
[Event "Rilton Cup 2016-17"]
[Site "Stockholm"]
[Date "2017.01.03"]
[Round "7.3"]
[White "Sokolov, Ivan (NED)"]
[Black "Swapnil, S. Dhopade (IND)"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A57"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. Qc2 bxc4 5. e4 e6 6. Bxc4 exd5 7. exd5 Be7 8.
Nf3 O-O 9. O-O d6 10. h3 Nbd7 11. Nc3 Nb6 12. b3 Rb8 13. Bf4 Nxc4 14. bxc4 Rb4
15. Nd2 Ba6 16. a3 Rb6 17. Rfe1 Re8 18. Qa4 Bf8 19. Nde4 Nxe4 20. Nxe4 Re7 21.
Re3 Qd7 22. Qc2 Qf5 23. Bg3 Bc8 24. Rae1 Reb7 25. Qc3 Bd7 26. Bh4 h6 27. Rf3
Qh5 28. Bf6 Rb1 29. Rg3 $4 (29. Kh2 Rxe1 30. Qxe1 Ba4 31. Qe3 Bc2 32. Rg3 Bxe4
33. Qxe4 $14) 29... Qe2 $1 $19 30. Rxb1 Rxb1+ 31. Kh2 Qd1 32. Rxg7+ Bxg7 33.
Bxg7 Qh1+ 34. Kg3 Bxh3 $1 {the winning move!} 35. Bxh6 Qxg2+ 36. Kf4 f5 37.
Nf6+ Kf7 38. Qe3 Qh2+ 39. Kf3 Qg2+ 40. Ke2 Rb2+ 0-1

 

But GM Krishnan Sasikiran (2661) defeated Swedish hope GM Erik Blomqvist (2567) with the black pieces.

Swapnil and Sasi led the tournament going into the penultimate round where they were facing each other. A draw would mean that the tourney would be thrown wide open while a win for either of the players meant that the winner would most likely win the Rilton Cup.

Sasi opened with 1.e4 and Swapnil entered a Dragon. But Sasi would have none of it and simply kept pressing against the younger grandmaster by using the now trendy h3 set-up.

White has threats along the h-file, especially with ideas like Qf5 brewing. Should Swapnil trust his Dragon bishop? Black to play.

Swapnil chose not to believe in his dragon bishop by playing 35...Rh8??. He paid the price by losing quickly. In the end, Swapnil drew with Kamsky to land at the fifth place with 6.5/9.

[Event "Rilton Cup 2016-17"]
[Site "Stockholm"]
[Date "2017.01.04"]
[Round "8.1"]
[White "Sasikiran, Krishnan (IND)"]
[Black "Swapnil, S. Dhopade (IND)"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B70"]
[PlyCount "97"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. h3 Bg7 7. g4 O-O 8. Bg2
Nc6 9. Be3 Bd7 10. O-O Rc8 11. Nxc6 Bxc6 12. Re1 Nd7 13. Rb1 Qa5 14. Bd2 Qc7
15. Nd5 Bxd5 16. exd5 Rfe8 17. c3 b5 18. Re4 Nb6 19. Bg5 Qb7 20. Qb3 h6 21. Bf4
g5 22. Bg3 Nc4 23. Rd1 Qb6 24. Bf1 Qc5 25. Bxc4 bxc4 26. Qc2 Bf6 27. Qe2 Rc7
28. Rd2 Rb8 29. Kg2 Qb5 30. Qf3 Kg7 31. h4 Rc5 32. hxg5 hxg5 33. Re1 Qb7 34.
Rh1 Rb5 35. Rdd1 Rh8 $4 {a bad move because it has a big tactical drawback.} (
35... Rxb2 {Black should have trusted his Dragon bishop.} 36. Qf5 Qc8 37. Qh7+
Kf8 $11 {The position looks a bit dangerous for Black but the DRAGON bishop
holds the black castle together.}) 36. Rxh8 Kxh8 37. Bxd6 $1 {The point.} Rxb2
38. Be5 Kg7 (38... Bxe5 39. Qxf7 $1 {threatening mate down the h-file.} Rb1 40.
Qh5+ Kg7 41. Qxg5+ Kf7 42. Qf5+ $18) 39. Bxf6+ exf6 $18 {The material is equal
but white is winning easily now because of the d passer.} 40. d6 Qd7 41. Qf5
Qc6+ 42. Qd5 Qb6 43. Rd4 Rb5 44. Qa8 Rb2 45. d7 Rxf2+ 46. Kxf2 Qb2+ 47. Kg1
Qb1+ 48. Kh2 Qb2+ 49. Qg2 1-0

 

Krishnan Sasikiran won the crucial game against Swapnil and easily drew the final round against Sergey Volkov. He was clear first with 7.5/9, half a point ahead of the rest of the pack.

