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Asian Nations Cup 04: clear skies

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 02/04/2016

The fourth round of the Asian Nations Cup 2016 turned out to be a day with clear skies for the Indian teams -- the players won seven of the eight games in play. Adhiban lost, though, to A.R. Saleh, in an otherwise clean sweep. Report.

Asian Nations Cup 04: clear skies

The Asian Nations Cup Chess Championship has begun at the Novotel Abu Dhabi Al Bustan hotel with 20 countries competing for the right to represent Asia in the World Chess Team Championship.

 

The fourth round of the Asian Nations Cup 2016 turned out to be a day with clear skies for the Indian teams -- the players won seven of the eight games in play. In the men's section, we were facing the United Arab Emirates, a fairly weak team with only their top board -- GM A.R. Saleh (2615) -- posing any sort of danger, if at all. In the women's team, our opponents were the Uzbeks, again a team that one would not fancy to be asking questions to the Indians.

 

Adhiban was playing GM A. R. Saleh (2663) in India-UAE

The top board game in the men's section, though, turned out to be a case of over trying. Adhiban teed off by steering the game towards unchartered territories. Donning the white pieces, he surely saw the sense in making the most of it and went for a fighting game. At a crucial moment, where he could have chosen between two approaches -- one rather equalish, the other fairly risky -- he decided to go all in, only to find out that he has just landed in a bad position. He lashed out and crashed to a defeat.

[Event "Asian Nations Cup"]
[Site "http://asianchess.com/live/mn"]
[Date "2016.03.31"]
[Round "4.1"]
[White "Adhiban, B."]
[Black "Salem, A.R. Saleh"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C07"]
[WhiteElo "2663"]
[BlackElo "2615"]
[PlyCount "124"]
[EventDate "2016.03.28"]
[EventType "team"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "UAE"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
[WhiteTeam "India"]
[BlackTeam "UAE - 1"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "IND"]
[WhiteClock "0:13:36"]
[BlackClock "0:25:18"]
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 Qxd5 5. Ngf3 cxd4 6. Bc4 Qd6 7. O-O Nf6 8.
Nb3 Nc6 9. Qe2 (9. Nbxd4 {is the main move here.}) 9... a6 10. Bg5 {Not many
top games have been played around here, so the Indian GM, with the white
pieces, is exploring new territories.} (10. Rd1 b5 11. Bd3 Be7 12. c3 Bb7 13.
cxd4 Nb4 14. Bb1 O-O 15. Nc5 Bd5 16. Bg5 Nc6 17. Be3 Rfc8 18. Ng5 Qd8 19. Nge4
g6 20. f3 Na5 21. Bd3 Nc4 22. Bf2 Nh5 23. g3 Nf6 24. Rac1 Nb6 25. b3 Nbd7 26.
Rc2 Qf8 27. Rdc1 Rd8 28. Be3 e5 29. Nxd7 Nxd7 30. Nc3 Bb7 31. Be4 Bxe4 32. Nxe4
Nf6 33. dxe5 Nxe4 34. fxe4 Qg7 35. e6 fxe6 36. Rc7 Re8 37. Rd1 Rac8 38. Qc2
Rcd8 39. Bg5 Qe5 40. Rxe7 {1/2-1/2 (40) Zapata,A (2523)-Vescovi,G (2631) Sao
Paulo 2009}) 10... b5 11. Bd3 Be7 (11... Nb4 12. Rfd1 Bb7 13. Bxf6 gxf6 14. Be4
$14) 12. Rad1 (12. a4 {looks like a very logical move here. A sample line
could run} b4 13. Rad1 Bb7 14. Rfe1 O-O 15. Bc4 Qc7 16. Nbxd4 Nxd4 17. Rxd4
Rfd8 18. Rxd8+ Rxd8 19. Bxa6 Bxa6 20. Qxa6 Qxc2 21. a5 Qxb2 22. Qa7 Re8 23. a6
Qa3 24. Qb7 b3 25. a7 Bc5 26. Be3 Bxe3 27. fxe3 b2 28. h3 Qa1 29. Rf1 $11) (12.
Rfd1 Bb7 13. a4 b4 {and it looks like the the a rook should have been on d1.})
12... O-O 13. c3 Bb7 14. cxd4 {The Indian GM surely is trying for more than
just a draw, which may be the reason why he chose to take risks. A weak pawn
on d4 is offset by central control.} (14. Bc2 {is much more logical and would
reamain equal.} h6 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Qe4 g6 17. Nbxd4 Nxd4 18. Qxb7 Qe7 19. Be4
Nxf3+ 20. Bxf3 Qxb7 21. Bxb7 Ra7 22. Bf3 Rb8 23. Rd2 $11) 14... Nb4 15. Bb1 Bd5
16. Ne5 Bxb3 17. axb3 Nfd5 18. Bd2 (18. Bxe7 Qxe7 19. Rc1 Rad8 20. Rfd1 Rd6 $15
) 18... f5 {negating thr bishop.} 19. Rfe1 (19. g4 {is an interesting idea.
the computer gives this imaginative line:} Rac8 20. Rfe1 Bd8 21. Nf3 $1 fxg4
22. Qe4 Nc2 (22... g6 23. Qxg4 $14) 23. Rc1 Rxf3 24. Rxc2 Nf4 25. Bb4 Rxc2 26.
Bxd6 Nh3+ 27. Kg2 Rcxf2+ 28. Kh1 Rf1+ 29. Kg2 $11 (29. Rxf1 Rxf1+ 30. Kg2 Rg1#)
) 19... Bf6 20. Rc1 Rad8 21. Nf3 Rde8 22. Ne5 Rd8 23. Nf3 Rfe8 24. g4 {lashing
out! Adhiban surely doesnt want to be tortured and goes all in. Unfortunately
for him, this is just bad.} Nf4 25. Bxf4 Qxf4 26. gxf5 exf5 27. Qxe8+ Rxe8 28.
Rxe8+ Kf7 {and the rook and knight are hanging.} 29. Re3 Nd5 30. Rce1 Nxe3 31.
Rxe3 Bxd4 32. Nxd4 Qxd4 33. Bxf5 g6 34. Bc8 Qxb2 35. Kg2 Qa3 36. b4 Qxb4 37.
Bxa6 Kg7 38. h3 Qc4 39. Bxb5 Qxb5 {White could have hoped to create a fortress
with only the h pawn remaining for black. Here, he is doomed. Because, when
the moment is right, he will just sacrifice his queen for the rook and win the
pawn ending.} 40. Re7+ Kh6 41. Re3 Qd5+ 42. Kg1 Kg5 43. Rg3+ Kf5 44. Re3 Kf4
45. Rg3 Qd1+ 46. Kg2 g5 47. Rc3 Qd5+ 48. Kg1 h5 49. Ra3 Qc5 50. Rd3 h4 51. Kg2
Qc6+ 52. Kg1 Qc4 53. Rd8 Qb4 54. Kg2 Qe4+ 55. Kg1 Kf3 56. Rf8+ Ke2 57. Rb8 Qe5
58. Ra8 Qc5 59. Re8+ Kf3 60. Re3+ Qxe3 61. fxe3 Kxe3 62. Kg2 Ke2 0-1

