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2nd Maharashtra GM 2023 R4: Raahul makes an incredible save against Luka

by Shahid Ahmed - 04/06/2023

IM Raahul V S showed gritty defense against GM Luka Paichadze (GEO) in Round 4 of 2nd Maharashtra GM Open 2023. Despite being down by two pawns, the former Asian Junior champion, stormed his king down the board before using his rooks to unsettle his opponent. FM Vedant Panesar, FM Sharan Rao and IM Kushagra Mohan joined the previous round leaders Raahul, IM Sammed Shete, Luka and FM Harshad S at 3.5/4 each. Vidit Gujrathi and Raunak Sadhwani scored emphatic victories against Peter Svidler and Nigel Short to take 2-1 lead. Vidit made a short work of Svidler in just 23 moves. Today is the last double round of the GM tournament and final Classical game of the match. Round 5 starts today at 10 a.m. IST. Photos: Shahid Ahmed

Vidit and Raunak regain their lead

The 2nd Maharashtra GM Open 2023 has no Indian GMs in the lead. There are still seven rounds left. FM Sharan Rao won the longest game of the event so far. He battled for over 5.5 hours in the third round to win against GM Aleksej Aleksandrov.

IM Raahul V S showcased his practical defensive skills

Luka - Raahul

Position after 17...Nxe5

IM Raahul V S (2299) landed himself in deep trouble early in the middlegame. As he mentioned in the post-match interview, he thought that the attack won't work out but it actually did. White got two extra pawns in the resultant double rook endgame after the exchange of pieces. 18.Ngxf7 Nhxf7 19.Nxf7 Qxd1 20.Raxd1 Nf3+ 21.gxf3 Kxf7 22.Rd7+ Kf6 23.fxe4+ Ke5 Raahul made the bold decision to bring his king out in the open as he felt the position was lost, so playing passive does not help. Eventually, his opponent made several inaccuracies in a position where there were multiple winning ways.

"When you have too many options, you tend to make a mistake" | Video: ChessBase India

IM Raahul V S' brave play earned him a half point against GM Luka Paichadze (GEO)

FM Harshad S - IM Sammed Shete: 0.5-0.5

Armen - Zakhartsov

Black to play and save the game

FM Sharan Rao defeated GM Aleksej Aleksandrov after 5.5 hour-long grueling battle

Kushagra - Anirudhha Potawad

Position after 45.d7

After a mistake in the sharp rook and same color bishop endgame by Anirudhha Potawad (1995), he managed to get back in the game against IM Kushagra Mohan (2412). 45.d7 forced Black to give up the bishop Bxd7 46.Rxd7 Rf2 47.e6 g2?? 48.Bxg2 and White went on to win the game. 47...b4 would have given Black another lifeline to continue the fight.

Anirudhha Potawad is playing well at this event, IM Kushagra Mohan is in great form after winning 10th Dhamso International Chess Festival 2023

Kaustuv Kundu - IM S Rohith Krishna: 0.5-0.5

Niranjan - Deep

Can White hold this?

GM Venkatesh M R - Shaik Sumer Arsh: 0.5-0.5

Vorobiov - Rajesh

Position after 20...f3!

18...f4, 20...f3! is a devastating idea. It is difficult for a human to find 21.g4 as the correct continuation. 21.gxf3 Qxh3 22.Qg3 Qe6 23.fxe4 Rg8 24.Qh4 Nxe4?? this is actually a mistake. 25.Nxe4 Bf6 26.Ng5 and White gains the upper hand. As I mentioned earlier, it is not easy for humans to think like, thus the GM faltered. CM Rajesh Nayak's (2168) bold approach worked.

"I tried my chances and it worked well for me" - CM Rajesh Nayak on beating GM Evgeny Vorobiov | Video: ChessBase India

CM Rajesh Nayak launched a brutal attack to beat GM Evgeny Vorobiov

CM Mayank Chakraborty - GM Azer Mirzoev (AZE): 0.5-0.5

Apoorv Kamble - IM Nubairshah Shaikh: 0.5-0.5

GM Manik Mikulas (SVK) - WGM Swati Ghate: 0.5-0.5

IM David Gochelashvili - Arpith S Bijoy: 0-1

Nithin Babu - IM P Konguvel: 1-0

IM P Saravana Krishnan - Vrashank Chouhan: 0-1

WIM Srishti Pandey - Arnav Maheshwari: 0-1

Mrittika Mallick - WIM Arpita Mukherjee: 1-0

GM Akash G - Uddipan Roy: 0.5-0.5

Round 4 in progress

Vidit - Svidler, Game 3

Position after 18.Na6

Vidit Gujrathi got a nice bind on the queenside after 18.Na6. Black's a8-rook is stuck unless he gives up the b7-pawn by moving his light-square bishop. 18...0-0 19.Bb4 Rd8 20.Rd2 Nd4? 21.Nc7 Rb8 22.Nd5 Bf5? 23.Rxd4 and Black resigned as Bxd4 runs into 24.Ne7+

"This match is like Nepo-Ding Match but I hope to break the trend" - Vidit Gujrathi | Video: ChessBase India
Just 23 moves!? | Vidit Gujrathi vs Peter Svidler | Video: ChessBase India

Vidit Gujrathi has once again taken the lead 2-1

Short - Raunak, Game 3

Position after 18.Qc2

Raunak Sadhwani made an interesting exchange sacrifice 18...Rxf3. 19.gxf3 Qf8 20.Bg2 g5 21.a4 Rb8 22.axb5 axb5 and after a few moves we reached the following position

Position after 30.c4

30.c4? undid White's position 30...bxc4 31.Qxc4 Ne5 32.Rxe5 White had to return the exchange to prevent Nxf3+ finishing the game. 32...Bxe5 33.Ra3 was barely holding things together. 33...Bg7 34.Qe2 Ng6 35.Nh5 Bh8 36.f4 Bxh1 37.Kxh1 Qf5 38.fxg5 d3 39.Qd1 Nh4 40.Ng3 Qd5+ 41.f3 Nxf3 and it's over.