 

GM Shyam Sundar M (2532) scored 6.5/9 and was tenth.

IM CRG Krishna (2390) won a crucial last round game against Blomqvist to finish fourteenth with 6.0/9.
[Event "Rilton Cup 2016-17"]
[Site "Stockholm"]
[Date "2017.01.05"]
[Round "9.12"]
[White "Blomqvist, Erik (SWE)"]
[Black "Krishna, C R G (IND)."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D12"]
[PlyCount "84"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bf5 5. Nc3 a6 6. Ne5 Nbd7 7. Qb3 Qc7 8. cxd5
Nxe5 9. dxe5 Nxd5 10. Nxd5 cxd5 11. Bd2 e6 12. Rc1 Qd7 13. Be2 Be7 14. Ba5 Rc8
15. Rxc8+ Qxc8 16. Kd2 O-O 17. Rc1 Qa8 18. Qc3 h6 19. a3 Qa7 20. f4 Be4 21. g3
Re8 22. h4 Rf8 23. h5 Re8 24. Qb3 Bc5 25. Bb4 Bb6 26. Bd6 d4 27. Bd3 dxe3+ 28.
Ke2 Bxd3+ 29. Qxd3 Qa8 30. Qb3 Bd4 31. Qb4 Ba7 32. Qc4 Rd8 33. Rc2 Rd7 34. Qe4
Qe8 35. g4 Rd8 36. Qxb7 Qa4 37. b3 Qxf4 38. Qxa7 Qh2+ 39. Kd3 Qxe5 40. Qxe3
Rxd6+ 41. Ke2 Qh2+ 42. Qf2 Qh1 0-1

Results after Round 09:

Plac. SNr   Namn Nation RatingI Rp w K rtg+/-
1 2 GM Sasikiran Krishnan IND 2661 2789 7,5 10 13,3
2 8 GM Volkov Sergey RUS 2624 2679 7,5 10 10,7
3 1 GM Kamsky Gata USA 2661 2688 6,5 10 3,9
4 13 GM Urkedal Frode NOR 2557 2596 6,5 10 7,1
5 18 GM Swapnil S. Dhopade IND 2526 2651 6,5 10 15,6
6 21 GM Pavlovic Milos SRB 2500 2581 6,5 10 11,5
7 14 GM Kulaots Kaido EST 2556 2647 6,5 10 11,3
8 6 GM Sokolov Ivan NED 2632 2621 6,5 10 0,0
9 11 GM Antipov Mikhail Al. RUS 2580 2588 6,5 10 1,7
10 16 GM Shyam Sundar M. IND 2532 2620 6,5 10 11,3

 

13-year-old Sankalp Gupta (2093) had a memorable outing to score his first IM norm.

CM Prince Bajaj (2305) scored 4.5/9 for his IM norm.

FM Nihal Sarin (2340) came close to his final IM norm but missed out by a whisker. He made 5.0/9.

10-year-old Pranav Anand (2230) had a tough time in Sweden. 

 12-year-old Prithu Gupta (2219) scored 4.5/9.

FM Matta Vinay Kumar (2227) scored 5.0/9.

IM V. Saravanan (2306) could score only 3.5/9.

Raunak Sadhwani (2246) scored 4.0/9.

 GM Nils Grandelius gave a simultaneous exhibition towards the end of the tournament.

 

IM Awonder Liang (2495) is searching for his GM norms to become a grandmaster.

The video broadcast along with...

 ...LIVE commentary during the games was a treat to the fans.

 Chess books and DVDs for fans.

 The playing arena at the Hotel Clarion.

Special thanks to Mr. Ingemar Falk and the Swedish Chess Federation for hosting such a fantastic tournament on a regular basis. Special thanks to Mr. Lars OA Hedlund for the high-quality pictures that he has been delivering for years now. A notable point is that he names each and every picture with the names of the players making it infinitely more valuable.


 

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