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Four Indians at top in Gibraltar

by Sagar Shah - 03/02/2016

After seven rounds Anton Guijarro leads the super strong Gibraltar Chess festival with 6.0/7. Four Indians, Harikrishna, Sethuraman, Vidit and Abhijeet Gupta follow on the leader's heels with 5.5/7. Vishy Anand is currently languishing on 4.0/7 after he lost to Benjamin Gledura in the seventh round. We have game analysis and some selected pictures from the event.

After seven rounds we have a sole leader at the Gibraltar Masters 2016. 

Spanish youngster Anton Guijarro (right) is in the lead with 6.0/7, after he beat Richard Rapport with the black pieces in the seventh round
On Anton's heels are 15 players with a score of 5.5/7. The good news for Indian fans is that four of them are Indians - Harikrishna, Abhijeet Gupta, Sethuraman and Vidit Gujrathi.
Harikrishna is playing some sort of an Indian tournament as he has already faced three players (Aravindh Chithambaram, Abhijeet Gupta and Sethuraman) from his own country! Today he gets one more in the form of Vidit Gujrathi!
One of Hari's most interesting game was his win against Sethuraman. He was able to take revenge for his World Cup debacle:
[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2016"]
[Site "Caleta ENG"]
[Date "2016.01.30"]
[Round "5.3"]
[White "Sethuraman, S.P."]
[Black "Harikrishna, Pentala"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A22"]
[WhiteElo "2639"]
[BlackElo "2755"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "2q1r1k1/p1r2pp1/1pNR3p/3QP3/n1P4P/2P3P1/6K1/5R2 w - - 0 41"]
[PlyCount "32"]
[EventDate "2016.01.26"]

{Black has just taken the pawn on a4, but Sethuraman seemed to have prepared a
rook sacrifice!} 41. Rxf7 $2 {This is a mistake but not so easy to refute!}
Rxf7 42. e6 {And now if the rook moves just about anywhere then e7 followed by
a move like either Rd8 or Ne5 will follow and Black will be in trouble. But
Hari found the only way to gain an advantage.} Rf6 $1 (42... Rc7 $6 43. e7+ $1
Kh7 44. Rxh6+ $1 Kxh6 (44... gxh6 45. Qf7+ $11) 45. Qg5+ Kh7 46. Qh5+ Kg8 47.
Qd5+ $11) 43. e7+ Kh8 $1 (43... Kh7 $2 44. Rxf6 gxf6 45. Qf7+ Kh8 46. Qxf6+ Kg8
47. Qg6+ Kh8 48. Qxh6+ Kg8 49. Qg6+ Kh8 50. Kh2 $1 $18 {And Ne5 comes next
with a complete crush!} (50. Ne5 $2 Rxe7 $11)) 44. Rd8 Rxc6 $1 {This could be
the move that Sethuraman had missed.} 45. Rxc8 Rcxc8 $19 {Black is a piece up
and went on to win confidently.} 46. Qf7 Nxc3 47. g4 Ne4 48. g5 hxg5 49. Qf5
Nd6 50. Qe6 Rc7 51. Qxd6 Rcxe7 52. hxg5 Kh7 53. Qd3+ Re4 54. Qd7 R8e5 55. Qxa7
Rxg5+ 56. Kf3 Re6 0-1
Apart from his loss to Harikrishna, Sethuraman has played a fine tournament drawing against MVL and beating everyone else. In the eight round he faces a tough challenge against the master of open events Yu Yangyi
[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2016"]
[Site "Caleta ENG"]
[Date "2016.01.28"]
[Round "3.14"]
[White "Sethuraman, S.P."]
[Black "Bai, Jinshi"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B48"]
[WhiteElo "2639"]
[BlackElo "2507"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r3k1nr/3p1ppp/p1b1p3/1pq5/3RPP2/2N3P1/PPPQ2BP/2K4R b kq - 0 15"]
[PlyCount "108"]
[EventDate "2016.01.26"]

