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S.L. Narayanan, Nihal Sarin and Rucha Pujari shine at the Aeroflot Open

by Sagar Shah - 27/02/2017

One of the strongest open tournaments in the world is currently in progress in Aeroflot Moscow. 25 Indian players are participating at the event which is segregated into three different categories: A - above 2550, B - 2300-2550 and C - 2300 and below. This tournament is of special interest to us because many of our strong players including Adhiban, Sethuraman, Vidit, Sasikiran, Abhijeet etc. are playing in the A group. We have the pictures along with game analysis.

The tournament is being held in the Cosmos Hotel which is the biggest Hotel in Russia!
The view from the room!
It's a nice time for the Indians who otherwise do not really get to play in the snow!
The Indian camp at the opening ceremony
S.L. Narayanan has been the star of the Indian contingent as he defeated Ivan Saric and Dariusz Swiercz in back and back rounds. He is on 3.5/6.
[Event "Aeroflot Open A 2017"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2017.02.23"]
[Round "3.24"]
[White "Sunilduth Lyna, Narayanan"]
[Black "Saric, Ivan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E11"]
[WhiteElo "2524"]
[BlackElo "2648"]
[Annotator "Sagar,Shah"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[EventDate "2017.02.21"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4+ 4. Nbd2 O-O 5. a3 Be7 6. e4 d5 7. e5 Nfd7 8. Bd3
c5 9. O-O a5 10. Re1 Nc6 11. Bc2 Re8 12. cxd5 exd5 13. h3 g6 14. dxc5 Nxc5 15.
Nb3 Ne6 16. Be3 a4 17. Nbd4 Nexd4 18. Bxd4 Nxd4 19. Nxd4 Qb6 $2 (19... Bc5 20.
Bxa4 Rxa4 21. Qxa4 Bd7 22. Qd1 Qb6 $15) 20. Bxa4 Rd8 (20... Rxa4 21. Qxa4 {
The e8 rook is hanging.}) 21. Re2 Bc5 22. Nf3 d4 23. Bc2 d3 24. Bxd3 Bf5 25.
Ne1 {Somehow White is holding everything together and he is two pawns up.} Rd5
26. Qb1 Rxd3 $2 (26... Bxd3 27. Nxd3 Qb5 28. Rd2 Rad8 29. a4 Qe8 $44) 27. Nxd3
Rd8 28. Rd2 Qb5 29. a4 Qd7 30. b4 Bd4 31. Ra3 (31. Nc5 $18) 31... Bxe5 32. Qe1
Bc7 33. Rc3 Qd6 34. Ne5 Qxd2 35. Qxd2 Rxd2 36. Rxc7 {White is just a pawn up.}
f6 37. Ng4 Bxg4 38. hxg4 b6 39. Rc6 b5 40. a5 Rb2 41. Rc7 Rxb4 42. a6 {The
a-pawn goes through.} 1-0
[Event "Aeroflot Open A 2017"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2017.02.24"]
[Round "4.18"]
[White "Swiercz, Dariusz"]
[Black "Sunilduth Lyna, Narayanan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2645"]
[BlackElo "2524"]
[Annotator "Tactical Analysis"]
[PlyCount "76"]
[EventDate "2017.02.21"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. c3 a6 7. a4 Ba7 8. Re1 h6
9. Nbd2 O-O 10. h3 Re8 11. b4 Be6 12. Bxe6 Rxe6 13. Qc2 Ne7 14. Nf1 Ng6 15. Ng3
{LiveBook: 3 Games} d5 16. Rb1 Qd7 17. c4 {The position is equal.} c6 18. c5
Bb8 19. Nf5 Bc7 20. Be3 Ne7 21. g4 {-0.29/13} (21. Ng3 $14 {0.38/12}) 21... Ng6
