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Hoa Duc Nguyen wins the 10th KIIT International Open 2017

by Sagar Shah - 03/06/2017

Chess fans in Bhubaneshwar, India and all over the world waited in anticipation for the top board clash between the local boy Debashis Das and leader Hoa Duc Nguyen to begin. The Vietnamese GM, however, had everything under control as he played the Exchange Slav and drew the game in 25 moves, thus winning the title. Second place went to Debashis Das and Diptayan Ghosh finished third. We have a detailed final round report along with pictures from the closing ceremony.

You might have noticed in the headlines that the name of the Vietnamese GM is written differently than usual. That's because after he won the tournament I did some research on Wikipidea and realized that Nguyen in the family name (very common in Vietnam), Hoa is the first name and Duc is the middle name! So, it's Hoa Duc Nguyen who won the 10th KIIT International 2017.

Like a boss!
In the final round Hoa had the white pieces against Debashis. The local boy had come all pumped up for a full-fledged fight. But as Debashis said after the round, "Maybe Slav was not the best choice after all!" Indeed! As Hoa Nguyen confidently went ahead and played the Exchange Slav, it almost became certain that the game would end in a draw.
[Event "10th KiiT International Chess Festival -"]
[Site "KiiT University, Patia, Bhuban"]
[Date "2017.06.02"]
[Round "10.1"]
[White "Nguyen, Duc Hoa"]
[Black "Debashis, Das"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D13"]
[WhiteElo "2481"]
[BlackElo "2496"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "50"]
[EventDate "2017.05.26"]
[EventRounds "10"]
[EventCountry "IND"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 d5 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bf4 a6 7. e3 Bg4 8. Be2
e6 9. O-O Be7 10. h3 Bxf3 11. Bxf3 O-O 12. a3 b5 13. b4 Rc8 14. Qb3 Nd7 {
If the knight gets from b6to c4, there could be something to play for, but
Nguyen was having nothing of that.} 15. a4 $1 Qb6 16. axb5 axb5 17. Be2 Nxb4 (
17... Nxd4 {This is what Debashis had thought about as he said after the game.
But it is met with a strong refutation.} 18. exd4 Qxd4 19. Bc7 $1 $16 {A move
that is easy to miss. White is just better here.}) 18. Nxb5 Rc2 19. Ra7 Rxe2
20. Rxd7 Qxb5 21. Rxe7 Qc4 22. Qxc4 dxc4 23. Rc7 Rc2 24. Bd6 Nd5 25. Rc6 Ra8 {
The minimum moves to be made for a draw was reached and the players agreed to
a draw. Thus Hoa Nguyen became the champion.} 1/2-1/2

The champion of the 10th KIIT Open 2017 - Hoa Duc Nguyen

A short chat with Hoa Nguyen

At the prize giving ceremony I approached the winner with a few questions. "No video interview," he said! Why, I asked him? "Individual reasons was his reply. I went ahead and recorded his answers and here is a gist of what the Vietnamese GM said.


On initial round problems:

"I started off the tournament with great difficulties. I lost a really one-sided game in the third round against Vikramjit Singh. At that point I realized that Indians are really good at opening preparation and tactics. So I started to avoid opening theory and in general sharp positions. And once I got my confidence back I relied on healthy opening lines."


Choosing sound openings:

"I did play a very sharp line in the penultimate round against S.Nitin. But in that game I was able to guess that my opponent will go for the Qf3 line in the Taimanov system. So I was able to prepare pretty well before the game. Overall it was an easy game for me I think!"


Final round strategy:

"In the final round I just needed a draw to become a champion. So instead of going 1.e4 I played more solidly with 1.d4. My opponent GM Debashis Das played the Slav defence, and I was happy (laughs) as I could play the exchange variation which was enough for a draw!"


