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London 06: Vishnu joins Crg Krishna and eight others in the lead

by Priyadarshan Banjan - 10/12/2015

The sixth round witnessed an Indian derby when IM Swayams Mishra took on IM Tania Sachdev, and it turned out to be a rather strange game. Tania won a pawn early and gained a tangible advantage, only to mess up in the rook ending and land on a draw. Crg Krishna had a fairly uneventful draw with US’s GM Alex Lenderman. IM Sagar Shah and V. Ap Karthik also drew their games. GM Vishnu Prasanna played a delightful attacking game against IM Alexandre Vuilleumier. Indian maestro Vishy Anand won a beauty.

London 06: Vishnu joins Crg Krishna and eight others in the lead

The sixth round witnessed an Indian derby when IM Swayams Mishra took on IM Tania Sachdev, and it turned out to be a rather strange game. Tania won a pawn early and gained a tangible advantage, only to mess up in the rook ending and land on a draw. Crg Krishna had a fairly uneventful draw with US’s GM Alex Lenderman. IM Sagar Shah and V. Ap Karthik also drew their games. 


GM Vishnu Prasanna played a delightful attacking game against IM Alexandre Vuilleumier. First, he gained an advantage after a thematic exchange sacrifice, only to land in trouble after choosing an inaccurate continuation allowing his opponent to sacrifice a piece in return! However, the Swiss International Master could not find the precise way forward, enabling Vishnu to score the full point.

GM Vishnu Prasanna (2514) played an exciting game

Black has just played 10…b5, attacking the c4 pawn. How will you continue?

Vishnu who was white played 11. f4 bxc4 12. d4, finding that for a sacrificed pawn, he has ample compensation. Later, as the game progressed, the following position appeared:

The move is a thematic idea for ripping open the King. Support your solution with concrete calculations
[Event "London FIDE Open"]
[Site "Olympia Conference Centre"]
[Date "2015.12.08"]
[Round "6.11"]
[White "Vishnu, Prasanna V"]
[Black "Vuilleumier, Alexandre"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A20"]
[WhiteElo "2514"]
[BlackElo "2342"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:17:54"]
[BlackClock "0:00:32"]
1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 h6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. e4 Bxc3 6. bxc3 O-O 7. Ne2 d6 8. O-O
a6 9. Rb1 Be6 10. d3 b5 11. f4 bxc4 12. d4 c5 13. fxe5 dxe5 14. d5 Bg4 15. h3
Bh5 16. g4 Bg6 17. Ng3 Qa5 (17... Nxd5 18. Rxb8 Rxb8 19. exd5 Bd3) 18. Rxf6
gxf6 19. Bxh6 Qxc3 (19... Rd8 20. Qf3 Nd7 21. Rb7 Kh7 22. Rxd7 Rxd7 23. Qxf6
Rg8 24. Qh4 $18) 20. Kh2 $1 Nd7 21. Rb7 Kh7 22. Bxf8 Nxf8 23. Qf1 Kg7 24. g5 (
24. h4 $1 Qe3 25. h5 Bh7 26. Qxc4 $18) 24... Nh7 25. h4 (25. gxf6+ Nxf6 26.
Nf5+ Bxf5 27. Qxf5 Qe3 $1 28. Qxe5 (28. Qf3 Qxf3 29. Bxf3 $15) 28... Re8 29.
Qg3+ Qxg3+ 30. Kxg3 c3 31. Rb1 Nxe4+ 32. Bxe4 Rxe4 33. Rc1 Rc4 $17) 25... Qd2
26. h5 Nxg5 27. hxg6 Rh8+ (27... c3 $1 28. Rb6 (28. Nf5+ Kxg6 29. Ne7+ Kh7 30.
Qxf6 Re8 31. Ng6 c2 32. Rxf7+ Nxf7 33. Qxf7+ Kh6 34. Qxe8 c1=Q 35. Qh8+ Kxg6
36. Qe8+ $1 $11 (36. Qg8+ $4 Kh5 37. Qf7+ Kh4 38. Qf6+ Qg5 $19)) 28... Rh8+ 29.
Kg1 Qd4+ 30. Qf2 Rh1+ (30... Qxf2+ 31. Kxf2 c2 32. Ne2 $19) 31. Nxh1 c2 32. Kh2
Qxf2 33. Nxf2 c1=Q $18) 28. Kg1 Qd4+ 29. Qf2 Qd1+ 30. Nf1 Qg4 31. Qg3 Qxg3 32.
Nxg3 Kxg6 33. a4 1-0


