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Gujarat GM R09: IM Neelash Saha beats third Grandmaster in a row

by Satanick Mukhuty - 29/09/2019

International Master Neelash Saha is absolutely on fire, in the penultimate round of the 2nd Gujarat International Open he defeated GM Deepan Chakkravarthy to register his third victory against a Grandmaster in a row. Saptarshi Roy also won his round nine encounter to remain in strong contention for the title prize, while Ivan Rozum agreed to a quick draw in just 15 moves in his encounter against Rodrigo Vasquez Schroeder. Going into the final round of the event Ivan is still the sole leader with 8.0/9 points but Saptarshi and Neelash follow him closely just half a point behind with 7.5/9 each. Sayantan Das, Sandipan Chanda, and Manush Shah have also climbed up the leaderboard by winning their respective games in the ninth round and now have every chance at overtaking the leaders in the last day of the tournament.

Grandmaster Deepan Chakkravarthy had the white pieces against Neelash Saha in the penultimate round of 2nd Gujarat International Open 2019. Deepan began the game with his oft-used Reti opening but after the third move transposed into the Torre attack instead. On move 12 he started a provocative flank expansion on the kingside at the risk of keeping his own king in the middle of the board, a few inaccuracies thereafter enabled his opponent to break open through the center and launch a winning attack with a hyperactive queen.

Neelash Saha (left) played a fine game with the black pieces to punish his opponent Deepan Chakkravarthy's over ambitious plans | Photo: David Llada & Niklesh Jain

Deepan Chakkravarthy - Neelash Saha, Round 9

With 12.g4 and 13.h4 White has taken upon a challenging task of storming Black's castled king. The risk of this scheme obviously lies in the fact that White's own king is stuck in the middle of the board.

Deepan should have taken measures here to prevent Black's expansion in the center with d6 and d5, and then he should have been fine. A continuation like 15.dxc5 bxc5 16.e4 Nc6 17.Nc4 Rad8 18.Rd6 for instance, gives White decent chances. But in the game 15.Ne5 was played and this allowed Black the necessary counterplay after 15... d6 16.Nd3 Nd7 17 Ne4 d5

In this position e6-e5, b6-b5 followed by b4 etc look like very convincing possibilities. 

20.Nxe5 would have led to a more simplified game but 20.Nf4 eventually enabled a more explosive liquidation in the center.

A dangerous position. Black's queen is extremely active and the white king is still pretty exposed on f1. What would you do here if you were in White's shoes?

In the game 26.Qc2 was played and next 26...Qf3 27.c7 Rxc7 28.Qxc7 Qxd1+ 29.Kg2 Qd5+ followed with the queen wreaking havoc in the open board. The right move to keep this under check would have been 26. Kg2 giving up the c6 pawn right away and taking control of the crucial f3 square. After 26... Rfe8 27.Qd2 Qc4 28.Qd7 Qxc6+ 29.Qxc6 Rxc6 30.Rd2 White gets a decent endgame.

Resignation came only after five moves from the above position. White's vulnerable king became the sole reason of his unfortunate demise and this was reflected in the final situation on the board as well.  

Saptarshi Roy beats Himanshu Sharma to stay at the heels of the sole leader!

Grandmaster Saptarshi Roy is all set for a strong finish in the event as he is just half a point behind the leader Ivan Rozum | Photo: Saptarshi Roy Facebook 

Sayantan Das beat Abu Sufian Shakil to take his score to 7.0/9 points | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Sandipan Chanda got the better of Utkal Ranjan Sahoo with the black pieces and registered victory in round nine after a spell of four draws before that | Photo: Amruta Mokal

FM Manush Shah surprised yet again as he defeated IM Nguyen Van Huy of Vietnam with the white pieces

Results of round nine

Bo.No. NameRtgPts. ResultPts. NameRtg No.
16
GMVasquez Schroeder Rodrigo 2476 ½ - ½ GMRozum Ivan 2596
1
25
GMSaptarshi Roy 2480 1 - 0 GMHimanshu Sharma 2408
13
32
GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J. 25396 0 - 1 IMNeelash Saha 2334
25
426
Sahoo Utkal Ranjan 23296 0 - 16 GMChanda Sandipan 2529
3
524
FMManush Shah 23526 1 - 06 IMNguyen Van Huy 2454
7
69
IMDas Sayantan 24346 1 - 06 IMAbu Sufian Shakil 2255
34
714
GMKarthikeyan P. 24086 ½ - ½6 GMManik Mikulas 2375
19
820
IMKonguvel Ponnuswamy 23746 0 - 1 GMLaxman R.R. 2437
8
928
Pranav V 2308 0 - 1 GMRahman Ziaur 2492
4
1029
Bharat Kumar Reddy Poluri 2304 ½ - ½ GMNeelotpal Das 2433
10

Standings after round nine

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
11
GMRozum IvanRUS2596Russia8,00,052,557,550,507
25
GMSaptarshi RoyIND2480WB7,50,050,054,543,007
325
IMNeelash SahaIND2334WB7,50,044,548,039,007
49
IMDas SayantanIND2434WB7,00,049,553,539,755
56
GMVasquez Schroeder RodrigoCHI2476Chile7,00,048,551,038,755
624
FMManush ShahIND2352Guj7,00,047,051,537,507
73
GMChanda SandipanIND2529WB7,00,045,549,536,505
816
GMHesham AbdelrahmanEGY2396Egypt6,50,048,553,035,006
911
GMLugovskoy MaximRUS2422Russia6,50,048,553,034,006
1013
GMHimanshu SharmaIND2408IT6,50,048,051,035,006

Pairings for the final round

Bo.No. NameRtgPts. ResultPts. NameRtg No.
11
GMRozum Ivan 25968 IMNeelash Saha 2334
25
23
GMChanda Sandipan 25297 GMSaptarshi Roy 2480
5
36
GMVasquez Schroeder Rodrigo 24767 7 IMDas Sayantan 2434
9
413
GMHimanshu Sharma 2408 7 FMManush Shah 2352
24
54
GMRahman Ziaur 2492 GMKarthikeyan P. 2408
14
68
GMLaxman R.R. 2437 GMHesham Abdelrahman 2396
16
719
GMManik Mikulas 2375 GMLugovskoy Maxim 2422
11
841
AGMLakshmi Narayanan M V 2188 6 IMKonguvel Ponnuswamy 2374
20
943
FMMehdi Hasan Parag 21836 6 GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J. 2539
2
107
IMNguyen Van Huy 24546 6 Thanki Hemal Karsanji 2098
56

Complete results and standings