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KIIT R01: Chandreyee Hajra stuns Padmini Rout

by Sagar Shah - 27/05/2017

How exciting can first round of an open tournament really be? Players with a rating gap of nearly 400 points were pitted against each other at the 10th KIIT International Open 2017. Yet, we had four GMs who were held to a draw and many more IMs joining the casualty list. The biggest upset of the day was definitely the victory of 17-year-old from Kolkata Chandreyee Hajra over three-time national champion Padmini Rout. We have the game with complete analysis and pictorial illustrations.

Photos by Rupali Mullick


At three in the afternoon some of the best minds of India and the world of chess gathered at the sports complex of the Kalinga Institute in Bhubaneshwar to play at the 10th KIIT International Open 2017. First rounds are usually considered to be just a formality for higher rated players. But this was not the case here. The top ten boards itself witnessed three draws! But surely the biggest upset of the day was 17-year-old Chandreyee Hajra's victory over the local favourite and three-time national champion IM Padmini Rout.

With a rating of 1934 Chandrayee was clearly the underdog by a huge margin (450 Elo points). But she fought bravely and pulled off a great victory.

The game was a good example of how playing too ambitiously can backfire. Padmini got a good position out of the opening, but wasn't able to follow up with the best moves. She could have equalized the game and played an even position, but tried to make some risky moves. This could have worked against a lower rated opponent, but Chandreyee was in great form. She gobbled up all the material that was on offer and effortlessly converted the game into a full point!

[Event "KIIT 2017"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.05.26"] [Round "1"] [White "Padmini, Rout"] [Black "Chandreyee, Hajra"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B12"] [WhiteElo "2380"] [BlackElo "1934"] [Annotator "Sagar,Shah"] [PlyCount "96"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2017.05.26"] 1. e4 c6 {The Caro Kann. Maybe Chandreyee was inspired by Vidit Gujrathi's DVD on the Caro Kann!} 2. d4 d5 3. e5 {Padmini usually plays the advance variation against the Caro Kann.} Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Ne7 6. O-O {White's way of developing has been the biggest headache that Black has faced in the Caro Kann. People call it the Short variation after Nigel Short. Nowadays at the highest level almost everyone plays this way against the Caro.} h6 7. Nbd2 Bh7 8. Nb3 Nd7 {White has space, but Black is solid. His aim would be to blast the centre and try with some counter attacking moves.} 9. a4 Nf5 10. Bd3 Be7 11. g4 $1 { Padmini knows her stuff. She begins the aggression before her opponent can complete her development!} Nh4 12. Bxh7 Nxf3+ 13. Qxf3 Rxh7 {Black's rook is misplaced and in general she cannot castle now. White is clearly better.} 14. Qd3 {Padmini gets ready for f4-f5. The only problem with this placement is that c5-c4 will make White lose time.} Rh8 15. f4 c5 $1 {Chandreyee fights back just in time.} 16. f5 $1 {Padmini ploughs on! She realizes that c4 is not so dangerous.} c4 17. Qf3 Nxe5 $1 {A very nice idea by Chandreyee who is tactically very alert.} 18. dxe5 cxb3 19. Be3 {Objectively not the right decision by Padmini.} (19. fxe6 fxe6 $1 {The king will be very safe on the d7 square.} 20. Qxb3 (20. Qf7+ Kd7 $19) 20... Qb6+ 21. Qxb6 axb6 22. Be3 Bc5 $11) 19... bxc2 $1 {Bravely picking up another pawn.} 20. Bd4 $2 (20. Rac1 Rc8 21. Rf2 {wins the c2 pawn and would have been the best. Although Black is clearly better, White is fighting on.}) 20... Rc8 21. Rac1 Rc4 22. Qd3 $1 Qc8 23. Rf2 Bc5 24. Bxc5 Qxc5 25. Rcxc2 Rxc2 26. Qxc2 Qxc2 27. Rxc2 {White has limited the damages and reached a pawn down rook endgame. This looks not so easy to defend, but judging from the difference in rating one could say that Padmini had all the reasons to be optimistic. As it turns out Chandreyee shows some high class technique.} Kd7 28. fxe6+ fxe6 29. Rf2 Ke7 30. Rc2 Rd8 31. Kg2 Kd7 32. Kg3 (32. Rf2 d4 $1 33. Rf7+ Kc6 34. Kf2 Rd7 $19) 32... Rf8 {Now the c-file is covered and the f-file is in Black's control.} 33. Rc1 Rc8 34. Rf1 Ke7 35. Rf3 Rc4 36. a5 b6 37. axb6 axb6 38. Re3 Kd7 39. h4 Kc6 40. h5 d4 41. Rf3 Kd5 42. Rf7 d3 43. Rxg7 (43. Kf3 Kxe5 44. Ke3 Rxg4 45. Kxd3 {Black should win this, but White is fighting.}) 43... Rd4 $1 44. Kf2 d2 45. Rd7+ Kxe5 46. Rxd4 Kxd4 47. Ke2 Ke5 48. g5 hxg5 {I would rate this as an excellent game by the young girl from Kolkata. } 0-1

Eversmiling Chandreyee Hajra!

If you are motivated by Chandreyee's play you might want to learn the Caro Kann. No one better than India number three Vidit Gujrathi to teach you all the ideas in this opening from black.

