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IBCA World Teams Round 2: Focussed Indian team beats Romania 3.5-0.5

by Sagar Shah - 23/07/2018

There were questions in the air whether Indian team would be able to fight back after their loss to Ukraine in the first round. The boys fought back in a big way and beat Romania with a score of 3.5-0.5. More than the scoreline, it was the quality of the games. Everyone gave it their all and the games were well played by the Indian players. In this report we not only bring you the results, pictures and analysis, but also detailed videos with all of the four Indian players explaining their games. In the third round India will face Spain and it will be a stiff challenge, but after the match with Romania, the Indian lads seemed to have warmed up pretty well. 

After the first round of the World Team Championships for the visually challenged, the Indian team was down but not out. This was because they had played quite well to put a lot of pressure on a team like Ukraine. India started as the last seed in the B-section with a rating average of 1799. Ukraine on the other hand had a massive rating average of 2276. Putting them under pressure was a sign that all the players were in decent form. In the second round against Romania, the Indian players showed their true colours and played some fantastic bit of chess to win the match 3.5-0.5. Mind you three of their players were rated higher than our guys.

3.5-0.5 is a fantastic performance against Romania which had a rating average of 2001.

Aryan was the first one to finish his game just like yesterday. He scored a very quick win in 16 moves against his Romanian opponent Costica Marchidan (1808) | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Black has played very ambitiously against the Sicilian Alapin and has developed his queen early in the opening and also played his bishop to g7. How did Aryan (White) take advantage of this fact?

Aryan fought one of the main issues that he had faced in chess, which was to unknowningly play passive moves in a good position. He played super active chess in the above position and within half a dozen of moves forced resignation from his opponent.

Aryan Joshi speaks about what was going through his head in this miniature game

Soundarya really liked his opponent's board at the start of the game! Here he is trying to feel the material with what it is made.

The serious fight begins

Inspired by Levon Aronian's handling of the King's Indian Attack from the black side, Soundarya played the move ...a5. The idea is very simple. You want to gain space on the queenside before White starts his play in centre and the kingside flank.

Soundarya's opponent Mihail Dacian Pribeanu was by far the strongest player in the Romanian team with an Elo of 2141. It was quite commendable that the Odisha boy didn't have to break a sweat in order to draw the game. His performance was quite flawless.

Soundarya Pradhan explains his draw and talks about the certain decisions he took on the board

Ashvin Makwana showed masterful patience to convert the game into a full point

Great preparation by Ashwin meant that he played the move ....e5 which equalized the game right out of the opening

After the game Ashwin said, he gave the credit for finding the move to Subhendu Patra, the fifth member of the Indian team. Patra had been helping Makwana prepare for the game and they had looked at ideas with ...f5 in some other positions of this line. This work proved to be invaluable as Ashwin just completely outplayed his opponent. The conversion part was also quite smooth which was the start of something new and remarkable by Ashwin. He followed the concept on not rushing forward!

Ashvin Makwana tells us how practice game before the event, in the camp, helped him to calm down today when he was a pawn up

Kishan was extremely focussed on board one. His opponent played an unusual opening, more like internet blitz stuff, and he dispatched it quite accurately

In this position Kishan went for Nh4. Do you think this is a good move?

Black has just played his knight to e5 to block this dangerous pin. How should White win the game now? Mind you, Kishan was not able to find it.

In case the above position is a bit difficult for you to solve, here's one with a similar theme.

Of course the question about positional factors is just to trick you! Christiansen found the move Qd1! and all the Karpov could do was resign the game. Now use this knowledge and try to crack Kishan's position.

Kishan Gangolli played a game that shows he is slowing getting into the groove

Group B - Ranking crosstable:

Rk.Team12345678 TB1  TB2  TB3 
1POLAND * 4448,00
2UKRAINE * 3346,00
3SPAIN * 235,50
4INDIA1 * 24,50
5SLOVENIA2 * 224,00
6ROMANIA½2 * 12,50
7BULGARIA - I01 * 01,00
8ITALY0½ * 00,50

Group A - Ranking crosstable

Rk.Team12345678 TB1  TB2  TB3 
1RUSSIA * 447,50
2SERBIA * 3447,00
3GERMANY * 3346,00
4TURKEY0 * 424,00
5MACEDONIA1 * 23,50
7VENEZUELA10 * 01,00
8BULGARIA - 2½0 * 00,50

Note: Top two teams in each section will move to the semi-finals

Ukraine is surely a tough team, but their top board player Oleg Tuka seems to be out of form. After surviving a lost position against Kishan in round one, he lost to Rasim Nizam in round two. Ukraine, however, won on other three boards to win the match against Bulgaria.

In Group A, the most interesting match was between United Kingdom and Macedonia. The latter managed to win with a score of 2.5-1.5

In Group B, a small upset was Spain being held to a draw by spirited Slovenian team

It is very interesting to note that the Slovenian team has a host of sponsors whose logos have been put up on their t-shirts

This unique recording device is used to record moves in Braille. Some people use the method with a hand and a pointed object to make holes, while some just prefer this typewriter sort of a machine!

Escorting a blind player to the washroom

In general I have realized that the amount of trust as well as the feeling of trying to work together is quite high among the players as well as the organizers and arbiters. Blind players need to go to the washroom during the game and the organizers and arbiters have faith that the players will not cheat and discuss the position with each other. Many times a team captain escorts them to the washroom and the other team captain or the players are completely fine with it. There is trust among the teams and this is something very valuable that I found in such blind events. Everyone wants to win and succeed, but the feeling of camaraderie is a higher than sighted events.

Video Gallery:

IA Radislav Yordanov Atanasov is the chief arbiter at the 8th IBCA World Team Championships 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is also a national master, a Ph.D holder and worked as the interpretor for Vishy Anand in his match against Veselin Topalov. One man, many roles, we speak to him and get to know him better.

Marcin Tazbir from Poland holds the unique distinction of being the only visually impaired chess player in the world to be a grandmaster. He had a normal vision until the age of 18, but then problems started to crop up. In this interview he shares with us about his life with normal sight and also about the seven years from 18-25 when he was able to achieve his final GM norm and become a grandmaster, in spite of having visual limitations.

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