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Gujarat GM R08: Ivan Rozum dashes ahead, Saptarshi Roy fights back

by Satanick Mukhuty - 28/09/2019

Top seed Ivan Rozum has taken a full point lead over the rest of the field after defeating FM Manush Shah in the eighth round of the ongoing 2nd Gujarat International Grandmaster Open here in Ahmedabad. Saptarshi Roy too recovered well after his last round's setback to beat IM Denis Eraschenkov with the black pieces. IM Neelash Saha also kept up his good form as he got the better of GM Maxim Lugovskoy and squeezed out a victory after a 76-move long battle. All in all, after the completion of eight rounds, Ivan Rozum sits atop the leaderboard with an unbeaten 7.5/8 points. While Saptarshi Roy, Rodrigo Vasquez Schroeder, Himanshu Sharma, and Neelash Saha follow him a point behind with 6.5/8 each.

Saptarshi Roy comes out better in a double-edged melee!

Saptarshi Roy made a strong come back after his seventh round loss to beat IM Denis Eraschenkov in round eight | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Grandmaster Saptarshi Roy is a player who revels in complex, dynamic positions. In round eight of the 2nd Gujarat International Open he reinforced his reputation by outwitting his strong Russian adversary, IM Denis Eraschenkov, in a highly charged double-edged position. Saptarshi had the black pieces and ended up in a slightly worse position out of the Chigorin variation of queen's pawn opening. But the sharp nature of the game ensured that he had the psychological edge.

 

Denis Eraschenkov - Saptarshi Roy, Round 8

White is better in this position as Black's attack on the kingside is yet to take off. Denis played the move 26.Bxa6 here, can you find a better alternative? 

The position is clearly very sharp. Black is trying to launch an attack on the kingside with Rg6 followed by Qh2 and even Bf3/Bh3 if possible; on the other hand White's forces are focussed on the queenside. The better move here, instead of 26.Bxa6, would have been 26.Qb6 with the strong threat of going Qc7 next. This would have gotten Black in some serious trouble. However, after 26.Bxa6 b5 27. a4 Rg6 in the game, the position retained its double-edged nature but was roughly equal.

With 28...Qh2 Black's forces were too near to the white king. 29.Kf1? was played here but this was a mistake, can you find a better move?

29.Kf1? allowed Black to infiltrate into White's camp effectively with 29...Qxg3 30.R5c2 d4 31.Ne2 Bxe2+ 32.Rxe2 Nd5 33.Qa3 Nxf4 and here White was completely lost. The right move would have been the calm defensive retreat 29.Qc2! Now, after 29...cxb5 30.Bxb5 Bh5 31.Kf1 White manages to hold on. After Qb6 was missed on move 26, Black's attack on the other side of the board quickened, thus on move 29 it became important for White to take a step back and defend with the crucial 29.Qc2! The full game with detailed analysis of these critical points is presented below:

Ivan Rozum beat FM Manush Shah to take a massive lead after round eight and inched forward towards the title prize. In the penultimate round he faces GM Rodrigo Vasquez Schroeder of Chile | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Neelash Saha kept up his good form and beat the Russian Grandmaster Maxim Lugovskoy in round eight to take his score to 6.5/8 | Photo: David Llada

Utkal Ranjan Sahoo of Odisha held GM Hesham Abdelrahman to a draw with the black pieces.

Sandipan Chanda started off the event with four consecutive victories but slowed down thereafter. In round eight he drew his fourth game in a row against IM Konguvel Ponnuswamy | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Deepan Chakkravarthy defeated Raset Ziatdinov with black pieces in round eight and now has 6.0/8 points | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Results of round eight

Bo.No. NameRtgPts. ResultPts. NameRtg No.
11
GMRozum Ivan 2596 1 - 06 FMManush Shah 2352
24
213
GMHimanshu Sharma 24086 ½ - ½6 GMVasquez Schroeder Rodrigo 2476
6
33
GMChanda Sandipan 2529 ½ - ½ IMKonguvel Ponnuswamy 2374
20
417
IMEraschenkov Denis 2390 0 - 1 GMSaptarshi Roy 2480
5
57
IMNguyen Van Huy 2454 ½ - ½ GMKarthikeyan P. 2408
14
619
GMManik Mikulas 2375 ½ - ½ IMDas Sayantan 2434
9
725
IMNeelash Saha 2334 1 - 0 GMLugovskoy Maxim 2422
11
816
GMHesham Abdelrahman 23965 ½ - ½ Sahoo Utkal Ranjan 2329
26
938
GMZiatdinov Raset 22225 0 - 15 GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J. 2539
2
1034
IMAbu Sufian Shakil 22555 1 - 05 IMNitin S. 2361
22

Standings after round eight

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgClub/City TB1 
11
GMRozum IvanRUS2596Russia7,5
25
GMSaptarshi RoyIND2480WB6,5
6
GMVasquez Schroeder RodrigoCHI2476Chile6,5
13
GMHimanshu SharmaIND2408IT6,5
25
IMNeelash SahaIND2334WB6,5
62
GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.IND2539ICF6,0
3
GMChanda SandipanIND2529WB6,0
7
IMNguyen Van HuyVIE2454Vietnam6,0
9
IMDas SayantanIND2434WB6,0
14
GMKarthikeyan P.IND2408ICF6,0
19
GMManik MikulasSVK2375Slovakia6,0
20
IMKonguvel PonnuswamyIND2374PSPB6,0
24
FMManush ShahIND2352Guj6,0
26
Sahoo Utkal RanjanIND2329Odi6,0
34
IMAbu Sufian ShakilBAN2255Bangladesh6,0

Complete results and standings