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It was not Sandipan's day

by Shahid Ahmed - 02/11/2019

Sandipan suffered his first loss of the tournament against Ukraine's strong GM Pavel Eljanov in round 7. In round 6, Sandipan held former World Cup winner legendary Gata Kamsky to a draw. After suffering a loss in round 5, making a short a draw in round 6, Sethuraman squashed his opponent of round 7 in just 11 moves. Padmini suffered her first loss in round 7 after scoring an emphatic victory in round 5 and a topsy-turvy draw in round 6. Gukesh scored three consecutive clinical victories and is now set to face Gata Kamsky in the penultimate round of the tournament. There is a five-way lead at the top with 6.0/7 between Pavel Eljanov, Anton Demchenko, Timur Gareyev, Sergei Azarov and Vitaliy Bernadskiy at 23rd OIBM Tegernsee in Germany. Photo: OIBM Official site

Eljanov stopped Sandipan's near perfect run

After drawing with Gata Kamsky in round 6, Sandipan was closing in on the leader, but he had a tough obstacle in the form of Pavel Eljanov. Sandipan relied on his trusty Dutch Defence. As usual he managed to equalize things with ease out of the gate. However he made a wrong pawn grab at a wrong time which tilted things in Eljanov's favor.

Eljanov is a strong contender for the 23rd OIBM title | Photo: Official site

Eljanov - Sandipan, round 7

Position after 30.Qf4

30...Qxa2 seems harmless at first. However a careful look reveals that there is an instant win for White.

Find out the winning continuation for white here

It is safe to assume that both players were in time trouble, thus both missed this simple tactic.

White just played 33.Rh6

After Eljanov's 33.Rh6 , Sandipan had one last chance to prolong the inevitable but he missed that too.

In the previous round, Sandipan held former World Cup winner Gata Kamsky to draw. Sandipan opted for London system and kept creating chances for himself, however Kamsky is not the one to make a mistake easily. The game eventually liquidated into a knight vs bishop ending where draw was the only logical conclusion.

Sandipan against the legendary Gata Kamsky | Photo: Official site

Sethuraman smoked his opponent in just 11 moves in round 7 | Photo: Official site

After losing the fifth round game, making a short draw in round 6 in just 25 moves, Sethuraman was definitely starving for a full point. He victimized IM Dieter Morawietz in a 11 move miniature.

This is what his friend Surya Sekhar Ganguly tweeted at the conclusion of his game

Padmini suffered her first loss of the tournament in round 7 | Photo: Official site

The four-time National Women's champion and Olympiad Gold medalist, IM Padmini Rout dominated her opponent Danny Yi in round 5. In round 6, she made a draw against GM Salvador G Del Rio De Angelis (ESP, 2491) in a topsy-turvy game.

Angelis - Padmini, round 6

White just played 19.Red1. Can you think like Padmini here?

You have to take every chance you get, sometimes half-chances too. Here Padmini opted for the most interesting continuation, 19...Nxf2. There is no immediate win for Black here, however black has enough against white's exposed king to exploit it eventually.

20...Qd5 seems to be the correct move, but in reality it is not

Black opted for the natural continuation of 20...Qd5 which allowed White to bounce back, except for the fact that Angelis could not find it.

34...Re3 is a blunder. Why?

Angelis missed an easy win 34...Re3 blunder and the game eventually ended up in a draw in an equal rook and few pawns endgame.

In round 7, Padmini gained an early advantage against GM Grzegorz Nasuta (POL, 2534)

Padmini - Nasuta, round 7

Queen is the most advanced piece in black's camp

White continued with 19.Na6 and things started going in her direction, until she over pushed her passed pawn.

26.b7 may look menacing but actually it is not

26.b7 momentarily nets white a piece but white cannot hold on to it for long and the eventual resultant position goes in favor of black and white loses control of the domination.

Gukesh claimed three consecutive clinical victories | Photo: Official site

Gukesh got back to his winning ways by stringing three consecutive victories. To understand Gukesh's acumen, take a look at this position from his round 7 game.

Tomas - Gukesh, round 7

Find the best continuation for black here

White's 22.f5 would have spooked any other kid, but Gukesh is not just another kid. He calmly made the right decision and overthrew any shred of possibility for an attack on his king side. The next sequence of moves completely turned things in Gukesh's favor and he won the game in just another seven moves.

Gukesh has a big task ahead of him now as he faces Gata Kamsky in the penultimate round. Fun fact: This will be Kamsky's third Indian opponent of the tournament and so far he has only managed to draw against both.

Round 7 results of Indian players

Rd.Bo.No. NameRtgPts.ResultPts.NameRtg No.
GMEljanov Pavel266351 - 05GMSandipan Chanda2529
GMSethuraman S.P.26241 - 0IMMorawietz Dieter2419
IMWGM Padmini Rout23940 - 1GMNasuta Grzegorz2534
FMLudvik Tomas23050 - 1GMGukesh D2520
IMWGM Mohota Nisha219540 - 14IMZysk Robert2412
FMWiechert Hans218740 - 14FMManu David Suthandram R2403
Ramaraju N213940 - 14FMNasshan Dennis2306
CMPrraneeth Vuppala21491 - 0Eilers Jochen1972
CMSchnicke Robert2108½ - ½Aggarwal Vansh1901
IMDas Soham237631 - 03Deuer Marius1993
Schneider Andreas20133½ - ½3Raghu Ram Reddy Seelam1538
Kirsch Martin17400 - 1Borgaonkar Akshay1927

Complete results

Round 8 pairings for Indian players

Rd.Bo.No. NameRtgPts.ResultPts.NameRtg No.
GMGukesh D2520GMKamsky Gata2685
IMEngel Luis2507GMSethuraman S.P.2624
FMHess Max237355GMSandipan Chanda2529
FMManu David Suthandram R240355Goldbeck Lars2203
Kraich Klaus2183IMWGM Padmini Rout2394
IMKöpke Christian2332CMPrraneeth Vuppala2149
Fleuren Jan Dr.209744IMDas Soham2376
Czap Bernard206644IMWGM Mohota Nisha2195
Mooser Nicolas199944Ramaraju N2139
Aggarwal Vansh190144Groß Willi Dr.2120
Borgaonkar Akshay1927Braeunlin Herbert2097
Raghu Ram Reddy Seelam1538Gnegel Boris-Igor2003

Complete pairings