Lake Sevan 2016: Vidit becomes champion after Sevian loses on time!
This was the third time Vidit was competing in the annual invitational tournament of Lake Sevan in Armenia. The first time he played, back in 2014, he had won the tournament. But the task looked a tad bit onerous after the drawing of lots. The tournament remained exciting until the very end, when in the penultimate round, Sevian overstepped the time-limit handing over the game and the tournament to Vidit Gujrathi.
Lake Sevan 2016: Vidit becomes champion after Sevian loses on time!
The 2016 Lake Sevan International Tournament began in Martuni, Armenia. The tourney is a 10-player round-robin with an average rating of 2629 and a prize fund of $9200, that is, approximately Rs. 6,18,000. The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves and 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30-second increment from the first move.
"I hadn't played a chess tournament for few months, so I was very eager to play some good chess," says Vidit when asked how he approached the tournament. "There was no strategy as such, but I wanted to avoid repeating my last years' mistakes."
This was the third time Vidit was competing in the annual invitational tournament. The first time he played, back in 2014, he had won the tournament. But the task looked a tad bit onerous after the drawing of lots. "I knew that I had 5 blacks and 4 whites, so it was not going to be easy."
But pleasant memories from his previous outings did create a favourable atmosphere for him. Vidit began comfortably with a win in the very first round with the black pieces. "Of course, it is very pleasant to play in a tournament where you have good memories. And I think this positive vibe definitely helps the quality of play."
After the third round, Samvel Ter-Sahakyan, Vladislav Artemiev, Vidit Gujrathi and Jan-Krzysztof Duda were leading the table with 2.0/3. Vidit, though, settled for a draw in the fourth round. Ter-Sahakyan defeated Hovhannes Gabuzyan with the black pieces.
Artemiev and Duda, two young and exciting grandmasters, played a 99-mover. Duda gained a sizable edge, but a faulty queen trade meant that Artemiev could hold. The Russian, though, erred and Duda took the round. The young Pole now led the tournament with Ter-Sahakyan.
[Site "Martuni ARM"]
[White "Duda, J."]
[Black "Artemiev, V."]
b6 9. Be3 Bb7 10. f3 Be7 11. Qd2 O-O 12. Rfc1 Rc8 13. Kh1 Nbd7 14. a4 Rab8 15.
b4 Qd8 16. Nb3 Ba8 17. a5 bxa5 18. Nxa5 Rxb4 19. Nb5 axb5 20. Qxb4 bxc4 21.
