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55th Biel GMT R1: Gukesh overpowers Abdusattorov, reaches 2698.7 and now World #39

by Shahid Ahmed - 15/07/2022

D Gukesh made a fantastic start at the Classical event of 55th Biel Chess Festival GMT. The youngest GM of India knew very well that he has the reigning World Rapid champion's number. He defeated Nodirbek Abdusattorov in the Chess960, was very close to winning the Rapid too. In Classical, a relentless attack eventually forced his opponent to cave in. This win netted him four points which put him at the second place 11/18, a half point behind the tournament leader Andrey Esipenko who is at 11.5/18. Gukesh also moved to 2698.7 in the live ratings and is he now the World no.39. Round 2 starts today at 2 p.m. local time (5:30 p.m. IST).

Prraneeth stuns Alekseenko

It is well established by now that there is no dearth of talented Indian kids. Someone or the other is always climbing higher up the ladder at some event. 14-year-old IM Prraneeth Vuppala stunned former Candidate, GM Kirill Alekseenko in the second round of the 55th Biel Chess Festival Master Tournament (MTO). He is one of the two Indian IMs who is at 2/2. The teenager will face GM Abhimanyu Puranik in Round 3.

D Gukesh scored an emphatic victory over Nodirbek Abdusattorov | Photo: Biel Chess

GMT: Abdusattorov - Gukesh: 0-4

D Gukesh made it very clear about his intentions in the middlegame. He had beaten Abdusattorov in Chess960 and also was on the verge of winning their Rapid encounter. There is no doubt about Gukesh feeling confident about his chances from the get-go.

Position after 21...f3

It would not be an understatement to say White's position is in shambles after 21..f3. The game continued 22.gxf3 Nh5 23.Nxe4 Qh4 24.Ng3 Rae8 now Black has all his pieces attacking on White's kingside whereas White is slowly running out of choices. 25.Rd1 Bf4 26.Be3 Rf6 27.Rd4 Rh6 28.Qd2 g5 White is barely holding the position together.

Position after 34...Qe5

35.Bd2 Rxh2 36.Bc3 is the only way to defend the position. It is certainly not easy to find it. White went 35.Qd4 Qf5 36.Qd3. After repeating once, Black exchanged the minor pieces to invade on the back rank 38...Nxe3 38.Qxe3 Qb1+ and rest was just a matter of time before Black won the game.

Gukesh beats Nodirbek Abdusattorov and reaches 2698.7 | Video: ChessBase India

MTO: Prraneeth - Alekseenko: 1-0

IM Prraneeth Vuppala (2457) seized his opportunity against the former Candidate, Kirill Alekseenko (2708).

Position after 25.d6

Prraneeth followed the old adage - passed pawns must be pushed. That's exactly what he did 25.d6 as per the requirement of the position. 25...Qe6 26.c5 Nf4 27.Bf1 Rfd8 28.c6 Rac8 29.Rxa6 b3 30.c7

Position after 30.c7

Black can no longer save the game. He resigned after eight more moves when the checkmate became inevitable.

The 55th Biel GMT participants with the organizers and officials | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust/Biel Chess Festival

Biel GMT participants and the organizing team visited the Omega watch factory on the rest day | Photo: Biel Chess Festival

Gukesh hit 13.99 at the Omega watch factory before reaching 2699

Replay the livestream

Biel Chess Festival: GMT Round 1 Live Commentary by GM Arturs Neiksans and Angelika Valkova | Video: Biel Chess

Scoring for Classical

Win - 4 points, Draw - 1.5 point and Loss - 0

Replay Round 1 games

Round 1 results

112688GMAbdusattorov Nodirbek0 - 1GMGukesh D26848
222722GMLe Quang Liem0 - 1GMKamsky Gata26557
332686GMKeymer Vincent½ - ½GMEsipenko Andrey26826
442684GMSalem A.R. Saleh0 - 1GMNaiditsch Arkadij26645

Round 2 pairings

182684GMGukesh DGMNaiditsch Arkadij26645
262682GMEsipenko AndreyGMSalem A.R. Saleh26844
372655GMKamsky GataGMKeymer Vincent26863
412688GMAbdusattorov NodirbekGMLe Quang Liem27222


Overall standings

Gukesh reduced the gap with the leader Esipenko | Photo: Biel Chess Festival


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