15... b4 {Black has just attacked the White knight on c3. Of course Ne2 is a
possibility but Sethuraman is always ready for a fist fight!} 16. Nd5 $1 exd5
17. exd5 {The position is unclear but look at the Black pieces in the right
hand corner. They are yet to develop while White pieces are right into the
game. Just this factor should justify the sacrifice.} Bb5 18. d6 Rc8 19. Re1+
Kf8 20. Re5 Qa7 {Black has been defending quite well until now. But the
problem with such positions is that while White can keep playing natural moves,
Black has to be extremely accurate on every turn.} 21. Bd5 a5 $6 (21... Nf6 22.
Bb3 Kg8 23. Re7 Rf8 24. Qxb4 $36 {White should be better.}) 22. g4 (22. Qe3 Nf6
23. Bb3 a4 $2 24. Rc5 $18 Re8 (24... Qxc5 25. Qe7+) 25. Rc8 $1 $18) 22... Nf6
23. Bf3 Ba4 24. b3 Bc6 25. Rc4 Rd8 26. Bxc6 dxc6 27. Rxc6 Nxg4 28. Rc7 $1 Qg1+
29. Re1 Qxh2 30. Qd4 Qh4 31. Ree7 Nh6 32. Qe5 Qf6 33. Red7 Rb8 34. Rb7 Rc8 35.
Rdc7 Ra8 $2 (35... Rd8 $1 $11) 36. Ra7 $6 (36. d7 $1 Qxe5 37. Rc8+ Rxc8 38.
dxc8=Q+ Qe8 39. Qxe8+ Kxe8 40. Rb8+ $18) 36... Rb8 37. Rcb7 Rc8 38. Rc7 Rd8 39.
Rd7 Re8 $6 (39... Rc8 $11) 40. Qe7+ $1 Rxe7 (40... Qxe7 41. dxe7+ Kg8 42. Rd8
$18) 41. dxe7+ Qxe7 42. Rxe7 {The rest is matter of technique. A very nice
game by Sethu.} g6 43. Reb7 Kg7 44. Rxa5 Nf5 45. Raa7 Rf8 46. Rxb4 h5 47. Rd7
h4 48. a4 h3 49. Rd2 Rh8 50. Rh2 Ne3 51. a5 Ng4 52. Rh1 Nf2 53. Rf1 h2 54. a6
h1=Q 55. Rxh1 Rxh1+ 56. Kd2 Rh8 57. Ke3 Nd1+ 58. Kd4 Ra8 59. Ra4 f6 60. a7 g5
61. fxg5 fxg5 62. b4 g4 63. Ra3 g3 64. Rxg3+ Kf6 65. Ra3 Ke6 66. Kc5 Nb2 67. b5
Kd7 68. b6 Kc8 69. Kc6 1-0
Abhijeet Gupta is playing a superb tournament. With a performance of 2760 he is on 5.5/7, with wins over Almasi and draws against Harikrishna and Bacrot.
Abhijeet's win against Almasi was a clear case of outplaying a very strong opponent. Gupta held the advantage from the start and never really let it go. Here is one typical idea that you must always keep in mind:
Gupta vs Almasi
Abhijeet played a typical pawn move in this position. Can you find it?
Yes, the move is g4! White expands on the kingside and has threats like Bf5 or h4 pushing Black further back. The reason that makes this move special is because you are moving a pawn in front of your king. This is sometimes anti-intuitive. But strong players know it very well that this weakness is not at all easy for Black to exploit as most of his pieces are passive.
Vidit true to his super solid self is playing with great calm and poise. He scored three consecutive wins against 2400+ opponents and drew against Yu Yangyi in the previous round
Ly Moulthun - Vidit
Black to play. Vidit finished off the game in style. Can you do the same?
The answer is pretty straightforward. Take on f3 followed by Bf4 which gives Black a crushing attack.
[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2016"]
[Site "Caleta ENG"]
[Date "2016.01.31"]
[Round "6.10"]
[White "Ly, Moulthun"]
[Black "Vidit, Santosh Gujrathi"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B33"]
[WhiteElo "2474"]
[BlackElo "2642"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "2r3k1/5ppp/3R4/4p1b1/p6q/1r3B2/QP3PPP/5RK1 b - - 0 29"]
[PlyCount "17"]
[EventDate "2016.01.26"]