Surprised to win:

"I hadn't played chess for a year! I just came here to practice and get back my touch! I am really surprised that I won this tournament! (laughs)"

Nguyen's favourite game of the tournament:

If you ask me I think this will be his favourite game for a lifetime! His eighth round encounter with GM Ziaur Rahman. We published this in our round eight report, but the co-ordinated movement of the e2 and d2 pawns is so nice that I would urge you to have a look at this beautiful game again.

[Event "10th KiiT International Chess Festival -"]
[Site "KiiT University, Patia, Bhuban"]
[Date "2017.05.31"]
[Round "8.1"]
[White "Nguyen, Duc Hoa"]
[Black "Rahman, Ziaur"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B08"]
[WhiteElo "2481"]
[BlackElo "2526"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2017.05.26"]
[EventRounds "10"]
[EventCountry "IND"]
1. e4 g6 {Ziaur sticks to the system that has worked well for him in this
tournament.} 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nf3 d6 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Be2 O-O 6. O-O {Nothing flashy.
White simply develops and gets his king to safety.} c6 7. h3 Nbd7 8. Be3 Qc7 9.
a4 b6 10. Re1 Bb7 11. Qd2 Rad8 (11... e5 {is the normal move for Black here.
But I think Ziaur wasn't too happy about the position that is reached after}
12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Rad1 Rad8 14. Bg5 $14) 12. Bc4 c5 $6 (12... e5 {simply made
more sense, because all the pieces are in good positions to execute that move.}
) 13. d5 $14 {Black is now passive.} Ne5 $6 14. Nxe5 $1 dxe5 {This is a
dubious position for Black.} 15. Qe2 (15. a5 $1 $16) 15... Nh5 16. a5 Nf4 17.
Bxf4 exf4 18. e5 Kh8 19. a6 Ba8 20. Rad1 {[%csl Gc3,Gc4,Gd1,Gd5,Ge1,Ge2,Ge5]
White has beautiful control! Black is just lost.} Qc8 21. Nb5 Qxa6 {Ziaur
tries to complicate the position, but in vain.} 22. Nd6 (22. d6 $18 {might
have been even more accurate.}) 22... b5 (22... Qa5 23. Ra1 Qb4 24. c3 $18) 23.
Nxb5 Qb6 24. d6 e6 25. c3 Bc6 26. Nc7 Rb8 27. b3 {White is just very patient.
He is not in a hurry and knows that with all the trumps, sooner or later the
point will fall in his lap.} h5 28. f3 Bh6 29. Ra1 a5 30. Qa2 a4 31. bxa4 Qa5
32. Bb5 Bb7 (32... Bxb5 33. axb5 Qxc3 34. Rac1 Qd4+ 35. Qf2 $18) 33. Nxe6 $5 (
33. Qc4 {Keeping it simple was also possible.}) 33... fxe6 34. Qxe6 Rg8 35.
Qf6+ Kh7 (35... Bg7 36. Qxg6 $18) 36. e6 {The two central pawns are very
strong.} Bg7 37. Qg5 (37. Qxf4 $1 Bxc3 38. e7 Bxa1 (38... Bxe1 39. d7 $18) 39.
Rxa1 Qc3 40. Rd1 $18 {There is no sacrifice possible on f3.}) 37... c4 (37...
Bxc3 {What had Nguyen prepared for this move?} 38. e7 Bxa1 39. Rxa1 Qc3 40. Rd1
Bxf3 {And it is already a draw!}) 38. Rad1 Rgf8 39. e7 Qb6+ 40. Kf1 Rf5 41.
Qxf5 gxf5 42. d7 {[%csl Gd1,Gd7,Ge1,Ge7]} Bxc3 43. d8=Q Qg6 44. e8=Q {[%csl
Gd1,Gd8,Ge1,Ge8] What a vivid position to end the game!} 1-0