Raunak Sadhwani is back in the lead 2-1

Fun fact: Vidit-Svidler had three 1-0 results and Raunak-Short had three 0-1 results in their first three Classical games.


Replay all Maharashtra Challenge Match games in interactive format and learn from IM Sagar Shah at Chessranga.

IM Divya Deshmukh's Nagpur recommendations | Video: ChessBase India

For more GM Round 4 and Match Classical Game 3 photos, please click at the respective links.

Replay GM Open Round 4 games

Round 4 results

Bo.No. NameRtgClub/CityPts.ResultPts.NameRtgClub/City No.PGN
GMPaichadze, Luka2513GEO3½ - ½3IMRaahul, V S2299TN
FMHarshad, S2211TN3½ - ½3IMSammed Jaykumar, Shete2440MAH
GMSavchenko, Boris2524RUS1 - 0FMGoutham, Krishna H2082KER
IMBarseghyan, Armen Ar.2373ARM½ - ½GMZakhartsov, Viacheslav V.2514FID
GMLaxman, R.R.2299ICF½ - ½GMBurmakin, Vladimir2492RUS
FMSharan, Rao2248KAR1 - 0GMAleksandrov, Aleksej2461BLR
IMKushagra, Mohan2412TEL1 - 0Potawad, Anirudhha1995MAH
Kaustuv, Kundu2242WB½ - ½IMRohith, Krishna S2411TN
Sanket, Chakravarty2389WB½ - ½Setumadhav, Yellumahanthi1954AP
Vivaan, Vishal Shah1931GUJ0 - 1FMPanesar, Vedant2387MAH
FMNavalgund, Niranjan2200KAR20 - 12GMSengupta, Deep2473PSPB
GMVenkatesh, M.R.2469PSPB2½ - ½2CMShaik, Sumer Arsh2211TEL
GMVorobiov, Evgeny E.2454RUS20 - 12CMNayak, Rajesh2168ODI
Dere, Pushkar2166MAH20 - 12IMNitish, Belurkar2450GOA
GMFedorov, Alexei2449BLR21 - 02FMJaiswal, Rupesh2146NEP


Standings after Round 4

Rk.SNo NameTypsexGrFEDRtgClub/CityPts. TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4  TB5 RpKrtg+/-
IMSammed Jaykumar, SheteIND2440MAH3,58,5108,25032534103,7
IMRaahul, V SIND2299TN3,58,5108,250325671012,4
GMPaichadze, LukaGEO2513GEO3,58,59,57,75032559101,8
FMHarshad, SIND2211TN3,58,597,250324432026,4
FMPanesar, VedantIND2387MAH3,57,59,58,2503231620-3,4
GMSavchenko, BorisFID2524RUS3,57,58,57,00032529100,9
FMSharan, RaoIND2248KAR3,5787,000324282015,4
IMKushagra, MohanIND2412TEL3,56,576,7503235110-1,5
FMRitviz, ParabIND2340GOA39117,50032292200,4
IMBarseghyan, Armen Ar.ARM2373ARM38,59,56,25022457105,9
Setumadhav, YellumahanthiIND1954AP38107,250224794098,8
GMBurmakin, VladimirFID2492RUS38107,0002243310-1,7
Sanket, ChakravartyIND2389WB3885,00022345200
GMBabujian, LevonARM2373ARM37,595,50032362100,4
GMZakhartsov, Viacheslav V.FID2514FID378,56,2502233910-4


Round 5 pairings

Bo.No. NameRtgClub/CityPts.ResultPts.NameRtgClub/City No.
FMPanesar, Vedant2387MAHGMSavchenko, Boris2524RUS
FMHarshad, S2211TNGMPaichadze, Luka2513GEO
IMSammed Jaykumar, Shete2440MAHFMSharan, Rao2248KAR
IMRaahul, V S2299TNIMKushagra, Mohan2412TEL
GMZakhartsov, Viacheslav V.2514FID33GMTeterev, Vitaly2344BLR
GMBurmakin, Vladimir2492RUS33IMBarseghyan, Armen Ar.2373ARM
GMSengupta, Deep2473PSPB33FMAyush, Sharma2312MP
IMNitish, Belurkar2450GOA33GMLaxman, R.R.2299ICF
FMRitviz, Parab2340GOA33GMFedorov, Alexei2449BLR
IMSzpar, Milosz2447POL33Kaustuv, Kundu2242WB
CMNayak, Rajesh2168ODI33IMViani, Antonio Dcunha2417KAR
IMRohith, Krishna S2411TN33Dhyey, Agarwal2004GUJ
Koustuv, Dash1965ODI33Sanket, Chakravarty2389WB
Setumadhav, Yellumahanthi1954AP33GMBabujian, Levon2373ARM
FMGoutham, Krishna H2082KERGMVenkatesh, M.R.2469PSPB



Maharashtra Chess Association: Official site, fb page and twitter

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