29... Rxf3 30. gxf3 Bf4 31. Rfd1 Qxh2+ 32. Kf1 Qh1+ 33. Ke2 Rc2+ 34. R1d2 Rxd2+
35. Rxd2 Bxd2 36. Qxa4 Qe1+ 37. Kd3 Bb4 0-1
Vishy Anand has been having one of the most horrible tournaments of his life and is currently on 4.0/7. He lost his games against Adrien Demuth and Benjamin Gledura.
Let's have a look at Anand's endgame against Benjamin Gledura. It reached all the way up to the pawn endgame:
[Event "Gibraltar Masters 2016"]
[Site "Caleta ENG"]
[Date "2016.02.01"]
[Round "7.14"]
[White "Gledura, Benjamin"]
[Black "Anand, Viswanathan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D45"]
[WhiteElo "2515"]
[BlackElo "2784"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "8/1p1k1pp1/pb6/3K3p/8/1P1N3P/P4PP1/8 w - - 0 36"]
[PlyCount "25"]
[EventDate "2016.01.26"]

36. Nc5+ {White has just checked on c5. Taking the knight leads to a lost pawn
endgame which is not trivial, but not taking the knight is also losing.} Bxc5 (
36... Kc7 37. Ne4 h4 38. f3 $16 {Follwed by Nd6 is almost a lost endgame.}) 37.
Kxc5 Kc7 38. h4 $1 Kd7 (38... b6+ {Why wasn't this move played is a logical
question.} 39. Kd5 Kd7 40. f3 {Sooner or later Black will run out of moves.} g6
41. f4 a5 42. Ke5 Ke7 43. f5 f6+ 44. Kf4 gxf5 45. Kxf5 Kf7 46. a4 Kg7 47. g4
hxg4 48. Kxg4 $18) 39. Kb6 Kc8 40. b4 Kb8 41. f3 Kc8 42. g4 hxg4 43. fxg4 Kb8
44. h5 f6 {Stopping g5 followed h6.} 45. a4 (45. a3 $2 Kc8 46. a4 Kb8 47. a5
Kc8 48. Ka7 Kc7 49. Ka8 Kc8 $11) 45... Kc8 46. Ka7 Kc7 47. b5 a5 (47... axb5
48. axb5 $18) 48. Ka8 {A very nice endgame by Benjamin.} 1-0
Vishy Anand - Struggling to find a good plan
The boy who beat the ex-World Champion - Hungarian Benjamin Gledura
Harika is playing at an amazing 2664 performance and has beaten Nigel Short and drawn with Richard Rapport, Bruzon Batista and Laurent Fressinet
Nisha Mohota is on 3.5/7 and gaining 8.3 elo points
Losing 20 Elo points, Anand has moved out of top 10 in the world and now only 9 rating points separate him from Harikrishna
Watch our very own Tania Sachdev host the Day's Play show

Round 8 on 2016/02/02 at 15:00

Bo. No.   Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg No.
1 24 GM Anton Guijarro David 2639 6   GM Li Chao B 2751 5
2 2 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2785   GM Bruzon Batista Lazaro 2666 18
3 4 GM Harikrishna P. 2755   GM Vidit Santosh Gujrathi 2642 23
4 6 GM Yu Yangyi 2747   GM Sethuraman S.P. 2639 25
5 8 GM Wojtaszek Radoslaw 2727   GM Grandelius Nils 2635 26
6 11 GM Bacrot Etienne 2697   IM Tari Aryan 2556 43
7 32 GM Gupta Abhijeet 2613   GM Ni Hua 2697 12
8 35 GM Maze Sebastien 2591   GM Ragger Markus 2689 14
9 38 GM Grigoriants Sergey 2580 5   5 GM Nakamura Hikaru 2787 1
10 44 GM Muzychuk Mariya 2554 5   5 GM Rapport Richard 2721 9
11 45 GM Lalith Babu M R 2553 5   5 GM Short Nigel D 2684 17
12 55 GM Libiszewski Fabien 2515 5   5 GM Kamsky Gata 2665 19
13 79 GM Krush Irina 2458 5   5 GM Jones Gawain C B 2625 28
14 33 GM Lenic Luka 2611 5   5 IM Padmini Rout 2427 91
15 36 GM Sandipan Chanda 2583 5   5 IM Gledura Benjamin 2515 57

Get the results and pairings specifically of only Indian players from chess-results website