IIFLW Mumbai Round 6: Deepan and Abhijeet pull off a miracle!
The sixth round of Eka by IIFIM Mumbai International Chess tournament 2017-18 turned out to be a nail-biting affair. Overnight leader, Deepan Chakkravarthi won a crazy game against Adam Tukhaev to retain his tournament lead. GM Abhijeet Gupta had to walk a tightrope in his game against Shakil Abu Sufian but managed to pull out a win while 11-year-old Pranav held Deviatkin to a draw. In the Juniors' group, although the draw between the leaders, Aaryan Varshney and Nikhil Magizhnan was an exciting one, it allowed three more players to catch up with them. We have a report with games, pictures, and analysis.
Round 6 of the 3rd Mumbai IIFL International Chess Tournament abound with fascinating chess. On the top table, Deepan Chakkravarthy and Adam Tukhaev played Fianchetto variation of the King's Indian Defence and reached an utterly mad middlegame where the Ukranian GM managed to get an edge out of the opening. The position, however, was so complicated that the evaluation kept changing like quicksilver.
By the 25th move, Tukhaev had sacrificed an exchange and had successfully imprisoned the white queen in his base camp. Soon, the black bishops were positioned menacingly and on move 5l, trying to make the most of his advantage, Tukhaev sacrificed his two minor pieces for Deepan's rook. Given that he had already sacrificed an exchange earlier, this meant that he was now a full piece down. But as compensation, he had three pawns and it looked more than enough for the Ukranian GM to win.
However, as Chakkravarthy said after the game, "a piece is a piece". Tukhaev's advantage began evaporating soon. Within just a few moves, the silicon monsters changed the evaluation from better for black to equal to winning for white. With his extra piece, Chakkravarthy began harvesting Tukhaev's pawns one after another and after 79 long moves, Tukhaev was on his knees.
The top seed of the tournament, GM Abhijeet Gupta had to walk a tightrope in his sixth round game against Bangladeshi International Master, Shakil Abu Sufian. Playing from the white side of a Modern Benoni, Abhijeet stumbled in the opening and was struggling through most part of the middlegame. By the 26th move, he was already a couple of pawns down.
But as play progressed, his Bangladeshi opponent began playing passively. It seemed to Abhijeet that his opponent was just playing for a draw and this should be punished even if he had to play a very long game to accomplish it. After around six long hours, Abhijeet's efforts were rewarded when his opponent misjudged the ensuing king and pawn endgame that arose after a queen exchange on move 54. Just eight moves later, it was all over.
After a sparkling win against Srija Seshadri yesterday, the blindfold king of chess, Timur Gareyev, played another spectacular game against IM K Rathnakaran. Things went wild right out of the opening as Gareyev, with the black pieces, played g6 on his second move in an open Sicilian. Seeing an opportunity to get things complicated, Rathnakaran too went straight for the kill with 3.h4 to attack black's kingside.
After the opening phase of the game, it seemed Gareyev had come out on top and had attained a much better position. A few moves later, however, his advantage had evanesced. Trying to keep things complicated, Gareyev sacrificed an exchange but Rathnakaran returned it almost immediately and maintained equilibrium. On the 41st move, players signed the truce after a move repetition.
Young prodigies from India are proof that India is definitely going to be a chess superpower in the not so distant future. In round 6, the 11-year-old prodigy from Chennai was able to get a dominating position against the strong Russian GM Andrei Deviatkin. Play kicked off with the Torre attack in which Pranav had the black pieces. Out of the opening, the Chennai boy was able to neutralise comfortably.
On the 34th move, Deviatkin tried to open up black's king by sacrificing a pawn but soon, the boot was on the wrong foot. On move 43 Deviatkin missed a tactical shot that cost him a second pawn and put Pranav in a dominating position. Deviatkin won his pawn back a few moves later but the evaluation of the position still favoured the Chennai kid. However, in winning this pawn, Deviatkin had also created an outside passed pawn for himself and this turned out to be a good source of counterplay. The 54th move of the game saw an exchange of Pranav's passed queen-pawn with Deviatkin's queen-rook pawn. Pranav still had an extra pawn on the board but the presence of rooks in the game made the defensive task of Deviatkin much simpler. A few moves later, players decided to split the point and call it a day.