The winner went back with a glittering trophy and the first prize of Rs. 2,00,000.
Second and third places were taken up by two Indian youngsters: GM Debashis Das (right) and GM Diptayan Ghosh
Debashis went back home with a cheque of Rs.1,00,000
There are a few things worth learning from Debashis Das. When asked what he would do with the prize money, the 24 year old said, "I will invest it in my chess, so that I can become a stronger chess player." This is truly a great approach and will ensure that Debashis keeps improving as a chess player. Another thing which impressed me was his discipline. At the dinner table Das abstained from any fried food or cold drinks. "I may exercise less, but I will never eat such stuff. I am a professional chess player after all!" 
Diptayan made four draws and six wins. True to his style of play he remained unbeaten and claimed the third prize.
His last round win against Levon Babujian amply describes Diptayan's style of play. Solid yet ambitious. He was able to beat his opponent without giving him any chances.
[Event "10th KiiT International Chess Festival -"]
[Site "KiiT University, Patia, Bhuban"]
[Date "2017.06.02"]
[Round "10.2"]
[White "Ghosh, Diptayan"]
[Black "Babujian, Levon"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D77"]
[WhiteElo "2569"]
[BlackElo "2438"]
[Annotator "Sagar Shah"]
[PlyCount "85"]
[EventDate "2017.05.26"]
[EventRounds "10"]
[EventCountry "IND"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d5 6. O-O dxc4 7. Na3 c3 8. bxc3
c5 9. Ne5 Nc6 10. Nac4 Nd5 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Bd2 Be6 $6 {This is already first
step in the wrong direction.} (12... Ba6 {is more popular.}) 13. Rc1 Qc8 14.
Na5 $1 c4 15. Nxc4 Qa6 16. Nb2 $1 Qxa2 17. Nd3 Qc4 18. Nc5 Bg4 19. f3 Bc8 20.
e4 {White has pushed all of Black's pieces behind! With this beautiful central
pawns and the strong knight on c5, he is already winning. Diptayan finished
off the game without too many issues.} Nb6 21. Re1 f6 22. Ra1 Rd8 23. Bf1 Qf7
24. Qc2 e5 25. Be3 Bf8 26. Qa2 Bxc5 27. Qxf7+ Kxf7 28. dxc5 Nd7 29. Ra2 Nf8 30.
Rea1 Rd7 31. f4 exf4 32. Bxf4 Ne6 33. Bc4 Rb7 34. Bd6 Bd7 $6 (34... Kg7 $16)
35. Rf1 $1 Re8 36. Raf2 $18 Kg7 37. Rxf6 Ng5 38. Bf8+ Rxf8 39. Rxf8 Bh3 40.
Rg8+ Kh6 41. Rf4 Rb1+ 42. Kf2 Rb2+ 43. Ke3 {A clean win for the Kolkata GM.}
The man who has won two strong Indian opens in the past, Adam Tukahev, had to be content with the fourth spot. But one must definitely commend him for almost always winning his last rounds. Here he beat IM S.Nitin.
It was as if Sahaj Grover was in two zones during the tournament. The first four rounds where he played poor chess scoring just 2.0/4. And the next six rounds where he scored 6.0/6. Watch out for his games from the Mumbai Open starting tomorrow! He might as well win it with 10.0/10!
Top seeded Farrukh Amonatov won his last round against IM Ravi Teja and finished sixth. The position that arose in the game was very tricky with Ravi having a bishop and a rook against Farrukh's queen. We have the critical phase of the game in the form of a video. Have a look at how Ravi blunders, Farrukh executes his move and then loosens his body, almost as if to say, the game is over!
Ravi Teja vs Amonatov
Ziaur Rahman with his family. The Bangladeshi GM drew his last round and finished seventh
The pictures of other prize winners can be found on ChessBase India's Facebook post over here.
The sad part about this event was no norms being made. Somewhere around the seventh round mark things looked so very promising. Players like Nitin, CRG Krishna, Niranjan Navalgund were knocking on the doors of a GM norm, while youngsters like Mrudual Dehankar and Divya Deshmukh were in with a chance for a WIM norm. However, by the end of the tournament everyone faltered and no norms were made.