{0.44/11} (21... Nxf5 $11 {-0.29/13} 22. gxf5 Ree8) 22. Kh1 Rd8 23. Rbd1 h5 24.
g5 {0.04/14} (24. gxh5 $16 {0.74/12} Nxh5 25. Ng5) 24... Nh7 $11 25. Qb2 Ree8
$1 {The start of a nice plan. The knight on h7 goes to f8 to e6 and then both
the knights control the f4 square.} 26. Kg2 Nhf8 27. Ng1 {-0.73/13} (27. Ng3
$11 {0.14/12 remains equal.}) 27... Ne6 $17 28. Ne2 {-1.26/13} ({White should
play} 28. Kh2 $15 {-0.51/13}) 28... d4 29. Bc1 Ngf4+ $1 30. Nxf4 exf4 31. h4 g6
32. Nh6+ Kh7 $36 {...f6! is the strong threat. Black is on the roll.} 33. e5 {
-2.91/15} (33. Rg1 $17 {-1.54/13}) 33... f6 $1 $19 34. exf6 $2 {-21.84/14 [#]}
(34. gxf6 {-2.29/13} Kxh6 35. Qe2) 34... f3+ 35. Kg1 Nxg5 $1 {Black mates.} 36.
Qa2 Qh3 37. Qg8+ Rxg8 38. Re7+ Kh8 0-1
Srinath Narayanan (left) also made a strong push towards his GM title by defeating Marin Bosiocic and Yuriy Kuzubov
[Event "Aeroflot Open A 2017"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2017.02.21"]
[Round "1.39"]
[White "Bosiocic, Marin"]
[Black "Narayanan, Srinath"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E16"]
[WhiteElo "2602"]
[BlackElo "2474"]
[Annotator "Sagar,Shah"]
[PlyCount "72"]
[EventDate "2017.02.21"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 c5 7. Bxb4 cxb4 8.
O-O O-O 9. Qd3 d6 10. Nbd2 Nbd7 11. e4 e5 12. a3 bxa3 13. Rxa3 Re8 14. Nh4 g6
15. d5 Nc5 16. Qe3 a5 17. f4 Nfd7 18. f5 Kg7 19. Bh3 Nf6 20. Nhf3 h6 21. fxg6
fxg6 22. Nh4 Bc8 23. Bxc8 Rxc8 24. b4 $2 {A very ambitious move by Bosiocic
which is refuted with ease by Srinath.} axb4 25. Ra7+ Re7 26. Rxf6 Kxf6 27.
Qxh6 Rxa7 28. Qxg6+ Ke7 {Black king is safe!} 29. Nf5+ Kf8 30. Nxd6 Rcc7 31.
Nf5 Rg7 32. Qh5 Ra1+ 33. Nf1 Qg5 34. Qh8+ Kf7 35. h4 Qf6 36. Qb8 Nxe4 {White
all this material deficit Bosiocic resigned.} 0-1
[Event "Aeroflot Open A 2017"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2017.02.24"]
[Round "4.19"]
[White "Narayanan, Srinath"]
[Black "Kuzubov, Yuriy"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2474"]
[BlackElo "2643"]
[Annotator "Sagar,Shah"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2017.02.21"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. h3 e5 7. Nde2 b5 8. g4
b4 9. Nd5 Nxd5 10. Qxd5 Ra7 11. Be3 Be6 12. Qd3 Rb7 13. Bg2 Be7 14. Ng3 g6 15.
O-O Qc7 16. Rfd1 O-O 17. Bh6 Rc8 18. Nf5 $1 {A strong move.} Bf8 (18... gxf5
19. gxf5 {recovers the piece because of the threat of Qg3.}) 19. Qe3 Rb6 20.
Rd2 f6 21. Bxf8 Rxf8 22. Ng3 Nd7 {Black now has a fine position and not many
problems.} 23. a3 a5 24. axb4 axb4 25. b3 Nc5 26. Ne2 Bf7 27. h4 Rc6 28. f4
exf4 29. Nxf4 Re8 30. Qd4 Qb6 (30... Ne6 31. Nxe6 Bxe6 32. Qxf6 Rxc2 $11) 31.
Kh1 (31. Nd5 $5) 31... Re5 32. Ra8+ Kg7 33. g5 fxg5 34. Nd5 Bxd5 $6 (34... Qb7
$1 $11) 35. exd5 Rc7 36. Re8 Nd7 $4 {A huge blunder.} 37. Re7+ $1 {Kuzubov
simply missed this.} Kf6 (37... Kh6 38. hxg5+ Kxg5 39. Qxb6 $18) 38. Qxb6 Nxb6
39. Rxc7 {An entire rook is lost!} 1-0