Results of round 6
|1||15||GM||Deepan Chakkravarthy J.||IND||2473||5||1 - 0||4½||GM||Tukhaev Adam||UKR||2575||4|
|2||3||GM||Rozum Ivan||RUS||2595||4½||½ - ½||4½||IM||Karthikeyan P.||IND||2497||12|
|3||5||GM||David Alberto||ITA||2571||4½||½ - ½||4½||IM||Yeoh Li Tian||MAS||2480||14|
|4||40||FM||Rathanvel V S||IND||2323||4½||0 - 1||4½||GM||Maghsoodloo Parham||IRI||2570||6|
|5||7||GM||Atalik Suat||TUR||2545||4||1 - 0||4½||GM||Horvath Adam||HUN||2473||16|
|6||1||GM||Gupta Abhijeet||IND||2610||4||1 - 0||4||IM||Abu Sufian Shakil||BAN||2312||44|
|7||47||IM||Rathnakaran K.||IND||2307||4||½ - ½||4||GM||Gareyev Timur||USA||2606||2|
|8||49||FM||Shailesh Dravid||IND||2306||4||0 - 1||4||GM||Tran Tuan Minh||VIE||2544||8|
|9||9||GM||Swapnil S. Dhopade||IND||2533||4||1 - 0||4||Aradhya Garg||IND||2289||50|
|10||11||GM||Nguyen Duc Hoa||VIE||2504||4||1 - 0||4||Koustav Chatterjee||IND||2288||52|
Rank after round 6
|1||15||GM||Deepan Chakkravarthy J.||IND||2473||6,0||0,0||19,5||22,0||3,0||6,0||6||4,19||1,81||10||18,1|
|7||8||GM||Tran Tuan Minh||U20||VIE||2544||5,0||0,0||20,5||24,0||3,0||4,0||5||5,16||-0,16||10||-1,6|
|8||9||GM||Swapnil S. Dhopade||IND||2533||5,0||0,0||19,5||22,0||2,0||4,0||5||5,30||-0,30||10||-3,0|
Pairing for round 7:
|1||6||GM||Maghsoodloo Parham||IRI||2570||5½||6||GM||Deepan Chakkravarthy J.||IND||2473||15|
|2||12||IM||Karthikeyan P.||IND||2497||5||5||GM||Gupta Abhijeet||IND||2610||1|
|3||14||IM||Yeoh Li Tian||MAS||2480||5||5||GM||Rozum Ivan||RUS||2595||3|
|4||19||IM||Harsha Bharathakoti||IND||2451||5||5||GM||David Alberto||ITA||2571||5|
|5||20||IM||Khusenkhojaev Muhammad||TJK||2451||5||5||GM||Atalik Suat||TUR||2545||7|
|6||8||GM||Tran Tuan Minh||VIE||2544||5||5||GM||Barua Dibyendu||IND||2448||21|
|7||32||FM||Erigaisi Arjun||IND||2359||5||5||GM||Swapnil S. Dhopade||IND||2533||9|
|8||34||Sammed Jaykumar Shete||IND||2351||5||5||GM||Nguyen Duc Hoa||VIE||2504||11|
|9||2||GM||Gareyev Timur||USA||2606||4½||4½||Debarshi Mukherjee||IND||2313||43|
|10||4||GM||Tukhaev Adam||UKR||2575||4½||4½||IM||Deshmukh Anup||IND||2283||53|
In the juniors' group, the sixth round witnessed a battle between the two tournament leaders, Aaryan Varshney and Nikhil Maghizhnan. Play kicked off with the Queen's Indian Defence in which Varshney had the white pieces. Queens were traded early in the game and, as play progressed, all pieces except rooks were traded off.
Varshney had an extra queen rook pawn in the rook endgame that followed and tried really hard to win. He would even have succeeded had he not missed exchanging his pawns on g5 instead of going all out for queening his pawn. In the line Varshney played, he gave his opponent two connected kingside passers as compensation for his rook. Magizhnan made the most of it by rolling them down the board and clinging on to a draw by forcing a stalemate at the end.