Final Ranking after 10 Rounds

Rk. SNo     Name sex FED Rtg Club/City Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 7   GM Nguyen Duc Hoa   VIE 2481 VIE 8,5 0,0 58,0 62,5
2 5   GM Debashis Das   IND 2496 ODI 8,0 0,0 59,5 62,5
3 2   GM Ghosh Diptayan   IND 2569 WB 8,0 0,0 59,0 64,5
4 3   GM Tukhaev Adam   UKR 2557 UKR 8,0 0,0 56,5 61,0
5 8   GM Grover Sahaj   IND 2478 DEL 8,0 0,0 52,0 55,5
6 1   GM Amonatov Farrukh   TJK 2632 TJK 7,5 0,0 60,0 65,5
7 4   GM Rahman Ziaur   BAN 2526 BAN 7,5 0,0 59,5 63,5
8 13   IM Khusenkhojaev Muhammad   TJK 2433 TJK 7,5 0,0 58,0 61,5
9 22   IM Iniyan P   IND 2392 TN 7,5 0,0 53,0 58,0
10 17   IM Raghunandan Kaumandur Srihari   IND 2410 KAR 7,5 0,0 52,5 57,0
11 14   IM Nitin S.   IND 2426 TN 7,0 0,0 61,5 65,5
12 23   IM Krishna C R G   IND 2392 AP 7,0 0,0 61,0 64,5
13 10   GM Babujian Levon   ARM 2438 ARM 7,0 0,0 60,5 65,0
14 16   GM Laxman R.R.   IND 2417 TN 7,0 0,0 60,5 65,0
15 21     Sidhant Mohapatra   IND 2393 ODI 7,0 0,0 57,0 61,5
16 9   IM Shyaamnikhil P   IND 2457 TN 7,0 0,0 55,5 59,5
17 11   GM Neelotpal Das   IND 2438 WB 7,0 0,0 55,0 59,5
18 48     Saurabh Anand   IND 2266 BIH 7,0 0,0 55,0 59,5
19 31   FM Sai Krishna G V   IND 2339 AP 7,0 0,0 55,0 58,5
20 35   FM Karthik Venkataraman   IND 2317 TN 7,0 0,0 55,0 58,5

Complete final rankings list

Three legendary players who made a mark on the Indian chess scene at some point in their career: IM Sekhar Sahu, Nasir Ali Syed and IM Ravi Hegde.
Ranjan Mohanty, Satya Ranjan Pattnaik and Gourahari Mohapatra became the three new FIDE Instructors of Odisha. All of them cleared the same examination in the same year.
Ranjan Mohanty was the topper in the FIDE Instructor examination. We must mention that Ranjan is an income tax officer and an ardent lover of the game of chess, especially the dragon opening! He is planning to make a comeback to chess in December! So beware!

Satya Ranjan Pattanaik is the founder of S.R. Chess centre and all the top players of the state have at some point passed through his academy.
FIDE Instructor Gourahari Mohapatra
Padmini Rout is one of the most famous personalities of Odisha. I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said that the word chess is synonymous to Padmini in the hearts of the people of the state. Well, I am going to the airport in a few hours and going to see if I can get an upgrade to business class thanks to being her friend!
A huge thanks to T. Shyam Sundar for making the live games available for people all over the world to enjoy this high class tournament.
IM Suvrajit Saha with his wife and son. Saha junior played in the C-category, so Suvrajit was there as a chess dad!

The playing hall was made specially for the World Juniors held in 2016 and has some beautiful paintings on the walls
Some great images!
Do you know who this great man is?
He is none other than Achyuta Samanta, the founder of Kalinga Institute of Information Technology and Kalinga Institute of Social Studies. He is one of the greatest social entrepreneurs in the world and ensures that 25000 tribal kids get food each day. ChessBase India was able to interview this great man and we will soon be publishing it.

Dinner with friends! Thank you Ranjan Mohanty (man on the extreme left) for your wonderful hospitality.
The game of chess binds us all!