Macro alias: EmbedProduct

The playing hall
Top seed Farrukh Amonatov put it across WFM Divya Deshmukh on the top board
Diptayan Ghosh managed to overcome Ajay Karthikeyan
Adam Tukhaev loves it in India. He won the IIFLW tourament in Mumbai and the Chennai Open just a few months ago. He started the KIIT Open with a fine win. Check out this interview conducted by Shubham Kumthekar where Adam speaks about his secret of winning two strong opens in India.

The pride of Bangladesh chess Ziaur Rahman (left) scored a win in the first round. In round two he takes on... of ChessBase India Amruta Mokal, who seems to be really focused to perform well!
Local boy GM Debashis Das (right) would like to win the event in front of his home crowd!
Andrei Deviatkin was the highest rated player on day one to have drawn his game. He was held by Karthik Kumar Pradeep.
Nguyen Duc Hoa scored a win over multiple time National blind champion Kishan Gangolli
Sahaj Grover had to be a content with a draw against Soham Das
P Shyaam Nikhil has won a host of rating tournaments in India recently. He would want to extend his reign to such international events. He started off with a win.
Armenian Levon Babujian would have hoped for an easy first round. But R. Jayaram made his task extremely difficult and split the point.
Neelotpal Das (left) also could not make a winning start and drew his game against Hari Madhavan
Mrudul Dehankar scored a huge upset by beating IM Rishi Sardana (2390)
Mrudul is one of our top youngsters of India. At the ae of just 12 years she has many achievements to her credit with medals at World Youth events. When I met her in Nagpur at the National Schools in January 2017, I was able to record a video with her. She showed her win over Dhyana Patel with the black pieces. Seeing this video experienced Spanish GM Marc Narciso Dublan wrote on Facebook:
"I am very impressed, and yes, I smell talent in her comments and attitude. Her visualization is very good, as she seems to have the positions and ideas deeply inside her mind. She can easily explain variations that are not actually on the board which is a very good sign. I enjoyed the video very much, hope you produce more like this!"
Here's the video:
Mrudul Dehankar shows her win against Dhyana Patel from National Schools 2017
All the players are given free food at the hostel. However, Saravana Krishnan was eating his dinner at a restaurant outside the premises. When enquired about it he said, "It's my way of dealing with the first round loss!" Saravana lost his game to Sri Lanka's Amararasinghe. Well, all we can say is that the biryani was delicious and we wish Saravana a great tournament in the remaining nine rounds!
The giant set in the playing hall

Results of Round 1

Bo. No.   Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg No.
1 126 WFM Divya Deshmukh 1989 0 0 - 1 0 GM Amonatov Farrukh 2632 1
2 2 GM Ghosh Diptayan 2569 0 1 - 0 0   Ajay Karthikeyan 1988 127
3 128   Anisuzzaman Jewel 1985 0 0 - 1 0 GM Tukhaev Adam 2557 3
4 4 GM Rahman Ziaur 2526 0 1 - 0 0   Mohite Ranveer 1985 129
5 130   Shahnaz Mohammad Faruque 1985 0 0 - 1 0 GM Debashis Das 2496 5
6 6 GM Deviatkin Andrei 2481 0 ½ - ½ 0 CM Karthik Kumar Pradeep 1978 131
7 132   Kishan Gangolli 1977 0 0 - 1 0 GM Nguyen Duc Hoa 2481 7
8 8 GM Grover Sahaj 2478 0 ½ - ½ 0   Soham Das 1977 133
9 134   Kabir Mohammad Sherajul 1976 0 0 - 1 0 IM Shyaamnikhil P 2457 9
10 10 GM Babujian Levon 2438 0 ½ - ½ 0   Jayaram R. 1971 135
11 136   Hari Madhavan N B 1970 0 ½ - ½ 0 GM Neelotpal Das 2438 11
12 13 IM Khusenkhojaev Muhammad 2433 0 1 - 0 0   Saksham Rautela 1969 137
13 138   Mahindrakar Indrajeet 1966 0 0 - 1 0 IM Nitin S. 2426 14
14 15 GM Murshed Niaz 2423 0 ½ - ½ 0 WFM Bidhar Rutumbara 1964 139
15 140   Utsab Chatterjee 1961 0 0 - 1 0 GM Laxman R.R. 2417 16

Round 2 on 2017/05/27 at 09:30 hrs

Bo. No.   Name Rtg Pts. Result Pts.   Name Rtg No.
1 1 GM Amonatov Farrukh 2632 1   1   Subhayan Kundu 2121 81
2 82   Senthil Maran K 2111 1   1 GM Ghosh Diptayan 2569 2
3 3 GM Tukhaev Adam 2557 1   1   Sreeshwan Maralakshikari 2109 83
4 84   Mokal Amruta Sunil 2107 1   1 GM Rahman Ziaur 2526 4
5 5 GM Debashis Das 2496 1   1   Anustoop Biswas 2106 85
6 7 GM Nguyen Duc Hoa 2481 1   1   Panda Sambit 2098 89
7 9 IM Shyaamnikhil P 2457 1   1   Gandhi Anish 2088 91
8 86 WFM Arpita Mukherjee 2102 1   1 IM Khusenkhojaev Muhammad 2433 13
9 14 IM Nitin S. 2426 1   1   Siddharth Sabharishankar 2087 93
10 16 GM Laxman R.R. 2417 1   1 WCM Isha Sharma 2084 95

The pictures in this report have been taken by chessmom Rupali Mullick. In between preparing her son Raahil for the game, and finishing her office work, she was able to go to the tournament hall and capture these photos. She had done some tremendous journalistic work at last year's KIIT Open when she interviewed Praggnanandhaa (picture above) on his achievement of becoming world's youngest IM.

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