Rxc4 Rb8 22. Qa4 d5 23. Nc6 Bxc6 24. Rxc6 dxe4 25. fxe4 h6 26. Bf4 Rb2 27. Bf3
Nf8 28. Rd1 Qe8 29. Qa6 Ra2 30. Qxa2 Qxc6 31. e5 Nd5 32. Bxd5 exd5 33. Qxd5 Qa4
34. Rf1 Ne6 35. Be3 Bd8 36. Qf3 Qd7 37. h3 Bc7 38. Qa8+ Bd8 39. Qe4 Qb5 40. Qf3
Qd7 41. Rd1 Qa4 42. Qg4 Qxg4 43. hxg4 f6 44. exf6 Bxf6 45. Kg1 Kf7 46. Kf2 Ng5
47. Rd5 Kg6 48. Ra5 Ne4+ 49. Ke2 Ng5 50. Kf2 Ne4+ 51. Kf3 Ng5+ 52. Kg3 Ne4+ 53.
Kf4 Ng5 54. Ra6 Nf7 55. Bd4 Ng5 56. Bb2 Nf7 57. Bc3 Ng5 58. Bb4 Nf7 59. Be7 Ng5
60. Rc6 Nf7 61. Rb6 Ng5 62. Ra6 Nf7 63. Ke4 Kg5 64. Ra7 Kg6 65. Bf8 Ne5 66. Kf4
Nd3+ 67. Kg3 Ne5 68. Bd6 Nf7 69. Bf4 Ng5 70. Ra6 Nf7 71. Kf3 Ng5+ 72. Ke3 Kf7
73. Kd3 Ne6 74. Be3 Ng5 75. Kc4 Ne6 76. Ra7+ Kg6 77. Kd5 Ng5 78. Ra5 Nf7 79.
Ke6 Ng5+ 80. Kd7 Nf7 81. Bf4 Ng5 82. Ke8 Ne4 83. Ra4 Ng5 84. Bd2 Ne6 85. Be3
Ng5 86. Kf8 Ne6+ 87. Kg8 Ng5 88. Ra6 Ne4 89. Ra4 Ng5 90. Bd4 Ne4 91. Ra6 Kg5
92. Ra4 Bxd4 93. Rxd4 Nf6+ 94. Kxg7 Nxg4 95. Rd3 h5 96. Rd5+ Kh4 97. Kg6 Kg3
98. Rg5 Kf4 99. Kxh5 1-0
Not far behind the leaders, the youngest grandmaster in the world currently, American Samuel Sevian who has Armenian roots, sacrificed his knight in the eleventh move against Vladimir Onishchuk (2615). Sevian is known to have a brashly aggressive style of play, and this makes his games a treat to watch.
In the fifth round, Duda went down to Arman Pashikian, who was at the bottom of the table until then.
Ter-Sahakyan was pitted against Sevian, who was in the third place. The American managed to win a 103-move-long game. Thus, for the first time, the tournament got its sole leader. Sevian had scored 3.5/5, with three wins, and a loss and draw apiece. He settled for another draw in the sixth round with Anton David-Guijarro (2627).
Vidit, who had been on a drawing spree after his first round win, came back to life once again, as he beat the tournament's punching-bag Vladimir Onischuk. Duda too won his game, and so, at the end of six rounds, Duda, Vidit and Sevian led the table.
Duda fell out of the race in the seventh round after he lost to Onischuk. Vidit and Sevian drew their respective games to enter the penultimate round as co-leaders, and as befits such a scenario, they were facing each other!
Vidit was clearly in the mood to fight with the black pieces. "I got double black for the game and he was playing good chess, so, I was aiming for a fighting position. I played a relatively rare line and got a decent position," he said.
Vidit got a stable advantage in the middlegame, but then he missed a knight move, then another move — this time a rook — and was just two pawns down. The exciting game that lasted for almost six hours saw an anti-climax in the end, when Sevian, two pawns up, lost on time!
Sevian-Vidit (Comments by Vidit)
Vidit adds: "Well, overall, I think the game was good — it was a long 5.5-hour game with very interesting and fighting chess. And definitely, one which will be the most memorable because of the rollercoaster of emotions experienced during it."
All Vidit needed to do in the last round was hold the top seed Duda to a draw, which he did without any issues. He won the Lake Sevan 2016 tournament with 6.0/9. It did not matter that Russian GM Artemiev too scored the same number of points, but had to settle for the second spot on the basis of Sonneborn-Berger.
The final round game by Artemiev was particularly interesting because, apparently, his opponent forgot about the dragon bishop!
Artemiev fought back well to tie for the first place with 6.0/9. The drama of the penultimate round left its mark on the tie breaks, as Vidit took the top spot, while the Russian phenom was second. Interestingly, one may note that Artemiev could have won the event clearly had the 3-1-0 system been in force, which was recently seen in Bilbao, where Magnus Carlsen won.
Seconding an elite grandmaster speaks enough for your credentials as a strong theoretician, which Vidit is. In Lake Sevan 2016, his superior opening preparation was displayed in all its glory. Vidit said, "I don't think that's anything special nowadays. It's simply the current trend to mix up the openings." What effect has the work with Giri had on Vidit's results? "Unfortunately, I can't tell anything about it."
|6||GM||Guijarro Anton David||ESP||2627||4.5||18||5||0|
Photos from the Official Website