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Dubai 04-07: Shardul and Sethu in pursuit

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 18/04/2016

Dubai is a city known for its energy, optimism and openness to the people from across the globe. The emirate is a place that is constantly in flux and the world has witnessed it mature as a city and as a society. The tournament has established a new record in participation approximately 200 players from 41 countries, including 46 Grandmasters, of which 25 are rated above 2600. 60 competitors are Indians, with many youngsters hunting for norms and points. At the end of seven rounds, Shardul Gagare and S.P. Sethuraman are tied at the second spot with 5.5/7, pursuing four leading grandmasters. A report.

Dubai 04-07: Shardul and Sethu in pursuit

Dubai is a city known for its energy, optimism and openness to the people from across the globe. The emirate is a place that is constantly in flux and the world has witnessed it mature as a city and as a society. The eighteenth edition of Rashid Bin Hamdan Al Maktoum Cup opened on 10 April 2016 night at the Dubai Chess and Culture Club. The tournament offers a total cash purse of US$50,000, with US$13,000 and the Rashid Bin Hamdan Cup going to the champion. The tournament has established a new record in participation approximately 200 players from 41 countries, including 46 Grandmasters, of which 25 are rated above 2600. 60 competitors are Indians, with many youngsters hunting for norms and points.

 

At the end of three rounds, GM G.N. Gopal was among the leaders with 3.0/3 after he served Jobava a dose of his own medicine. In the fourth round, he split the point with GM Ivan Sokolov and in the fifth with compatriot GM Vidit Gujrathi. But in the sixth, he lost to British GM Gawain Jones. 

Gopal en route to victory over India's Himal Gusain (2429) in the seventh round. He is now at 5.0/7.

A handful of Indians, besides Gopal, are tied at 5.0/7, still in the hunt for a good finish. Among them are biggies grandmasters Adhiban and Vidit, and also:

Padmini Rout (2439)

GM Sandipan Chanda (2585) beat Nitin S. in the fourth round and has scored 4.5/7. Nitin, meanwhile, has reached 5.0/7.

 

IM Arghyadip Das (2441)

India's latest grandmaster Diptayan Ghosh (2562)

GM Aravindh Chithambaram (2515)

IM M.S. Thejkumar (2439) is also on 5.0/7.
[Event "18th DUBAI OPEN CHESS Tournament 2016"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2016.04.17"]
[Round "6.13"]
[White "Kovalenko, Igor"]
[Black "Thejkumar, M. S."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A06"]
[WhiteElo "2662"]
[BlackElo "2427"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
[TimeControl "5400+30"]
[WhiteClock "0:14:49"]
[BlackClock "0:03:43"]
1. c4 {0} e6 {0} 2. Nf3 {0} d5 {15} 3. e3 {0} Nf6 {65} 4. b3 {0} c5 {199} 5.
Bb2 {0} Nc6 {37} 6. cxd5 {0} exd5 {12} 7. Bb5 {112} Be7 {143} 8. O-O {38} O-O {
19} 9. Bxc6 {5} bxc6 {6} 10. d3 {2} a5 {348} 11. Qc2 {461} a4 {937} 12. Nbd2 {
40} a3 {1187} 13. Be5 {104} Bf5 {108} 14. Rac1 {145} c4 {104} 15. Rfe1 {909}
Bxd3 {454} 16. Qc3 {3} Ne4 {324} 17. Nxe4 {23} dxe4 {8} 18. Nd4 {488} Qd7 {624}
19. Bxg7 {1210} Rfb8 {14} 20. Red1 {4} c5 {269} 21. Nc2 {93} cxb3 {162} 22.
axb3 {2} Qe6 {44} 23. Na1 {14} f6 {54} 24. Bh6 {2} c4 {30} 25. bxc4 {170} Bb4 {
25} 26. Qd4 {79} Rd8 {66} 27. Rxd3 {3} exd3 {172} 28. Qh4 {4} Rd7 {15} 29. Rd1
{15} d2 {30} 30. Nc2 {117} Bc3 {161} 31. Qg3+ {73} Kh8 {7} 32. Qf3 {103} Ra6 {
37} 33. e4 {68} Qxc4 {118} 34. Qh5 {267} Ra8 {165} 35. e5 {210} Bxe5 {27} 36.
Nxa3 {20} Qb3 {87} 37. Nb1 {34} Rd5 {258} 38. Qf3 {884} Qxf3 39. gxf3 {1} Ra1 {
27} 40. Kg2 {8} Rxb1 {19} 0-1

 

GM Shardul Gagare (2491) has been delivering a spate of 2650-2700 performances recently in overseas tournaments and Dubai seems to be no exception.