IM Crg Krishna (2367) had no problems holding his higher rated opponent
[Event "7th CSC London Chess Classic"]
[Site "Olympia Conference Centre, Lo"]
[Date "2015.12.08"]
[Round "6.2"]
[White "Krishna, Crg"]
[Black "Lenderman, Alex"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A00"]
[WhiteElo "2367"]
[BlackElo "2626"]
[PlyCount "51"]
[EventDate "2015.12.04"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "ENG"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. d4 d6 2. Nf3 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 Nd7 5. c4 e5 6. Nc3 Ne7 7. O-O O-O 8. e4
exd4 9. Nxd4 Nc6 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Bd2 a5 12. Qc2 Ne5 13. Ne2 f5 14. f4 Ng4 15.
Rad1 Qe8 16. Bc1 fxe4 17. Qxe4 Bf5 18. Qxe8 Raxe8 19. Nd4 Bxd4+ 20. Rxd4 c5 21.
Rdd1 Bc2 22. Rde1 Bd3 23. Bd5+ Kg7 24. Rxe8 Rxe8 25. Rd1 Nf6 26. Bd2 1/2-1/2


IM Swayams Mishra (2477) had a tough time defending against

IM Tania Sachdev (2357)'s spirited onslaught

Tania played 14… e5! Of course, if 15. Bxe5 Qa5+ is winning for Black. Swayams played 15. Be3 when Black replied 15... Bd7. Now, a move like 16. Nc3 would have been fine. However, Swayams went wrong with 16. Bxd4 exd4 17. b4. Now Tania played an almost forcing sequence that secures her an advantage.

She played 17... Bxa4 18. Qxa4 Ne4 19. Qc2 Nc3 20. Rd2, and now...

20… a5! 21. b5, which results in a loss of pawn after  Nxe2 22. Kxe2 Qe7+ 23. Kf1 Qxa3. Note that 22. Rxe2  d3 would be a cute fork.
[Event "London FIDE Open"]
[Site "Olympia Conference Centre"]
[Date "2015.12.08"]
[Round "6.17"]
[White "Swayams, Mishra"]
[Black "Sachdev, Tania"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D37"]
[WhiteElo "2477"]
[BlackElo "2357"]
[PlyCount "112"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[WhiteClock "0:11:35"]
[BlackClock "0:18:17"]
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8. Qc2
Nc6 9. Rd1 Qb6 10. a3 d4 11. exd4 Nxd4 12. Nxd4 Bxd4 13. Na4 Qd8 14. Be2 e5 15.
Be3 (15. Bxe5 Qa5+ $19) 15... Bd7 16. Bxd4 exd4 17. b4 (17. Rxd4 Bxa4 18. Rxd8
Bxc2 $19) 17... Bxa4 18. Qxa4 Ne4 19. Qc2 Nc3 20. Rd2 a5 21. b5 Nxe2 22. Kxe2 (
22. Rxe2 d3 $19) 22... Qe7+ 23. Kf1 Qxa3 24. Qd3 Qc1+ 25. Rd1 Qg5 26. h4 Qe7
27. g3 Rac8 28. Kg2 Qe6 29. Rc1 Rfd8 30. Rhe1 Qd6 31. Re4 Qc5 32. h5 h6 33.
Rce1 a4 34. R1e2 a3 35. Re5 Qb4 36. c5 Qc3 37. Qxc3 dxc3 38. Ra2 f6 39. Rf5 Rd1
40. c6 bxc6 41. Rc5 Rd5 42. Rxc3 Rxb5 43. Raxa3 Rxh5 44. Ra7 Rg5 45. f4 Rg6 46.
Ra5 Rb8 47. Rac5 Rb2+ 48. Kh3 Kh7 49. Rxc6 f5 50. Rxg6 Kxg6 51. Rc6+ Kh7 52.
Rc5 Kg6 53. Rc6+ Kf7 54. Rc7+ Kf6 55. Rc6+ Kf7 56. Rc7+ Kf6 1/2-1/2


Rank after Round 06:

Rk. SNo     Name Country Rtg.
1 1   GM Postny Evgeny ISR 2670 5,0
 2 5   GM Lenderman Alex USA 2626 5,0
 3 8   GM Bok Benjamin NED 2594 5,0
 4 9   GM Hansen Eric CAN 2577 5,0
 5 16   GM Vishnu Prasanna V IND 2514 5,0
 6 21   GM Blomqvist Erik SWE 2493 5,0
 7 22   GM Fodor Tamas Jr HUN 2492 5,0
 8 33   IM Bartholomew John USA 2443 5,0
 9 49   FM Martins David Pt POR 2372 5,0
 10 51   IM Krishna Crg IND 2367 5,0

Classic 05: Vishy’s Octopus Knight!

