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G. Akash's brilliant play lights up the National Championships 2019

by Sagar Shah - 16/12/2019

In the seventh round of the National Championships 2019 which are currently in progress in Sikkim, we witnessed an absolute gem from G. Akash. He was facing GM Sandipan Chanda with the white pieces and began the game with 1.e4. In reply to the Sicilian, he played the English Attack and quickly castled on the queenside. Very soon things began to heat up and Akash sacrificed a knight for a pawn. He had some excellent compensation and then he sacrificed his queen! At one point White had only one piece and a few pawns as compensation for the missing queen. But throughout the game, Akash was in control of things. We bring you a detailed analysis of this brilliant attacking gem by G. Akash.

At the 2013 World Cup 2nd seeded Fabiano Caruana was facing the unheralded G. Akash in the first round

Akash had qualified for the World Cup 2013 by the virtue of becoming the 2012 National Champion of India

With a rating of 2335, Akash was the 29th seed of the National Championships 2013. There were 13 GMs ahead of him vying for the title of national champion and also the World Cup spot. But the boy had no respect for titles or seedings and finished first at the event with a score of 9.0/13, a half point ahead of everyone including Vidit Gujrathi, Arun Prasad, Deep Sengupta, and a full point ahead of B. Adhiban, Lalith Babu, Venkatesh, Gopal etc. He played his first round at the World Cup 2013 against Fabiano Caruana, and although he lost this game, it was clear that Akash had arrived on the big stage. The boy later became an IM, but then had to discontinue chess for quite some time because of his education.

From July 2013 to July 2018, Akash played just 130 rated games! 130 rated games is often played by youngsters in 9 to 12 months. It took him five years to play that many games. It was because he was focusing on his education.

In July 2018, Akash made a comeback to chess. In the last year and a half he has already played 185 games and from an Elo of 2391 has reached a rating of 2431. At the National Championships 2019 going on in Sikkim, he has shown tremendous form and is leading the tournament with 6.5/7.

Standings after round 7

Rk.SNoNameFEDRtgClub/City TB1 
121IMAkash GIND2431Tamil Nadu6,5
22GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr.IND2605Tamil Nadu6,0
3GMVaibhav SuriIND2597Delhi6,0
41GMGupta AbhijeetIND2611PSPB5,5
5GMLalith Babu M RIND2556PSPB5,5
6GMGhosh DiptayanIND2555West Bengal5,5
7GMChanda SandipanIND2545West Bengal5,5
11GMAnurag MhamalIND2490Goa5,5
12IMVignesh N RIND2475RSPB5,5
88Grahesh YIND2029Andhra Pradesh5,5
118GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J.IND2535RSPB5,0
9GMVisakh N RIND2516Tamil Nadu5,0
10GMVishnu Prasanna. VIND2493Tamil Nadu5,0
16IMRavi Teja S.IND2455RSPB5,0
17IMShyaamnikhil PIND2455RSPB5,0
18GMBakre TejasIND2445Air India5,0
22GMNeelotpal DasIND2430PSPB5,0

Complete standings

Akash has already defeated Deep Sengupa, Aravindh Chithambaram, and Sandipan Chanda, gaining 26.4 Elo points and performing at an Elo of 2760.

The most striking game among all these victories was his one against GM Sandipan Chanda. Let's have a look at this game and learn the art of attack from Akash.

 

Akash G vs Sandipan Chanda, Round 7

Sandipan chose the Najdorf variation in the Sicilian

In the Scheveningen structure, White's development was pretty smooth. He put all his pieces on the natural squares and the next plan was to go g4-g5 and to launch a kingside attack.

Chanda could have developed Be7, but he realized that Qh3 followed by Nxe6 was strong. Hence, he decided to develop his bishop on g7. But it takes some time and also makes f5 more powerful

The e6 square anyway is a source for many sacrifices in these lines of the Sicilian. In order to avoid a quick attack, Chanda castled long.

What do you do here as White?

White can play Nb3 and be better, but Akash's move was stronger. He jumped with the knight to e6. His concept was quite a brilliant one.

After giving up his knight, the rook swooped in on f7

Bxh7 and we understand what Akash wanted to achieve. He wanted to get a pair of connected passers on g5 and h5 and these pawns are stronger than an entire piece!

Careful play. Qd3! was a strong move preventing against all sorts of sacrifices in front of the white king.

The knight jumps to e5 and we reach a critical moment in the game. What should White do here?

Moving the queen and also taking care of the e4 square and c2 square is not at all easy. The main option available looks like Qe2!? However, this fails to Bxe4 Qxe4 Nxf7 gxf7 Rxe6! and now the queen can no longer defend the c2 point. Seeing all these lines Akash came up with the powerful idea of Qxd5! sacrificing his queen.

A queen sacrifice!

Although White has only a piece for the queen, his kingside pawns as well as the rook on f7 and the bishop on e4 create powerful threats. Black had to play Qb6 here when White would have to find some accurate moves like g7 giving up the e6 pawn but trying to create a queen. Instead Chanda blundered in the above position. He went ...Qc4? When Rxe5! already ended the game. White keeps all his advantages intact and has got another free piece.

The final position in which Sandipan resigned. The b4 pawn is hanging and Black is just lost.

You have to agree, sublime is the right word for the way in which Akash played! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Round 8 pairing:

Bo.No.NameRtgPts. ResultPts. NameRtgNo.
13GMVaibhav Suri 25976 IMAkash G 243121
22GMAravindh Chithambaram Vr. 26056 GMLalith Babu M R25565
31GMGupta Abhijeet 2611 GMAnurag Mhamal 249011
412IMVignesh N R 2475 GMGhosh Diptayan 25556
588Grahesh Y 2029 GMChanda Sandipan 25457
636IMNitin S. 23295 5 GMDeepan Chakkravarthy J. 25358
79GMVisakh N R25165 5 IMSaravana Krishnan P. 230441
848FMAaryan Varshney 22695 5 GMVishnu Prasanna. V 249310
916IMRavi Teja S. 24555 5 Subhayan Kundu 222253
1052FMNavalgund Niranjan 22315 5 IMShyaamnikhil P 245517

 

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