The Maharashtra lad is playing exceptionally, with a rating performance of 2754, with draws against Azeri GM Eltaj Safarli (2656) and British GM Gawain Jones (2650), and wins over Argentine GM Sandro Mareco (2625) and Ukrainian GM Yuri Kuzubov, whom he defeated in spectacular fashion.
[Event "18th Dubai Open 2016"]
[Site "Dubai UAE"]
[Date "2016.04.16"]
[Round "6.10"]
[White "Gagare, Shardul"]
[Black "Kuzubov, Yuriy"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2491"]
[BlackElo "2638"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2016.04.11"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 dxc4 {The Vienna is not so popular at the
highest level but every now and then makes an appearance.} 5. e4 Bb4 6. Bg5 {
Shardul goes for the old main line.} (6. Bxc4 Nxe4 7. O-O {is the modern line
where White has been having good results.}) 6... c5 7. Bxc4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bxc3+
(8... e5 {A logical question could be why not e5. But Black is too far behind
in development to be able to make such pawn moves.} 9. Ndb5 $1 (9. Qa4+ {
is also strong as after} Nc6 10. Nxc6 Bxc3+ 11. bxc3 bxc6 12. O-O O-O 13. Rfd1
{White's position is highly preferable.}) 9... Qxd1+ 10. Rxd1 $16 {With a
tremendous initiative.}) 9. bxc3 Qa5 {Attacking both bishop on g5 and the pawn
on c3 and also the pawn on e4. Hence, White's reply is forced.} 10. Bxf6 Qxc3+
11. Kf1 gxf6 (11... Qxc4+ {winis the bishop with a check but is not as great
as after} 12. Kg1 $14 {The bishop on f6 is taboo due to Rc1.}) 12. Rc1 Qa5 13.
h4 {Looking to activate the took via h3.} (13. Bb5+ {Is a tricky move. Black
has to now play} Ke7 $1 $13 {When his king is quite safe in the centre.} (13...
Nc6 $5 $146 14. Rxc6 $1 (14. Nxc6 Qxb5+ $19) 14... bxc6 15. Bxc6+ Ke7 16. Bxa8
Qa6+ (16... Ba6+ $2 17. Kg1 Rxa8 18. Nc6+ $18) 17. Qe2 (17. Kg1 Bd7 {And the
bishop on a8 is trapped.}) 17... Qxe2+ 18. Kxe2 (18. Nxe2 Ba6 $17) 18... Ba6+
19. Ke3 Rxa8 20. Rc1 $14 {White keeps an edge but who knows with accurate play
Black would be able to hold this.})) 13... Ke7 14. Rh3 Rd8 15. Re3 $1 $146 {
The best move of the computer is the novelty that Shardul comes up with. He
might have well come up with a new path that others will follow in this line.
The idea is to play Nf5+ and uncover the attack of the rook on the king.} (15.
Rd3 {has been the main line till date.}) 15... Rd6 (15... Nc6 {seems like the
most natural move but is met with} 16. Nf5+ $1) 16. Nf5+ $1 exf5 17. exf5+ Kd7
(17... Be6 18. Qc2 $18 {regains the piece with a tremedous attack.}) 18. Be6+
$1 {I wonder whether all this was prepared by Shardul.} fxe6 19. fxe6+ Ke7 20.
Qg4 $1 {Two pieces down, White is completely winning. The rooks are nicely
into play and the pawn on e6, as Kasparov has said in the past, is aso an
attacking unit.} Bxe6 21. Qg7+ Kd8 22. Qh8+ (22. Qxb7 $2 Qa6+ $19) 22... Ke7
23. Qxh7+ Kd8 24. Qh8+ Kd7 25. Qg7+ Kd8 26. Qxf6+ {One by one all the pawns
drop with check.} Kd7 27. Qg7+ Kd8 28. Qf8+ Kd7 29. Rg3 {is also pretty strong.
} (29. Qc8+ $1 Ke7 30. Qxb7+ Nd7 31. Qxa8 {was the easiest way to win.}) 29...
Bc4+ 30. Kg1 Qd5 31. Rg7+ Kc6 32. Qc8+ Kb6 33. Qc7+ Ka6 34. Rxc4 $1 {Now just
a piece down and the knight cannot develop just as yet due to various mating
nets.} Qd1+ 35. Kh2 Nd7 36. Rb4 b6 37. Rg3 $1 Rd5 38. Ra3+ Ra5 39. Qc4+ Kb7 40.
Rxa5 {White is now not only two pawns up but also has an extra exchange!} Qd6+
41. g3 {A fantastic game by Shardul who showed some amazing opening
preparation.} 1-0

