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Vidit tames Hungarians at the IMSA mind games 2019

by Satanick Mukhuty - 15/05/2019

The IMSA world mind games is an important event in a calendar year. Mainly because chess is one of the many other mind sports played at the festival. Chess gets excellent exposure among other mind games like Go, Bridge, Xiangqi, and Droughts. 16 players in the open section and 16 in the women are fighting it out in rapid and blitz format. Indian representation is made by Vidit Gujrathi in the open and by Humpy and Harika in the women's section. Vidit is on +1 after eight rounds with wins against two Hungarians Rapport and Leko. Humpy has had a dismal event and is on 2.5/8, while Harika too hasn't really fired is on 3.5/8. We bring you a detailed report after day two. 

This looks like a very serious chess playing hall, doesn't it?

The players are hunching down and thinking about their moves! They are the best players in the world. Can you identify them?

Look closely! They aren't playing chess! It's draughts!

The International Mind Sports Association World Masters Championship is taking place in Hengshui, China from 13th until 18th of May. It includes 5 sports - bridge, chess, draughts, go, and xiangqi - with 17 disciplines in total. 170 players have gathered from 36 countries. 16 players in open and 16 in women are indulging in 11 rounds of rapid and 11 rounds of blitz. From India we have GM Harika Dronavalli and GM Koneru Humpy playing in the Women's section, and GM Vidit Gujrathi in the men's section.

Men's section

Vidit is well known for his rapid and blitz skills and although he is one of the lower seeds in the tournament, the numbers can be quite deceiving | Photo: Sina home

Vidit had great trouble reaching China because of the problems at the Chinese Embassy. He even tweeted to the Minister of External Affairs of India Sushma Swaraj:

Under tremendous time pressure, Vidit did get the visa and proceeded to play the event in China.

Starting rank

No. NameFideIDFEDRtg
GMWang Hao8602883CHN2795
GMYu Yangyi8603820CHN2784
GMAndreikin Dmitry4158814RUS2759
GMKorobov Anton14105730UKR2756
GMDominguez Perez Leinier3503240USA2752
GMRapport Richard738590HUN2739
GMBu Xiangzhi8601445CHN2722
GMGelfand Boris2805677ISR2719
GMFedoseev Vladimir24130737RUS2718
GMLe Quang Liem12401137VIE2706
GMLeko Peter703303HUN2702
GMPonomariov Ruslan14103320UKR2682
GMMamedov Rauf13401653AZE2667
GMVidit Santosh Gujrathi5029465IND2664
GMCheparinov Ivan2905540GEO2629
GMJones Gawain C B409561ENG2622

On the first day Vidit had a mixed outing. He began with a win against Richard Rapport followed by draws against Yu Yangyi and Korobov. But in the fourth round he slumped to a defeat against Fedoseev. Let's have a look at both the decisive games.

Fedoseev vs Vidit, Round 4

The right move was 49...Rg8! and the point is very neat. After Kd7 Rg7+ White has to play his king to d6. The natural Kc6 doesn't work because of g1=Q Rxg1 Rxg1 c8=Q Rc1+ and it's a draw! Vidit was unable to find this subtle defence starting with Rg8 and went for Kf2. White played Kd7 Rf7+ Kc6! and the game ended in White's favour.


On day two Vidit started out with a resounding victory against Peter Leko. Starting out with a Catalan, the following position was reached through a strange sequence of moves:  

Vidit played 14. Bf4 here which forced a sequence of exchanges: 14...Bb7 15.Bxb8 Bxg2 and now instead of going 16.Rg1, Vidit surprised his opponent with 16.Bd6!? directly, now after 16...Bxh1 17.Bxf8 Kxf8 18. f3.

Black must now play 18...Bg2 and immediately prepare to get his bishop out, but the Hungarian GM failed to notice this and ended up blundering with 18...b5. After 19.Nxc5 Nxc5 20.Ne3 the bishop is trapped. The game continued 20...Ne4 21.fxe4 Bxe4 where Black has only one pawn for an exchange - quite insufficient compensation. Vidit went on to win the game comfortably.

Vidit drew rest of his games, playing solidly to rise to joint third (4.5/8) along with Ruslan Ponomariov, Fedoseev, Yu Yangyi and Dominguez Perez. Anton Korobov emerged as the sole leader today (6.5/8) by winning all of his games. He stands currently a whooping 1.5 points ahead of the entire field.

