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GM Shyam Sundar analyzes Chanda vs Ivanchuk

by Shyam Sundar - 01/02/2018

One of the most unusual games of the Gibraltar Chess Festival was the one between Sandipan Chanda with the white pieces against Vassily Ivanchuk. We all know that Sandipan is a deep thinker and always put a great amount of thought behind his moves. So it was very surprising that he 'blundered' on the 12th move. Of course, it was not a blunder, it was a well-calculated risk by Sandipan. But the computers don't seem to agree with the Indian GM. GM Shyam Sundar got intrigued by this game and sent us his analysis from a human point of view. We are sure that this will help you to better understand how grandmasters think over the board. 

GM Sandipan Chanda took on Vassily Ivanchuk in the sixth round of the Gibraltar Masters 2018. Let's go over the initial moves:

Black (Ivanchuk) pushed his pawn to a4 in this position.

Black has just played a5-a4 with the obvious intention of not letting white to expand on the queenside.Though this idea is typical, I am not sure if its an asset or liability in this position as the pawn on c5 is clearly a major asset for White. It not only restricts Black's pieces but also has firm control over dark squares as moves like Nc3-b5 to d6 are always in the air.

Sandipan takes the pawn on a4 with the knight. But Rxa4 Bb5+ Bd7 Bxa4 Bxa4 yields two pieces for a rook and a pawn. Isn't it supposed to be a good position for Black?

Look at the engine evaluation! They are shouting out loud that Black is better!

White goes Qb4  and though engine claims that Black is better here, I think the position is double-edged in a practical game as white's queenside pawns would become dangerous.

Qd7-b5 was a clear error by Ivanchuk which was met with the cute move b3!

Much better would have been to 0-0. And the question arises how should White play?

I have analyzed the above position in great depth and come to the conclusion that it is not as black and white as the computer suggests. There are areas in grey and Black must play very carefully in order to keep his advantage. Have a look at my analysis below:

Truly an outstanding chess player - GM Sandipan Chanda | Photo: John Saunders

About the author:

GM Shyam Sundar is a grandmaster and one of the very few players in Indian chess who has improved without having a consistent trainer. His method of work involves analyzing games of top players and learning from it. As you can see above, he analyzed the game between Sandipan Chanda and Ivanchuk in great depth and this helps him to improve at the game.

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