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Bhopal 2017 Round 9: It's a fight with yourself!

by Sagar Shah - 28/12/2017

"It's a race against yourself," says Himanshu Sharma. The Haryana GM had a dismal national premier and finished in the last spot after losing eight games! In the Bhopal International he has worked hard in the months leading up to it and going into the last round he is one of the joint leaders. We bring you players, pictures, videos and photos all in his report from the city of lakes - Bhopal. No players have been able to make their IM/GM norms here, but the Bhopal International definitely has proved to be a great exposure for the local kids.

"Once there was an athlete," recounts Himanshu Sharma. He is telling us an anecdote which he had heard a few days ago. "The athlete had finished on the last spot in the race, but was beaming with happiness. Why are you so happy asked the people. Well in my previous race I had clocked 3 minutes 40 seconds. Today I clocked 3 minutes 30! I improved my time, and that makes me very happy!"


Himanshu's story was fictional, but it could very well apply to him. GM Himanshu Sharma is the only Indian grandmaster playing at the Bhopal International 2017. This was his first tournament after his National Premier debacle where he had lost a whopping 8 games out of 13 rounds. How would he fare? What were the improvements that he had brought in his game? The chess fans were eager to know. In the second round itself Himanshu slumped to a defeat against Utsab Chatterjee (rated 1978) and a feeling of deja vu started to creep in. But Himanshu is a fighter. He didn't lose his calm nor his composure. He came to the next rounds with the same amount of motivation and energy and scored a mammoth 6.5/7 and is now the joint leader of the Bhopal International 2017. In the ninth round he beat the top seed of the tournament Timur Gareyev. How did Himanshu do it? Why not hear it from the horse's mouth:

Losses teach you much more than your victories!

Timur Gareyev was leading the tournament with 6.5/7, but has slumped to two losses and is now out of the top prizes on 6.5/9.

It's a race against yourself - Himanshu Sharma

From a player who finished last at the National Premier to a player who may win the Bhopal International 2017, Himanshu Sharma has a lot of things to teach Indian youngsters.

Battle of generations between Gukesh and Atalik ended in a draw. After the game Atalik said that he was extremely impressed by the boy's talent.

GM Ivan Rozum was very well prepared but Tran Tuan Minh was up to the task and made a draw

Rahul Sangma lost his game to Vietnamese Nguyen Duc Hoa who is now leading the tournament thanks to a superior tiebreak

Alberto David started off well but has lost the last three rounds

Adam Tukhaev was unable to break through the defenses of Muhammad Khusenkhojaev

With five players leading the 7.5/9 it promises to be an excellent finale. Duc Hoa will play against Ivan Rozum in the final round, while Tran Tuan Minh will fight it out against Yeoh Li Tian. India's Himanshu Sharma has a chance to win the title if he beats GM Adam Tukhaev. 

Results of round 9

Bo.No. NameTypFEDRtgPts.ResultPts.NameTypFEDRtg No.
12GMRozum IvanRUS25957½ - ½7GMTran Tuan MinhVIE25446
29GMHimanshu SharmaIND24691 - 0GMGareyev TimurUSA26061
310IMKhusenkhojaev MuhammadTJK2451½ - ½GMTukhaev AdamUKR25753
415CMGukesh DU11IND2362½ - ½GMAtalik SuatTUR25455
524IMSangma RahulIND23110 - 1GMNguyen Duc HoaVIE25047
68IMYeoh Li TianMAS24801 - 0FMGajwa AnkitIND228429
732Sekar BIND22746½ - ½6IMGirish A. KoushikIND241212
842Senthil Maran KIND22086½ - ½6IMRavi Teja S.IND237813
916FMErigaisi ArjunU15IND235961 - 06IMDeshmukh AnupIND228330
1017Kunal M.IND235261 - 06Ajay Krishna SIND228131


Rankings after round 9:

Rk.SNo NamesexFEDRtgIClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 
17GMNguyen Duc HoaVIE2504Vietnam7,50,051,055,045,006,0
22GMRozum IvanRUS2595Russia7,50,050,555,044,506,0
36GMTran Tuan MinhVIE2544Vietnam7,50,048,553,043,257,0
48IMYeoh Li TianMAS2480Malaysia7,50,048,552,042,756,0
59GMHimanshu SharmaIND2469Haryana7,50,047,052,043,757,0
610IMKhusenkhojaev MuhammadTJK2451Tajikistan7,00,049,053,540,255,0
75GMAtalik SuatTUR2545Turkey7,00,048,052,539,505,0
817Kunal M.IND2352Tamil Nadu7,00,046,550,537,756,0
916FMErigaisi ArjunIND2359Telangana7,00,046,049,537,505,0
1027FMShailesh DravidIND2306Maharashtra7,00,045,549,538,005,0


Pairings for round 10

Bo.No. NameTypFEDRtgPts.ResultPts.NameTypFEDRtg No.
GMNguyen Duc HoaVIE2504GMRozum IvanRUS2595
GMTran Tuan MinhVIE2544IMYeoh Li TianMAS2480
GMTukhaev AdamUKR25757GMHimanshu SharmaIND2469
GMAtalik SuatTUR254577Kunal M.IND2352
FMShailesh DravidIND230677IMKhusenkhojaev MuhammadTJK2451
Nayak RajeshIND221177CMGukesh DU11IND2362
GMGareyev TimurUSA26067FMErigaisi ArjunU15IND2359
IMGirish A. KoushikIND2412Masango SpencerZIM2253
IMRavi Teja S.IND2378Sekar BIND2274
Prakash RamIND2245IMDhulipalla Bala Chandra PrasadIND2334