Fresh from his Tata Steel success, Adhiban has failed miserably at this event and is on 2.5/6. He lost two games to Alexander Predke and Alejandro Ramirez
Indians may have to stay a little wary of ChessBase Author and grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez as he not only beat Adhiban but also...
...Sethuraman. Sethu has lost three games at the event against Ramirez, Matlakov and Inarkiev. He is also on 2.5/6.

Vidit Gujrathi is, as always, playing solidly and is on 3.5/6. He would have preferred not to lose against Aleksandar Indjic of Serbia.

Sasikiran was going pretty solid, until he lost his game against Rinat Jumabayev in the sixth round. He is on 3.0/6.

Debashis Das has come with an intention to not lose a game! Six draws out of six. But it is a commendable performance as all his opponents were rated higher than him.

Much more is expected from the little R. Praggnanandhaa who has drawn three and lost three games at the event

Eesha Karavade is the last seed in the A group, but is doing pretty well with 1.5/6

Showing unbelievable amount of stamina, Rucha Pujari is playing both in B and C groups. In the B group she is gaining 32 Elo points and in the C group 15. In all that's 47 points! She might well come back as a WIM.
Gaining 39 Elo points and well on track to becoming India's next IM is Nihal Sarin. He has already beaten GM Eldar Gasanov and GM Nikolay Konovalov.
[Event "Aeroflot Open 2017 B"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "2017.02.25"]
[Round "5.14"]
[White "Nihal, Sarin"]
[Black "Konovalov, Nikolay"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A57"]
[WhiteElo "2386"]
[BlackElo "2501"]
[Annotator "Sagar,Shah"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2017.02.21"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "RUS"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 b5 4. Qc2 g6 5. e4 d6 6. cxb5 a6 7. Nc3 Bg7 8. a4 O-O
9. Ra3 e6 10. dxe6 Bxe6 11. Nf3 d5 12. exd5 Bf5 13. Bd3 Re8+ 14. Be3 Ng4 15.
Bxf5 gxf5 16. O-O Rxe3 17. fxe3 Nxe3 18. Qd3 Nxf1 19. Kxf1 axb5 20. axb5 Rxa3
21. bxa3 Qa5 22. Ne2 Nd7 23. d6 Qa4 24. Kf2 h6 25. h3 Bf6 26. Nd2 f4 27. Nc4
Qxb5 28. Nxf4 Bg7 29. Kg3 Bd4 30. Kh2 Nf6 31. Ne2 Ba1 32. Ng3 Kf8 33. Nf5 h5
34. Qe3 $1 {Nihal finishes off the game in perfect fashion. He sacrifices his
c4 knight clearly seeing that he can win the game.} Qxc4 35. d7 $1 Nxd7 36.
Qh6+ {And either the king is mated or the queen is lost.} 1-0

 