This draw allowed D Gukesh, Srihari LR and Pranav V to catch up with the leaders by winning their games. Moreover, a battalion of eleven players is sharing the second spot with a score of 5.0/6. After six rounds, five players are tied for first in the Juniors section and the tournament is wide open with three rounds to go.
Results of round 6
|1||10||Aaryan Varshney||2026||5||½ - ½||5||CM||Nikhil Magizhnan||2017||11|
|2||13||Pranesh M||1977||4½||0 - 1||4½||CM||Gukesh D||2362||1|
|3||19||Banerjee Ashutosh||1914||4½||0 - 1||4½||Pranav V||2263||2|
|4||17||AGM||Srihari L R||1924||4½||1 - 0||4½||Anuj Shrivatri||2149||3|
|5||4||CM||Rohith Krishna S||2139||4||1 - 0||4½||Zia Tahsin Tajwar||1825||23|
|6||6||WFM||Divya Deshmukh||2128||4||0 - 1||4||CM||Tanmay Jain||1738||31|
|7||38||Adane Narayani||1691||4||0 - 1||4||Pranav Anand||2106||7|
|8||8||AGM||Tarun Kanyamarala||2069||4||½ - ½||4||Dinesh Rajan M||1717||35|
|9||12||CM||Bharath Subramaniyam H||2014||4||0 - 1||4||Eesha Ajay Sarda||1695||37|
|10||42||Shah Jeet||1671||4||1 - 0||4||Polakhare Aryan||1947||15|
Rank after round 6
|4||17||AGM||Srihari L R||IND||1924||5,5||0,0||16,0||23,5||1,0||5,0||6||5,5||4,63||0,87||40||34,8|
|6||45||Kadam Om Manish||IND||1652||5,0||0,0||16,0||24,0||3,0||5,0||6||5||2,42||2,58||40||103,2|
|7||30||Jain Kashish Manoj||IND||1748||5,0||0,0||16,0||23,0||3,0||5,0||6||5||4,49||0,51||40||20,4|
Pairings of round 7
|1||1||CM||Gukesh D||2362||5½||5½||Aaryan Varshney||2026||10|
|2||2||Pranav V||2263||5½||5½||AGM||Srihari L R||1924||17|
|3||11||CM||Nikhil Magizhnan||2017||5½||5||AGM||Jubin Jimmy||1936||16|
|4||31||CM||Tanmay Jain||1738||5||5||CM||Rohith Krishna S||2139||4|
|5||7||Pranav Anand||2106||5||5||Jain Kashish Manoj||1748||30|
|6||37||Eesha Ajay Sarda||1695||5||5||Jain Nityata||1912||20|
|7||45||Kadam Om Manish||1652||5||5||Mahitosh Dey||1820||24|
|8||29||Adarsh Tripathi||1763||5||5||Shah Jeet||1671||42|
|9||3||Anuj Shrivatri||2149||4½||4½||Harshad S||1720||34|
|10||5||CM||Mendonca Leon Luke||2130||4½||4½||Gokhale Rishabh Chandrashekhar||1712||36|
Some of our favourite photographs from round 6:
There is a lot to learn from the Kanyamarala siblings. Both of them are playing in the under-13 and open section. Naturally, they were tired and could have taken a short draw when facing each other. Besides they had already faced each other in Bhopal and had played out a fighting game. Tarun and Trisha fought their mental demons and decided to once again sit opposite each other for a full-fledged fight. Tarun won his game, but both of them became mentally stronger.
The fighting spirit of Tarun and Trisha reminds us of the Facebook post written by Sagar Shah after he had faced his wife Amruta Mokal over the board in 2016 at the Leiden Open.
About the Author
Aditya Pai is an ardent chess fan, avid reader, and a film lover. He has been an advertising copywriter and is currently pursuing a Master's in English Literature at the University of Mumbai. He loves all things German and is learning the language. He has also written scripts for experimental films.