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MPL Indian Chess Tour 2022 leg 1 R5-8: Abhimanyu Puranik joins Leon Mendonca in the lead

by Shahid Ahmed - 02/04/2022

Abhimanyu Puranik and Leon Luke Mendonca finished the second day as the coleaders. They both are now at 17.0/24 each at MPL Indian Chess Tour leg 1. The Pune lad Abhimanyu wrecked through the competition on the second day. He beat Gukesh, Raunak, Abhijeet and Iniyan. Leon had a relatively slow start as he drew with Harika and lost to Surya, before finishing the day at the top with victories against Sethuraman and Narayanan. Arjun Erigaisi scored a hat-trick and split the point with Raunak to move to the third spot 15.0/24. Surya is at 14.0/24, followed by Gukesh and Raunak at 13.0/24 each. Round 9 starts today at 3:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Rupali Mullick

Abhimanyu wins five in-a-row

The second day witnessed two hat-tricks. One by Arjun Erigaisi and the other one by Abhimanyu Puranik. The latter's was more impressive as he is on a five-game win streak and climbed from sixth to the first spot on the points table. The next most impressive climb is Arjun's as he moved from eighth to the third place by registering a hat-trick of wins and a draw.

Abhimanyu joins Leon in the lead 17.0/24 | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Leon bounced back well to become the coleader with Abhimanyu

Round 5: Narayanan - Adhiban: 3-0

Narayanan S L started the day with a victory against Adhiban. This was also his first win of the event.

Position after 25.h5

There is not much Black can do to save the position after 25.h5. No matter whichever pawn Black decides to exchange, it only increase White's decisive advantage.

Karthikeyan - Arjun: 0-3

Arjun Erigaisi started the day with a win over Karthikeyan Murali. It was a complex double rook endgame, which the latter could have saved if he had enough time on the clock.

Position after 48...Kd3

49.Re8 Rxa7 50.Re1 continues the fight. However, White opted for 49.Rd8 Rxa7 50.Rd1+ Kc2 51.Rf1 e2 and White resigned.

Gukesh - Abhimanyu: 0-3

Gukesh had a very interesting encounter with Abhimanyu Puranik. The former sacrificed a piece to gain an intiative.

Position after 15...Ng4

16.Qe4 was played in the game which loses the momentum. Instead, there was a way for White to continue the attack. Can you find it? Abhimanyu eventually turned things around in his favor and won the game.

Round 6: Abhimanyu - Raunak: 3-0

Abhimanyu Puranik capitalized on Raunak's inaccuracy in the rook ending.

Position after 57.h5

57...Kc4 58.Kf5 Rf3+ allows Black to stay in the game. 57...b3 58.Kf5 Rf3+ 59.Kg6 and White is winning. The difference is the black rook is tied to the defense of the b3-pawn and trying to prevent h-pawn along with attacking the g4-pawn, the rook is overworked.

Arjun - Aryan: 3-0

Arjun Erigaisi completely outplayed Aryan Chopra right out of the opening.

Surya - Leon: 3-0

Surya Ganguly beat Leon in the clash among the leaders. This was also his fourth consecutive victory and a hat-trick of the day.

Position after 23.Qh5

White is making some deadly threats on the h-file. How should Black respond?

Round 7: Leon - Sethuraman: 3-0

Leon bounced back immediately and beat Sethuraman in Round 7.

Position after 32.Rdd7

A devastating attack by White decided the fate of the game.

Narayanan - Surya: 3-0

Narayanan S L handed Surya his first loss of the event in a game which featured mutual inaccuracies.

Gukesh - Arjun: 0-3

The Gukesh and Arjun Erigaisi encounter finally had a winner in the form of Arjun.

Abhijeet - Abhimanyu: 0-3

Abhijeet miscalculated a tactic which had a long-term repercussion.

Position after 17.Nc5

Find out why 17.Nc5 is incorrect.

Round 8: Abhimanyu - Iniyan: 3-0

Abhimanyu scored his fifth consecutive win of the event, fourth of the day against Iniyan, to jump in the lead.

Leon - Narayanan: 3-0

Leon defeated Narayanan to maintain his lead along with Abhimanyu.

Scoring system

Win - 3 points, Draw - 1 point and Loss - 0.

Replay the live stream

MPL Indian Chess Tour Leg 1 Round 5-8 Live commentary by GM Anish Giri, GM Srinath Narayanan and NM Sahil Tickoo | Video: chess24

Replay Round 5-8 games

Standings after Round 8

Abhimanyu Puranik becomes the coleader of Leon Mendonca 17.0/24 | Photo: chess24

All games will start from 3:30 p.m. IST between 31st March and 3rd April 2022.

Links

Preview

Official site