[Event "Aeroflot Open B 2017"]
[Site "Moscow"]
[Date "2017.02.26"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Gasanov, Eldar"]
[Black "Sarin, Nihal"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E06"]
[WhiteElo "2479"]
[BlackElo "2386"]
[Annotator "Sagar,Shah"]
[PlyCount "64"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2017.02.26"]
[SourceVersionDate "2017.02.26"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. c4 O-O 6. Qc2 c5 7. O-O cxd4 8. Nxd4
e5 9. Nf5 d4 10. Nxe7+ Qxe7 11. b4 Rd8 12. c5 Nc6 13. a3 e4 {Black has given
up the bishop pair but look at his central pawns!} 14. Bg5 (14. Bf4) 14... d3
15. exd3 Nd4 16. Qd1 exd3 17. Nd2 Ne2+ 18. Kh1 Bg4 19. Qe1 Rd4 $5 20. Qb1 (20.
Bxf6 Qxf6 21. Bxb7 Re8 $17) 20... Rad8 21. Qb2 Be6 22. Be3 R4d7 (22... R4d5 $5
{Giving up the exchange, but the g2 bishop is too important. If the rook isn't
taken then it swings over to h5.}) 23. Bg5 Bd5 24. f3 Qe6 25. Rae1 h6 26. Bf4
Re8 27. Bd6 h5 28. Nb1 h4 29. gxh4 Ng4 $1 {You can bank on Nihal to find such
blows!} 30. Nc3 Ne3 31. Rg1 Qf6 32. Na4 Qxh4 {A complete demolition of a
grandmaster by a 12-year-old boy.} 0-1

Nihal is currently in the second place in the B section. You can be sure that this boy along with Praggnanandhaa are going to make India shine in the chess world in the years to come 

Player overview for IND

 

SNo   Name Rtg FED 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts. Rk. Group
8 GM Adhiban B. 2682 IND ½ ½ 0 0 1 ½ 2,5 74 Open A
10 GM Sasikiran Krishnan 2674 IND ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 0 3,0 50 Open A
12 GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2673 IND ½ 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 3,5 30 Open A
25 GM Gupta Abhijeet 2645 IND 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 0 3,5 33 Open A
36 GM Sethuraman S.P. 2623 IND 1 0 1 0 ½ 0 2,5 73 Open A
47 GM Lalith Babu M R 2584 IND 0 1 0 0 1 ½ 2,5 79 Open A
50 GM Karthikeyan Murali 2578 IND ½ 0 1 1 ½ 0 3,0 43 Open A
54 GM Sandipan Chanda 2573 IND 0 ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ 2,5 72 Open A
72 GM Swapnil S. Dhopade 2534 IND 0 ½ 0 1 0 ½ 2,0 89 Open A
77 GM Sunilduth Lyna Narayanan 2524 IND ½ ½ 1 1 ½ 0 3,5 22 Open A
87 IM Puranik Abhimanyu 2481 IND 0 ½ 0 0 1 1 2,5 76 Open A
88 IM Narayanan Srinath 2474 IND 1 ½ ½ 1 0 0 3,0 42 Open A
89 GM Debashis Das 2472 IND ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ ½ 3,0 51 Open A
92 IM Praggnanandhaa R 2455 IND 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 1,5 93 Open A
95   Gusain Himal 2438 IND 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 1,0 98 Open A
98 IM Karavade Eesha 2418 IND ½ ½ 0 ½ 0 0 1,5 96 Open A
63 FM Nihal Sarin 2386 IND ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 4,5 2 Open B
67 IM Abhishek Kelkar 2381 IND ½ 0 1 1 1 1 4,5 4 Open B
82   Navalgund Niranjan 2327 IND 0 0 1 ½ 1 0 2,5 88 Open B
84 IM Kathmale Sameer 2323 IND 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 1,5 107 Open B
116 WFM Pujari Rucha 2127 IND 1 0 1 0 ½ 0 2,5 77 Open B
48 WFM Pujari Rucha 2127 IND 1 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 4,0 23 Open C
55   Godbole Atharva 2100 IND 1 ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 4,0 28 Open C
67 WFM Divya Deshmukh 2005 IND ½ 0 1 0 1 0 2,5 69 Open C
72   Vatsal Singhania 1954 IND 0 1 1 0 0 1 3,0 63 Open C
82   Rakshitta Ravi 1847 IND 0 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 3,0 66 Open C 

Doing a great job at the venue is Eteri Kublashvili. We thank her for the pictures

A special thanks to Dr. Sarin Abdulsalam (Nihal's father) for sending photographs from Moscow.


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