A fine performance by Vishy Anand, where the Indian displayed a crystal clear example of a good knight triumphing over a bad bishop. This victory was very important to Anand psychologically as well, as it came immediately after the crushing loss at the hands of Nakamura in the previous round.


The Bulgarian tactician is having a horrendous tournament

Maestro of the black and white squares

Vishy found time to admire the screen behind the stage

What plan will you follow for white had you been Anand?

23. g5! Fixing the structure on the kingside. The plan is such positions is to exchange the light squared bishops and cement the white knight on the d5 square. Play continued 23…Qc6 24. Rg1 preparing the plan of exchanging the light squared bishops. 24…Qd7 25. Qg3 Rc8 26. Bg4  Bxg4, thus securing the d5 square. 27. Qxg4 Qxg4 28. Rxg4 Bf8...

29. Nd5 with a pleasant advantage of a good knight over a bad bishop

Analysis by IM Sagar Shah:

[Event "7th London Classic 2015"]
[Site "London ENG"]
[Date "2015.12.08"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Anand, Viswananthan"]
[Black "Topalov, Veselin"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B90"]
[WhiteElo "2803"]
[BlackElo "2803"]
[PlyCount "147"]
[EventDate "2015.12.03"]
[SourceDate "2003.06.08"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 {Even after a loss to MVL,
Topalov doesn't shy away from the Najdorf.} 6. h3 e5 7. Nde2 h5 {The same line
containing g4 was played against MVL. The frenchman now continued g3. But
Anand instead goes for Bg5.} 8. Bg5 Be6 9. Bxf6 {This is a very logical move.
The d5 square is a tad weak and hence you get rid of the knight that defends
it.} Qxf6 10. Nd5 {Anand has scored already two wins with this move in the
World Rapid and Blitz against Bologan and Roiz.} Qd8 11. Qd3 $5 {That's
Anand's micro improvement. Instead of playing Nec3 he goes for this queen move
which prepares 0-0-0. It hasn't been played by any top player yet. Although
his trusted second Wojtaszek has faced it from the black side.} g6 $146 {
Topalov makes the first new move of the game. He is threatening Bh6 to stop
White from 0-0-0.} 12. O-O-O Nd7 13. Kb1 Rc8 14. Nec3 Rc5 {Optically the
knight on d5 is strong but Black plays around it and can later exchange
everything with Nb6. So it shouldn't really be so bad. But Black's development
is incomplete and hence White should aim to open up the position as soon as
possible.} 15. Be2 b5 16. a3 (16. f4 {would have been pretty strong. The point
being} exf4 17. Qd4 $1 Rh7 18. Nxf4 $16 {White has a strong initiative.}) 16...
Nb6 17. g4 {Anand realizes that he should do something although f4 was equally
tempting at this point.} hxg4 (17... Bxd5 18. exd5 hxg4 19. hxg4 Rxh1 20. Rxh1
Bg7 {could have been an idea to get rid off the d5 weakness but White retains
an edge after} 21. Ne4 Rxd5 22. Qc3 Qc8 23. Qf3 $36) 18. Nxb6 $6 (18. hxg4 Rxh1
19. Rxh1 Bxd5 20. exd5 Bg7 {just transposes to the variation we just saw above
where White was better. So Anand should have gone for this.}) 18... Qxb6 19.
hxg4 Rxh1 20. Rxh1 Bg7 21. Qe3 Qb7 (21... a5 22. b4 $1 $18) 22. Rd1 Qc7 23. g5
{Fixing the structure on the kingside. White doesn't have a huge edge but it
is definitely not so easy for Black to play.} Qc6 24. Rg1 {Anand prepares the
plan of exchanging the light squared bishops.} Qd7 25. Qg3 Rc8 26. Bg4 $1 {
Of course the dream scenario is to get rid of the light squared bishops and
plonk the knight on d5.} Bxg4 {It might seem to be a huge concession to do
this - Topalov could have waited for Anand to take on e6 and then take back
with the pawn and the d5 square is covered. But that would also have been
dangerous.} (26... a5 27. Bxe6 fxe6 28. Qd3 Rb8 29. Nd1 $1 {A nice maneuvre
