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Gujarat GM R07: Ivan Rozum elbows Saptarshi Roy out of the lead

by Satanick Mukhuty - 27/09/2019

Ivan Rozum defeated Saptarshi Roy with the black pieces in the seventh round of Gujarat International Grandmaster Open to take sole lead with 6.5/7 points. Rodrigo Vasquez Schroeder, Himanshu Sharma, and Manush Shah follow him closely just half a point behind with 6.0/7 points each. On the other hand, Grandmaster Saptarshi Roy has slipped down the rank-list to the fifth place after his latest loss and now shares 5.5/7 along with eleven other players. The two players who pulled off the biggest shocker in round seven were FM Manush Shah and IM Neelash Saha, both of whom defeated their higher rated Grandmaster opponents, namely Ziaur Rahman and Neelotpal Das.

Ivan's minor pieces prove superior to Saptarshi's queen!

The top seed Ivan Rozum is inching closer to the title prize with each round | Photo: Amruta Mokal 

Saptarshi had the White pieces in his round seven encounter against Ivan. The game began with a Caro-Kann and followed the 4...Nd7 variation. On move 22 the Indian player took the bold decision to sacrifice his dark-squared bishop in order to bring the Russian's king out in the open. This apparently sparked off a series of interesting complications where Ivan in turn gave up his queen for three minor pieces!

 

Saptarshi Roy - Ivan Rozum, Round 7

Grandmaster Saptarshi chose the enterprising 22.Bxg7 in the above position. There were certainly less risky alternatives available but it seemed the Indian player was out for blood! 

25.Rf3?! was probably the first critical mistake that White committed. Can you see why? Can you suggest a better move?

The move 25.Rf3 pressurizing the f6 bishop looks logical but the possibility that Saptarshi missed here was 25...Qxe4! after which 26.Bxe4 Bxe4 27.Re3 Bg6 follows and Black gets excellent activity for the queen. This indeed happened in the game and White quickly cumbled thereafter. The better continuation here would have been 25.Qh6+! Ke7 and now 26. Rf3 e5 27. Ng3 Rg8 28.Be4

 

Analysis board

Black has to play 28...Qxe4 in the above position because something like 28...Qc7 fails tactically to 29.Nf5+ Ke8 30.Bxb7 owing to presence of the royal fork on d6. But 28...Qxe4 29.Nxe4 Bxe4 30.Rg3 Nc5 gives Black a fair amount of activity in compensation for the queen and somehow here White has the equality unlike what happened in the game.

The position on the left shows what could have happened in the game if White played the better move 25.Qh6+ and the position on the right shows what actually happened in the game. In both continuations Black gives up his queen for three minor pieces and has some compensation but somehow the position on the right is better for black while that on the left is dynamically balanced. Of course, navigating through these complexities over-the-board is extremely difficult. In the game the black minor pieces completely dominated the board.

It was in the above position on move 56 that White called it a day. Notice how Black's pair of bishops have totally subdued the white queen!

FM Manush Shah beat GM Ziaur Rahman in round seven to take his score to an impressive 6.0/7. Check out his victory against the Bangladeshi Grandmaster below. 

IM Neelash Saha defeated GM Neelotpal Das with black pieces after an 82-move long battle | Photo: David Llada

Hesham Abdelrahman (left) of Egypt went down against the Chilean Grandmaster Rodrigo Vasquez Schroeder in the seventh round of the event | Photos: ugra2017.fide.com & gmrodrigovasquez.cl

Results of round seven

Bo.No. NameRtgPts. ResultPts. NameRtg No.
15GMSaptarshi Roy 2480 0 - 1 GMRozum Ivan 25961
214GMKarthikeyan P. 24085 ½ - ½5 GMChanda Sandipan 25293
36GMVasquez Schroeder Rodrigo 24765 1 - 05 GMHesham Abdelrahman 239616
49IMDas Sayantan 24345 ½ - ½5 IMEraschenkov Denis 239017
529Bharat Kumar Reddy Poluri 23045 0 - 15 GMHimanshu Sharma 240813
624FMManush Shah 23525 1 - 0 GMRahman Ziaur 24924
72GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J. 2539 ½ - ½ IMSidhant Mohapatra 235723
828Pranav V 2308 0 - 1 IMNguyen Van Huy 24547
910GMNeelotpal Das 2433 0 - 1 IMNeelash Saha 233425
1011GMLugovskoy Maxim 2422 1 - 0 FMShailesh Dravid 229931

Standings after round seven

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgClub/City TB1 
11
GMRozum IvanRUS2596Russia6,5
26
GMVasquez Schroeder RodrigoCHI2476Chile6,0
13
GMHimanshu SharmaIND2408Har6,0
24
FMManush ShahIND2352Guj6,0
53
GMChanda SandipanIND2529WB5,5
5
GMSaptarshi RoyIND2480WB5,5
7
IMNguyen Van HuyVIE2454Vietnam5,5
9
IMDas SayantanIND2434WB5,5
11
GMLugovskoy MaximRUS2422Russia5,5
14
GMKarthikeyan P.IND2408TN5,5
17
IMEraschenkov DenisRUS2390Russia5,5
19
GMManik MikulasSVK2375Slovakia5,5
20
IMKonguvel PonnuswamyIND2374TN5,5
25
IMNeelash SahaIND2334WB5,5
26
Sahoo Utkal RanjanIND2329Odi5,5
162
GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.IND2539TN5,0

Complete results and standings