Sethuraman played a fine game with the black pieces, peppered with the right pawn breaks.
[Event "Asian Nations Cup"]
[Site "http://asianchess.com/live/mn"]
[Date "2016.03.31"]
[Round "4.2"]
[White "Omar, Noaman"]
[Black "Sethuraman, S.P."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A42"]
[WhiteElo "2383"]
[BlackElo "2658"]
[PlyCount "58"]
[EventDate "2016.03.28"]
[EventType "team"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "UAE"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
[WhiteTeam "UAE - 1"]
[BlackTeam "India"]
[BlackTeamCountry "IND"]
[WhiteClock "0:01:00"]
[BlackClock "0:05:05"]
1. d4 d6 2. e4 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. Nc3 Nc6 5. Be3 e5 6. d5 Nce7 7. Qd2 (7. g4 f5 8.
gxf5 gxf5 9. Qh5+ Kf8 10. Nf3 Nf6 11. Qg5 f4 12. Bd2 Bd7 13. Qg2 Rg8 14. Be2
Bh6 15. Qf1 Kf7 16. h4 c6 17. c5 Bg4 18. dxc6 Nxc6 19. Bc4+ Kf8 20. Ng5 Bxg5
21. Bxg8 Nd4 22. Qd3 Nf3+ 23. Kf1 dxc5 24. Bd5 c4 25. Qc2 Bh6 26. Be1 Qd7 27.
Qa4 Bh3+ 28. Ke2 Nd4+ 29. Kd2 Qxa4 30. Nxa4 Bg2 31. Rg1 Nf3+ 32. Kc2 Nxg1 33.
Bb4+ Ke8 34. Rxg1 Nxd5 35. exd5 Bxd5 36. Nc3 Bf7 37. Bd6 Bg6+ 38. Kc1 f3+ 39.
Rg5 Bxg5+ 40. hxg5 e4 41. Bf4 Kd7 42. Be3 b6 43. a4 Kc6 44. Nb5 a6 45. Nd4+ Kd7
46. Kc2 Rc8 47. Kc3 Rc5 48. Nc2 Ra5 49. Kb4 Kc6 50. Na3 Rd5 51. Nxc4 b5 52.
axb5+ axb5 53. Nd2 Rd3 54. Nb3 Rxe3 55. fxe3 f2 56. Kc3 Bh5 57. Kd4 Be2 58. Ke5
Bd3 59. Kf6 Be2 60. Kg7 Bh5 61. Kxh7 {0-1 (61) Gelfand,B (2719)-Mamedyarov,S
(2731) Almaty 2008}) 7... f5 8. f3 Nf6 9. h3 {A poor choice.} (9. Bd3 {is a
decent move.}) 9... O-O 10. O-O-O a6 11. Bd3 Bd7 12. c5 {Now, we see Sethu
doing something very instructive.} Nc8 13. Nge2 Qe7 14. cxd6 Nxd6 15. Kb1 {
in a way, he has improved his knight. Now, he improves his remaining pieces.}
b5 16. Bc5 Rfb8 17. b4 a5 18. a3 (18. g4 axb4 19. Bxb4 f4 $11 {Black has a
very pleassent position, with lots of play on the queenside.}) 18... Bf8 {
the plan is to overprotect d6 knight, go Qf7 and break with c6} 19. Nc1 axb4
20. axb4 Qf7 $1 {! Preparing to attack the centre with ...c6} 21. Nb3 c6 22.
exf5 cxd5 23. fxg6 hxg6 {-+} 24. Nc1 Nc4 25. Bxc4 bxc4 26. Bxf8 Bf5+ 27. Kb2
Kxf8 28. Nxd5 Qa7 29. Qh6+ Kf7 0-1

 

Vidit and Deep, too, outplayed their much lower rated opponents without the slightest of problems, making the score 3-1 in India's favour.

In the women's section as well, the Kazakhs were no match, at all! It was a whitewash, or brownwash, if you may.

Men's team performance

Women's team performance

The Round 05 games are underway and in the men's section, the Indians are taking on  the Chinese! Catch the live action with high-quality engine analysis and many other features, and our predictions on each board. Check if we are correct, here!