getting the knight to a better square.} Qc6 30. Ne3 b4 31. a4 $16) 27. Qxg4
Qxg4 28. Rxg4 Bf8 29. Nd5 $14 {Topalov has pinned his hopes on defending this
inferior ending where the knight on d5 is an octopus in every way. The plan in
such positions is usually simple. Keep control and create a passer on the
queenside where you have the majority and use your king, rook and knight to
shepherd the pawn to the queening square. However the difficulty here is that
the g5 pawn is weak and the rook has to constantly baby sit it. In any case
this is an enjoyable position for White who can keep shuffling around for
quite some time.} Be7 30. c3 Rc6 31. Kc2 Kd7 32. Kb3 Bd8 33. a4 {Anand begins
the task of creating a queenside passer.} Rc5 34. axb5 Rxb5+ (34... axb5 $11 {
Could have made White's task of creating a passed pawn much difficult.}) 35.
Ka2 a5 36. b4 axb4 37. cxb4 {So step one has been completed. The next task is
to get the rook in to the game somehow.} Rb7 38. Kb3 Rb8 39. Rg1 Rb7 40. Rg3
Rb8 41. Rg1 Rb7 42. Ra1 $5 {Anand foresakes the g5 pawn and gets his rook in
to the action. Maybe playing f3 before doing this could have been a good idea
though. But it doesn't matter much. The position is sort of static in nature.}
Bxg5 43. Kc4 Bd8 44. f3 f5 {Topalov tries to exchange as many pawns as he can.}
45. Rh1 fxe4 46. fxe4 g5 47. b5 Rb8 48. Rh7+ Ke6 {Could have been safer to go
to c8. On e6 the king is in a mating net.} 49. Kb4 {It is zugzwang time. The
rook cannot move away from b-file as b6 would come and the bishop cannot move
away from the control of the e7 square as there is a mate. The king cannot
move at all!} (49. b6 {looks natural but would be hasty and throw away all the
advantage after} Rxb6 $1 50. Nxb6 Bxb6 $11 {This is most probably a fortress.})
49... g4 50. Rg7 g3 51. Rxg3 Rb7 52. Rg6+ Kd7 53. Rg7+ Kc8 54. Rg8 Kd7 55. Kc4
Rb8 (55... Kc8 56. b6 $18) 56. Rg7+ Ke6 57. Kb4 {We get the same zugzwang
position without the g-pawn and White is just winning.} Ba5+ $5 {The final
trick.} 58. Kc4 $6 (58. Kxa5 {would also have won.} Rxb5+ 59. Ka4 Ra5+ 60. Kb3
Ra3+ 61. Kc4 Ra4+ 62. Nb4 $18 {This should not be difficult to convert.}) (58.
Ka4 $1 {Would have won the game with ease. The key point here was} Bd8 {
is strongly refuted by} 59. Ra7 $1 {Black is left without any good moves.} Rc8
60. b6 $18) 58... Bd8 59. Rg8 Rc8+ {Black again has some good chances to
defend now.} 60. Kd3 (60. Kb4 $5 {was a nice trap.} Ba5+ $2 {Falling right
into it.} 61. Kxa5 Rxg8 62. b6 $18 {And surprisingly the pawn cannot be
stopped.}) 60... Rb8 61. Rh8 Kd7 62. Rh7+ Ke6 (62... Kc8 $1 {would have made
White's task to win very tough.}) 63. Kc4 Rc8+ 64. Kb4 Rc1 (64... Rb8 65. Ra7
$18 {As we have seen is the final zugzwang.}) 65. b6 {Finally the pawn moves
ahead and it's all over.} Rb1+ 66. Ka5 Bxb6+ 67. Nxb6 {This position is easily
winning for White because he can defend his e4 pawn with Rh4 and the knight
keeps the d5 breaks under control. It's all about bringing the king in now.}
Ra1+ 68. Kb5 Rb1+ 69. Kc6 Rc1+ 70. Kb7 Rb1 71. Kc7 Rc1+ 72. Kd8 Re1 73. Rh4 Kf6
74. Rg4 {A fine victory for Anand who played a consistent game. He could have
finished the battle sooner on a few occasions but in the end he got the job
done!} 1-0


Vishy's heartening action has melted the hearts of people

Round 06 Pairings for Thursday (9.30 PM IST):

Round 6 Thursday 10 Dec, 16.00-23.00
Anish Giri
Magnus Carlsen
Hikaru Nakamura
Levon Aronian
Veselin Topalov
Michael Adams
Alexander Grischuk
Viswanathan Anand
M Vachier-Lagrave
Fabiano Caruana


Complete report on the Classic at our international site

All games of FIDE Open in PGN

All pictures by Amruta Mokal