 

 

Shardul settled for a draw with GM S. P. Sethuraman (2658) in the seventh round.

The tournament has four grandmaster leaders with 6.0/7 — Ivan Sokolov, Vladimir Akopian, Gawain Jones and Boris Savchenko — while Indians Shardul Gagare and S.P. Sethuraman are in close pursuit at 5.5/7.

Standings after Round 07:

Rk. SNo     Name FED Rtg Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3   TB4 
1 10   GM Akopian Vladimir ARM 2656 6,0 0,0 31,0 28,5 5,0
2 16   GM Sokolov Ivan NED 2626 6,0 0,0 30,5 27,5 5,0
3 13   GM Jones Gawain C B ENG 2650 6,0 0,0 29,0 26,5 5,0
4 23   GM Savchenko Boris RUS 2607 6,0 0,0 27,0 23,5 6,0
5 42   IM Gagare Shardul IND 2491 5,5 0,0 29,5 26,5 4,0
6 25   GM Yilmaz Mustafa TUR 2594 5,5 0,0 28,5 24,5 4,0
7 9   GM Sethuraman S.P. IND 2658 5,5 0,0 28,0 25,0 4,0
8 11   GM Safarli Eltaj AZE 2656 5,5 0,0 27,0 24,5 4,0
9 24   GM Pantsulaia Levan GEO 2604 5,5 0,0 26,0 24,0 4,0
10 19   GM Fier Alexandr BRA 2619 5,5 0,0 26,0 23,0 5,0

On April 15, the rest day, the Dubai Blitz Cup was held with $4000 prize fund. The tournament was won by GM Gawain Jones with 9.5/11. India's Harsha Bharathakoti (2061 in Blitz) was the surprise of the event as he scored 8.0/11, taking the sixth place.

Like Harsha, some Indians with low blitz ratings, for the lack of playing rated blitz tournaments, had a fine run. 11-year-old FM Nihal Sarin, who is rated 2351 in standard play, started the blitz event with only 1846, but finished with wins over National Blitz Champion IM Rathnakaran K. (2467) and GM Yuriy Kuzubov (2651) to finish 19th with 7.5/11!

Pairings of Indian players for Round 08:

