Praggnanandhaa overpowers Cheparinov and Vitiugov, now World no.16
India no.3 GM R Praggnanandhaa defeated GM Ivan Cheparinov (Magic Extremadura) and GM Nikita Vitiugov (C A Jaime Casas de Monzon) to become World no.16 in the live ratings. Praggnanandhaa is playing for the defending champion team, C A Solvay which won the Spanish Team Championship Honor Division last year. India no.1 GM D Gukesh is the only other Indian in his team. Currently, Gukesh is playing in Armageddon Championship Series 2023 Grand Finale. So he is yet to join the team. GM Raunak Sadhwani and GM S L Narayanan are playing for the same team MyInvestor Casablanca. Raunak made a perfect 2/2 start like Praggnanandhaa. Can C A Solvay win it again for the second consecutive year? We will know in the next few days. Praggnanandhaa will face GM Etienne Bacrot (Gros Xake Taldea) in Round 3 today from 4 p.m. local time, 7:30 p.m. IST. Photos: FEDA
Praggnanandhaa and Raunak win two in-a-row
Team C A Solvay drew the first round against Magic Extremadura 3-3. In the second round, they defeated C A Jaime Casas de Monzon by a minimum margin 3.5-2.5. Currently, DuoBeniajan Costa Calida and C A Silla - Integrant col·lectius are the coleaders 4/4, followed by Magic Extremadura and C A Solvay at 3/4 each.
Round 1: C A Solvay - Magic Extremadura: 3-3
In the first round, GM R Praggnanandhaa (C A Solvay, 2727) was paired against GM Ivan Cheparinov (Magic Extremadura, 2654). The game reached an equal same color bishop endgame after 44th move.
Praggnanandhaa - Cheparinov
White traded the pawns 53.gxf5 gxf5. The position is still balanced. However, Praggnanandhaa wanted a win. He kept grinding the World no.1 and arrived at a desired position.
Black is in a virtual zugzwang! The king cannot move as the e5-pawn will fall. Moving the bishop means, allowing white to give a check 82...Bc5 83.Bd8+ Kf7 84.Kg5 e4 85.fxe4 fxe4 86.Kf4 e3 87.Kf3 and the position remains balanced. 82...f4? helps White. 83.Kg4 Bc5 84.Bd8+ Kg6 after a couple of moves White played the only winning move 88.d6! Bxd6 89.Bxb6 Bb4 90.Bd8 and White went on to win the game eventually. White stumbled for a moment before the finish line, allowing Black to salvage a draw. However, Black misplayed once again to lose the game.
Round 2: C A Solvay - C A Jaime Casas de Monzon: 3.5-2.5
Just like the match-up against Cheparinov, GM R Praggnanandhaa was facing GM Nikita Vitiugov (C A Jaime Casas de Monzon, 2719) for the first time in a rated game.
Praggnanandhaa - Vitiugov
In a sharp position, it was Black who made the first mistake which at a first glance seems to be the natural move 29...Qxg4? 30.cxd4 b4 31.Nh2 Qd7? 32.Qc7+- forcing the queen exchange Qxc7 33.dxc7 Ne6 34.Nb5 White's c and d-passed pawns are too strong. Soon Black had to give up an exchange. The technique to convert his advantage into a win was not easy. However, Praggnanandhaa did it diligently and won the game.
For more photos, please click here.
A total of eight teams are taking part in Honor Division in a round-robin tournament. Only six out of 7-12 members can play in each round. The tournament is taking place in Linares, Spain from 16th to 22nd September 2023. The time control was 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment per move.
Replay Round 1-2 Honor Division games
Round 2 results
|1||C.A. Solvay||0.0||2612||ESP||3.0 - 3.0||Magic Extremadura||0.0||2559||ESP|
|2||C.A. Jaime Casas de Monzon||0.0||2581||ESP||2.0 - 4.0||DuoBeniajan Costa Calida||0.0||2639||ESP|
|3||Gros Xake Taldea||0.0||2554||ESP||2.5 - 3.5||MyInvestor Casablanca||0.0||2559||ESP|
|4||C.A. Silla - Integrant col·lectius||0.0||2602||ESP||3.5 - 2.5||Andreu Paterna||0.0||2578||ESP|
Standings after Round 2
|1||7||DuoBeniajan Costa Calida||ESP||4.0||8||0||0||2639||Murcia|
|2||4||C.A. Silla - Integrant col·lectius||ESP||4.0||7||0||7||2602||Valencia|
|7||2||C.A. Jaime Casas de Monzon||ESP||0.0||4.5||0||15.5||2581||Aragon|
|8||3||Gros Xake Taldea||ESP||0.0||4.5||0||13||2554||Euskadi|
Round 3 pairings
|1||C.A. Jaime Casas de Monzon||0.0||2581||ESP||-||Magic Extremadura||3.0||2559||ESP|
|2||Gros Xake Taldea||0.0||2554||ESP||-||C.A. Solvay||3.0||2612||ESP|
|3||C.A. Silla - Integrant col·lectius||4.0||2602||ESP||-||DuoBeniajan Costa Calida||4.0||2639||ESP|
|4||Andreu Paterna||0.0||2578||ESP||-||MyInvestor Casablanca||2.0||2559||ESP|