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 Krtg+/-
GMKorobov AntonUKR27566,50,031,529632040,2
GMLe Quang LiemVIE27065,00,033,028172023,6
GMVidit Santosh GujrathiIND26644,50,033,527732024,6
GMPonomariov RuslanUKR26824,50,033,027622018,0
GMDominguez Perez LeinierUSA27524,50,032,0274520-1,0
GMFedoseev VladimirRUS27184,50,031,52755208,8
GMYu YangyiCHN27844,50,031,0276820-2,8
GMGelfand BorisISR27194,00,029,52718200,2
GMCheparinov IvanGEO26294,00,028,027272021,2
GMRapport RichardHUN27394,00,027,0268320-12,2
GMAndreikin DmitryRUS27593,50,030,0269220-15,6
GMJones Gawain C BENG26223,50,025,02668209,4
GMMamedov RaufAZE26673,01,026,0261820-11,4
GMBu XiangzhiCHN27223,00,026,0262020-23,6
GMLeko PeterHUN27022,50,526,5256620-28,8
GMWang HaoCHN27952,50,526,0255920-50,6

After 2.5/4 on day one, Korobov switched gears on day two and moved to 6.5/8 with four wins out of four rounds | Photo: Sina home

Korobov's quick win against Ivan Cheparinov in 28 moves in round 5 itself is noteworthy.

Black has just played 16...c5 but this allows 17.g5 Nh5 18.Bxh7+ and now where should the king move? In the game Black played 18...Kf8, a blunder. Now 19.g6 is crushing - White's queen and bishops are all breathing fire on the black king and as the g-file opens the rook is ready to join the foray with Rg1. The game however continued with 19.bxc5 bxc5 20.Rb1 which kind of theoretically gives Black a chance but a practical game under time pressure is another matter. 

Women's Section

Harika with 3.5/8 is in tenth position | Photo: Sina home

Koneru Humpy is on 2.5/8. She lost three out of her four games on day 2 | Photo: Sina home

Rankings after round 8

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 Krtg+/-
GMZhao XueCHN24195,51,531,525992038,6
GMGunina ValentinaRUS24915,51,033,026182026,8
GMKosteniuk AlexandraRUS24985,50,531,526132024,4
IMBodnaruk AnastasiaRUS24375,00,029,025572025,4
IMAbdumalik ZhansayaKAZ24904,50,532,52515206,0
GMMuzychuk MariyaUKR25114,50,532,02520202,4
GMDzagnidze NanaGEO24744,00,032,5247220-0,8
GMLei TingjieCHN25284,00,029,5246120-14,4
GMTan ZhongyiCHN24824,00,028,0245820-5,4
GMHarika DronavalliIND24403,50,029,5241820-5,2
GMStefanova AntoanetaBUL24553,50,029,0243520-5,0
GMUshenina AnnaUKR24443,50,028,0240820-8,2
GMKrush IrinaUSA24303,50,027,0241720-3,4
IMPaehtz ElisabethGER24203,50,026,0240120-4,8
GMKoneru HumpyIND24722,50,029,5231020-34,4
GMKhotenashvili BelaGEO24061,50,028,5219220-42,0

In the seventh round Koneru Humpy suffered a shocking defeat in 23 moves against Anastasia Bodnaruk.


Bodnaruk vs Humpy

In the above position 9...Bxe4 10.Bxe4 Nxe4 would have been fine but Humpy's 9...d6?! helped the Russian take the upper-hand. After 10.Re1 e5 11.Nf5 g6 White was clearly better. After this it seemed she simply lost her calm and made a series of mistakes.

After 16. c5 Black could have fought on with 16...0-0 17.c6 Nb6 etc but 16...dxc5 was a blunder. The game was soon finished in a few more moves.

It was all the more devastating for Humpy as she lost three of her four games today and could manage only to draw one. Harika Dronavalli too failed to put up a satisfactory show as she drew her first three games and lost the last one against Tan Zhongyi. 


Harika vs Tan Zhongyi

The above shows position after Black's 51...c5, after defending a worse position for about fifty moves Harika lost the game here. She played 52. Qf6? which is a mistake and hands over all the play to Black. For example 52...Qd3+ 53. Kf4 Qh3 54. Qe7 Qh2+ is clearly winning. The game continued 52...Qb6 53. Qf3 c4+ 54. Kf4+ Kb4 55. Qf1 Qd4 which also was enough for a win.

At the end of day 2, jointly leading the women section are Xue Zhao, Valentina Gunima, and Alexandra Kosteniuk. 

A chess purse! | Photo: Sina home

The playing hall of the tournament is spacious and well laid out | Photo: Sina home

Making the opening move | Photo: Sina home

It's wonderful to see Boris Gelfand still fighting it out against players half his age | Photo: Sina home

The next big thing in women's chess Zhansaya Abdumalik | Photo: Sina home

About the author

My name is Satanick Mukhuty. I am 26 years old and hold a bachelors degree in mathematics. Chess composition is the most serious passion of mine and I intend to pursue it rest of the life in my own humble capacity. Chess problems aside, I love good music, cinema, poetry and last but not the least, I love cats and am fostering three kittens along with their mom at the moment.

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LIVE! Follow Vidit, Humpy and Harika at IMSA mind games 2019

@ 15/05/2019 by Sagar Shah (en)