Rd. Bo. No.     Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg   No.
8 4 24   GM Pantsulaia Levan 2604   GM Sethuraman S.P. 2658   9
8 6 42   IM Gagare Shardul 2491   GM Fier Alexandr 2619   19
8 7 1   GM Cheparinov Ivan 2695 5   5 GM Gopal G.N. 2544   33
8 9 34   GM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2515 5   5 GM Howell David W L 2678   5
8 10 46   GM Haznedaroglu Kivanc 2473 5   5 GM Adhiban B. 2663   7
8 11 14   GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2648 5   5 GM Mammadov Zaur 2456   53
8 12 59   IM Das Arghyadip 2441 5   5 GM Kuzubov Yuriy 2638   15
8 13 21   GM Anton Guijarro David 2616 5   5 IM Padmini Rout 2439   62
8 14 28   GM Antipov Mikhail Al. 2562 5   5 IM Nitin S. 2359   85
8 15 67   IM Thejkumar M. S. 2427 5   5 GM Ghosh Diptayan 2562   29
8 17 8   GM Kovalenko Igor 2662   IM Rathnakaran K. 2456   55
8 20 20   GM Andriasian Zaven 2616   IM Das Sayantan 2435   63
8 21 26   GM Sandipan Chanda 2585   IM Nezad Husein Aziz 2421   69
8 23 47   IM Ali Marandi Cemil Can 2473   IM Rajesh V A V 2358   87
8 24 71   WGM Saduakassova Dinara 2411   GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J. 2466   49
8 25 50   IM Tabatabaei M.Amin 2466     Muthaiah Al 2281   106
8 26 80   FM Asadli Vugar 2378   IM Swayams Mishra 2463   52
8 27 2   GM Korobov Anton 2695 4   4 IM Karavade Eesha 2403   75
8 29 32   GM Arribas Lopez Angel 2549 4   4 FM Karthik V. Ap 2385   77
8 30 36   GM Arun Prasad S. 2509 4   4 FM Nihal Sarin 2351   91
8 33 74   IM Krishna C R G 2404 4   4 GM Ankit R. Rajpara 2491   41
8 35 76   IM Hesham Abdelrahman 2390 4   4 IM Karthikeyan P. 2463   51
8 36 92   CM Erigaisi Arjun 2350 4   4 IM Lorparizangeneh Shahin 2456   54
8 37 56   GM Debashis Das 2452 4   4   Harsha Bharathakoti 2319   97
8 38 96   FM Hafiz Arif Abdul 2326 4   4 IM Aryan Chopra 2447   58
8 39 94   FM Mehar Chinna Reddy C.H. 2347 4   4   Gusain Himal 2429   65
8 41 99   WIM Pratyusha Bodda 2318 4   4 GM Hossain Enamul 2426   68
8 43 31   GM Sengupta Deep 2554   WGM Kulkarni Bhakti 2284   104
8 44 105   CM Prince Bajaj 2282   IM Di Berardino Diego Rafael 2512   35
8 46 60   IM Rohan Ahuja 2440     Hemant Sharma (del) 2246   112
8 48 129     Nimmy A.G. 2148   GM Laxman R.R. 2406   73
8 51 84   IM Akshat Khamparia 2362     Doostkam P 2095   136
8 54 103   FM Saeed Ishaq 2286     Nair Sanjeev 1832   163
8 55 156     Raahul V S 1927   3 WGM Soumya Swaminathan 2358   89
8 57 90     Rahul Srivatshav P 2352 3   3   Anilkumar O.T. 2080   140
8 59 102     Aradhya Garg 2287 3   3   Ababneh Ghayth 2051   143
8 60 146   FM Elmejbri Ali A. 2026 3   3 WGM Swati Ghate 2279   107
8 63 148   WFM Tarini Goyal 2008 3   3 FM Mohannad Farhan 2239   114
8 64 150   FM Ahmed Fareed 1995 3   3 FM Srinath Rao S.V. 2233   116
8 70 154     Arjun Adappa 1938   FM Yousry Salah 2266   110
8 72 121   WIM Mammadova Narmin 2204   CM Mendonca Leon Luke 1760   165
8 76 137   WIM Ivana Maria Furtado 2091     Basheer P V 1751   167
8 77 139   WIM Thipsay Bagyashree Sathe 2085   FM Ammar Sedrani 1701   171
8 79 144   IM Sultan Ibrahim 2045     Jaeel Atharva 1617   181
8 82 190     Mohamed Saeed Laily 1519 2   2   Anant Prabhudesai 1894   159
8 85 174     Khaled Ahmed Y. 1664 2   2   Jijo Joy 1527   189
8 86 178     Pankaj Sindhu 1645 2   2   Al-Khelaifi Kholoud 1496   192
8 92 188     Khaled Shihadeh 1528 1   1   Fawwaz Mohammed 1468   194

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