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Kramnik Challenge Day 1: Tough start for Leon

by Shahid Ahmed - 13/08/2021

Vincent Keymer emerged as the early sole leader 3.5/4 at the conclusion of the first day of Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour Kramnik Challenge. Three players are trailing by a half point, 3.0/4. They are - Christopher Yoo, Awonder Liang and Nodirbek Abdusattorov. Leon lost the first game on time and then made three draws. He is now at 1.5/4 at tied ninth position along with Jonas Bjerre, Volodar Murzin, Carissa Yip and Zhu Jiner. Murzin missed a fantastic combination in a completely winning position against Jonas. Round 5 starts today at 7:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Niklesh Jain

Keymer takes sole lead

Leon Luke Mendonca scored 1.5/4 on the first day. After losing a winning position against Tingjie in the first round, he got a good position against Yip in the second round but that ended in a draw. The next two games against Liang and Saduakassova also ended in draws.

A win in the first round would have put Leon in a good position | Photo: Niklesh Jain

Round 1: Tingjie - Leon: 1-0

Leon was completely winning against GM Tinjie Lei (CHN) in the first round, but he ran out of time and lost the game.

Final position after 42.Kd2 | Photo: chess24 live stream

Black is completely winning here as 42...e5 43.Nf5 Bxe4 and White has no choice but to resign.

Round 2: Yip - Leon: 0.5-0.5

IM Carissa Yip (USA) was in a difficult situation and she managed to get away with a draw.

Position after 18.Rc4

White needed to play 18.a4 and everything would have been fine as 18...bxa3 neutralizes all attack because White can trade the queens 19.Qxa5 Rxa5 20.bxa3 Rxa3 31.Kb2 and White is out of the woods. 18.Rc4 gave Leon the opening he needed. He struck 18...Qxa2+ 19.Kc2 and now he needed to play 19...e5 first and then 20...d5 but he chose to play 19...d5 first and slowly the advantage evaporated. White escaped with a draw.

Arguably the most interesting position of the day occurred in the game between IM Volodar Murzin (RUS) and GM Jonas Buhl Bjerre (NOR).

Position after 40...Kg7

There are multiple ways for White to go for a win here. Try to find them all. Black somehow managed to survive by the skin of his teeth and salvage a draw.

Highlights

Some interesting finishes from Day 1

GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB) drew with IM Polina Shuvalova (RUS), Round 1

IM Volodar Murzin (RUS) drew with GM Jonas Buhl Bjeree (NOR), Round 3

IM Sara Khadem (IRI) drew with GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov (UZB), Round 4
Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour: Kramnik Challenge Day 1 - Live commentary by Surya Ganguly and Anna Muzychuk | Video: chess24

Replay all games from Round 1-4

Standings after Round 4

Keymer has taken an early sole lead | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Schedule

Every day between 12th and 15th August, the game starts at 7:30 p.m. IST.

Kramnik Challenge will have 15-rounds | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Julius Baer Challengers Chess Tour schedule | Photo: Champions Chess Tour

Links

Official site

Chess-Results


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